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7 January 2001

I was up early enjoying the swimming pool and a morning shower. Later in the morning Tom and I went to town in his dinghy. On our way, we made a stop at Kent's boat. Kent told us that he had never gotten a visa when going to Venezuela, where he had been many times. And he also does the inward clearance himself, even though the pilot books tell that you need a visa and to make use of an agent for the inward clearance, who would charge 100 US$ for the inconvenience. Here the consul charges 35 US$ to print a visa, which probably goes right into his pocket. So I have actually just saved 135 US$(??).

I met Steve (the guy who got caught at the reef). He was on his way home to the States to pick up a nephew, who is going to help him with the boat, "...since you don't have the time to help me sail it back home". "Dang it Steve, you never asked.......".

There wasn't time to go to the carpenter today. But I finally did get to swap books. The lady there asked me to take away more books than I brought, since she has too many already. So I picked out one for Tom. A Clive Cussler book about all his expeditions regarding sunken ships and shipwrecks. And a German book for Chris about the telecom (wireline) scandal of the seventies. Both very good books, but I can't keep them myself. I haven't got the room for them, and I have already read them. Twice actually, so I am in need of new books. But I'd gladly give them away. The quality is often a bit poor when swapping books(/bookswapping). Most yachters don't swap "quality" books, that is, those regarding navigation etc. Those will be kept or swapped for other "quality" books.

Later on, Chris returned with "The Pacific Crossing Guide" for me. It was an extra copy he had once made a bargain with someone, who was giving up sailing. I didn't have one, so it turned out to be a good deal for me, as they are pretty expensive and practically indispensable.

8 January 2001

Chris came over and asked if I wanted to go to the coast on the other side to windsurf. I turned the offer down though as I fancied getting started with all the small things that always need to be done. They have been here so long that they have bought a car. Well, maybe car is a bit over the top. Down here there aren't any MOT tests. They keep driving their cars until they fall apart, which probably will be soon with the car they have got.

It turned out to be a good day. I actually managed to get all my planned work done, as well as checking all split pins in mast and rigging. I found a bent one in the mast, which over time could have developed into a disaster. It was a cap shroud = mast overboard!

I'm going sailing with Chris tomorrow. Dora is sailing with Anni B., so she can take pictures of their boat during sailing. And I also went to town to buy 20 more cans of the cheap sauce. I tested it last night and it's really good. Tomorrow after a shower and swimming pool, I will go to the carpenter.

10 January 2001

And now it is "tomorrow" and I went to the carpenter twice. There were people in their workshop, but no one at the office. And nobody could make up their mind if they wanted to help me with a few pieces of wood. If that had been a Danish carpenter, then their thank you box would have gotten a small contribution and I would have gotten my wood. After a swim in the swimming pool, I felt like snorkelling. So I took my dinghy out of the port to a reef just outside. And just as well, since I haven't got an engine for it. As usual after a short time, I was freezing and had to get out of the water.

I had an idea. All those diving shops must have some discarded suits, so I turned to the nearest and sure enough. They had a pile from where I could just pick one out at a price of 20 US$ a piece. I found an O'niel wetsuit, last year's colours and a little faded. It fits me perfectly, so tomorrow morning I'm going to the reef once again.

I have been to Kristi's sail loft. She promised me all the remains I wanted for sail repairs. Afterwards I went sailing with Chris. It was pretty windy, so we had to take in a reef. Reefing is much easier on my boat, where all reefing lines are installed and leading to the cockpit. Including the ones in front.

I repaired the loose connection regarding the autopilot. It's not that I think I'm going to need it, but it's nice to know that it's working properly.

I let my engine half rotate using the mixing screw, since it's been having trouble idling and accelerating. I rearranged the support for the rope, for the rolling forestay. This usually got stuck in one of the booms, when lying on the foredeck, or the dinghy, which also comes alive out there, when it's packed away. Then I had to go up to straighten my windex. A bird must have landed on it, it was really bent. An elderly Danish married couple, who are also sailors, have visited me several times. But I'm never home, I'm told. When I visited the Internet café they were sitting right behind me. We then met a little later at a bar and had a cozy chat. It's nice to speak Danish again.

To Page 39

From Esbjerg, Denmark to Tahiti aboard a Junker 22