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
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"
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.