11 January 2001
of the day - Fish and rice with ketchup and piri-piri
I should have been on my way today, but I'm having a bit of
trouble with the next strech. Most people have warned me about going to Panama
at this time, since the trade winds are at their strongest. There is massive
pressure on the water (that is squeezed in there) and potentially fatal sea
According to Jimmy Cornell's book "World Cruising Routes", the best time would
be from April to May, and November to December. Among other things, he writes
that it is a rough passage. Many who have sailed several times around the world
agree that it is by far the worst trip they have ever had. Many boats have lost
their masts after capsizing and several boats have gone missing. Some boats have
been wrecked after getting caught in the strong current taking them up (on) the
Colombian coast. I have just been counting on my luck all along, but now I'm
apparently getting cold feet......
I have decided to ask Kent, the Norwegian who's been sailing for many years, for
advice. Previously, he had told me that I'm in for a rough trip, when asking
about my plans. But at the time, I didn't really ask a lot of questions. If it
turns out he would not do it himself/advices me against doing so, I'm not going
to. Then I'll stay here until April and get a job to pay for my expenses.
I borrowed Tom's dinghy and sailed out to Kent, who's lying at mooring. He
wasn't home. When I started the engine, the cord snapped. But luckily it did
start. When I got back to Trojka, I found a new cord and installed it. Tom was
actually glad that it happened here compared to on a diving trip or late night
making his way back to the boat, since we could tell by looking at the cord that
it was only a matter of time.
Later on, I went out there again. Still no one home, so instead I went out to a
Chinese Junk that was also at anchor. It is American-owned and makes daily trips
with tourists, snorkel diving, sunset dinners, etc. They might need an employee,
I thought to myself. I was lucky that the owner was there. Richard invited me
aboard. He's a decent man. From the start he said that he had seven men at his
disposal from various diving companies, so he didn't need any more. But as we
were talking back and forth and he found out what I am/can do, he revealed that
he didn't really have a skipper he fully trusted: One who could run it
independently. He was hoping to be able to go back to the States soon and
run(/manage) it from there, which obviously required someone trustworthy in
order for things to run smoothly.
We came to the agreement that he would call me over the radio if he was on board
the boat this Saturday. Then I would get his generator running. There has been
water inside the diesel system. He says that he has gotten it out, but it still
1.: He didn't change the fuel filter and
2.: He only ventilated the system
with(/using) the "pre pump", which on his boat, is a small electric pump. The
first pump is used for ventilating all the way to the fuel filter. The rest of
the way (up) to the injectors, you use the starter to air out the pipes. He
doesn't know this, so it should be an easy repair.
Afterwards, we'll try sailing a little. If I'm not totally hopeless, I think I
have a job. Instantly we were on the same wavelength and (really) quite similar
types of persons.
I was at the sail loft and later Kirsti and I went to the pizza place.