25 January 2001
I didn't move the boat last night. Suddenly it was pitch-dark. Instead I set the
alarm clock, and early this morning I sailed in there and dropped anchor, which
looked like it was going to hold. To be safe, I rowed out with another anchor so
I'm unable to turn. There is very limited space, and then I'll also feel a
little more sure that Trojka stays here, when I'm not on board.
I went to various banks, none of them was a "SWIFT bank" to be able to make
money transfers. But finally I found one that has a branch in New York
to(/through) which I could send money. Then they would get it transferred. I
didn't ask how long it would take, but I guess I'll have to arm myself with
Hotmail was up and running again so I could get access to my addresses.
I found a backyard kitchen where I had dinner for 1 US$. You couldn't get a
coke, but water was included in the price. Who is saying that eating out is
At the local market you could get cigarettes at 1.50 US$ a carton! They are
called(/labelled) "contrabands", but it's obvious that cigarettes were to be
destroyed(/meant for destruction). Many are a bit flat and pressed(/squeezed).
There must be a Marlboro factory in Panama. I have bought "quite a few"(/"a fair
A lot of police are in (and around) the streets. Among other things they(/Some
of them) patrol in jeeps, as if we were in (the middle of, edit) a war zone. All
shops have armed guards, many of which with shotguns. I hope they will shout out
a warning before letting off(/firing away). I have no doubt that they will hit
what they're aiming at. But 10 others might also be hit with the same burst
because of the spread.
On more occasions I saw police officers dressed in black helmets with black face
shields and black leather gloves with cut-off fingers (they look fierce) who are
driving two by two(/in pairs) on off-roaders armed with big sporting
gun/shotgun. This place is wild.
Here they have the largest(/biggest) motorboats - which they call powerboats - I
have yet seen. More of them have a helicopter standing on the deck (helidecks of
I saw an American powerboat, on its way to refueling. I hurried over there to
help. The real reason might have been to have a chat with the guy who owned it
and maybe get aboard. I helped with the ropes that were somewhat differently
dimensioned than mine. But I never saw others that the crew in (their) uniforms,
who reacted(/responded) "just as skeptical" - as were they all former FBI agents
- to my questions. We're not in the same league, I suppose. The refueled until
the tank ran dry. 3700 gallons (sixteen thousand six hundred and fifty liters of
diesel!!!). I have used six liters of gas(/petrol) since (leaving, edit)
Portugal. Not in the same league at all. The owners were "hiding" indoor until
they were almost out of(/had almost left) the port.
There are a lot of boats here that made is thus far, but didn't get any further
because of the crew? Several are more or less destroyed(/ruined) - after
maybe(/possibly) years of lying idle. Sail(s), ropes, and everything has just
rotted, sad to watch(/see).
I was about(/around) offering my help as a line holder at several boats, should
they need it. I'm curious to see(/experience) what the trip through the Canal is
The Canal Regulations prescribe that four men must be on board to hold the lines
in(side) the floodgates(?) - in addition to the boat's driver. You have to have
four lines of 120 metres each, (and) moreover you're also obliged to get an
advisor (a "pilot") aboard(/on board). Six men(/persons) aboard Trojka. Then
I'll probably(/I suppose I'll) need plugs for the cockpit. Otherwise we'll
(friggin) sink(/go down). They also have to eat and sleep here(/on board). I
just need to find someone who can sleep standing up, my bed is off
limits(/They're not getting my bed).
Today I tried reaching(/getting in touch with) DOCA's contact in Panama, Karsten
Staffeldt, over the phone. Without any(/No) luck, though. I have his e-mail
address, so I'll try that tommorrow. I have a few ideas that need to be tried
out(/put to the test): Whether (or not, edit) it's(it would be) possible finding
a boat, where they'd be willing to lift me aboard(/on board) - perhaps a Mærsk
container ship? If I could (only, edit) get up on a barge or be towed(/dragged)
by someone - and then getting on (one of) its side(s) through the floodgates. Or
would it be better to be transported by a truck(/lorry) on the highway(/high
road) - and what's it going to cost me to get to the other side???
The regulations are giving me a headache. It's a bit tiresome(/annoying) having
travelled thousands of miles only now to have a lot of bother completing the
next 50 miles. At this point(/moment) it irritates me that I haven't thought of
rounding Cape Horn, down alongside the Brazilian coast and across the small
strait there. All it would have cost me - besides maybe some sweat on my
forehead - was time, of which I had plenty to spare. The money situation,
though, was another story.