Page 44

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 patience....

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 expensive...

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 share").

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 course).

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 like.

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.

To Page 45

From Esbjerg, Denmark to Tahiti aboard a Junker 22