Page 47

2 February 2001

Yesterday, a Swedish boat sailed through(/across?) in (just, edit) a day. The pilot went to bed and slept just about the whole day.

Eventually I have given up on(/dropped) the plan of "driving" Trojka to the other side. There are a few privately owned trailers that might do the job, but nobody's able to/wants to pull it. (Either, edit) They're not registered so it would be without (any) insurance and I don't want to run the risk.

3 February 2001

Tomorrow I'll be picked up by Hardy at 04.30 a.m. He's a German (along/with) who I'm going to sail through the canal with. He owns a 52 ft Armel. We plan on making it in a day.

And then I have gotten in touch with one of the local boat owners, who's willing to come along to talk to the authorities about how to get me through the canal. He says that it (simply, edit) can't be true(/right) that I have to use a trailer to get it to the other side. So now we'll just have to see if it's(/whether it would be) possible to ease the rules(/regulations).

6 February 2001
The trip(/cruise) with Hardy was, according to the pilot, a new record (time) for a sailing boat through the canal. We left the(/our) anchorage at 05:00 a.m. and arrived at the marina at Balboa at 1.30 p.m. We were constantly going(/sailing) 7˝ knots and experienced no problems or waiting and had a nice dinner and lots of German sausages.

On Monday I went down to Isla Grande. David is from New Zealand and Mette is Danish. He has been travelling for 3.5 years. By motorcycle, been sailing, etc. They met each other in 1999 in some Honolulu country and have travelled with each other since then. Mette just went (back) to Denmark for three months to earn(/make) some money via the Danish "no tax" card (Danish taxpayers whose earnings are less than or equal to their deductions will receive a "no tax" card instead of the normal tax card. In most cases, "no tax" cards are issued to children and young persons who earn less than the personal allowance, edit).
In the States they bought(/purchased) an old van in which they live, and drove all the way down here.

We had our meals and slept on the beach and went diving all day (long). At night we had a "whole lot of" beers and smoked some local tobacco and were pretty funny, at least we thought so. We were (all, edit) very chatty and discussed topics like religion. Why do Adam and Eve have belly buttons? UFOs; Was there in fact one above a(/that) Russian airport, or was it a hoax? - That dog right there might be a spy from Mars: "Yeahhh mannnn..... Wowww.....". Boats(/yachts), people with deformed limbs, recipes, refugee(/immigration) laws, social security systems, N.Z./DK, and, and, and, and then all of a sudden we were tired and had to turn in.

During the night it started raining and I was sleeping in a hammock between two palm trees. It took some time for me to wake up so(/for that reason) I didn't need a morning shower. Today we were feeling a bit(/little) blunt on the beach and had an after-dinner nap, which (really) did wonders for the(/my) tan. At least on one side.

Tomorrow I'm going test sailing of an old wooden boat. It's owned by Eric, A Frenchman who bought the boat here. He has worked hard to make it ready to sail so he can go home to France or to Trinidad, where he wants to get it on shore for a hull overhaul.

I'm a little afraid that if he runs into bad weather or is forced to make a crossing in heavy sea or wind, he could be in a lot of trouble. The hull is not in good condition(/state). And he has more/a lot of leakiness which brings(/gets) in quite some water. The boat has been here for five years and I think it's going to "open (up)" if it's being the least bit pressed in the sea. It probably also has a broken keel or (at least some, edit) damage to the keel, since it has gotten a mystery "crack" (right) in the middle - of both sides. He has paid 15,000 US$ for it.

I have gotten to be a quite good at swimming and (therefore) have been chosen(/picked out) as the one who is to do the steering. So I'll just try staying close to shore the whole time......

In the afternoon we were slightly fuddled(/tipsy) as we were sitting aboard(/on board) Eric's boat. And Bart, who's also French, were lying half-way on shore, half-way on the boat. He had started drinking this morning so he was plastered(/hammered)!! We agreed that it was probably was bad nerves about tomorrow's trial run.

An older American couple passed (by) us and had to step over Bart. I heard the wife whispering some tart remark about drinking in the middle of the day, so I told them, "He isn't drunk. The poor thing is seasick. The sea is terrible(/dreadful) today". (The boat has been moored at(/alongside) the quay for five years). They didn't see(/get) the comedy of the situation(/get the joke). We, on the other hand, could right until Bart started acting as if he was(/were) (indeed) seasick, all over the place......

To Page 48

From Esbjerg, Denmark to Tahiti aboard a Junker 22