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7 February 2001

The trial run has been postponed(/put off) until tomorrow. An American won't move his boat!!!

I talked to a Norwegian, who until now I had only heard about. His boat must be blessed to be in so much luck. Twice they have found people swimming at sea!
The first time it was an African, who got caught as a blind passenger on a Greek ship. He was found six hour navigation(/sail) from Gran Canaria, very exhausted and barely alive. They had given him a drum to hang on to. So they brought him along to Las Palmas and got in touch with Bjørn Lyng, a Norwegian multi-millionaire, who owns several holiday resorts at Gran Canaria. He (then) "adopted" him and gave him a job which he had besides his studying, a blessing in disguise one might say.

Months later, en route from Cap Verde heading for the Caribbean, about half-way there, they found another man. He had fallen out of his boat (some) 18 hours before, when he was hit by the boom. When they got close to him he said in Norwegian, "What a damn luck, a Norwegian boat". He was so "overeager" or (just) so happy that it was two hours before they were able to have a proper talk with him and get some answers.
It happened two hours before sunset, and he had thought that he would never survive another night in the water. He was suffering a lot from dehydration. He had swallowed lots of seawater because of the 4 metre tall waves. He had a violent diarrhoea. After he had some water and food he slept for 16 hours straight. The chances of finding a person at sea are minimal. A fishing boat passed him at a distance of 50 metres and he had seen more sailboats(/yachts) so close that he could see the faces of(/on) the people on board. But they couldn't hear him shouting, since it was against the wind. He did have a whistle, but it didn't work.

8 February 2001
We had trouble getting the old tub out of the marina. It's situated so another boat has to move away for us to get out. And he doesn't want to - "Well, tomorrow" he said, the older American. Eric is so kind-hearted that we waited until the following day, where I asked his wife if they were ready. She was as stubborn as her husband and started talking about them being ready some time in the afternoon. I told her straight out that it is outrageous that we can't leave the marina whenever we feel like it. And maybe we should just give it a shot and try to "squeeze our way out". Which by the way wasn't even possible and was mainly meant as a joke.
Her husband overheard us talking and came jumping and screaming that he had a gun on board, and that he could shoot both me and the crappy boat so it would sink. Now, I have never been good at withdrawing from situations like this one. Anything but, as a matter of fact. I can be quite provocative, so I told him that he had seen too many John Wayne movies. That we had an alligator on board, so he could just bring it on... I managed to piss him off to such an extent that it took some other Americans who came hurrying up to drag him back to shore. He had totally lost his head. That is, if he ever had one from the start.
There was a big "palaver" going on on board their boat. Later they sent a messenger to ask if I would be willing to give him an apology. Yeah right. The thing with the alligator isn't true. But he could still just "bring it on", and we still want to get out. Soon afterwards he returned along with two others and apologised for the gun thing, and wanted to buy us a beer if we could just forget the whole thing, and they would move the boat right away.
Weapons must be reported and are confiscated for your stay in port. If you don't have one, you have to testify(/state) this. If (nevertheless) a weapon is found and the police gets involved, big trouble is imminent(/coming to you(r way)) which was clearly something they had discussed(talked about).
We all went to the cafeteria and had a beer, but the fool(/jerk) didn't want to sit at the same table as me/us, so I gave him a "hard time". But he exerted(/strained) himself, quickly drank up and left.

Ye gods! A good advice for myself and everybody else; don't ever buy a 66-year-old wooden ship that hasn't been taken care of(/maintained) for years (and years).

Towards noon we left port and our plan was to follow (/sail along) the coast and have a look at a few anchorages. The owner, Eric, is going home to France in about a month to work and would like to save the 350 US$ he spends here in the marina. We were five people on board (Eric, Bart, David, Mette and then me). The ship is a ketch-rigged old lady from 1944, and the condition of it can't really be properly described, but wreck seems to be suitable(fitting).
Eric is a typical Frenchman. And anyone(/everyone) who knows French boats and their general state; always a lot of small(/minor) flaws(/imperfections) and shortcomings which usually is just a "5 min. job" - knows that they don't take it too hard. He had said(/told) that he needed "a couple" of sleds, the plastic mountings the mainsail needs. When he lifted up the sail it appeared that he meant more than every other. The sail was fluttering wildly and the rest also bursted(snapped) and the sail tore itself halfway off the boom and ended up in the water.

Going by jib alone we sailed through the breakwaters, and with the engine we were able to maintain a speed of 5 knots. A saltwater cooiling coil snapped(/burst) and we found(/located) a new one. But we had (/were bound) to lower our speed since we took in so much water that the pumps couldn't keep up bailing out(/emptying) the water(/bilges). After that the engine started overheating and we poured(/added) more water to the radiator. The engine didn't cool down and we had to ascertain that saltwater cooling didn't work (for us, dit) any longer. I had to dismount the starter to get to the discs(/lamellas), which showed to be completely crumbled, but (luckily, edit) we had a new one.

To Page 49

From Esbjerg, Denmark to Tahiti aboard a Junker 22