Page 50

11 February 2001

Falado, a German MEGA yacht arrived this morning and I met Klaus, who is co-sailor on board, at the cafeteria. He bought us coffee and told me that they had had a horrible(/dreadful) dissonance(/discord) from the machine and that they didn't dare going more than 1,200 revolutions(/turns) on(/with) the engine.
Willy, who's the owner, was very happy when I could tell him that it was just a minor problem/trifle. They had gotten a larger generator installed a few weeks ago and the V-belt pulley(?) didn't fit, so another had been installed. Apparently that too didn't fit because it has worn the belt to such an extend that it glides(/slides) on the (cog)wheels. I received a splendid dinner as thanks.
They are terrific people and I dragged(/was given) cigars and a lot of other stuff from their boat. And I promised him that if I'm here when they have to go through, I will come along as line holder, but that I had promised Franz to go with him and they would probably be given the same date, but we'll have to see.
Willy is the first skipper to tell me that he would pay me (the same as you would pay the locals to go along; 60-75 US$) which I refused. But Willy wouldn't discuss it at all. That's not why I'm coming along, though. You have a nice day, usually get a lot of good food and meet new people. And it's 100 % positive that you're invited for dinner on board when we meet again on the other side. Gradually I have build up lots of potential dinner invitations. The trip with Franz is going to be my forth and Willy will be the fifth.
Because of the much contact with Germans, my German now is so good that several (people) actually think that I am German......
When people arrive at the other side with an undamaged(/intact) boat they are very relieved. The canal is very notorious which is as far as I can see unjustified(/undue,groundless). It's a piece of cake.

At noon I saw the old tub entering the marina making some strange(/odd) manoeuvres. I hurried to where it looked like Eric would land and was ready to take(/help with) the moorings but Eric yelled, "The steering only works slightly!" And soon afterwards not at all. Then Eric yelled, "Now the propeller also doesn't work anymore!!!". They drifted out into the middle of the port and dropped anchor. But the depth is 25-30 metres and he only has a 40 metre chain. And the anchor didn't hold. There is a jetty on the other side and incredibly enough they drifted right toward(s) it. I rowed over there and in my mind really expected that Eric had had enough, but no. He bravely(/courageously) tinkered with the gear and propeller shaft, which had slid apart.
So I went to check on the steering gear and found a beam(/girder?) onto which the spritsail braces were fastened that had broken(/crumbled) and managed to make a temporary repair. Oliver came over with his generator, since we didn't have any more power from the batteries. The generator had also opted out and there was a lot of water on board. During the(/our) first try to sail to the other side the shaft fell out yet again, but luckily we still had a rope end on land so we could pull ourselves back in again. During the second try Bart and I went in the dinghy - with a rope for the craft - not quite convinced that if the shaft would hold and ready to push/pull. But soon we could jump ashore and moor, things went well.

To Page 51

From Esbjerg, Denmark to Tahiti aboard a Junker 22