13 February 2001
Oliver, a French Canadian, gave me a solar cell and some tools for
cutting/carving wood. He's an artist who does wood carving sculptures, but so
far he's been making a living working offshore at oil-drilling platforms.
Tomorrow he is to go on his last trip to Algeria, five weeks later he'll be
He has bought(/purchased) some land in Brazil and wants to build himself a small
bungalow from natural materials. Palm leaves etc. and wants to live partly there
and partly on his boat. I hope that later on I will get the chance to visit him
14 February 2001
Willy had received a transit for Friday but has now changed that to Saturday to
be sure that I'm back, since I'm going (along) with Franz on Thursday and you
never know (beforehand, edit) if the trip's going to take one or two days.
And then I better get to booking a date myself before people start thinking that
I have settled here as a line holder. There is a Swede here, who's actually
cross(/annoyed) with me. He has been here for nine months and feels that I'm
stealing work from him. He's charging people for his work and is mad because I'm
doing it free of charge(/for nothing). He told me that you should(/ought) only
do that once.
It was almost moving(/touching) to see how many people that came to a small
girl's birthday. Of course no family is around (for it), which means you then
invite all the other families with children. But(/And) we were a whole
bunch(/crowd) of single sailors and couples without (any) kids that separately
had bought a present and went to children's birthday (party). It was a lot of
fun and the girl surely wasn't cheated this year. I haven't been eating cake
since July where I left Denmark so I enjoyed it.
We were sitting in the grass beneath the palms until the first coconut came
hammering(/pounding?) down in the cake dish. After that we moved a little away.
This beer drinking is almost getting out of hand. There are too many buying us
rounds of beers and we ended up sitting on board Chris's boat; Colonel's Lady
until 04:00 a.m.
Chris, who's an American ex-Marine Colonel, is actually half Danish (dad) and
German. And his real name is Wayne Christensen.
The trip with Frantz on (board) his catamaran, which was going to be my forth,
only turned out to be the third and a half. Midway(/Halfway) (there) there was a
loud blast(/crash) from the engine and I found out that the timing belt was
damaged. Frantz had tightened the day before, apparently too much. And he had
been so "cheap"(/stingy,miserly) that he didn't replace it even though he did
have another one. The timing belt runs the camshaft so the valves are opening
and closing the right way in proportion to the crankshaft/pistons. Nowadays with
most newer, if not all modern engines, nothing happens when the valves suddenly
stop and the crankshaft continues to rotate. But with this damn Yanmar, the
pistons pounded against the valves and caused(/made) holes in two pistons,
bended two valves and three rockers and knocked a piece from the camshaft and
wrecked(/smashed) two valve ????.
The engine had just been reconditioned(/restored) at(/in) Trinidad, so Franz
understandably was a little sorry(/sad) when I almost pronounced its death
sentence. The engine construction is(/has to be) the worst I have ever seen.
There is a diesel outboard engine, three cylinders, it has no cylinder head and
to get to the valves you have to pull out the crank and pistons. How you're
supposed to replace(/change) the valve ??? and ??? valve seats is a
mystery(/puzzle) to me. Everything has to be done with custom-made tools and is
an unbelievable bother.
We left Franz, he wanted to go out and borrow an engine to(/so he can) get out
of the canal. He receives(/received/was given) a fine for being the one to blame
for an interrupted(/aborted) transit at 265 US$ and they charge 150 US$ a day to
be(/lie) at anchor. Spare parts have to come from the United States, and I don't
think that would be profitable and am counting on him buying another engine and
NOT another Yanmar....