Page 51

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 retired.
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 there.

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....

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From Esbjerg, Denmark to Tahiti aboard a Junker 22