Page 53

20 February 2001

Nat came over to ask if I felt like running, but I was quite(/somewhat) burnt(/burned)-out and would rather just lie in the shadow and relax. (But) I didn't dare(/have the courage) to ask her if she wanted to do that (instead, edit). Soon I'll have to sail out(/on). The problem's just that I have this strong desire to be with her, but at the same time I have someone, well, I don't know what.

Right at this moment I'm waiting to get Trojka measured, the first step before passing through the canal. And if it(/everything) goes according to plans I'm expecting(/counting on) reaching(/being in) the Pacific (Ocean) in a week's time.
I rented lines at the marina. They have to(/must) be on board for the measuring and then you have to return them again. The normal rent per line is 15 US$, but since I only have to use a smaller dimension, I got off (cheaply, edit) with 10 US$ per line, altogether a total of 140 US$, of which the 100 will be refunded(/paid back) when he comes to collect the lines on the other side.

The cost of getting through the canal for boats under 50 ft. is; 500 US$ and(/plus) a 800 US$ guarantee. Add to this(/In addition to) expenses for local line holders, if you're unable to find other sailors willing to do the job. The locals charge 60 $ per man, and 75 $ if it takes two days.

Now Trojka has been measured and everything went well. I don't have permission to sail through alone but have to follow a larger yacht and have to(/must be) tied to it through the floodgates. And that takes(/brings) all lines to shore. But I still have to have four lines and four line holders on board.

Inside the canal in Gamboa there are two cranes, one of them (a) mobile on a barge - the other a stationary. These two cranes were "stolen" by the Americans in Germany during the war. Who gets the idea that (after seeing) a crane in Germany, decides to use that in Panama? Or was it just that they wouldn't leave behind anything that hadn't been destroyed? The Russians stole everything they could find(/get hold of). Even water pipes, wires(/leads) and cables. And what(/which) other country could (manage to) reconstruct itself as fast(/quickly) as the Germans? (And they did it after World War I as well, in less than 20 years and despite(/in spite of) prohibition against it(/ban) they reconstructed(/rebuild) the strongest army, navy and air force in Europe). And because of the Marshall Plan and the fact that nothing was left from World War II did that they had to rebuild everything and new technology was deployed(/used) everywhere. The fact is that if the Americans hadn't stolen the two cranes they would've been scrapped a long time ago. But here they will still be in (good, edit) use 50 years from now.
Both cranes are colossal and used for service within the floodgates. I have just photographed the barge. It was on a trip (up here) in Colon. It left me wondering(/surprised) to see what appeared to be a one metre tall lit-up "Star of David" on top of the operator cabin(/crane house?).

Today, I met Nat when I went to the town. And I really wanted to ask her if she wanted to(/felt like) going to the park with me, have a cola and a chat. But I grow weak(/wobbly/buckled) at the knees when I'm with(/around) her. And I didn't even ask about this or that, she should email me and I was done(/ready).


Natalie, Panama

Natalie, Panama

To Page 54

From Esbjerg, Denmark to Tahiti aboard a Junker 22