Page 79

7 May 2001

I woke up early from hearing an engine at around 5 (AM). It was(/turned out to be) Bruce and Anni. Quickly I went in my dinghy to help them with(/getting out) their stern anchor and then breakfast was ensured. Later I went to check in. A very relaxed French gendarme fixed everything with (just, edit) one piece of paper and showed no interest in where I came from and when, so now I'm legal again. Citizens of the European Union (in general, edit) too are getting a hassle-free treatment. We don't have to pay Bond, an amount that matches (the price of) a plane ticket home and don't need visa, so it doesn't get any easier than this. I did some shopping and later I went to get(/pick up) water and gas so I don't have to waste tie doing it once(/when) Nat arrives. I don't know how much time we'll get to spend together.

E-mails are a brilliant thing but sometimes it's also a "harsh"(/"rough") way of getting news "thrown" in your face. I checked my mail and there was one from my very good friend Peter and I replied. Peter and I met for the first time on January 3, 1975 in Oksbøl. We had both enrolled(/signed up) as privates in the army(/military) and later (on) we have kept in touch. After moving from my family he and I always hang out and I was present at his wedding.
And the next one was also from him - at least (it was) coming from his address. It was his wife who wrote that he had been killed in a car accident two weeks ago. - I had written a mail to a dead man. - I had to write another one to(/for) his wife to apologize and so on. I felt very sad. It's so hard being so far away and relating to that(/this) also.

8 May 2001

Beacon arrived today. I was sitting (out) on a rock, carving an elephant in the shadow. I got pretty quickly back to my dinghy and helped them with their stern anchor and received a giant hug as thanks.
Nat has decided to get off (the boat) here. She's exhausted and doesn't need any(/doesn't have the strength for) more crossings, and generally(/overall) tired of looking at the water(/sea). She wants to fly to Tahiti and wait for me there, (when I get there, edit) in a few weeks or so. We immediately went for a walk and as usual(/always) we talked until late (at) night. We slept(/spent the night) on (board) Beacon.

10 May 2001

We were sitting at Mik Mik, a local restaurant (along) with Ian (who's new crew member on Beacon. They had "found" him at their last anchorage. How lucky can you get?) and Ed and had a couple of beers. A local married couple that(/who) Ian had met, invited us (all, edit) home for a little party(ing) late in the afternoon. And partying is indeed what we did. All night and the following day (too, edit).

At one point I took a shower and when Nat noticed that I was away(/gone), she immediately(/quickly) had the same idea. (Now,, edit) what happened out there is still all in the air, but suddenly the wash(-hand) basin was (lying) on the floor broken in two. One way or another we now had to go out there and tell the host(/our host(s)) what we had done to his wash basin. Damn it Nat that's not funny. It's going to be bloody embarrassing(/awkward) having to go out there and tell what we have done to his wash basin. We were well(/very) drunk and Nat had erupted into a fit of laughter(/got the giggles). Well, we pulled ourselves together and went out there to tell. It was not like it was easy to ignore or pretend you(/we) hadn't noticed (it). Thanks (for telling, edit), but never mind(/it doesn't matter) he kept saying and rejected all talk of us wanting to pay for a new one. The way he said it, it almost sounded as if it had always been irritating with that damn(ed) thing sticking out of the wall. That we had almost done him a favour by tearing(/pulling) it out(/off). - And we do have another one in the kitchen.
Later in the evening we had some delicious fish that Simone and Nat made(/prepared). Late at night the gendarmes (police) showed up. The neighbours had complained about the music so we turned it down slightly. Very slightly indeed. They don't respect (the) French at all, and we are talking of the police.

Very late we went to bed. Well, bed is maybe stretching it a bit. We slept on mats in the boys(') room. We woke up around 7 AM. (Out here everything starts early. Everything opens at 06:00, kids playing in the street(s), etc.).

Jean-Marie had already opened a beer so we started (drinking) once again. After breakfast we were dancing around again. It took us (a) long time to wake up Ian and Ed. Ian was (lying) on the couch and Ed in the middle of the floor on (top) of a couple of cushions. They weren't at all early risers. I'm lucky that I never get hung over and actually incredibly lively(/fresh) after few hours of sleep(ing). After a couple of rounds of beer they both freshened up and we spent (/had ourselves) another funny day. Very late in the afternoon we left (the place, edit). After a kilometre Nat couldn't walk any longer, and whoops, there is a hotel. We checked in and had ourselves our first real bed that didn't rock (at least not without our help).

To Page 80

From Esbjerg, Denmark to Tahiti aboard a Junker 22