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28 May 2001

The wind has come and gone as it feels like. It is 06:30 a.m. I was up early. I only slept for two hours and have already had pancakes. I thought that I would "celebrate" a little. It could be my (very, edit) last breakfast on board little loyal Trojka. I have around 100 miles left before arriving at Papeete and I'm probably(/most likely) going to have Trojka in hove-to for the night when I'm about 15 miles from there. Then I'm able to arrive at sunrise tomorrow. That would just be lovely.

There's no reason for me to complain about little loyal Trojka. She has stood by me during the whole journey. And where my abilities from the start were limited, she loyally took everything I offered her. Through storm(s) and countless strong breezes she never let me down. And the only damage I have had is the problems (I experienced) with the shrouds. And the old ones I mounted(/installed) after that (episode) are just perfect.
She might be small, but she is stable. Often I hear from the large(r) boats that they're taking waves in the cockpit. Never (besides once in a storm where I got breaking waves down on(/over) the boat) have I gotten one single wave inside(/inboard). But she's jumping. Or like Svend Billesbølle would call that(/put it): "Like a puppy after(/that's been) eating couch springs when the sea is rough(/in troubled waters)". She has rolled (like, edit) a million times. Especially with two foresails distended(/stretched (out)) and I presume(/suppose) that (in fact) that is(/would be) the reason why my shrouds burst(/snapped), but all boats roll more or less(/a little), Trojka is in the tall(er)(/high(er)) category(/end of the scale.

It hasn't always been comfortable, far from it!!! But I have always felt certain(/sure) that she would manage(/make it through). And I have been sound asleep for hundreds of nights, while she and the Windpilot has been steering us through whatever the sea offered us.

A long-keeled boat, however small the keel might be - is stable. And when I bought the Windpilot at Gran Canaria, all my problems(/worries) disappeared and all I had left were the pleasures. I love the Windpilot, simply(/as simple as that). I have been talking to it for hours, been praising it to the sky so(/to an extend where) you could almost see it blush. As (a) single sailor you are very dependent(/have to rely) on the boat being able t take care of itself. And the months (spent) with that F...... Ullermatic did that I valued the Windpilot even more when it took away all my problems(/made all my problems disappear). It is undoubtedly the best wind vane system out there(/on the market).
When talking to other Windpilot owners, it breaks my heart(/saddens) me to hear that in fact they always go by autopilot: "It's easier and it won't fail.
BULLSHIT, the Windpilot didn't never let me down once. But you do need to be informed how the adjustments must(/should) be. And you need to spend some hours (and later on you happily spend days) watching how it works and how it's going to react to various sail trim(s) and adjustments of the pilt(/wind steering). How hard can it be; You set sail and steer the boat yourself until the trimming of the sail(s) has made the boat stable with no pulls(/tugs/draws) of the rudder(/helm). When it's in a neutral position, you turn on the Windpilot and (with that) make adjustments to the course. It's as simple as that(/It's really quite simple). Those (people) who aren't using their Windpilot(s) are cheating themselves of the most amazing experience. Seeing the boat and the wind co-operating(/joining forces) in staying on(/keeping) course. It's the closest to a religious experience I have had during the whole journey and one that constantly(/persistently) leaves me spellbound; When I'm sitting a starry night (just) watching how it's just(/simply) doing its job; loyal(/faithful) and silent and absolutely perfect. And the reason why they're not using it is that they're not able (or don't bother(/feel like) trimming their boat, because that's where 90 per cent of their troubles with the Windpilot and any other wind vane system lies. And the (last, edit) 10 per cent lies in just "throwing" the Windpilot onto the back of the boat. You have to read the manual and the things written in small letters. But no, then they would rather be "flapping"(/"flopping") around by the autopilot. The trimming of the boat needs to be perfect if you expect that the system to steer the boat perfectly. Every time (!!!!!) I have been on board such a ship(/boat/vessel), I have adjusted the Windpilot's basic adjustment settings to where (in fact, edit) they ought to be. And enthusiastically explained what it can do, what its job is and nearly forced him(/them) to try and spend a little time on(/with) it the next time they go sailing. And I have been told by several people(/several have told me) that that(/the) "talking-to"(/"telling-off") had been just what they needed. When we met later on, they were all of a sudden also "saved"(/"redeemed") and are now always sailing y their Windpilot. And free me from all those myths that so many (even owners of Windpilots themselves) believe to be true that no wind vane system can go with the wind. I haven't been doing anything else for the past 10 months and I never do the steering myself, at most(/apart from) getting in and out of the anchorage.

And now it's getting late and I guess I have been talking enough nonsense for today(/one day). It is 11:30 p.m. and I have got 71 miles left and no wind. The sails are hanging slack. I don't even have to take them down. There is absolutely no wind (at all).

29 May 2001

It is 4 p.m. and I have had the GPS started. I have lost 6 miles since last night. I now have 77 miles left(/to go). There hasn't been any wind (ever, edit) since and I'm beginning to think that I should be applying for a postal address here.

It's incredibly calm, almost as the(/a) calm before the(/a) storm. (It was like this in the Bay of Biscay before the storm). Pretty(/Quite) boring(/tiresome) really(/to be honest), when you just want to go in(/to shore) and there only remain a mere 77 miles. Had I got oars, I could have rowed (my way, edit) there. I only have a litre of gas left, which I have to save for my arrival, whenever that is going to be...............
I sat inside the cockpit and it(/the wind) was completely calm and the sea absolutely level. I had candle lights burning and when one of them had(/was) almost burnt down, I put it in the water and it drifted slowly away, still burning. Suddenly a flying fish jumped on top of it and knocked the light over. I took my flashlight and tied it to my floating jacket and put(/attached) a line to the jacket and pushed(shoved) it off(/in the water). The rest of the evening(/night) I was entertained by flying fish that were jumping over and into the flashlight. Perhaps(/Maybe) a new way of catching flying fish.

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From Esbjerg, Denmark to Tahiti aboard a Junker 22