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Brev Fra Kjell O. Stave & Darryl & Joar

Panama June 2005.

 Transitting the Panam Canal.

In Colon, Panama our new and now very good friend Daan signed of the boat. His vacation was over and he had to go back to Bonaire and work. Thank you Daan for a very good month, you are velcome back at any time.

When we arrived in Colon the first order of business was to get me to a clinic, i had gotten the same thing as Darryl had in Cartagena, an infection in my right leg. I was a bit more unfortunate than Darryl since mine was just under the knee and i had trouble walking. Also the antibiotick was not working as fast as his so i had to get 7 shots of penecilin in my butt instead of Darryls five. The good thing is that we were fortunate enough to get to know the New Zeelanders in 'Pilialoha' who had a nurse on board and she together with the doctor at the clinic got me going again relativly fast. The doctors here were great and the cost even better. To see the Doctor was 5$, to get a needle in the but was 1.5$ and to cut it open and squeeze the bacteria out was only 15$.

When i planned this trip last year i talked to my good friend Joar Kjørrefjord who was going backpacking with an 'around the world ticket'. We had thought that the only possible place to meet would have to be in panama. It all came together and the same day that Daan left Joar showed up. To prove himself worthy i put him in charge of fixing the toilet. The toilet has not been used for at least three years and no one knew what was wrong with it. Joar took it out of the boat and onto the dock where he  pulled it all apart. After cleaning every part and putting it back together again (2 hours)  i gave him the repair kit i have with all new seals so he had to do the same procedure again. This might seem a bit crule but of cours all of this is not true either  ;)

    To transit the canal you need 1 pilot from the canal authoritys, 4 linehandlers, tires as fenders and 4 long lines. We hired lines, fenders and two linehandlers but was still missing one vital thing, someone to feed and keep the pilots happy. For that we  found two girls who wanted to cross the canal in a sailboat, Natasha from Usa and Sarah from England. The first day of transit went reel well, we had a great pilot and got up to lake gatun where we got tied up to a buey for the night. The gatun lake is famous for having crocodiles and  the big question for cruisers is always if one should swim or not. To prove how safe it is and to get the party started kjell tore all his clothes off and jumped in. Soon others followed and during the night all but one had been in the water. Of course swimming with crocks is illegal and with the noise we were making it diddent take the lake police long to show up with a patrol boat. They cant really do much so it wasent much of a deal but we did it more descretly after that. That night in the lake we tested our new outside speakers (and neighbours) to the fullest and set a new personal record for people sleeping on the boat. In total we were seven people but no one complained about the sleeping arrangments.

Day two of the transit consists of 4 hours of motoring through the lake and 3 more locks, this time we were not as lucky withe the pilot and got a real a**hole. He showed up two hours to late and said that we had to pay a 440$ fine for beeing to slow a boat. (We'll see about that 'Horrhej'). He kept hitting on the girls and hintint about drugs.











Darryl & Kjell


























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