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Social life in port

With Cape Finisterre in sight with La Coruña as the place where everyone comes together (august 204), we now at last begin meeting our colleague circumnavigators. You can recognize them by the windvine autopilot on the transom and the gear that's lashed on deck. Some look spic & span & very neat, while others carry a complete junkyard on board. If this last type of boat is made of steel plates and fcompletely rusty, it is most likely that she carries a French ensign.
It brings a lot of fun and talks and everyone has lots of information and tips. Not only on important subjects such as meteo and navigation, but also wine tests to find out which wine is the cheapest and drinkable. The British have decided on one litre tetra bricks of 80 eurocents each, but we stick to bottles of 1,24.

Sailor's psychology

During our trip, we have got a better view on our sailing colleagues and what they stand for. ,
You have the group who sail around the Atlantic in 1 or 2 years. These are more often the more yuppy like creatures, often in their thirties and with young kids who are tought through World shool (this is extremely expensive but these people continue with their jobs as soon as they return in the Netherlands). The most fantastic example was the
extremely stressed Dutch guy who left Marseille a few weeks before his Atlantic crossing on a brand new Bavaria 46 with wife and 4 kids. Didn't have time for preparations, so he asked us if we could provide some weather charts? One look at our computer screen and he exclaimed immediately: "Tomorrow we leave at 0800!"  Having just arrived from Madeira. That evening the Corte Ingles supplied loads of cartons with food, and the following morning they were indeed gone.
The second group of people stays for months and months in ports like Las Palmas, are often to be found in the sailor's pub and are almost not able to take the decision to leave. It seems that every day they have a new reason to extend their stay; most of the time they are waiting for parts. 
The third group consists of people like us. Forty-fiftiesh, having quit their jobs, not in a hurry because they have a plan for 10 years.
It is easy to understand that we have already many friends of this type.

In Suriname is het sociale leven een ware cultuur. Toen we pas in Domburg aankwamen, dreef Oma (op de foto staat ze in de deuropening) haar warung "Sandora" aan de waterkant en dit was DE ontmoetingsplaats van alle zeilers en vissers. Toen Oma 70 werd, vond ze het helaas welletjes en verhuisden we ons happy hour naar de belendende warung "3 Mahbon", waar alweer een een Javaanse oma de scepter zwaait.
Solidarity among sailors
If there is one circuit where lots of illegal software spreads around, it is the sailor's circuit. Navigation software and sea charts are most wanted and endlessly copied but alsopilot chart software and star charts are wannahaves. Everyone likes to do something for somebody else, so the exchange is continuous.

Exchange of knowledge and experience is also very important and valuable. We know something about radio's and someone else is skilful with engines... so you help each other out.
There are many (ex-)IT-ers sailing around, so if you have a serious problem there is always someone to solve your problems. When our laptop crashed in Las Palmas and Windows had to be re-installed, Ernie (www.morganonline.nl) did this for us, and René (www.vagebond.net) helped us out with our jumping mouse. (Problem when connecting a GPS to a laptop.).
Hans and Anja (www.fiddlesticks.nl) left one year later than we did and brought us some necessary parts for our Windpilot. Two weeks later they brought some just-forgotten-to-buy stuff for us from Las Palmas, as we were already on La Gomera where there is no real chandler.

Updated 11/2006
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