Before I start on Tuesday, I’d netter add to Monday that Val + Monika spent a large part of the day shopping – they seemed to get on quite well too. Right: Tuesday the 23rd. Dave + Monika left around 10 to go over to the other side – Panama not Russia. They were going over to help some friends come through the canal tomorrow. That left us on our own, but before he left, Dave gave us 2 huge books on sailing to read thro’, so we weren’t going to have nothing to do. First tho’ was some shopping – taking in a film, buying tennis shoes. In the afternoon, after lunch, just a few little jobs before getting down to our studying. Telly for a while in the evening, but unfortunately the English language military service here isn’t up to much – lots of very old US programmes + movies, with “General Hospital” – a dreadful US soap. So, an earlyish night, since tomorrow we were helping to crew “Alpha Centauri”, Lesley’s boat, thro’ the Canal.
So Wednesday. The pilot was supposed to turn up at 7.30, so that was when we dragged ourselves up + around there. And that was where we stayed till 11 – 5 small yachts had hoped to leave, + only 2 got away, + we weren’t among them. Lesley rang up, +, surprise surprise, was put off till the morrow. Still, it gave us the chance to look at the interior of another boat, + it really couldn’t have been more different. Crusader is laid out more like a motor home, quite cramped, so that you have to squeeze thro, tho’ at the same time cosy. The main cabin of Alpha Centauri is incredibly spacious, + the whole thing is fitted out really much more like a modern apartment. The main difference is the difference in the beam – AC’s is much broader. Anyway, we said we’d return tomorrow (we discovered later that the time we’d been given to leave was 4.30 am!) + after a peanut butter sandwich, we headed down to check out our visas. However, we were assured we were OK for a while longer (I have my doubts.) D + M returned late-ish.
It appears that problems with bureaucracy are pretty much universal, so it was no great surprise that we did not get away on time. Good to see how different boats are arranged, but no conclusions as to which is better. Presumably, we will find out later. Otherwise, a couple of days of inactivity; not unpleasant, but we are starting to get itchy feet.