for two weeks
27 days across the Atlantic, including a storm that was so strong that I sailed in four knots speed without any sails set on the mast!
Through the Panama canal and into the Pacific, where I drifted about for more than two weeks before the wind came back and brought me to the Galapagos islands. Fun to swim with the sea-lions and chat with the enormous land-turtles!
Then followed 32 days, my longest crossing, of beautiful sailing until I reached the Marquises islands (some yachts have used more than eighty days!).
I then sailed from one south-seas paradise to another: Tuamotu islands, Tahiti, Cook islands, American Samoa, Western Samoa, Tuvalu, Kiribati, Marshal islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Papua New Guinea and finally the Solomon islands. Here Coco Loco was run into by a ship while long-sides a wharf - four and a half year after I left Oslo!
Ate roasted dog
O'boy, what adventures I enjoyed those years:
Dive for pearlshells, catch sea-turtles, spear-fish among sharks, swing hips with the vahine's on Tahiti, sail oceangoing outrigger-canoes with the last south-seas navigators, dance the local "te kamei" for 600 laughing islanders in a Kiribati maneaba, bite octopus to death with my teeth, eat roasted dog, find giant clamshells, be adopted on an atoll where the girls wore loincloths and nothing else, be woken up with a knife on my throat in New Guinea, catch bats in limestone caves, explore the magical ruins of Nan Madol, get Coco Loco full to the brim of Ponape's wild girls, party on the Rainbow Warrior in Majuro the day before she sailed of to New Zealand to be bombed, climb the coconut palms for green drinking-nuts...and so on, and so on!
Yes, I guess I would have been sailing about in the South Pacific today if Coco Loco hadn't been damaged beyond repair. I had found that a Norwegian winter wasn't that much to sail towards, and decided that a circumnavigation could wait!
I must admit I was fed-up of the sailing, for who can find any pleasure in rolling up an down the waves days and weeks out of sight of land? And put on the safety-harness when the clouds gather, or swear like a madman when you can see nothing in the dark tropical night, knowing there is a submerged coral-reef someplace just in front of you! But, to learn new cultures, to meet interesting people, make new friends, encounter exiting adventures - well, that is another story!
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