The Captain’s Log Book 35
January One, 2020
08º47’712 North / 079º33’003” West.



The Fools hit the Pacific! On December 13, moonlit by the Full Cold Moon, they crossed the Panama canal. With his six locks, this canal is, to Dutch standards, rather ridiculous and it must be only the crossing of a psychological barrier that adds some luster to it. In this respect, it is similar to crossing the Atlantic that, in the right period, is an exploit worth of a Sunday sailor, since the favourable winds and the non-existence of storms are guarantied. The lack of irrefutable insurance papers has been the biggest barrier to cross. A way back is out of question because the fares of the canal have being doubled early morning.

These last months has seen a steady progress. In the shipyard of Cartagena de Indias, the ship went up into the sky, therewith fulfilling for the eleventh time a survival therapy that keeps distant perspectives alive. We did overlook some holes at starboard that the artistic director Leonid managed to fill up with cement. Interestingly, we spend almost three months in the Kuna Yala, a paradisaical archipelago off Panama, inhabited by indigenous tribes, where tourists hardly venture.

There, the skipper took the chance to write the book “Azart” about thirty years of wonders and disasters that reveals some of the secrets of the Fools erratic odyssey. How a centenary vessel converted into a luxury yacht managed without money to sail the seas as a theater ship. The book is ready in February and for this the skipper comes to Amsterdam. After all, by buying this opus, you’ll fill up the diesel bunkers that brings the ship at least halfway the ocean. It seems that the theme of the annual Dutch “Book Week” in the beginning of March is specially tailored for it: “Rebellen en Dwarsdenkers”, to be translated as “Rebels and Crossheaded Fellows”. Of those there’re aren’t too many in the small Dutch Republic of Belles Lettres. If ever the ship makes it over the Australian desert, we quickly add eight pages and a worldwide bestseller is born. Well, this book is definitely not commercial, so it could be wise to embark halfway a ghostwriter to rework it, provided he’s not getting seasick. But that’s pretty useless as well because, once there, we don’t need the money anymore.

Australia lures! Only a pretty pass of ocean separates us. In the right period, not unlike the Atlantic, the ocean lives up to his name: Pacific. What lurks are treacherous coral reefs. What is needed are some youngsters foolish and strong enough to join. A whole train of hopeful fools, everybody being pretty nice, has been dismissed, for being chaotic, lazy, stubborn or whatsoever. So far, there’re six oldies that keep the dream alive. A vessel of hundred-and-four years. Three pensioners approaching their seventies. An engine of sixty years. The ship cat Moretti of fourteen years. Companions of Wild Manners, Come and Join the Blue Barge! This appeal has been made already six century ago. Don’t hesitate longer, you’ll be too late!

It’s high time the skipper adapts himself to the navigational Technics of the new millennium. Just to learn some damned software. So far, he knows to sail with paper charts. He crossed the Atlantic on a 1975 North Atlantic chart of magnetic variation. Eighteen-hundred miles covered by 16 cm. Like looking at a nice globe in your wheelhouse. This lack of GPS guidance harbours some dangers. A few days ago, we decided to spend the high days of X-mas on a island at twelve miles from Panama city. The skipper thought he could get there by sight and ordered the steering lady to point at the middle of an small island. It was the wrong one. The sailor girl happened to suffer the same syndrome as those who steer into a canal because the car navigation system says so. The skipper was quietly servicing the engine room. When he showed, up he could hardly avert a dramatic clash of the ship that aimed the rock at full bicycle speed. The crew could have swum the few meters to the coast. But this is of such a ludicrous nature that the Fools would instantly gain some world renown, albeit somewhat prematurely. Somehow, it would be the most poetic apotheosis of the millenary history of the Ship of Fools, very hard to beat. The Uluru rock certainly could.


One thought on “THE POINT OF NO RETURN

  1. Juergen faulstich says:

    Hi August. ..juergen from Cork in Ireland here. How are you doing? Where are you at present? Cannot figure it out on your website.

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