Borta med Bengt

21 October 2019 | Aruba, Airport Anchorage
21 October 2019 | Aruba, Airport Anchorage
14 October 2019 | Aruba, Airport Anchorage
14 October 2019 | Aruba, Airport Anchorage
06 October 2019 | Aruba
06 October 2019 | Aruba
01 October 2019 | Karaibiska havet, Eagle Beach, Aruba
01 October 2019 | Karaibiska havet, Eagle Beach, Aruba
24 September 2019 | Aruba
23 September 2019 | Aruba
15 September 2019 | Aruba
15 September 2019 | Aruba
08 September 2019 | Aruba
08 September 2019 | Aruba, Airport Anchorage
05 September 2019 | Karaibiska havet, Spaans Water, Curacao
04 September 2019 | Karaibiska havet, Spaans Water, Curacao
30 August 2019 | Karaibiska havet, Spaans Water, Curacao
28 August 2019 | Karaibiska havet, Spaans Water, Curacao
23 August 2019 | Karaibiska havet, Spaans Water, Curacao

The week that has past us:

21 October 2019 | Aruba, Airport Anchorage
Wim van Blaricum | Hot!
Bild: Martin

Sunday 20 October 2019, Airport Anchorage, Aruba

For the moment our blog is updated every Sunday or some day after that. The reason is the lack of internet on the boat, and lack of interest in buying access to it. When we are at the Airport Anchorage we go to 'Pinchos Grill' and when we are at Eagle Beach we have to go to the café in Superfood, the big supermarket to use Wifi. At Pinchos there is no shade so I sit in the dinghy, under an umbrella or under the sprayhood to be able to see the screen of my old MacBook. There is not always a free table at the café in Superfood so I stand with the computer on a garbage-bin at the entrance. It's not so strange then that updating the blog is not always so easy. Especially with uploading pictures. It will be better at Shelter Bay Marina in Colon, Panama. We hope!

Several disturbances are on the way on the Atlantic and we have thunder, lightning and rain almost every day. The forecast can look like this:

1039 AM EDT Mon Oct 14, 2019

TODAY...E to SE winds 10 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Seas 4 to 6 ft. Scattered showers and isolated tstms.
TONIGHT...NE to E winds 15 to 20 kt within 90 nm of coast of Colombia, and E 10 to 15 kt elsewhere. Seas 3 to 5 ft. Scattered showers and isolated tstms.
TUE...E winds 15 to 20 kt within 90 nm of coast of Colombia, and E 10 to 15 kt elsewhere. Seas 3 to 5 ft. Scattered showers and isolated tstms.
TUE NIGHT...NE to E winds 15 to 20 kt within 90 nm of coast of Colombia, and NE to E 10 to 15 kt elsewhere. Seas 3 to 5 ft. Scattered showers and isolated tstms.

Scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms means on Aruba lots of rain in a very short time and lightning that lasts for hours. One doesn't want to sail in that sort of weather so we stay put on Aruba for the moment.

Tuesday we moved to Eagle Beach again. We got very tired of the taxi-boats driving from the marina to the resort on Renaissance Island. The drivers of these boat do not show any consideration for anchored boats and drive close and fast. We have had water in the boat more than once from these guys. They drive from early morning to late at night with guests to and from the resort. At night there is less traffic but still they drive close by. The anchorage is shallow so we cannot move closer inshore to avoid these pests. We have to keep some hatches and portholes closed.

Here, on Eagle Beach, the jetskis drive round and round and round. How much fun is that? At least they stop at five in the afternoon and don't start until ten in the morning.
We have cleaned out some of our lockers and prepared some bags with clothes for the 'Young people of Aruba' association. They have a collecting point at the supermarket. In the afternoon we went for a long walk on the beach. This time we passed two beach-weddings.

Wednesday we took the dinghy and went ashore. A swell was running and I lost balance when going out of the dinghy and went for an involuntary swim. Luckily I had nothing in my pockets. We went to Superfood with our of clothes bags and left them there.

Zhuang Zi was a philosopher who supposed to have lived around 300 before Christ in the state of Song. There is also a book with the same name which he has given credit for. The name means 'Master Zhuang'.

'As knowledge becomes more cunning, more versatile and clever, people around it become disturbed and injured. They then try to grasp what they do not know, but make no attempt to grasp what they already know. They condemn the misunderstandings of others, but do not condemn their own. From this comes even more confusion. '
Zhuang Zi

This quote, more than 2000 years old, is still very much actual. The reactions to the 'climate striking' young people have been overwhelming. A lot of positive reactions but also negative ones. Everything from personal attacks on, for instance, Greta's Aschberger syndrome ('She is mentally ill') to 'I'm sure they want new computers and tablets too', 'They get paid' or 'they fly home, don't they'. Without knowing these youngsters personally, the media and we, judge them beforehand. The media, owned by the capitalistic rich, including Facebook and Instagram, have invested large sums of money and exploited peoples fear for change and loosing what they have to make them react in this way. Sure, these kids are hypocritical since they live in a system they cannot change but it is better to be hypocritical, protest and fail than to be hypocritical, continue living as usual and be cynical.

These youngsters have understood something that many of us 'grown-ups' don't seem to want to understand. Today's economic and political systems, capitalism and consumerism, are stealing our children's and grandchildren's future. The French king Louis 14 (the Sun king) already said: 'Après moi, le déluge' which, freely translated, means 'Who cares so fuck off'. Even if his head rolled under the guillotine not much has changed since then.

The manipulation by the media has been very successful since we continue as usual (crises, what crises?) and even blame the protesting youngsters for having caused all the problems we face today. One wonders what future generations will think of us since we still can change our way of living without having caused unrepairable damage to the Earth. Soon it will be too late. Future generations will have a hard time when the ice is melting, storms rage, forests disappear or draught prevents crops growing. It's my neighbours fault or those in that other country that throw plastics in the water.

It's business as usual; some things never change
It's unfair, it's tough, unkind and it's strange
We don't seem to learn; we can't seem to stop
Maybe some explosions would close up the shop

You know, maybe that would be fine: we would be off the hook
We resolved all our problems, never mind what it took
And it all would be over, finito, the end
Until the survivors started up all over again
and it will be a hard day on the planet

' A hard day on the planet' by Loudon Wainwright III

When we talk to other sailors about 'the climate' we usually get answers like that. 'Not my problem' or 'Have you seen the locals throwing garbage in the bushes?'.

The far right and the wealthy have also been successful in making us believe that every man for himself or every nation for itself is best. Here we see nationalism, waving with the flag, showing its face ('Making Britain great again' and similar bullshit). A nationalism steered by capitalism solely aimed at making money.

Decentralisation, clearance sales of health care institutions, schools and other public services seem to be good. Good for who one can ask. Good for those that own companies, have the power and thus 'own' us. Not good for ordinary people who will have to pay more for hospital care, medicines, etc. the main objective of schools will be to earn money for those who bought them from the state. One shall not forget that all public institutions have been financed with money from ordinary peoples taxes but those are not asked about their opinion when the government sells out public institutions for a bargain price. Even our elected members of parliament seem to forget that they are chosen by the people for the people and not to fill their own pockets.

To quote Zu Zhuang again: They then try to grasp what they do not know, but make no attempt to grasp what they already know. They condemn the misunderstandings of others, but do not condemn their own. From this comes even more confusion.

And so we continue at full speed until the petrol tank is empty.

With our evening swim I was pleasantly surprised by something red flying over me and landing in the water behind me with a big boom. Elisabeth had jumped in the water for the very first time since we left Sweden and was mighty happy for that. To swim in the clear ocean and see the sun go down at the same time is one of the better moments of life.
Thursday evening, before sunset, we went ashore and took a long walk to the end of the beach. We swam back all the way to the dinghy. Another beach-wedding. Lots of wind so lots of electricity from our wind generators. Fridge happy!

Friday started with the brand new freshwater pump stopping working. No water coming out of the tap. I crawled in the engine room and checked the pump but first I measured the voltage in the cables: 8,4 Volt. Not good. Check the fuse, ok. Check the cables, ok. Check the switch, not ok. I touched it and, like magic, water came out of the tap. New switch, all well.
Shopping in Superfood. It's good we check prices before we put things in our trolley. We have not been eating crisps, for instance, for many months. The cheapest variety here costs 4,50 USD per 200 gram. Life is hard!

Superfood has many bargains on lots of articles but only for cardholders so you have to look carefully before you put this extra cheap item in your trolley. At sunset another beach-wedding.
After breakfast on Saturday we moved to the Airport Anchorage again and anchored in exactly the same spot as before. Why? This is the only place here that has enough sand for our anchor. The watermaker was not doing its job, low pressure and low water production. We checked the intake underwater, ok. Changed filter and exchanged the pump head (15 years old and due for replacement) but still low production and too little pressure. Making 15 litres instead of the usual 20 and pressure under 4 bar.

We have started checking the weather and use our routing program (QtVlm) to see when we can leave Aruba. Probably next Wednesday. In the evening we had Martin for dinner and, like the last time, we had a very nice evening with him. The bottle of Calvados was emptied so we now we have one bottle less to take with us. We do all we can to keep Bengt's weight down 😉
When we woke up on Sunday morning the sunshade over the cockpit had collapsed. One of the bamboo supports had broken so Sunday became workday. We fixed it with a piece of steel pipe we had on board. The watermaker got new hoses and all connections were checked for dirt or other foreign materials. This meant the skipper crawling around in the engine room and getting dirty and very sweaty. Still too little water production but ok pressure. We probably have some fault within the high pressure pump (the Clark pump), a worn out piston ring or a broken check valve. We still make 18 litres of fine water but have to keep an eye on the water production so we can order new parts in Panama.

The saltwater pump stopped working. Also this one recently exchanged. Here it was the pressure switch. The little membrane had started leaking and destroyed the switch. We use it without switch for the moment, just use the circuit breaker when we need saltwater. The spare is way back under our bed in the back of the boat and we didn't feel like taking the whole bed apart at that moment. A job for Panama. Being in the engine room anyway I adjusted the belt tension for our second alternator. This job, loosening two bolts, moving the alternator a millimetre or two and tightening the bolts again, turned out to be very time consuming since I had some difficulty getting at the bolts who were rusted and very hard to loosen as well. But after some sweating and swearing all was fixed.

Just before sunset two sailboats came into the anchorage. They turned out to be Swedish both of them. 'Bliss' and 'Major Tom', both from Stockholm.

Until next week!






Veckan som har gått!

21 October 2019 | Aruba, Airport Anchorage
Wim van Blaricum | Hot!
Bild: Martin

Söndag 20 oktober 2019,

Bloggen uppdateras för tillfället varje söndag eller någon dag efter det. Anledningen är att vi inte har internet på båten och måste gå iland till 'Pinchos Grill' när vi ligger i Airport Anchorage eller till Superfoods kafé om vi ligger vid Eagle Beach för att kunna använda deras Wifi. Det finns ingen skugga vid Pinchos så jag sitter i jollen med ett paraply över huvudet eller under jollens sprayhood för att kunna se skärmen. I Superfoods kafé finns inte alltid plats så där står jag ofta med datorn på soptunnan vid ingången. Inte så konstigt att det blir lite fel med uppdateringen och bilderna ibland. Förhoppningsvis blir det bättre i Shelter Bay Marina i Colon, Panama.

Ett antal störningar är på gång igen på Atlanten och åska och regn har vi nästan varje dag. Nästa vecka ser ut ungefär så här:

1039 AM EDT Mon Oct 14, 2019

TODAY...E to SE winds 10 to 15 kt in the afternoon. Seas 4 to6 ft. Scattered showers and isolated tstms.
TONIGHT...NE to E winds 15 to 20 kt within 90 nm of coast ofColombia, and E 10 to 15 kt elsewhere. Seas 3 to 5 ft. Scattered showers and isolated tstms.
TUE...E winds 15 to 20 kt within 90 nm of coast of Colombia, and E 10 to 15 kt elsewhere. Seas 3 to 5 ft. Scattered showers and isolated tstms.
TUE NIGHT...NE to E winds 15 to 20 kt within 90 nm of coast ofColombia, and NE to E 10 to 15 kt elsewhere. Seas 3 to 5 ft. Scattered showers and isolated tstms.

Enstaka åskbyar, 'scattered showers and isolated thunderstorms' betyder här enorma mängder med regn och mycket åska som varar i timmar. Sådant undviker man helst om det går. Närmare Panama blir vinden mer syd och sydväst men ävenså med åskbyar och regn. Vi avvaktar.

Tisdag flyttade vi oss till Eagle Beach igen. I Airport Anchorage blev vi en aning trötta på taxibåtarna från Renaissance Resort som kör med gästerna från marinan i stan till deras privata ö. Grabbarna som kör tar överhuvudtaget ingen hänsyn till de ankrade båtarna och kör nära och fort. Vi har fått vatten i sittbrunnen och genom luckorna mer än en gång. De kör i skytteltrafik från sju på morgonen tills långt efter solnedgången. På kvällen och natten är det lugnare men man måste hålla vissa fönster och luckor stängda. Här på Eagle Beach har man jetskis som kör och kör, runt och runt. Hur kul kan det vara? De slutar i alla fall vid femtiden och sedan är det lugnt tills tiotiden på morgonen.
Vi har gått igenom garderoberna och gjort iordning en säck med kläder som vi ska lämna i en låda som ungdomsverksamheten här har ståendes vid mataffären.
På eftermiddagen gick vi en lång promenad på stranden. Den här gången gick vi förbi två strandbröllop.

Onsdag tog vi jollen iland till stranden. Dyningen gjorde att jag tappade balansen och ramlade i vattnet. Som tur var hade jag inget i fickorna. Varmt och skönt här så det meste torkade på väg till Superfood där vi lämnade två kassar med kläder i insamlingen.

Zhuang Zi är en filosof som ska ha levt på 300-talet f.Kr. i staten Song. Det finns en bok med samma namn som tillskrivs honom. Namnet betyder "Mästare Zhuang", och hans individuella namn ska ha varit Zhou.

'När kunskapen blir allt listigare, mer mångsidig och konstfärdig, blir människor omkring den störda och sårade. De försöker då fatta vad de inte vet, men gör inga försök att fatta vad de redan vet. De fördömer andras missförstånd, men fördömer inte sina egna. Ur detta kommer än större förvirring.'
Zhuang Zi

Varför är det här, mer än 2000 år gamla citatet, från 'Mästare Zhuang' fortfarande så aktuellt? Reaktionerna på ungdomarnas 'klimatstrejkandet' har varit många. Båda positiva men också väldigt många negativa. Allt från personliga anfall på Gretas Aschbergers syndrom ('she is mentally ill') till 'de vill väl också ha en ny dator, iPad, cykel, etc.', 'miljörörelsen betalar' eller 'de tar säkert flyget hem'. Utan att känna de här unga människorna personligen har man redan en uppfattning klar. Den av kapitalet ägda media, inklusive sådana som Facebook och Instagram har investerat mängder med pengar och utnyttjat vår rädsla för förändringar och förlust av ägodelar för att få oss att reagera på det sättet. Focusen ändras skickligt från miljökatastrofen till 'knäppa' ungdomar. Visst är ungdomarna hypokritiska eftersom de lever i ett system de inte kan påverka men det är bättre att vara hypokritiska , protestera och misslyckas än att vara hypokritiska, stoppa huvudet i sanden och leva vidare med cynism.

De här ungdomarna har fattat vad många av oss 'vuxna' inte verka vilja förstå eller se. Dagens ekonomiska och politiska system, kapitalismen och konsumismen, stjäl framtiden från våra barn och barnbarn. Den franska kungen Louis quatorze (solkungen) sa redan för många år sedan: 'Après moi, le déluge' vilket innebär på modern engelska 'fuck off, who cares'. Även om hans huvudet föll under giljotinen har inte mycket ändrats. Mediamanipulationen har varit mycket framgångsrik eftersom vi fortsätter som vanligt och till och med lägger skulden på dem som protesterar. Man undrar vad de framtida generationerna kommer att ha för åsikter om oss som fortfarande kan förändra vårt sätt att leva och begränsa skadorna på planeten. Snart är det för sent. För kommande generationer lär det inte bli så lätt längre när isen smälter, stormarna rasar, skogarna försvinner eller torkan gör att det inte gror något längre. Men det är inte mitt fel att det blev så. Det är grannens fel eller de i det andra landet som slänger plast i havet. Det hör man i princip hela tiden när man försöker ta upp 'klimatet' med andra seglare. Men: 'Après moi, le déluge', eller hur ?

Högern och de rika har också varit framgångsrika i att få oss att tro att varje man för sig eller varje land för sig är det bästa. Här kommer nationalismen, SD och dylikt, fram. En nationalism som är styrd av kapitalet med bara ett syfte: att tjäna pengar.
Decentralisation, utförsäljning av vården, skolan och annat i den offentliga sektorn verkar också vara bra. Bra för vem kan man fråga sig. Bra för de som 'äger' kapitalet och därmed oss men inte bra för vanliga människor som måste betala mer för en försämrad vård eller för dyrare mediciner (om apoteket över huvud taget har deras läkemedel i lager). Barnens skola lär bli inriktad på att tjäna pengar och inte på att hjälpa dem till att bli ansvarstagande tänkande vuxna. Man ska inte glömma att alla de statliga företagen och institutionerna har byggts upp och finansierades med 'vanliga' människors skattepengar men vem har frågat dem om utförsäljningen. Tyvärr verkar även de folkvalda glömma att de är valda av folket för folket och inte för att berika sig själva.

För att tala med Zhuang Zi igen: 'De försöker då fatta vad de inte vet, men gör inga försök att fatta vad de redan vet. De fördömer andras missförstånd, men fördömer inte sina egna. Ur detta kommer än större förvirring.'

Och så fortsätter vi i full fart tills bensinen tar slut!

Vid kvällsdoppet fick jag en trevlig överraskning. Jag hade redan hoppat i och väntade på att Elisabeth skulle ta sig ner för stegen in i vattnet. Plötsligt flög något rött över mitt huvudet och landade med ett bom bakom mig. Elisabeth hade hoppat i vattnet för första gången och var mycket glad för det. Att bada och samtidigt se solen går ner i havet tillhör ett av livets finare stunder.

Torsdag kväll, innan solnedgången, åkte vi iland och tog en lång promenad till slutet på stranden varefter vi simmade samma sträcka tillbaka till jollen. Ett bröllop på stranden igen. Mycket vind så bra laddning från våra generatorer. Kylen är glad i alla fall.

Fredag började med att färskvattenpumpen, bytt för inte så länge sedan, la av. Det kom inget vatten ur kranen i alla fall. In i motorrummet och kolla den nya pumpen men först mäta strömmen, 8,4 volt på pumpen. Kolla säkringen bakom el-panelen, ok. Kolla kablarna, ok. Kolla strömbrytaren, inte ok. Glapp i den men den kom igång igen och vattnet kom ur kranen. Vi har en del reserv-strömbrytare, från Biltema, så vi byter vid behov. Den här får sitta kvar ett tag men vi håller koll, kvalitén är inte den bästa, det blir lätt korrosion. Den till gråvattenpumpen började smälta för ett tag sedan.

Handling på Superfood. De är bra att man kollar priser av och till och inte bara lägger sakerna i kundvagnen. Chips, till exempel, har vi inte ätit på länge, den billigaste sorten kostar 45 kronor per påse. Livet är hårt!
I övrigt har Superfood mycket extra priser men de gäller bara om man har kundkort så man ska passa sig. Vid solnedgången åter ett bröllop på stranden.

Efter frukost på lördagsmorgon flyttade vi oss till Airport Anchorage igen och ankrade på samma ställe som vid föregående tillfällen. Varför? Det är det enda ställe med mer sand än ett par tio centimeter så ankaret har bra fäste där.

Watermakern gjorde inte sitt jobb ordentligt, låg tryck och låg vattenproduktion. Vi kollade intaget under vatten. Bytte filter och pumphuvudet (den var 15 år gammal) men fortfarande inte tillräckligt med tryck och vattenproduktion. I morgon blir det membranrengöring så vi får se efter det. Det kan vara att det sitter något i slangen från intaget till pumpen så vi ska ta isär den också.
Vi håller koll på vädret och kör routing-programmet för att få bästa tiden för avfärd. Det lär bli onsdag eller torsdag nästa vecka.
På kvällen hade vi Martin på middag och, som första gången, blev det åter en mycket trevlig kväll. Calvadosen tog slut, en flaska mindre att släpa med oss.

När vi vaknade på söndagsmorgon hade soltaket rasat ihop. Ett av bambustolparna hade gått i två bitar, så söndag blev arbetsdag, fixades med en bit rör. Watermakern fick nya slangar och alla rörbitar kollades för smuts. Ävenså fortfarande för lite vattenproduktion och för lite tryck. Trycket ska vara minst 4 bar men det klarar inte tryckpumpen av. Förmodligen är det något i den som har slitits ut eller så är det smuts som har fastnat i en av ventilerna. Det är förmodligen inte membranet. Saltvattenpumpen la av, det läcker mellan pumphuvudet och tryckströmbrytaren. V får gräva fram en reserv imorgon. Pumpen funkar utmärkt men stannar inte när man stänger av kranen, vi får använda strömbrytaren istället.

Drivremmen till extra generatorn spändes upp. Svårt att komma åt bultarna så det blev många svettdroppar.
Sent på eftermiddagen kom det in två svenska båtar: 'Bliss' och 'Major Tom' båda från Stockholm, kul.

Vi hörs nästa vecka!






The week that has past us:

14 October 2019 | Aruba, Airport Anchorage
Wim van Blaricum | Hot!
Sunday 13 October 2019, Airport Anchorage, Aruba

It seems we are spending some more time here on Aruba. The weather is still very unstable and we don’t feel like sailing into a strong south-westerly wind and having thunder and lightning all around us. Neill and Heidi had quite a difficult sail down to Santa Marta in Colombia with lots of thunder and a strong headwind. We do small jobs on Bengt; they never seem to end. It gets very wet around the cooling pipes of the refrigerator from condensation and that gives mildew in the wood around them so we clean with vinegar and keep it as dry as possible. I sanded and painted the woodstove with heat-resistant paint and made a nice work of some thin rope around the handhold. Since the handhold is an ordinary curtain rail it protects it from salt hands besides looking good. Lots of swimming and a long walk on the beach.

The tourist season has started so the number of Jetskis driving around Eagle Beach has increased. Some of them come very close, we have got water splashed in the boat a few times. Elisabeth goes naked on deck and screams at them. To avoid curious tourists coming too close we walk naked on deck. This seems to keep the Americans away since they do not like naked bodies. The locals however don’t seem to mind. One man driving past with me naked on deck wondered laughingly if he could come onboard.

Tuesday gave unsteady weather so we moved back to the Airport Anchorage. There are not many visiting boats on Aruba, we were all alone on Eagle Beach, and even in the other anchorages there are only a few. Lots of rain and thunder.
On Wednesday also lots of thundery squalls in the morning so we couldn’t go ashore until noon to phone grandchild Iris and congratulate her on her very first birthday. After that a long walk on the beach before the sky turned black again.

On Thursday we went ashore early, no rain and thunder, and walked the 2,5 kilometres to Ling and Son, the big Albert Heyn supermarket, to do some shopping. Prices for food on Aruba are the highest we have seen so far but one must eat so we filled our shopping trolley anyway. Here Elisabeth found exactly the same bathing ring that broke last week so she was happy for that.

Friday again lots of thunder and lightning in the morning but it cleared up around lunchtime. We had collected at least 60 litres of water and washed all our towels and sheets with it. We had Swedish Martin for dinner in the evening. He brought the parcel for Neill and Heidi that we will take with us to Panama for them. It’s not often we have Swedish guests onboard nowadays so Martin’s visit was much appreciated. We had a nice evening with, apart from good company, good food and a nice desert with a very fine Calvados.

Early on Saturday we went to town to look for a paint shop to buy brushes and visit some shops that sell electronics. Our old ‘take ashore’ computer, a Macbook from 2009, is nearing the end of its life and we thought (!) we needed a replacement. We wanted some sort of tablet with GPS so we could use it for navigation as well for mail etc. A SD-card for our plotter with charts for a certain area costs around 250 USD. The same information downloaded to a tablet costs only 25 USD per area. The profit is obvious (also for chart seller Navionics), the information the same, but off course the tablet has to be bought as well.

When we have enough electrical power we use the computer and OpenCPN. We have collected lots of charts for this program and even made our own charts with the help of SAT2CHART and SAS-PLANET/GOOGLE EARTH. This works fine! There is a catch though: the computer uses 2 Ampere (48 A per day) while our plotter only uses 0,6 Ampere (14,4 A per day). We have written before about our electricity production. We use that we make, which means we have to adapt our usage to that we produce and use appliances that consume little energy or don’t use them at all.

Since the tourist shops advertise with ‘Duty-Free’ shopping we thought that this also counts for electronics but, as we asked in all shops, this is not possible. ‘Duty-Free’ is only possible for jewellery, diamonds, watches, etc. That is probably why there are so many of that sort of shops around and only three electronic shops. A 9,7 inch iPad costs around 1000 USD here.
On the way back the sky turned black and we just managed to get back to Bengt before all hell broke loose. The wind backed to the southwest and the swell started coming in through the gap in the reef. Thunder, lightning and rain all around. We stayed in the cockpit to prevent us from getting seasick. Bengt rolled and rolled. Around bed-time it calmed down and we had a rain free night.

Sunday was cleaning and washing day. We cleaned the greywater tank, which smells badly if you don’t and we took the stove out to clean the sides and back. We hoovered and dusted. Sometimes one doesn’t understand how a small boat gets so dirty so quickly. After that we contemplated about this with buying a tablet.
George Monbiot (The Guardian) writes: Our society is focused on consuming and it is, for an individual, difficult to change that. We are guided by an ideology so familiar and pervasive that we do not even recognise it as an ideology. It is called consumerism. It has been crafted with the help of skilful advertisers and marketers, by corporate celebrity culture, and by a media that casts us as the recipients of goods and services rather than the creators of political reality. It is locked in by transport, town planning and energy systems that make good choices all but impossible. It spreads like a stain through political systems, which have been systematically captured by lobbying and campaign finance, until political leaders cease to represent us, and work instead for the pollutocrats who fund them or for themselves. Within such a system, individual choices are lost in the noise. Attempts to organise boycotts are notoriously difficult, and tend to work only when there is a narrow and immediate aim.
The power of consumerism is that it renders us powerless. It traps us within a narrow circle of decision-making, in which we mistake insignificant choices between different varieties of destruction for effective change. It is, we must admit, a brilliant con. It’s the system we need to change, rather than the products of the system. It is as citizens that we must act, rather than as consumers. But how?


One way of acting has been showed to us by Greta and the other climate striking youngsters: continuous peaceful mass demonstrations by people over the whole world. This is an effective way to bring change. If we react as citizens instead for as consumers maybe change will come before it is too late to stop the clock ticking to twelve. The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists put the doomsday clock already a few minutes before twelve in the sixties. Today it is at two minutes to twelve. The rich and powerful don’t care if you cancel your holydays to Thailand for the sake of the environment, they get their money anyhow. The airplanes are packed with people in any case but when the same people stop flying then maybe change will come fast. The question is how to achieve mass demonstrations and boycotts.

George Monbiot writes: The ideology of consumerism is highly effective at shifting blame: witness the current ranting in the billionaire press about the alleged hypocrisy of environmental activists. Everywhere I see rich Westerners blaming planetary destruction on the birth rates of much poorer people, or on “the Chinese”.

A clear sign that we are being manipulated by oil- and other powerful multi-national companies who own the media. This is easily done via social media like Facebook. Google has made us stop thinking. It is always somebody else who is to blame for the environmental catastrophe that awaits us. Don’t forget that we Westerners (20% of the world’s population) account for 80% of the world’s pollution. We all know that we cannot continue this way but change needs courage and knowledge. Change costs and gives fear of losing that you have.
In ‘Tao Te Ching’, written by Lao-Tse, one can read the following:

Chapter 53
If I were to have the very slightest insight, I would live in accordance with the Great Tao. My only fear is, to go astray from Tao while spreading it. Great Tao is smooth and plain, yet people prefer the devious bypaths. Hence, the government is corrupted with luxury and splendour. The people are exhausted with labour and leave the fields to be wasted and the granaries depleted. Under such practices, the officials wear fine clothes, carry sharp swords and indulge themselves in good food and drink. They crave with greed to possess great wealth. Such is said to commit the crime of robbery and certainly is not the Way of Tao.

Fear is the greatest enemy of change even if the change itself is positive. It is easier to hold on to that you have than to change. Change gives uncertainty, anguish and chaos. Nevertheless chaos gives order (Yin and Yan principle) and in the end a new, and hopefully better, way of living together on this planet of ours.

When I lived in the Swedish village of Lilla Edet there was a proposal to build several wind generators up in Svartedalen, the nature reserve where I lived on the edge of. It didn’t take long before the protests started. The arguments against, some ridiculous, were many, the arguments in favour were few. When we left the village to sail the oceans of the world there were a few generators build.

Here we are on Aruba and thinking about buying a tablet or a new computer. The old one still works albeit slow and with short battery-time. Is this a problem for us? Since we have learned from birth that consuming is life we had doubtlessly bought a new one. When we act as citizens of the world with a responsibility for the planet we live on we say no to a new computer but it probably turns out the same way as with our old telephones. To force us to buy ‘new’ gadgets programs or apps just stop working. A little signs says: ‘your operating system is to old’ and no updates are possible. For example Instagram, Facebook and Mobile BankID don’t work on our telephones anymore. Most apps, if not all, can be missed but the BankID is needed to log into our bank and pay the bills, transfer money, identify yourself at the tax-office, etcetera.

If I write to BankID with a complaint the reaction is zero. If 18000 customers (that many had to change phone) stand in front of their office and protest change happens very quick indeed. It is like with Marine Warehouse (see previous blog entry) and Budget Marine. We are only a little customer which you can ignore but if all sailors in the Caribbean boycott these businesses things will change fast.

One question is how to organize so many people so our ‘leaders’ understand that change is necessary. Another is how to make people understand the gravity of the situation and to engage them in their future and that of their children.

Until next week!



Vessel Name: Bengt
Vessel Make/Model: Bruce Roberts 44 offshore
Hailing Port: Wallhamn, Sweden
Crew: Elisabeth and Wim
Vi är Wim och Elisabeth, båda i 50-års ålder som träffades vintern 2011. Tillsammans har vi sex barn. Segling, havet och öar är det som lockar oss. Hamnar undviker vi så mycket som möjligt. Vi ligger helst på svaj. [...]
Vem är Bengt? Bengt är en Bruce Roberts 44 Offshore som byggdes av Bengt Matzén i Stockholm mellan 1987 och 2001. Bengts dröm var att segla jorden runt men det blev aldrig av. Vi köpte båten av hans dödsbo och gav den namnet som en hommage till honom. Bengt är byggd i stål och [...]
Bengt 's Photos - Västindien 2019
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Added 5 May 2019

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Who: Elisabeth and Wim
Port: Wallhamn, Sweden

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