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Date: 18 Jan 2014 02:07:38
Title: Stranded in Aruba

Stranded in Aruba

The first regatta didn't exactly turn out the way we expected when we crossed the start line as boat nr.2 out of 32. What an exellent start! Good planning, great positioning, much thanks to Karl Otto & Maren, who knows this game fully.
1/2 hr later, we still had the position as nr 2 when we rounded the bouy and headed west. Fair winds took us out in the ocean. We were all set, ready to fight! 
2 days & nights with beautiful sunsets & sunrises went by. We formed shifts, supported by Karl Otto & Maren. Always someone on duty. 
With Glenn & Haakon acting as chefs in between sailing, the food & beverage department were taken care of in an excellent way.
Monday morning we discovered that we were in the lead with 2-3 other boats. Yeah!!!
2 hrs later, it all changed. Out of the blue we lost our steering ability.
Something was definitely wrong! Bad news. Plan B was launched. Maren set up the emergency tiller, but a few minutes later, it broke down. Plan C was launched. 
Glenn & Haakon managed to connect the small autopilot, called "Lillegjøken", directly to the rudder. In that way, with reduced sails, we were able to motorsail to the nearest harbour, which happened to be Aruba. 30 hrs later we docked Ko-Ko in Renaissance Marina in Oranjestad after a tough night, much thanks to Haakons skills in manoeuvring his boat using only autopilot & bow thruster. What an achievement! We were even escorted into the Marina. They knew we were coming, and in distress. Puh..
As a treat to his crew, Haakon took us out to dinner at "Carpe Diem" restaurant. We all felt relieved & proud. Good seaman ship! 
Since then, Haakon has managed to order new spare parts form UK, and as we speak, we still await the delivery. We know it is on it's way :)
In the meantime, we try to make the most of our unforeseen layover her in Aruba.
Scubadiving, bike riding, power walks, nice dining & wining, drinks at sunset.
Life could be worse.. 
The guys have also solved some other technical problems, such as water & gasleakage
and Karl Otto & Maren have checked the sails. They even held a crash course in sailing skills on deck, "Sailing for dummies", one that I (Anita) badly needed.. I'm the outcast here. I'll have to go for learning by doing..
Today KO, Maren, Glenn & I went out to the Beach Island outside Oranjestad. A beautiful place with tame flamingoes walking amongst the tourists on the beach. 
Haakon & Ellen stayed behind. They had things to do on Ko-Ko. 
Our aim is to join the World ARC fleet in Panama, but we will have to remain here a few days more. In the meantime, we make the most of our stay here in this beautiful Island. 
Tomorrow we will visit the local Casino. Spirits are high :) 

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