Alone Like a Rolling Stone

My friend Donna

 Donna is her name and, as it is expressed in New German, she is our cleaning lady. I, who expresses myself less delicately, refer to her as a toilet attendant. Donna is a good two hundredweight, round, with the almost obligatory gap between her two upper incisors, and sits in front of the four washrooms in our marina all day long. In the morning, at noon and late in the afternoon she wipes through with a mop and then sits on her wooden box again. Donna is a kind-hearted person, but rarely moves and does so ponderously and extremely unwillingly. Just at the moment when Donna is making her way over the washrooms, an urgent feeling oppresses me. Donna, aiming for my favorite toilet, gets in my way. "That one hasn't been cleaned yet, use the other one." Since the toilets, here at the marina, are getting a bit long in the tooth, this one in particular, which has been assigned to me, cannot be locked from the inside. During my session, there is a sudden knock on the door and I call out, "Occupied!" The door opens anyway and standing in front of me is Donna. "Oh you're still inside," she started the conversation. Now if you think Donna would have closed the door right then and there, you don't know Donna. To get a better look at what's going on inside, she first climbs onto the step that's between the ground and the toilet floor. In order to fit completely into the door frame, the door is pushed open a little further. Her snow-white teeth come out and her tongue pushes through the gap between her teeth. Regardless of the fact that I'm sitting there with my pants down, she wants to get to the bottom of why I haven't responded here and now. So she stands in front of me and asks with a big grin, "Why didn't you get in touch?" "I did," I say. "Oh you did," she replies. She ignores the fact that I had got in touch as the conversation continues and just said, "It's not so bad. Take your time and finish in peace." I then ask her, "Do you want to stick around or can I finish up on my own?" Laughing, she said "I'm going back out" and descended the step. The door slams shut and I am alone again. The red ears that had briefly formed on me return to a normal color. One must not be petty here and as so often, "Other countries, other customs." However, I still prefer the toilet, which can also be locked from the inside.

Showers at Tyrell Bay Marina

At a spontaneously invited celebration on the occasion of the farewell of our French neighbors, the rum punch is overindulged, which has a negative effect on my work performance the next day. The situation can be compared with the previous story. Forgoing the barbecue, we turned more to the drinks and with the many interesting conversations, one quickly loses the overview. Besides the predominant French, there were Belgians, Britons and Australians. Yes, we even met a Tunisian. With us was still a German on site. Drinking is in this area, mostly rum punch. That is rum with lime and sugar. After three of these mixtures you are definitely unfit to drive, which not everyone believes and then tries this anyway. That's how a pickup truck went off the road this week. But the driver didn't realize he was off the road until he had driven about 200 meters, and only because the house that appeared in front of him wouldn't give him a break. Even after getting out of the car, he was not aware of the extent of his actions, as he bawled out the song "We are the Champions". As I said before, after the third rum punch you are incapable of driving, after the fourth you dream of Donna as "Miss Caribbean" and after the fifth you take the intensive care bed away from a Corona patient. Since, as I mentioned, I had lost track of everything, I only know this much, it was a gigantic party. And since things like that don't happen too often, it's worth mentioning here.

Katinka at Tyrell Bay Marina

Yes, and there's our project progress that needs to be mentioned. The painting work continues to progress at a leisurely pace. The inner surfaces of the hulls are finished, the outer surfaces are in progress. However, since our painter's load limit is reached after a maximum of four hours, we expect another week until completion. After that, we can set the waterline and work on the coppercoat. We are confident that we will be back in the water by mid-March. As always, we wish you fair winds and keep a stiff upper lip.

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