s/v Skebenga

Stories From Other Cruisers: Lost in Translation

Tuesday October 22, 2013

s/v Skebenga

 s/v Skebenga


Yes, I’m going to try and start yet another new segment here on the website. I hope that you’re not getting sick of or distracted by new things constatnly popping up, but I really think this one is worth a try and hope it will take off. The idea for it came to me during one of our many meals with the dinner club where we were sitting around with Luis and Luki and Elmari, once more going over stories of cruising experiences past. There’s a certain story that Luki and Elmari had told us looong before, but it was just so hilarious that I had them repeating it for me again.

As the story was being told for my enjoyment once more, an idea struck me. I thought to myself, ‘This story is just too funny, it needs to be shared! ‘. So in my mind was born ‘Stories From Other Cruisers’. As the name implies, it would be a segment where I gather stories from other cruisers on funny mishaps, troubles, or comical occurrences, and impart them here with you. Because honestly, there’s just too much hilarity in the cruising world for these stories not to be shared with as many people as possible. The very first volume comes courtesy of Luki and Elmari on s/v Skebenga, as told by me as a narrator.


Luki and Elmari found themselves in the country of Uruguay on the northeast coast of South America after having crossed the Atlantic Ocean from South Africa. As happens with most boats after any kind of travel, some replacement parts were needed to keep everything in working order and tip top shape. What they were in search of on this particular day was a 30 amp plug. Setting out on the streets of this Spanish speaking country, a language they were not very familiar with, they were given a tip that there were aprroximately four hardware stores along the main road of the town Periopolis they were visiting, and they should start with the furthest one out and work their way back in.

Trudging out through the dust and the heat they made their way out to the furthest shop and stepped inside. Luki, with his little speech prepared in Spanish, walked up to the man behind the counter and ready to ask for his 30 amp plug, stated, “Por favor, neccesito le chona de treinta amperios”. The man behind the counter cocked his head to the side a little, but without much thought, replied to Luki that he did not carry it and that he should try the next shop. Down the road they continued, where upon walking in the second hardware shop and asking the same question, were given the same answer. ‘I’m sorry, we don’t carry that. Try the next guy’.

By the time they walked into the fourth and final hardware store, the shopkeepers must have been conspiring between each other because the man here already had a grin on his face, as if he knew what this gringo was coming to ask for, when Luki walked through the door to ask for the fourth time, “Por favor, tiene le chona de treinta amperios”. Once again Luki was told that no, he did not have a ‘le chona de treinta amperios’, but this time Luki was finally able to figure out why. What he should have been asking for, a 30 amp plug, translated into Spanish as un enchufe de treinta amperios. What Luki had been going to every store and asking for so far, le chona de treinta amperios, was a 30 amp suckling pig. The real kicker of the story is that, not only did every shop keeper act as if it was an every day occurrence for someone to step inside and ask for a 30 amp suckling pig, but each and every one of them carried the 30 amp plug that he had been needing all along.



*If you would like to submit a story to be published in ‘Stories From Other Cruisers’, please email us at admin@mjsailing.com, or message us on Facebook at MJ Sailing, with the subject titles ‘Stories From Other Cruisers’. Please include your name, boat name, story, and a photo of your boat and/or the crew. Please do not send any lewd or profane stories as they will not be published.