Thursday, December 13, 2018

A day in the life...

Well, it's not all sunsets and drinking, although ....  Here is a snippet of life on a boat that's constantly moving from place to place.

You have to keep a watch for other boats and reefs.

Still keeping an eye out for reefs.

Relaxing in our spacious luxury suite.

Doing dishes with my drying buddy.

Scrubbing the scum off the boat.

Carol was great at filleting fish.

Carving up more fish.

Driving the boat with the spinnaker up.  (One of my favorite things to do!)

Another slow day on watch.

Wetting down the deck so the fish won't make a mess.
Don't want scales and blood all over the place!

Fish for dinner!

Splicing line; there's always some maintenance to do.

Cleaning the boat after a passage.

And of course chamoising the boat so no water spots

Cleaning up the galley.

Getting ready to drop anchor.

Underway, so put away those dock lines.

The view from 90' up.

Dinner's almost ready!  Come and get it guys.

Supervising the refueling.

But why don't I have any clean shirts?

Another stressful day on the boat.

I feel the need, the need for SPEED!

She's laughing because she's not looking back!

Slooowwww day.

Sometimes it's easier to sleep in the cockpit.  

Grocery shopping is always an adventure in 3rd world countries.

Plenty of THESE!

Another great day comes to an end.

And there's always things to see down here.

So, as you can see there's always plenty to do.  Sometimes it's not a lot of fun, other times, well, as the country song says, There's no such thing as too much fun!

Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Africa (no, not the song by TOTO)

So we made it to Durban which is pretty much one of those places referred to in an inappropriate manner by the U.S. buffoon-in-chief.  While the Point Yacht Club and Royal Natal Yacht Club were great, we were warned of the dangers of venturing out into the downtown area, especially at night.
We did have a great braai (cookout/barbecue) to celebrate Josh's 25th birthday (crew on TIANELLE) and Carol met a local woman also named Carol at the Yacht Club who took us on a tour and to see Zulu dancers.
Carol and I also went out for a "daysail" with a local boat in 35-40 knots!
I also scrounged up a ride to crew on another boat for their Wednesday night race.

After a week in port a great weather window opened up and most of the Oysters took off for Cape Town .  Following good local advice we went out to the 500 meter depth contour line and hooked into the Agulhas Current and zoomed along, sometimes with 4.5 to almost 6 knots of favorable push! One day we "sailed" along 263 miles in 24 hours, a new TRUE BLUE record! For a while we were even leading the pack.

TRUE BLUE  making some serious time!

We sailed around Cape Agulhas where the Atlantic and Indian Oceans meet and there was a "boatload" of shipping traffic plus 6 Oyster Yachts within a 15 mile conga line.  That night as we approached Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope we had the only excitement of the passage.  Carol and Leslie were on watch 2200-0000 and the wind quickly built from about 30kts to 45 or so. The boat got off course and the autopilot couldn't correct so Leslie came and woke me.  Grabbed my glasses and ran topside. Just as I got us back on course a big wave splashed water all over Carol (in her foulies) and me (NOT in my foulies).  Then while furling the genoa so we could gybe over to put it out on the pole, some line got tangled meaning I had to go forward and clear it. Fortunately the wind had dropped and then the fog set in.  Regardless, we pulled into Cape Town after 95 hours and 835 miles with no major issues other than being hungry.

While in Cape town we caught up on sightseeing; took the cable car up Table mountain,  hiked up Lion's Head, saw the Springbok Rugby museum and went to Robben Island where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years in prison.
Then there was the Cape town Oyster party at the Groot Constantia Winery where another good time was had by all and a group crew photo was taken of Carol with the boys.  And of course there was the 30th Bday party for Johannes where somehow he ended up in the water....  (snicker).

Carol and Pedro, Glenn, Steve, Tom, Josh, Michael, Harry, Nigel, Henry, Me, Johannes, Stefan

Birthday boy Johannes 

Me atop Lion's Head.  Table mountain in the background 

Cape of Good Hope 

Ahhh, now THAT'S a donut!

Then we drove hours down the coast to visit Cape Agulhas, the southern most point of Africa.  Of course there was the braai hosted by our crew mate Glenn's new friend in Cape town, Jennifer attended by most of "the boys".
Carol and me at the Cape Agulhas marker.

As we drove south there were thousands of acres just like this.

Cape Agulhas lighthouse

One of three wooden ladders you had to climb just to get to the 4th one which was metal and just as steep.

Carol and I took off on an 8 day safari that started in Windhoek, Namibia,  took us to Botswana where we flew into a private camp in the Okavango Delta.  Very relaxing for 2 nights and an all day boat cruise/land hike. Alas, not much in the way of big critters.

Grand Caravan C208, our ride to Mopiri. 

"Terminal 1"

Motoring in the Delta between the papyrus

Mokoro boats where it was REALLY shallow. 

Just one of many birds.

Baby crocodile 


Arriving back in Maun we took another flight out over the Delta and saw lots of elephants,  water buffalo and antelope. Then it was off to Nata where we took a tour of the salt pan and saw wildebeest, kudu, and lots of pelicans.

Our guide


Cape buffalo

Just another gorgeous sunset.

Next up was Chobe National Park with high hopes of seeing lions.  Alas, no lions but we did see baboons, kudu, Cape buffalo, zebra, crocs, giraffes, lots of elephants and hippos.

A tower of giraffes.

A yawning hippo

Off to get some lunch

Our last day was crossing into Zimbabwe and visiting Victoria Falls which was impressive even though it was the dry season with low water levels.

Victoria Falls 

So now we have packed up our bags (5) which are probably overweight and are spending our last night in Cape town at the B&B where we spent the first two nights of our honeymoon 7 years ago. 

But wait, when we were here 7 years ago we rode to the top of Table mountain and hiked down.  Since we didn't get to do that this visit, we decided on the spur of the moment to go hike UP Table mountain today after checking in to the B&B.  Yep, and we crushed it in an hour+20 minutes!    

(See this Internet comment: 
The average time to hike up Platteklip Gorge is 2 hours. This allows quite a bit of time for breaks and enjoying the views. Hiking at a steady pace with few stops a relatively fit person can easily be at the top in 1.5 hours. Be warned however, this is a steep route well described as an unrelenting staircase.)

We made it!

View from the top

So as you can see by the Lat/Long compared to the pic below we recreated a pic on the same spot as 7 years ago.

So tomorrow it's off to the airport for 32 hours of traveling to get back home where it is NOT summer anymore.

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