Pic: The first arrivals: Matt, Sue, Verena (sv Sangoma), Swerke (sv Nanoq), and Toby (sv Sangoma).
Pic: The clouds form and dissipate quickly. Matt & Sue with, from left to right, Lion's Head, Signal Hill, Cape Town and the Harbor behind them.
Pic: The drive was scenic our whole trip!
Pic: Looking back at the light house and where we started our hike at Cape St. Blaize.
Pic: Momma and babies have the right of way...we backed up to let them go by.
Pic: It was hard to keep track of the moving target (Matt) in the swell and waves.
Pic: Colorful cabins at Fish Hoek.
Pic: Resident Kelp Gull and chick, at the end of a finger pier.
Pic: The view of Table Mountain from Signal Hill.
Pic: Cannon firing
For more pictures, check out Leu Cat's site: http://www.sailblogs.com/member/leucat/
Pic: Heading to False Bay Yacht Club from our anchorage outside.
Pic: Doesn't M look happy?
Pic: Safely tied to the end of a very long, rickety pier; it's a long walk to the YC and showers.
Pic: We can watch the crew teams practice on the Buffalo River from our mooring.
Pic: M & M putting up the storm staysail on the inner forestay. This was our weather most of the trip. Thank goodness the wind was from behind. We maintained 8 knots speed under bare poles for awhile, when we had a batten come loose trying to put a third reef in the main. We kept the main down for the remainder of the trip. We can see why they've given the name 'wild coast' to this stretch.
Pic: A landmark coming into Durban; the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
Pic: Matt playing a ball game with the crews from Gromit and Eros.
Sue arrived last night with her two bags, so we have a full complement of crew. We're planning an excursion to several game parks next week and will update accordingly. The front that brought 50+ knot winds, 10 meter waves and heavy rain has passed, and the weather is delightful. With that change in conditions, we're expecting lots of other international boats to arrive here soon from Mozambique.
What a time. Today I picked up my lost baggage, full of boat parts, at the Richards Bay Airport, four days after my arrival. If any of you have ever had lost, stolen, or misplaced baggage, you have my sincere sympathy. It has been the most frustrating experience I've encountered in quite some time, and hope to never go thru anything like this again. I'll spare the ugly details, but let's just say we won't fly Qatar Airways ever again. At any rate, it feels good to be back aboard. Our son, Matt, has joined us, and he's unpacked to the starboard V-berth, although night off-watches are always in the salon anyway. Yesterday, he kite-boarded at Pelican Island, his first experience kiting in South Africa. He's off again as I write this, but I had too much unpacking and organizing to do to join him. Pictures of his kiting experience may be found at http://www.sailingalong.org. This morning we re-rove the halyards, replacing the chase lines. The sheets and furling line have been placed. The mainsail has been bent on and we still have the Yankee jib to hoist. There are lots of jobs to do before we go off exploring the game parks again, but things are definitely looking up. As an aside, lots of other international boats have arrived while we've been gone, and it's been good to meet old friends and make new ones. We've rented a car for a bit, so mobility has improved and we're getting around like locals...well, sort of!
In all our travels back to FL for family time, this was the roughest in terms of delays and missed flights; 60 hours total transit time! On the positive side, we did get a hotel room and meals comped at our last stop at Dulles airport in Washington. Suffice it to say, we wouldn’t choose Qatar Airlines again. Thankfully, our four checked-in bags did arrive with us in Tampa. Coming from the mild winter weather in Richards Bay and arriving to the summer heat and humidity of Florida, we know our time here will go way too fast!
It’s been a busy week both on and off the boat. Our sails were returned from Ullman Sails, Durban but we’ll forego putting them on as we’ll be departing soon for our visit to the USA. We’ve walked over to Tuzi Gazi Marina a few times (a 15 min walk) to see friends, as well as welcome Stuart & Sheila (and crew, Curtis) of sv Imagine into Richards Bay (from Madagascar). Anne, Lawrence and Lorecan are leaving for Jo’berg as their son, Ryaan, is getting married in about a week. We had a surprise birthday party for Anne, and actually managed to get everyone aboard without her knowing about it; more good times! Aboard, Jacques installed our salon table supports and is repairing a paint area on the topsides. We’re really cramped and crowded down below, as our packing begins both for a trip to the game parks as well as our visit home. All the aforementioned sails had to be brought down below as we're expecting very strong winds and rain to arrive during our weekend excursions. There’s hardly room to move around; getting anything, especially if it’s below any berth, is quite the exercise. Of note, we ate bunny chow for the first time at KNK Curries. For those of us who’ve never heard of bunny chow (that be us…), it’s curry (lamb, chicken or beef) placed into a hollowed-out ¼, ½, or God forbid, an entire loaf of bread. Not knowing any better, I ordered the ½ loaf; Sue showed admirable restraint ordering the ¼ loaf; OMG; it’s not for the faint of heart. Delicious, and we’ll be returning to KNK again (it’s at Tuzi Gazi). There’s usually some activity going on at the Yacht Club, and we’ve been to several braai’s (BBQ – remember?), another surprise birthday party, and just to hang out. We’ve arranged our rental car and accommodations for the weekend; more on that next.
Pic: Fleur, Sue, M, Gaye; a cloudy day at the Umhlanga Pier, near Durban. Ships in the background are anchored, waiting to enter Durban harbor.
We've rarely flown our code zero as the attachment point was aft of the headstay. Please don't ask how that happened. The sailmaker missed it, and what's worse, I missed it. So, flying the sail meant probable chafe on the halyard as it went across the headstay and we weren't willing to risk it. For a couple of years I've tried to come up with a means to allow the tack and drum of the sail to be attached; most schemes involved the use of a removable stainless pipe, secured thru a captive stainless upside down u-shaped welded flat bar forward and a large bolt aft going down to the deck. Uggh. When we got here to the ZYC, I put forward to the team we worked with (Morgan 0832369564 and his partner Jacques 072 609 5741) my dilemma to see what ideas we collectively could come up with. The chosen solution is an elegant one, in my opinion. We had 1 1/2", sched 40, 316 SS pipe shaped to follow the curve of the bowsprit, which is 2" SS pipe, and extended it forward of the bow pulpit enough to avoid chafe of the sail when hoisted. Down the middle of the pipe going fore and aft was fitted a 7/16" thick 316 SS plate, welded to the 1 1/2" pipe forward, the existing bow pulpit, and also the existing plate top and bottom that our headstay and bobstay attach to. The entire structure weighs less than 8-10 kg, and there are holes drilled which allow the attachment of shackles, etc. The finished unit looks like an extension of the bow pulpit, and polished, appears quite natural. The workmanship is beautiful, it's massively strong, and the code zero will be able to be flown without concern for chafe. A job well done.
The work's been done and we're back in the water; what a good feeling it is! Here's our punch list for this quick 9 day haul out: 1. inspect and repair (minor) rudder damage 2. apply penetrating epoxy sealer, epoxy primer and 4 coats of anti-fouling paint 3. fix paint scratches in flag blue hull paint 4. lightly compound, then wax entire hull 5. design, fabricate and install a SS bowsprit extension for the code zero sail (I'll discuss this in detail, with pictures, very soon) 6. service Maxprop propeller 7. attach new shaft collar anode 8. change Frigoboat keel cooler anodes 9. service the refrigeration unit (again) 10. change all the halyards to 3mm tag lines 11. soak all lines in cleaner and fabric softener 12. empty and clean areas of bilge storage we haven't gotten to in a looong time 13. top off with diesel. All's well, no drama at launch; Infini is looking quite spiffy and we're looking forward to getting away for a bit of exploring next week.
Two coats of epoxy have now been applied below the water line. The first was a penetrating epoxy sealer, which has a shiny, clear finish. Next came an epoxy primer, gold in color, which goes on prior to the bottom paint and binds to the penetrating epoxy as well as to the anti-fouling paint. We don't recall Infini ever having had a gold bottom!
Pic: The area of rudder we were concerned about before cleanup and epoxy repair.
Pic: Michael & Lawrence up close and personal with mama and baby, while the girls watch from the car.
Pic: Where to go when you arrive?
Pic: Anchorage off Cape Inhaca. Good in S & SW winds.
We watched the fishing boats come and go in all types of weather while anchored here off Barrow Pt., Inhambane
Pic: The sunset from last night...
Pic: Michael in the lazarette adding hydraulic fluid for auto pilot ram while underway. We have not been using the self steering vane.