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Sailing At Last
This is the tale of our journey to fulfill a passion of learning to sail and a dream to circumnavigate. Welcome Aboard At Last!

Profile of At Last and the Gorrell's
Who: Mark & Janet Gorrell
Port: Wickford, RI USA
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Photo Gallery
23 January 2012
18 Photos
19 April 2013
18 Photos
 
More About St Helena
As Mark promised, I am adding more about this unique place before we blog about Brasil
January 30, 2013, 11:29 pm, Island of St. Helena, Atlantic Ocean

St Helena landfall at dawn

On the rest of our passage across the Atlantic, Mark and I were left talking about St. Helena and decided that it really is an amazing place. We were struck by the friendliness of everyone on the island. When walking down the street, people didn't avoid eye contact but rather always smiled and said hello. Life there has not been infiltrated by cell phones, the internet, ATMs and life seems more relaxed and calm for it. The town is very quaint and there was always activity of people walking around.

The people we met there were quite remarkable. Robert, our tour guide, knew the history of the island inside and out. He proudly carried a notebook full of pictures of important events and places on the island from years and years back. He showed us the changes on the island even bringing us to the future location for their first airport. Robert had lived the history of the island and clearly was proud of its heritage.

The two women who gave us the tour of the home where Napoleon was exiled on the island were also as enthusiastic as Robert about the historical significance of this site. They retold the history of Napoleon's captivity with exceptional detail and enthusiasm. We were standing in the room where Napoleon died and even the room where he bathed and it did carried with it the air of great importance. Napoleon was held on the island under guard from 1815 until he died there in 1821. He was buried in a four coffin tomb which preserved his body quite well until the French retrieved his body 19 years later. During those years, the tomb was under guard the entire time.


Napoleon's tomb

Hazel was another kind and generous person on the island. She ran the Consulate Hotel which also housed one of the nicest places to eat on the island. We went in on Sunday to have lunch but soon learned that the hotel's café had closed and the only other restaurant which was open didn't have enough food to feed the 11 of us who wanted to eat. Hazel received word that we were looking to have a meal and she reopened the café for us. She even let us put the entire meal on a tab because we had all run out of St. Helena currency by Sunday and there were no ATMs on the island. Hazel even went so far as to loan another boater a good sum of cash to get him through till the bank opened. After serving us our meal, she left us alone in the café to enjoy the afternoon asking us to just shut the door on the way out.

St. Helena is certainly not an easy place to get to and we found that probably the hardest part was once we got there. At anchor, we were able to call a ferry service (a small skiff that would take about eight people at a time) from our mooring field to the dock. While we were there the swells were so large that getting onto that dock was a bit of an Olympic sporting event. The driver would time it very carefully swinging us adjacent to the concrete dock as the swell was at a low point, you then grabbed a rope which was hanging down from a bar at the dock, waited until the swell would raise the boat even with the dock, and then at the top of the swell you would swing/jump/tumble onto the concrete dock. We were quite curious at first why so many locals would stand around the dock and watch the ferry usher people to and from the anchorage. It quickly became quite clear that it was a form of entertainment on the island. Getting ourselves in and out of the boat was trouble enough never mind when some of us had full water jugs, groceries, dry/clean laundry and boat batteries to maneuver onto the boat. As with most things in boating, we got used to it, maybe even skilled at it and now it has become another great boating story to be told again and again.


Ferry boat and dock (aka Olympic event)

We were sad to leave St. Helena. We did leave with real St. Helena coffee from the Rosemary Gate Coffee Estate established in 1994 on the island. A bottle of gin and rum also accompanied us from the St. Helena Distillery - the most remote distillery in the world. Paul Hickling taught himself how to make spirits after he purchased a very expensive distillery machine from Germany in 2006.



We feel very lucky to have visited St. Helena before the airport becomes functional. Surely the culture of the island will change dramatically with the influx of people visiting the island. We hope that all future visitors enjoy the warmth and kindness of the people of St. Helena, we certainly did. There are several pictures of St Helena posted in the photo gallery.


St Helena
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How to make 9.0948E-9 warp speed sailing across the Atlantic
Mark
January 29, 2013, 7:33 am, 14 36.9'S:22 37.3'W, On the way to Brazil

We just wanted to post a brief blog letting everyone know that we are doing well on this trip to Brazil.

The title may be confusing because the speed is expressed in terms of the speed of light. Wondering why? Well one of the books I am reading (thanks to Tony) at night on the dog watch as they say, is Stephen Hawking's "A Brief History of Time". Being out here in the middle of the vast Atlantic, looking at all the stars at night, has reminded me that I am just an infinitesimal part of the Cosmos and I wanted to learn more about the "billions and billions" stars and how it all came to be. The book is all about time (usually expressed in terms of light years) and space and that is what Janet and I are constantly focused on as well; our speed and position.

We are about half way to Brazil. We are due to arrive on Feb 5th if our current average speed of 5.3 knots (or 9.0948E-9 light speed) holds for the remainder of the trip. This is our slowest passage thus far. Janet and I are determined to sail this boat despite the lack of wind. We currently have the fewest hours using our motor (7.3 hours over 2700 miles since leaving Cape Town) of the fleet. Some in the fleet have over 100 hours motoring. So, the picture above is one of the methods we are using to make progress in light air; sailing with both the spinnaker and jib out together. We have used our spinnaker more on this trip since we left St Helena than the rest of the trip combined. We sail it for several days straight, including overnights and even thru squalls (they are mild here). We actually are happy to see squalls coming as they might bring some winds our way. We are doing major sail changes at all hours of the day and night in an effort to keep up our speed. And we are getting quite good at it I might say. Janet and I both have said that we wish we started this trip knowing what we know now. We are just now feeling like we are becoming decent sailors. So the good news is that we are getting pretty good at light wind sailing and this has been a very comfortable ride. The waves are about 3 feet and the weather very good. Good enough for us to catch up on our reading.

Janet is cooking up a storm (bad choice of words) and we are eating well. The boat is in good shape. No complaints, except for the lack of wind. So it is all good aboard At Last.

Next blog updates will include more about the interesting island of St Helena and of course Carnival in Brazil!

Brazil
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St. Helena...a rock in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean
Janet
January 20, 2013, 4:02 am, 15 55.55'S:005 43.58'W, Jamestown, St. Helena

And a beautiful and welcoming rock it is. We arrived here safely in St. Helena after a wonderful 12 day sail from Cape Town, South Africa. We had good wind most of the way but the last four days or so the winds were light and the trip became quite slow. We were determined not to use the motor and we succeeded in only using the motor for 0.6 hours during the entire 1720 mile trip. We averaged 6 knots and at times were rolling around doing less than 4 knots. We would have ended up with zero engine hours if it wasn't for having our auto pilot fail - yet again. This time when it failed we actually lost our steering because the wheel became locked and we were unable to steer to port. We had to douse all of the sails quickly and turn on the engine. Mark quickly diagnosed the problem and disengaged the auto pilot which gave us back our steering. I hand steer for the next two hours while Mark installed the spare autopilot - quite a feat while underway. I am eternally grateful that Mark bought a spare auto pilot after our first problem with it in the Pacific Ocean and also grateful that my husband has become such a mechanical genius on the boat. This may be a bit overstated but installing the new auto pilot negated us having to hand steer for over 1,200 miles. He is my hero.

St. Helena is an incredible place. You can only come here by boat and we learned from customs that they have about 200 sailboats arrive here each year. They also have a couple of cruise ships that stop here and one actually arrived while we were visiting. There are about 4,000 people living on the island and everyone is incredibly friendly and welcoming. We enjoyed a tour of the island where we visited the home where Napoleon was exiled on the island for the last six years of his life. On the way back to the main town, Jamestown, we stopped at the home of Paul Hickling who runs a distillery out of his garage and learned a lot about making rum from cactus on a remote island.

St. Helena has no cell phone service. The internet is limited here. A couple of cafes sold wifi for $12 an hour. We could use the browser to search the web but not download email. So we are very behind on email. Sorry to those of you waiting for an email response. It won't be till Brazil before we can use email again. It has been a short but very worthwhile visit. We will update the blog with more about St Helena when we arrive in Brazil.

We are leaving tomorrow for the 14 day sail to Salvador de Bahia, Brazil. We have fixed a bunch of things on the boat and provisioned with some fresh fruits and vegetables. Most importantly, we will have had four nights of excellent rest here in St. Helena. We are ready to go and looking forward to the trip.

St Helena
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We Spent Christmas in South Africa!
Janet
January 4, 2013, 1:02 pm, V and A Waterfront Marina, Cape Town, South Africa

Our time in Cape Town is about to end. We are sad to leave and have been very happy to spend the past month here. It is the longest amount of time we have spent in one place - finally, we have spent one month in the same slip at the same marina without moving an inch. We have thoroughly enjoyed relaxing, sightseeing and learning so much about this interesting part of the world. We are adding South Africa to the list of places we would like to return - it is probably in our top five. I am quite certain though that the next trip will be by airplane not by boat!

The first thing that struck us when arriving in Cape Town was the incredible scenery. From the marina where we are staying, we have a spectacular view of Table Mountain (see the picture above). There are days where the mountain is covered by the clouds, there are days that it is too windy to take the cable car to the top of the mountain and then there are perfect days for seeing the views from the top. The weather was perfect when Grace, Mark and I visited. We enjoyed doing a bit of hiking on the top and the views were absolutely breathtaking.



Another incredibly scenic spot was Cape Point where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet. It is the south western most point in Africa. It was once named the Cape of Storms due to the many shipwrecks which have occurred there over the past 400 years - about 450 in total. The name was changed to Cape of Good Hope to encourage more ships to take this route and open up trade with India. We believe that the Cape of Storms is probably a more accurate description and we used our time during our visit to Cape Point to say good bye to the Indian Ocean. Mark and I agreed (as well as Britt and Shadow) that crossing the Indian Ocean once was certainly enough.



The second thing that was striking about South Africa would definitely have to be the wild life. We couldn't have Grace come to visit us in Africa without taking her on a safari. Mark and I were more than happy to go again. Instead of visiting a national park, we went to a privately owned Game Reserve called Inverdoorn. It was in the middle of nowhere - literally! The resort was in the middle of a 10,000 hectare (about 25,000 acres) valley surrounded by mountains. In addition to the animals we saw on the last safari, we saw two female and one male lions. We were completely unprepared for how big these grown adult cats were. The reserve was also known for their Cheetah Rehabilitation program. We were able to see a group of cheetah and they walked right up to the truck we were riding in. We were assured that the cheetah are not jumpers and thus would not be able to jump into the truck. We also were able to see them run a cheetah - it happened so fast we couldn't even take a good picture. We were also able to get out of the truck at one point and walk up to a giraffe. There is some debate amongst Mark, Grace and me about how close we were to the giraffe but let's just say it felt very close. We also had to pass by a herd of water buffalo that were in the middle of the road. Despite our ranger's best attempts to have them move, we ended up getting so close that that Eugene (our ranger) told us to all move over to one side of the truck as we passed. Grace has a great video of him say this and the commotion of an entire truck of people moving to one side of the truck - quite quickly. Luckily, we passed them without inciting them to charge the truck. We also saw a type of gazelle called Springbok which is the national animal of South Africa. Our guide told us that the springbok is the McDonalds of the wild because it is everywhere and it feeds everyone. We found that to be quite true when later that evening our appetizer was a springbok carpaccio. Although they are incredibly cute and I hate to think of them being killed, it was some of the best meat I have ever eaten. Lastly, we also continued our education about the problems with the poaching of rhinos for their horns. Currently, one can sell a rhino horn for $60,000 per kilogram (more than gold or cocaine). Approximately 600 rhinos were poached this year in South Africa where the total was 400 last year. At Inverdoorn, the rhino horns are filled with a poison which will make anyone who ingests it quite sick. The horns are also filled with a dye to discolor the inside. In addition, they are injected with a substance that will make them x-ray detectable for anyone trying to smuggle them through an airport. All of this is done to try to deter the poaching of the rhino. Some game reserves even go as far as to cut off the horns of their rhinos. As you can see our time at Inverdoon was incredibly exciting and educational, just staying at the resort was treat enough - beautiful pool, great food and exceptional service.



In our traveling around Cape Town, we also saw many animals out and about. The baboons on the way to Cape Point were happy to jump onto the top of your car. On the return from Cape Point, we also saw several ostrich by the side of the road. We stopped at a beach called Boulders Beach where we saw a large colony of penguins. I personally could have watched them for hours. They are adorable - we saw two lying side by side with one penguin's flipper placed lovingly over the back of the other penguin.

The third thing about South Africa which we found interesting was its history of apartheid and race relations. We took two tours to learn as much as we could. We visited Robben Island where for nearly 400 years the island was used to house political troublemakers and social outcasts. The island was home to mentally ill patients, leprosy sufferers, religious leaders, and was also used as a naval base during World War II. The island has four prisons in total and was used as a political prison from 1962 - 1991. We visited the prison cell where Nelson Mandela, the island's most famous inmate, was jailed for 18 of his 27 years in prison. Although less famous, Robert Sobukwe who was leader of the Pan African Congress was kept in solitary confinement on the island after leading a march against apartheid. He was imprisoned for three years and served his sentence but was then kept on the island for another six by the government. Our guide on the tour of the prisons was an ex-political prisoner whose name was Jama. He was an inmate in a group cell for five years and was sent to prison for opposing the apartheid regime.


Nelson Mandela's prison cell

We also went on a tour of the townships. The townships are urban living areas which were established in 1900 and ended with apartheid. The townships were designated as white only, black and colored and everyone in South Africa was placed into one of these designations. The black people had a particularly difficult time in that they needed to carry around a pass book 24 hours per day and could be arrested if they were found without it. The townships that we went into showcased the extreme poverty in South Africa. There is no welfare system so many poor people resort to crime, thus the difficulties with crime in South Africa. We were also amazed to learn that school is not compulsory for children and that it is difficult to motivate children to attend school.

Our guide's name for the township tour was Monkali. He grew up in one of the local townships and is currently living in the Langa Township, the smallest and oldest, built in 1927. He kindly shared his experiences with us as he gave us a walking tour around Lange Township. We went into multiple homes in the township to understand the living conditions. We also were taken to a local "pub" were we shared a traditional bucket of homemade beer with some of the local men. The experience felt so intimate that Grace as Monkali if people were offended by our presence. He responded that people were quite grateful to have us visit. Part of what ended apartheid was the rest of the world gaining the knowledge of what was happening in South Africa. Still today, the people in the townships believe that the more people understand, the better off they will be.

Part of the tour was of District Six, an inner city residential area which was turned into a white only district in 1966 as part of the apartheid regime. At the District 6 Museum, we learned that 60,000 people were forced out of their homes. Many of their homes were bulldozed down without notification to the occupants. Sadly, much of the land in the district was not redeveloped and it stands barren today. The only buildings that survived were government buildings, such as schools, and places of worship. There is an active plan to rebuild on some of the area in the district and allow those who were displaced to return. Unfortunately, many people do not have the appropriate documentation to prove their past residency in District 6 and thus some of the rebuilt housing remains unoccupied.

By the end of the day, we had visited a black township, a colored township and a mixed township which was built after South Africa became a democracy in 1994. The difference in the quality of housing in each of the townships is striking. The black township of Langa now has 70,000 people living in it despite it being built for 5,000 people. The township also has one entrance and one exit. During apartheid there were guards at each of these locations. It was a sobering day for Mark, Grace and me but we were so grateful for such an intimate view of the townships and their history. Hans from s/v Working on a Dream told us before we went on the tour, "If you don't go on a tour of the townships, you cannot understand South Africa." We could not agree more.


Shipping containers which have been turned into housing in the Langa Township

Honorable mention must be given to South Africa's interesting weather. Some of the variability and unpredictability we experienced at sea continued on land. There were days where it was extremely hot, it was extremely cool, it was windy, it wasn't windy, it was very foggy, it was perfectly clear and all of these could happen on the same day. The South Africans love of meat was also quite apparent wherever you went. We had a fantastic meal at Mama Africa where Mark ordered a meat plate. It had crocodile, springbok, ostrich, kudu, etc. Mark was in heaven.

I don't think we will ever forget spending our 2012 holiday season in South Africa. Christmas was spent on a beach in Camps Bay. We had a great day of swimming and playing bocce on the beach. We went swimming despite the water temperature being less than 60 degrees. It was so, so cold but the day was beautifully warm. For New Year's Eve we had a progressive dinner party starting with appetizers on s/v Southern Cross, dinner on s/v Anastasia, and ending with dessert on s/v Brizo. We watched fireworks at midnight from Brizo as we toasted with champagne.



The beach where we spent Christmas Day

I cannot end this blog without giving a special thanks to Grace for flying to Cape Town for the Christmas holiday. She was a great sport as we dragged her from one tour to the next not wanting her to miss anything in South Africa. We loved having her with us for Christmas and it meant so much to have family with us for the holiday.

In two days, we leave for Brazil. We will make a 72 hour stopover at the island of St. Helena along the way. We will have two rather long passages before and after the stopover, the first will be approximately 11 days and the second 13 days. All in all, we will spend January at sea. But, we have a lot to look forward to. Our friends Tony and Eileen are joining us in Brazil for Carnival! We can't wait to see them again.

A special thanks to Britt and Shadow for helping us cross the Indian Ocean safely and for making it so much fun. We will miss you both so much! Mark and I are back to double handing the boat and plan to for the rest of the trip. We are actually looking forward to the trip with just the two of us. I will certainly let you all know how it goes! We will be posting to the blog along the way.

South Africa
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Geseënde Kersfees en 'n voorspoedige Nuwe jaar from Cape Town
(Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from Cape Town in Afrikaans)
December 22, 2012, 11:10 pm, Janet and Mark, weather is beautiful

We arrived here safely on December 7th after a rather uneventful trip around the Cape of Good Hope (or otherwise known as the Cape of Storms). We experienced some fog but no other difficulties. Some other boats choosing to sail past the Cape at other times experienced 50+ knot winds and 18 foot seas. So we felt good about our trip.

We spent the first week here getting the boat ready for the trip to Brazil and applying for our Brazilian visas (much harder for US citizens than you would think). Grace arrived on December 18th and we have been doing all of the sightseeing time will allow since then. So far we have gone on a safari (with a cheetah rehabilitation program), a township tour learning about Apartheid, a visit to Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela was jailed for 18 years), and a hike of Table Mountain for extraordinary views of the Cape. The experiences have been amazing and we look forward to giving you all of the details soon.

We are missing our families and friends this holiday season. We are so happy that Grace is here with us to help us celebrate. We have hung some Christmas lights and ornaments to help make the boat a little more festive. We will be spending Christmas on a beach in Cape Town with quite a few other people in the fleet. Christmas on a beach - add that to the long list of firsts on this trip!

May you and your family have a wonderful holiday season and may next year bring you much joy. We are grateful that next year will bring us back home to be with all of you.

Special note to Wendell, we wish this this picture was with you. Thanks for bringing cheer to the hearts of so many this holiday season.

By the way, did you know that South Africa has 8 official Languages. They are the Afrikaans, English, Zulu, Xhosa, Tsonga, Tswana, Sotho Southern, Sotho Northern, Swati, Ndebele, and Venda Languages.

So again, Sinifesela Ukhisimusi Omuhle Nonyaka Omusha Onempumelelo (Merry Christmas in Zulu).

South Africa
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A Scary Arrival into Port St. Francis
Janet
November 30, 2012, 4:55 am, St. Francis Bay, St. Francis, South Africa

The passage from Durban was the fastest At Last has ever made, thanks to the help of the Agulhas Current which we entered after sailing for 14 hours. For nine hours straight we averaged 10.5 knots and for 24 hours we did 220 nm averaging 9.3 knots. This was the fastest day of our entire circumnavigation.

We were planning on making it as far as Mossel Bay (much farther than we would have thought) but suddenly the weather changed while we were at sea. Mark decided we should tuck in to St. Francis to get out of the bad weather after sailing 416 miles in a little over 2 days. Two other boats decided to do the same - s/v J'Sea and s/v Sophie - while three boats continued on to Mossel Bay.

We arrived at St. Francis Bay at 1:00 am. It was getting windy and the entrance to the port was very narrow - a little over two boat widths. There were rocks on either side of the channel. Suffice to say it was the scariest nighttime arrival that we have ever had. Luckily, J'Sea and Sophie arrived before us, entered the harbor and scouted out a spot for us to tie up, with the help of a security guard. At Last ended up on a concrete dock with huge tires on it reserved for large fishing ships. It would have been impossible for us to have tied up to the dock without the help of the crew from J'Sea and Sophie. It would have been even more impossible if they hadn't been waving flashlights indicating where to go and where not to go. Everyone stayed awake the extra hour to help us get on the dock safely. We were extremely grateful to everyone for their help. By the time we got the boat settled it was 3:00 am and we all went to bed wondering what the morning would bring.

Just four hours later, we were awoken by Britt telling us that fishermen on the dock were saying we had to move At Last. The huge dock where we tied up was now full with fishing boats and we were in the middle of them. They asked us to move our boat back about ten feet to make room for another boat. We did this and then Sato (s/v Umineko) came by saying that another World Arc boat had just vacated a slip in the marina and we should move over to it. We asked if the marina office was open yet - it wasn't - but we decided we would move and risk having to move another time if the slip wasn't available. We got secured into our slip by 8:00 am and everyone went back to bed except for me. I was wide awake - probably because my normal shift time was in the morning. I ended up baking a coffee cake for everyone for breakfast and cleaned up the boat from the passage. The rest of the crew was grateful to wake up later in the morning to coffee and cake. We were further grateful that the marina office was happy to have us in our current slip and said that we could stay there as long as we needed.

Thus began an incredibly friendly welcome in St. Francis Bay. The port is a marina surrounded by condos and has a small shopping center with two marine stores, a minimart and a half dozen restaurants. The town is about four kilometers away. This area of the eastern cost of South Africa is very affluent. The population of the area will double during the summer season, which will begin in a few weeks. It was still quite quiet around the marina and around town. Everywhere we went we received a warm welcome. We ate at two very delicious restaurants while we were here - Chez Patrick and Five Elements. Five Elements even typed up a note on the first page of their menu on the day we returned for a second time which welcomed us back the restaurant. We also received fine treatment from Darryl who manages the grocery store Spars in town. He chauffeured us to and from the store at no cost. The grocery store was very good, one of the best we have seen in a long time.

Again, much of Mark's time in St. Francis was spent researching the weather. Shadow's parents are coming into Cape Town and we are trying to get her there to meet them. If we are not able to make it on time, she will travel on land to Cape Town. We did leave on December 4, 2012 but three hours into the trip we turned around because the weather was much worse than expected. We have now left again on December 5, 2012 and should be able to sail the rest of the way to Cape Town. It will be about a three day trip; maybe less if we catch some of the great current.

South Africa
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Happy Thanksgiving from Durban, South Africa
Janet
November 26, 2012, 4:17 am, Durban Marina, Durban, South Africa

We arrived in Durban after a very uneventful day sail from Richard's Bay. There was no room at the Durban Marina so we anchored just outside of the marina. We were somewhat disappointed in having to anchor because we had packed our dinghy away into our lazarette thinking we would not need it again until Brazil. When we first arrived we thought we would be leaving again in about a day as it looked like there was another weather window which would get us to our next destination of East London. Well, that did not exactly work out as we spent the next week in Durban waiting for an appropriate weather window.

Mark ended up spending the better part of our time in Durban researching weather on line. He became so knowledgeable about the day to day changes that we started having weather briefings on our boat with many of the other people in the fleet. On the day we decided to leave, many of the boats went back and forth about whether they should stay or they should go. We also went back and forth multiple times. In the end, we decided to leave with seven other boats in the fleet while four boats decided to wait for the next weather window.

While waiting out the bad weather in Durban, we ended up on anchor one night in 50 knot winds. We were grateful that we weren't out at sea but regardless it made for a rather sleepless night. Britt and Shadow went on land exploring while Mark and I stayed with the boat. We did anchor watch and were quite anxious that we would drag. There were quite a few of us in the anchorage and we all watched out for each other during the long night. Mark and I figured that this was about our third episode on anchor in gale force or stronger conditions. The sailing and mooring conditions that we have experienced on this trip are remarkable. We did not imagine that we would have experienced some of the situations we have encountered. I wonder if we would have been so eager to do this trip if we knew all of this before we started.

While in Durban we celebrated Thanksgiving. There was no turkey to be had but Mark did have ostrich out at the restaurant on Thanksgiving Day. We went to uShaka Marine World in Durban for Thanksgiving Day with a whole group of people from s/v Spirit of Alcides and s/v Southern Cross. The aquarium was huge and quite impressive. We went to a shark feeding, penguin feeding and a dolphin show. At the dolphin show, I was picked out of the crowd to have a close encounter with one of the dolphins named Frodo. I rubbed her belly and was able to feel her heartbeat. I rubbed her neck and then gave her three kisses. It was an incredible experience.



Our last night in Durban, we went to the Roma Revolving Restaurant in downtown Durban. It is one of 31 revolving restaurants in the world. We had drinks with s/v Matilda, s/v Peat Smoke and s/v Southern Cross at the Sky View Bar above the restaurant. The views from the bar and the restaurant were amazing. We ate dinner with s/v Southern Cross and Mark asked the maître d' who took our order for something really different. He recommended the springbok to Mark which is a medium-sized brown and white gazelle of southwestern Africa. It stands about 28 to 35 in high. Springbok males weigh between 71 and 110 lbs and the females between 55 and 77 lbs. It is extremely fast and can reach speeds of 62 mph and can leap 13 feet into the air and jump a horizontal distance of up to 50 feet. Mark thought it was quite good but now that I read all about them I am less enthusiastic about Mark eating it.

We are leaving Durban on Tuesday November 27th and hope to get as far as we can towards Cape Town. We will see how that goes.

South Africa
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