02/09/2012, Atlantic Ocean
My Journal of Africa.......Gill
We arrived at Richards bay from Mauritius on 04th November 2011 and found the mall where I bought a rubber snake and a slingshot to scare off the monkeys which were going onto peoples boats and stealing food. The snake was green. Dad hung it
up in the cockpit and it actually worked! Our boat was the only one that did not have monkeys aboard.
"WHISKERS", the catamaran tied up next to us said the monkeys stopped coming onto their boat as well.....
My slingshot fired jellybeans and dried soya beans at bits of bread I put in the water and also at Marnix from "INO" who chased me and gave me a Doctor Shock. I had just shot him in the butt and ran like crazy but he caught me.
After a week in Richards Bay we left at midnight for Durban.
During the sail we were kept company all day by Humpback whales and schools of dolphins, plus Dad got snotted by a whale.(that means he got squirted by whale snot)
We arrived in Durban on 11th November 2011 11/11/11, (Rememberence Day) and the next day I went up to the yacht club and found a games room called the youth room where I met a kid called Sheldon from "Robins Nest", another kid called Lennard
and his sister Emily. Later on I met two sisters (Aussies) called Millie and Ella from "MUNEERA".
after a few weeks in Durban we went on a trip to a safari! Where we stayed in cabins and saw Rhinos, Giraffes, Buffalo, Buck and a Elephant's butt.
One Saturday we all went to the market with Gerald and Dianna from "WHISKERS" and I adopted a kitten called TIZER (his original name was Tiger). The rest of the time in Durban was spent going to Braai's (BBQ's) and then there was Christmas. I got
two PS3 games, a new laptop, a blue sailing knife to wear on watch and a photo frame plus a heaps of other stuff.
While in Durban we hired cars and went to game parks and the Drakensberg Mountains and I patted a Cheetah. All in the rain. Durban had lots of death, robberies and order issues.
We left Durban on 04th January 2012 for Knysna which only took about 2 days and nights as we found the Agulhas Current and got an extra 5 knots of boat speed. We were lucky with the weather and made it in one hit as sometimes it takes weeks to
get around the bottom of Africa. The weather is very bad here. On the way we saw more whales, dolphins and lots of birds. It was like a documentary movie. Going into Knysna was tough. There were breakers and huge waves of water. It was horriffic
but when we got in it was calm. We tied the boat to the visitors wharf and went and had breakfast in the yacht club with Joseph and Marci from "HORIZON" and Steve from "ROVER of TACOMA"
Later we went out to anchor and I spent lots of time at the Internet cafe in town. A week later we left for Hout Bay.
Knysna was very pretty. At Knysna we hired a car, I went cycling up a moutain with "INO" and I talked to the elephants at the park and it rained again so we had pizza.
Two days at sea and boom; we arrive at Hout Bay after going around the Cape of Storms as well as Cape Agulhas, where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet. Dad, Keely and I jump from one ocean to the next. wow.
At Hout Bay the smell is horrid because of the fishing fleet and the African Fur Seals. They gave us the very end berth (which sucked because it got windy at 68 knots). We had power and water here and ate at some fish restaurants and Dad and I had
our birthdays here then after two weeks we left for St Helena Island in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean. So here we are now. It's good to have birthdays.........
01/27/2012, Hout Bay
Houston; We have a Teenager
27th January 1999. Gill came to stay and it has now been 13 years that we have had to enjoy this delightful, gas filled young man.
Gill turned 13 in Hout Bay, Republic of South Africa and we all wonder where we will be for his 14th. He was well visited in the present department with a PSP from us, a great stash of food from Joseph and Marci of "Horizon", a great outfit from the wonderful folk of DEAN Catamarans and good wishes from just about everyone at the marina as well as those from Oz.
It is blowing about 35-40 knots from the SE and our outer berth is a bit rock and rolly but we have just had cake and it was absolutely great so life is good at present. Gill is looking forward to having more responsibility on the boat and I am looking forward to the extra help. Gill has grown to about 162cm so is catching up quickly. I was hoping that I would not be overtaken for a few more years!!!!!
29th. Dad turns 57 and wishes he had done this trip when he was 12 going on 21!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oh well better late than never. Birthdays are great in the sailing community. Greetings and wishes galore and even some presents..............................(thanks Joseph and Marci and Steve and everyone else)
01/22/2012, Hout Bay
Knysna to Cape Town
Well we have reached our last port in the Republic of South Africa and evidently we saved the best till the last.
We left Knysna heads with an easy exit through very dangerous waters and headed for Cape Agulhas, the most southern part of the continent of Africa with expectations of at least one good storm either there or Cape of Good Hope which is further north. Cape Agulhas is the cross-over for the Indian and Atlantic Oceans and has an inordinate amount of ship wrecks and is actually called the Cape of Storms. We rounded in a 15 knot SE'ly wind and relatively flat seas. So flat that there was a fishing boat at anchor 6 miles off the coast. These South Africans are crazy but very good sailors.
There is NO safe anchorage if the winds come up but we had a dream run as usual until we rounded Cape of Good Hope and the fog settled in. Visibility reduced to around 50m at best and ships everywhere on the AIS and radar so being discreet we modified our arrival port to Hout Bay just south (10minutes) of Cape Town and this is a grand little port. We picked up the last berth in the marina and now boats will be turned away as there is no safe anchorage here with winds every few days exceeding 30 knots and last week, 60 knots. Last year the top gale went to 93 knots. Fingers crossed......
We took a guided bus trip to Cape Town to report into the authorities and had a fantastic tour of Cape Town and Table Mountain and we will hire a car and do the wineries this week as well as the National Park of Cape Point. Beautiful is the only description.
Some maintenance to CH and we will be ready to sail early February to St Helena, South America and the Caribbean.
Gill's birthday on the 27th so we have a party to look forward to and a teenager aboard. Gill is off mountain climbing with Marnix of "INO" in a few days so is becoming very adept at all sorts of daring do.
Knysna Tours for the Weather Impaired
Well we made it into Knysna, once described by the British Navy as the most difficult port to enter in the world (Lonely Planet) and we surfed in at low tide and missed the rocks. The sailing directions ask that you sail as close to the rocks as you possibly can to avoid shallow water and breaking waves. We found a good surf wave and took it in. You can see the entrance at http://www.theheads.co.za/
Yep. It happened again. We hired a car at Knysna and headed east for the Elephant Park and yes......."IT RAINED"
There must be an aneroid barometer attached to my credit card but this makes it three times in a row. The Elephant Park was great though and we all got to meet the elephants, feed them and even talk and pat them. Fantastic experience with these great animals. Keely was a bit concerned at first but she got used to them.
The guides were excellent and as soon as I bent down to pick a few shards of grass he warned me that it is a VERY submissive posture and if I did not feel like having a few dozen tonnes of amorous pacyderm on my back I should stop now.
Next stop was a 70km road trip to the suspension bridge at Storm River (via a coastal coffee shop) but the weather closed in and that was the end of that. Also the charges of the National Parks here approaches the overly zealous charges of those that run Kakadu. Perhaps our National Parks bureaucrats are now training their SA counterparts.
This meant a backtrack to the largest single span bridge in Africa where the highest bungee jump is taken. Keely considered it as did Gill while I decided that my Ti backbone may not stand up to it.
The next day we headed off for the Western heads and the scenery was spectacular. This place is a bit like Sydney and Melbourne on a nice day..
Oh, did I mention that we got a new outboard........Yep the birthday fairy came early. Yamaha 15 and the dink flies.....
01/07/2012, Durban, South Africa
We finally left Durban with freshly painted decks, a new membrane on the watermaker, a new storage cabin and a myriad of other small improvements that you make from day to day.
We left behind many new and good friends that we hope to catch up with again, either on the water or somewhere equally exotic.
We arrived as a family of four and sailed with Tizer, the ships cat. He received his shots and certificates that will allow him into most countries bar Australia but that is an issue for the future.
Tizer has the run of the boat and we are attacked equally in our cabins, in the saloon, in the cockpit and even on deck.
We sailed at 0600, Saturday the 7th of January 2012 and we put the little furball into Gill's cabin where, as soon as we hit the swells he vomited causing a similar reaction in us all. Talk about cause and effect!
He has been rather quiet all day but has gained his sea paws and is investigating his new, somewhat moving home. Everyone keeps a close eye on him as I doubt if we could find the little ratbag if he went for a swim.
The SW'ly winds finally died last night and we sailed into a light ENE breeze that began to pick up several hours out of Durban and I hope it stays that way until we get to our destination of Knysna or Mossel Bay. We had to motor 25NM off the coast to find the Aghullas Current and when we did it is only moving at 3 knots so we are only doing about 8 knots at present. Not enough to break any records but good enough for the first day at sea. Tizer is beginning to look a bit green around the gills again and has bolted for the safety of Gill's lap. If he tosses his lunch there Jo will have a LOT to clean up as I am allergic to the stuff issued by cats. (at least I think I am)
We have been out with the dolphins and whales again today and have passed directly over several large schools of tuna which make the echo sounder go ballistic and my heart rate to soar . No fishing lines out yet. Perhaps tomorrow.
Oh oh, regurgitated cat food, think I better go wake Jo..........
12/23/2011, Durban, South Africa
Santa is due in tomorrow and we have "dressed" (decorated) ship with signal flags up the shrouds and rope lights around the cockpit and up and down the mast and halyards.
With all of this Santa is sure to find Gill and Keely. Will write on boxing day of our Christmas. We will be on SKYPE, UserID "gillkeely" on Christmas morning here from 0800. Time zones are such that this will be 3pm in NSW Australia and 1:30pm in Darwin.
Hope Santa makes a visit to you all,.