14 November 2007
The 13th was an unlucky day! We cleared out with the yacht club, cleared out with the harbour authorities and then we all went to clear out at the emigration department. Let me first explain that the emigration office is near the harbour entrance and is also the office where hundreds of refugees from Africa gather to get refugee status verified. As we were walking into the entrance the refugees packed around us and within seconds I was minus my brand new Nokia N95 cellular telephone. Those guys were sharp and fast!
We then went off to customs and cleared with them, bought some duty free goods (cigarettes), and headed back to the boat and cast off our lines. We stopped off at the fuel jetty and took on 1350 litres of diesel before heading out of the harbour and set course for that little chunk of rock called St Helena.
Well, we only reached a point off Robben Island when I noticed our shrouds were flapping about a bit too much. After a check I decided to return to the harbour and have the riggers check out things - it certainly was a good idea as the mast was so loose it could have caused major problems later in our voyage. So, at sunset we were back where we started - tied up to the marina at Royal Cape Yacht Club.
After dark the wind changed direction (something I was expecting) but we were having a good fat steak in the restaurant across from the yacht basin. Later during the night the rain fell lightly on the boat but we all slept well after the "rush" of thinking we were on our way.
Today (Wednesday), the riggers were called in and re-tensioned the rigging after the boat was checked out by the designer, Gino Morelli. Also, we had a breakage in our starboard water suction line for fresh water, which was replaced by the plumber and a few adjustments made by the sail maker to our main sail - something I wanted done although it was not a problem.
So, we are now waiting for the front to pass the Cape and the wind to change (expected later this afternoon) when we will be off again - and not turning around again even if a few small teething problems occur. As the title of this entry says, we are all frustrated from having to bounce back to Cape Town like a ping-pong ball.
I will post to the blog again once we are well off shore - cheers from the frustrated crew, Shaun, Shaheda, Terry and myself, John.