01/03/2011, Cape Town
Well, the crew selection has come together rather quickly, which I am extremely happy about. As First Mate I have Dave Ross from Quebec City in Canada. He should be arriving in the next week or so, but I am sure he will need a day or two to get his internal clock set to South African time.
Then there are two crew, Josh Nuttall-Smith from Francistown in Botswana and Mathys Strydom from Pretoria (South Africa). Basically, there will only be Mathys and myself who will need to pop into a consulate in SA to obtain Schengen visas before we depart. We will organise the visas early next week to get them all sorted and out of the way.
So, now all we need is for the boat to be handed over to us sometime next week and then start the preparation of the boat and provisioning for the trip.
I had somebody contact me yesterday, saying that I was "nuts"! Well, I cannot disagree with them totally, but the reason they claimed me to be "nuts" was that they thought my route was going to be up the east African coast and via the Red Sea to the Med. I am not that "nuts" - the route is to St Helena Island, Ascension Island, Cape Verdi Islands and up to Gibraltar. Then through the Med to the port of Fethiye in Turkey, where we do our clearance and then do the final sail to Gocek, where the Sunsail marina is.
So, until the crew all arrive in Cape Town, keep well and stand-by for the next instalment to the blog. This time, whilst at sea, I will try for updates every few days and get Dave to give his contribution as well - it is always interesting to get the views of somebody else!
27/02/2011, Cape Town
At the moment I am waiting for a Sunsail 444 to be handed over from the R&C yard so that I can start prepping it for delivery to Gocek, Turkey. The boat is the third hull of the new Leopard 44 design and has already been launched at RCYC, Cape Town.
So far I have two young lads as crew but am still looking for a 1st Mate for the trip - anybody interested can contact me on the email link on the right of this post. Once we get closer to the time of departure (about two weeks from now) I will update the blog and get it going again.
11/12/2010, Northern South American Coast
As I type this, it is Saturday evening and we are basically drifting with a 6 knot breeze, doing around 2.2 knots towards Scarborough, the main port of Tobago. Basically, we are heading there, hoping to make port sometime on Monday, to clear into Trinidad and Tobago and take on much needed fuel. We will then motor-sail overnight to Chaguaramas, arriving early on Tuesday morning.
This will be my final posting from the boat as we need to hand it over to the owner on Wednesday morning and get quite a lot of work done during the day. I also need to dismantle my HF radio, which is used for these posts, and pack all our equipment for our flights back to South Africa.
Thank you for those that have taken the time to read my posts and follow the delivery via the Internet. Although the posts have been far and few, I do appreciate those that have taken the time to follow the journey.
Dylan and I will most likely be travelling back home early, leaving Trinidad on Wednesday night. Conrad is heading to Venezuela to do his tourist thing and Juan wants to head up the Caribbean island chain to see what work is available. I wish them both well on their respective journeys and it has been a pleasure having them both on board for the trip.
When I get back to Cape Town I will do a final summery of the delivery and post it to the blog. I wish you all well and thanks for taking the time to read the blog. Regards from Conrad, Juan, Dylan and myself, John.
07/12/2010, Northern South American Coast
Dylan has been the main person wanting to put out a line to catch fish - and he has hooked some nice supper during the trip. At lunch time today (Tuesday 7 December), he managed the biggest one so far, a fair sized Dorado, as seen above. So, are we debating dinner tonight? Well, it ain't going to be sausage and mash!
Enjoy your meal - regards from the motley crew and Dorado Dylan.
06/12/2010, Northern South American Coast
As the title says, we are now in the Northern Hemisphere, having crossed the equator on Friday night (3 December), at 20:10 (23:10 UTC). We crossed at 042 degrees 25.8 minutes west. As it was night, we held off our small crossing ceremony until Saturday and fun was had by all.
At the moment we are experiencing light winds from the east and sometimes from the east-southeast. This boat does not like to sail in light winds just aft of the beam, but accelerates brilliantly when the wind is on the beam or just forward of the beam, so the result is that we are plodding along most of the time between 5 and 6 knots and flying every now and again when the wind angle changes to the occasional east-northeast. Such is life when delivering yachts!
Every day we have been having pods of dolphin visit us and play around the boat. This has kept the crew occupied with something to do. The only person not going through books at an alarming rate is Dylan, who spends many hours studying to write his next skippers exam. I must admit that he has really mastered the art of navigation - the proper way with paper charts that is.
As I write this blog report, we have about a week to go before arriving at our destination. I say "about" as this is sailing and relying on making the most miles every day with the winds that we have. Sometimes it is really frustrating when you look at the speed log and see that we are barely moving, whilst at other times a person gets a great thrill to be able to achieve 7 or 8 knots with hardly any wind.
I am not going to keep this a long report as I am in watch and have to pop out to the helm every now and again to check that we do not sail in front of the occasional ship that passes us, so I bit you well until the next posting - regards from Dylan, Juan, Conrad and myself, John.