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The dream
The next episode
03/29/2010, Port Owen

Since the last post things have once again taken a turn. Our son Neil has decided that he wants to tag along and is now living with us again and will be starting work on Mystic doing some painting and varnishing etc. We are quite happy that things have turned out this way as he is a keen sailor and things will be a lot easier with an extra hand
The SSB/HAM set is fitted and now the license to operate it becomes a priority
We have also started using the Iridium phone which is quite a pleasure as SMS's are free for anyone wanting to send one providing they do it via the internet.
The stainless work for the wind genny is just about ready and soon we will fit the unit. The new charger and inverter is fitted and seems to work. The proof is in a short cruise which we are planning to see if all the new additions are operating as required??
We will be looking at getting cruising Visas for most of the countries we intend visiting (that is the ones that require visas) and then new passports
It now seems that our dream is realising and we are getting really close to casting off
The big pity is that we could not spend some time on the water with our dear friends on Pizzazz as they have now come to the end of their cruise
So, until next time .........

Things are really happening!!
02/17/2010, Port Owen

Where to start?
All of a sudden the house is sold and we are facing the reality of a cruising life from December 2010
No matter how you have thought of the different scenarious it still comes as a shock when you realise that your cocoon has been shattered and that reality once again prevails.
All of a sudden the inverter, charger, wind genny, more solar panels etc has to be fitted and plans to fit the grounding plate for the SSB and ...............(this carries on) has to be made and are we ready???
I will keep the blog updated as we go along....

Early morning blues.....
01/11/2010, Port Owen

We left Lamberts bay in the early morning fog which was no fun as it was cold and the seas were lumpy and unsettled with no wind at all. It did however clear and the wind picked up to a sready 20 - 22 knots which offered a brisk sail back to Port Owen.......

Behind the swell.....
01/11/2010, Lamberts Bay

We had a bit of everything that King Neptune could give us namely
1. No Wind; 2. Flat seas; 3. Lots of wind; 4. Big swells; 5. Fog .... and so forth
Attached photo shows a Dragonfly playing hide and seek........

West Coast Cruise
01/11/2010, Port Owen

Well, it's been long in the coming but we have at last had seven nights at sea which incorporated the West Coast Cruise.
There was a lot for us to learn as a double handed boat as well as the importance of checking the gearbox ATF fluid level as it became a crisis on entering the safe anchorage at Lamberts Bay.
I attach a photo of the first night on the official cruise where we anchored in Stompneus Bay. Unfortunately there are no photos of our baby....

The boat has sails!!!
12/14/2009, St Helena Bay SA

Its been a long time in the coming but here is the proof that it's a sail boat.
The picture was taken in St Helena Bay in an idyllic 12 to 14 knots of breeze

Hopefully the final change
11/05/2009, Port Owen

The final change made was to add a porthole to the raised coach window for ventilation.
I can confirm that this makes a huge difference as we had a couple of 30 plus degree days and with the extra ventilation the interior was much cooler than before.
Now I am being told that I am trying to re-build the boat and that enough is now enough. So I hope that we are now finished with changes on the interior and hopefully I will be fitting the wind genny and an extra solar panel next month and that should be that apart from the SSB radio still to come........

More interior
11/05/2009, Port Owen

With the interior changes we removed the Portside hatch at the galley and replaced this with a Lexan window with a porthole. The hatch we used to replace the Starboard cabin hatch which had a broken hinge and was exactly the same as the one we removed.
The photo attached shows the galley with the new porthole setup ....

Changing the interior
11/05/2009, Port Owen

We had an exilirating sail in 25 knots of breeze on Saturday and all systems are operating as required. That is the auto pilot does not trip (I now have it on a 10 Amp circuit breaker) and it handles the boat readily.
I attach a photo looking aft of the panelling which we did to cover the black water marks on the old veneer .....

And now for Rob
10/31/2009, Port Owen

Rob and I starting off from the Berg River mouth.....

Sailing with Hugh and Rob
10/31/2009, Port Owen

To prove that we actually sailed I attach this....

Photo's at last
10/31/2009, Port Owen

Well it took me some time to add to the blog but never fear. Our weekend with Hugh and Glyn passed way to quickly but we really enjoyed seeing them again and the Oysters were devine (or so I believe?)
We were really pleased that our friend Rob from the Vaal could make it out here at the same time so the fun was double as good
As far as the sailing is concerned we had the usual rain on Friday which put a stop to the idea of going to Dassen, but Saturday turned out OK and we had a leasurely sail and a slight overnight at Sandy Point harbour tied up to a motor launch. Unfortunately the wind shifted in the really early hour of the morning forcing us to do a bit of night sailing which turned out to be fun
The picture attached is to prove that our dear friends from Pizzazz was on Mystic

It's been a long time
09/13/2009, Port Owen

Well we finally got our foreign registration for the boat and now we can legally leave SA waters. This happened on the 09/09/09 which we both think would be possible to remember'
The interior has also been finished (might I add after a second try) and Mystic Rhythm is looking stunning.
I will add some pics with the next entry, but for the moment exitement reigns as we will be seeing our seafaring friends from the yacht Pizzazz this weekend and we hope to take them to sea and show them our beautiful sailing area of St Helena Bay and just maybe take them to Dassen Island should the weather Gods take kindly to the suggestion
Till next time .....

Legal at last
06/18/2009, Port Owen

Well, it's been some time again since the last post, but rest assured we have not been doing nothing
We finally got our Cat A offshore clearance yesterday and will proceed with the foreign bit now
We are planning a trip to Luderitz in December so the foreign thing to legally leave SA waters is now important
The new cushions are looking good and should be completed in the next 2 weeks. There have been a couple of leaks which I have successfully repaired and the boat is now dry in the heaviest of downpours
Now I suppose there will be a time delay before the next post....

The latest
04/05/2009, Port Owen

It's been a while since my last entry, but rest assured we have been busy
At long last the covers are now 99% complete and we are just waiting for the windlass and sheet covers. Marion Cole and Taliep did an excellent job. Everytning looks just as we wanted it and we could not have asked for more.
I believe that due to the extension to our departure date Mads is going to have the saloon and our cabin cushions replaced. But more about that later
My dear friend Pieter has spent the whole weekend working again and Mystic now has a Raymarine linear drive auto pilot (be it un-tested though). I am really proud of the fitment job we did as I'm sure that the professionals could not have done a better job.
We are looking forward to Easter weekend to test the auto pilot although the finishing touches will have to be done on Friday before we can go for the much anticipated sail. The bonus being that Neil and Juanita are coming to join us which will be great. The only bother might be rain as the long term forecast does not look to good
Well.........until next time

03/02/2009, Port Owen

It's been a while since the last update.
We have now clocked roughly 300 miles with Mystic Rhythm and every time we take her out we enjoy it more
I have done an oil and filter change which was quite a learning curve. The exhaust manifold was loose and leaking, however by tightening the nuts the problem seems to be solved. I have ordered spare filters, tappet cover packings and manifold gaskets from the local agents and will feel a lot happier with spares on board
The sad part of our dream is that the decision has been made that the departure date is now December 2010. This is due to the circumstances around selling the house and the current slump in the economy
Well, all is not gloom and we now have a bit of extra time to complete all the things to be done on the boat
My next post will show photos of the new awnings and cockpit covers which is now nearly complete and will be fitted shortly

Sailing with Dolphins
01/12/2009, Port Owen

As usual with weather reports the SA weather services had a classical booby once again. The forecast for Friday 9 Jan 2009 was a bit under rated but Saturday the prdicted 19 knot turned into a 30 knotter with gusts up to 35. This means that we slept under anchor in a really uncomfortable sea.
To really make matters worse the windlass decided that it wants a rest and stopped working which made lifting the anchor plus the extra long scope a real SOB.
Sunday was good sailing with a steady 15 knot North Wester (forecast as 6 to 8 knot South East). Before the wind came up we spotted the Dolphin in the photo. It's an endemic, Heavysides Dolphin of the West Coast of South Africa. The photo is the best I could do with a bit of luck
Well, watch this space as November draws closer.......

Where is the Rainbow?
01/05/2009, St Helena Bay

Sunday 28 December 2008 and the forecast is totally wrong.....

The cruise
01/05/2009, Port Owen

With all the expectations it was a cruise of mixed seasons
Starting off with a fresh breeze which stayed at 35 knots we decided to rather moor up for the night in the Berg river on Friday.
Saturday morning started after breakfast and we were in St Helena Bay with no wind (rather exciting I would say) and with a weather report of strong Northerly winds for Sunday (Wow!!)
We made it up to Britannia Reef and decided to motor sail back to Sandy Point harbour for a safe haven against the Northerly winds. Believe me that the let down as the Northerly was really 0 - 5 knots was great as we could have slept under anchor at Paternoster BUT... rather safe than sorry is always in order
The wind picked up to a steady 15 knots which made for a relaxing sail and we returned to mooring at 16h00 on the high tide and made it off the boat just as it started raining
Well, much was learned over the 75 odd miles done over the 3 days and we are looking forward to our next cruise locally
The photo shows a concentrating Mads .....

It's Christmas day
12/25/2008, Port Owen

Merry Christmas to all who read this.
We are preparing for a 5 day cruise to wherever and the boat is provisioned and only the tender is still to be lashed to the deck.
The attached picture was taken while changing the navigation lamps to LED's.
We now have 12V refrigeration and the solar panels are working and....... happiness is.......

At Last!! - 2nd Time round
12/16/2008, Port Owen

Well.... at last she looks like a boat again. This is not due to a lack of hard work. Tiaan really worked hard and a big thanks must go to him.
Now the remaining work will be carried out by the skipper?? No doubt that Mystic will be out at sea at the first opportunity and work will be on hold, but the skipper will be busy......

11/30/2008, Port Owen

Gremlins and more Gremlins ......
Nothing seems to work.....
Weather Gods decided we are going to fast and arranged for a shower over the freshly painted final coat so back we go to start
Fortunately nothing happened to the inside as we have stopped the leaks so one up for us .....

Starting to look better
11/21/2008, Port Owen

Now for the painting.....

Messing inside
11/21/2008, Port Owen

Sripping and messing

Things are happening
11/20/2008, Port Owen

After a period where it felt that nothing was happening it suddenly changed
The handiest guy I ever met was referred to us and he started with removing of the teak decking and repairs to the GRP under the deck. All of a sudden Mystic Rhythm is being transferred to her original beauty and we are most satisfied
The electrician has repaired the freezer which is a bonus and Associated Rigging came through on time and most professional. Our rigging is all fixed and the Pelican hook has been installed and we cannot wait to take her for a sail
In the mean time we found Southern Ropes in Cape Town had a Factory shop and we replaced all the working rigging from there at a fraction of the cost should we have gone the chandler route
I am adding a couple of pics.....

Whats up?
11/03/2008, Port Owen

Things seem to have come to a stand-still. We really want to get everything done on the boat, but I suppose that I must take lead times into consideration. We now have the Solar panels and regulators, but the stainless guy is still busy with the pipe work and all work must wait till the piping and brackets are fitted.
The teak decking has to be sorted before the life-raft can be fitted and this seams like the next headache. Should we remove the teak or repair/replace the teak? There are all sorts of opinions for and against and we must make up our minds?
Refrigiration is also high on the list, however we have decided that this will be done next year
The rigging has been sorted and we are making the inner forestay a removeable unit. Associated rigging from Cape Town will be doing this next week (if we can believe Cape time?)
We have found someone with a auto-pilot, SSB and wind genny which he wants to sell. As soon as he gives us prices we can make up our mind whether we will buy second hand (although un used) or new.
I attach a photo of the Port Owen opening cruise where Mads and I took Mystic to sea and found out that we cannot tack or jibe with the inner forestay in place (without great difficulty)
Well, warch this space.......

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In search of the elusive dream
Who: Francois and Madeleine Mellet plus the new skipper - Neil Mellet
Port: Port Owen, South Africa
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