Anthem Adrift

22 April 2019 | Hout Bay, South Africa
16 April 2019 | Hout Bay, South Africa
15 April 2019 | Windhoek, Namibia
14 April 2019 | Swakopmund, Namibia
08 April 2019 | Hout Bay YC Marina
28 March 2019 | Hout Bay YC Marina
25 March 2019 | Hout Bay YC Marina
17 March 2019 | Hout Bay YC Marina
08 March 2019 | Hout Bay YC Marina
07 March 2019 | Costantia Mediclinic
06 March 2019 | Hout Bay
03 March 2019 | Hout Bay
28 February 2019 | Hout Bay
24 February 2019 | Hout Bay
20 February 2019 | Approaching Cape of Good Hope
19 February 2019 | Approaching Cape Agulhas
17 February 2019 | Departing Port Elizabeth
14 February 2019 | 58 NM ENE of Port Elizabeth
13 February 2019 | East London
09 February 2019 | Richard's Bay

Cooled Heels Headway

22 April 2019 | Hout Bay, South Africa
Wednesday 17 April 2019

Crikey it's cold in Cape Town (14 C is bone chilling, right?). Boat has reverse cycle heat, but Benguela Current sea water is too cold for it to work, so purchased a little electric jobber. We still use three blankets on the bed and wear woolies and mukluks to stay warm mornings and evenings. It's way more fun here during austral summer. Hello tropics, we're on our way, we love you.

Diesel guys from Seascape, Akim and Lorian, showed up this morning to reinstall rebuilt injectors. If engine subsequently works then they'll bolt the new mounts on and we'll be back in bidness. Now if that causes or we can otherwise quickly get the thing to stop vibrating life will again be worth living.

Sunday

Diesel runs as smoothly as a sewing machine, proper new mounts are installed and technician comes Tuesday to align shaft and check for vibration once everything is conforming so, what if the thing is OK? With all the delays, haven't actually focused on leaving to head out across the Atlantic. With wind forecast to be down Wednesday for move to RCYC (required for clearance out of country) could be making for St. Helena by the weekend. Yowser.

Jannie is cooking dinner, so other crew queried (no, Cal this is not wicked) what we were having. She indicated it was a secret. Hmmm. Having insinuative bents of mind, some of us suspected rabbit. Given that the little slacker hadn't brought any baskets, hadn't hidden any eggs and was otherwise absent on his special day, it seemed a reasonable conjecture. She indicated that, unless chocolate, it would be particularly rude to eat bunny for Easter. Eschewing the missing emissary, we bought ourselves milk chocolate eggs and dark choco bunnies. Since Jan indicated that indulging in either was not seemly until the actual day, had ears for breakfast this morning. Expect the rest to disappear over a very short period.

Monday

Main purpose of holidays is to give people an excuse to goof off, promote positive feelings for politicians and prevent desired things from happening. Businesses should decide which days, if any, suit them to have off. This would stagger closings, reduce inconveniences in obtaining products and services and spread out congestion at amusement areas so they're more enjoyable. Just because Easter wastes a possibility by falling on a day off is no reason to let the world lie fallow the next day as well. Went out to a cafe and fresh market, but were thwarted in obtaining propane and rope necessary before departure. Can't go tomorrow due tradies coming or Wednesday if we can sail into RCYC for clearance Thursday.

Please ignore above. Just grumpy from having to sit in boat heeled over and being thrashed about by up to 45 knot cold, howling wind gusts. This will continue through tomorrow. Jonesing for balmy trade winds.

Jack & Jan

Seriously Folks

16 April 2019 | Hout Bay, South Africa
Tuesday 16 April 2019

*** Seriousness Alert - advise you skip first paragraph ***

Speaking of corruption both in Namibia and South Africa, it's been surprising how many citizens acknowledge the problem, don't trust politicians and would like to see improvement. Virtually everyone with whom the issue has arisen mentions this, but accepts it as intractable. Although more subtle and certainly different in degree, suspect similar conditions in US have at least partly led to the election of Donald Trump. Think people got so fed up with mealy-mouthed, two-faced, weasel politicians (everybody else's of course, not their local guy) they decided to elect an authoritarian to the head office who would sluice out some sludge. Another major factor was to stop those criminal, terrorist, lazy, dark people streaming over the southern border from destroying our country. People who believe such things might want to drill down into these and other politician promoted notions (advanced not to scare you into irrational action, of course, but rather to protect you, which good deed may only be accomplished by them) to find some real facts and reflect on benefits the vast majority of immigrants, virtually all of your ancestors, have always and currently bring to the country. Do not, however, blow an aneurysm with the effort.

Now on to the more typical, more lighthearted sarcasm and irony. That's not an oxymoron is it?

As promised, kudu at Joe's Beerhouse was very good. However, all the game we have had in Africa only differs from beef in that it's leaner and sometimes tougher, but otherwise tastes pretty much the same. Since there's no gamey taste suspect that these guys are farm raised. Wild deer and birds, for example, have a much different and to my preference better flavor. As everyone knows, everything else except fish tastes like chicken. Those are apparently your three domesticated protein flavors... well OK, there's pork too, but it's "the other white meat"... and lamb... generalizations are sometimes hard to fit into reality.

Arrived at the airport early, pissing away valuable moments of our lives lounging in a terminal, but just as well as security wanted us to remove nearly everything in bags and on our bodies, not even to mention the gentle caresses concomitant to metal knees. Immigration lady was bureaucratically slow and dour... however, in fairness everyone else over the entire visit has been wonderfully friendly. We were alone in line so maybe it goes faster with a crowd.

Received email from Seascape that all engine parts are in so may get the thing performing normal engine type activities tomorrow. This assumes, of course, that SA lets us back in. On minuscule chance vibration is thus fixed, we could be gone immediately after Easter. Making no sense, all yachts must physically enter a slip at Royal Cape Yacht Club to clear out for departure. That may delay us two or three days. RCYC is in the commercial harbour isolated from anything interesting if one is without a vehicle. Victoria & Alfred Marina is in the heart of waterfront fun, but apparently has less political clout.

- Later

We're in! and, to our near stupefaction, allowed to stay ninety days until 15 July. Agent's initial response was that we were only good to the end of current permit, which if we had returned on thirteenth would have had us leaving again on the next flight.

Jack & Jan

Taxing

15 April 2019 | Windhoek, Namibia
Monday 15 April 2019

Having to take a disbursement from tax deferred investments without having changed withholding for last year, saw today (US tax day) a huge hit on checking account in additional lucre for Uncle Sugar. Don't mind though because I know every dollar will be spent well by our wise and incorruptible officials. I'm as excited as the spaniel puppy of friend David Jones that got so atwitter every time he came home that she peed on the floor... yes, that excited.

Walvis Bay has flamingos, thousands of them. Entire south shore of bay is lousy with the things plus hundreds of great white pelicans. Pink flingamingos (three-year-old niece's best attempt at the word) get color from their diet and the pelicans seem to have eaten the same stuff. Whities are much bigger than the common brown pelicans and hunt entirely differently. Rather than diving down from flight, they wade around in packs, herding fish into shallows where they're easy to catch. Lazy perhaps, but smart and they don't risk a broken neck from the momentum of those large bodies.

Middle of Namibia is high savana that is often quite green, but along the shore is serious desert. There are shifting dunes over a hundred meters high. One attraction of the area is sand surfing. It's like Hawaii except the waves move slower and sand sharks don't bite.

Speaking of which, the wind was blowing over 20 knots, as it often does along this coast, and the tumultuous crash of surf under the pier restaurant where we had an excellent dinner last evening was quite the show. Makes you wonder how the pilings withstand the violence... it has been rebuilt twice.

The coast was, as is often the case, very foggy as warm desert air mixes with moist air cooled by the north flowing Benguela current. Even with that moisture there was little plant life except along the river at Swakopmund, now mostly dry, that flows down from the interior. As we drove back inland toward Windhoek sky cleared and temperature rose.

Somewhat surprisingly all the towns to include Swakopmund and Walvis have been tidy and well maintained. Besides tourism, mostly German as it was their colony before the Brits took over, the economy is supported by mining for uranium, copper, quartz, tin and iron ore. Absent endemic corruption, the country would probably be quite prosperous.

With little else to do driving along, have blathered on immodestly, but time now to spare anyone otherwise bored enough to read this twaddle and contemplate a kudu cutlet at Joe's Beerhouse. Tomorrow morning for the first time in several days we sleep in. Flight back to Cape Town, where we may or may not be allowed to stay, is afternoon. Hope breakfast is served until late.

Jack & Jan

Sawubona

14 April 2019 | Swakopmund, Namibia
Tuesday 9 April 2019

Title word is hello in Zulu, the most common language in South Africa. There are thirty five indigenous and eleven official languages. English is the fourth most common first language, but nearly everyone speaks it fortunately for us. Except for French, which Jan has far more of than me and a wee bit of Spanish, our knowledge of languages other than English is, as is said of the Platte River, a mile wide and an inch deep, but almost always includes the critical words for hello, eat, drink, sleep, toilet and thank you. Hand gestures help. We get by and haven't yet accidentally told anyone his mother looks like a horned toad... probably.

Wednesday

Having spent most of the last 48 years tramping through airports and progressing beyond any delights incumbent thereby, nevertheless found that Cape Town International did not suck too badly. This partly due, no doubt, to minimal enthusiasm for air travel here this morning. First experience with metal knee at security. Modesty prevents me from expressing my pleasure from full fondle by S. African equivalent of TSA.

Air Namibia seems a nice run operation. Served large, excellent meal on an hour and a half flight to intermediate stop in Walvis Bay over a landscape even more desolate than the center of Australia.

Leaving marina this morning, gained a further appreciation for strength of east wind coming over the mountain into Hout Bay. Bronze bow chock on windward side of neighbor's boat had pulled completely out and was hanging on its dock line, which had ripped a half meter, jagged tear into fiberglassed, plywood bulwark. No structural damage so far to Anthem, just some missing paint, but yet another reason to part with serious wampum for redo in Caribbean.

Thursday

The capitol of Namibia, Windhoek, is a clean, modern city of 800,000 in the second least densely populated country on earth ahead of Mongolia. It's located on a central plateau savanna between the Namib desert along the coast and the Kalahari east. Airport was built 45 kilometers ENE because, we were told, the poobahs wanted to leave enough room for growth... right. Unlike most everywhere else they have few complaints about jet noise.

After a day of walking around town (according to Fitbit 13600 steps) went for dinner at Joe's Beerhouse, which is "Inspired by the fascinating character of Namibia and its people". Big place with many sections, very rustic, much of it under the stars. Very comfortable, we liked it a lot. They serve game, common fare in S Africa and Namibia, so gave zebra a try. Excellent. In previous experience springbok was pretty good, eland tender and delicious, oryx tasty, but chewy, pretty sure haartebeast skewers were made from hide. Understand kudu is the best.. maybe next time if we come back on last night in country.

Should have a couple hours to explore Swakopmund this afternoon, reportedly a touristy town, then short morning stop in Walvis Bay to see flamingos before return to Windhoek tomorrow afternoon.

Sunday

Dry weather is best for visiting game parks as animals concentrate around waterholes. Although days were beautiful, it had been and was raining at night so the critters were more dispersed. Nevertheless we saw lots and some types for the first time. One place had hyenas, jackals and dozens of huge vultures getting fat on a deceased elephant and elsewhere a pride of lions was resting beside a giraffe carcass it had been feeding on. Still no luck with leopards or cheetahs - they're particularly hard to find during daylight.

This must be birthing season as adolescents were everywhere. Many of the hoofed cat food and rhinos had little ones. Warthog babies are remarkably cute in an thoroughly ugly sort of way.

No internet around Etosha to allow polluting the ether, but your reprieve may be short-lived as this edition should get out tonight from Swakopmund. May have a couple hours this afternoon to explore what is apparently a touristy town, then a short morning stop in Walvis Bay to see flamingos before return to Windhoek tomorrow afternoon. Good trip and even better if S Africa lets us back in Tuesday. We've gotten quite fond of Anthem and really have no place else to live.

Jack & Jan

Whying, Whining and Wining

08 April 2019 | Hout Bay YC Marina
Friday 29 March 2019

South Africa is a wonderful country including its topography, wild animals and stability compared to the rest of Africa. Much of that last can probably be attributed to Nelson Mandela and the people who helped steer the laws and attitudes after the social trauma of apartheid and provides a direct contrast to the path taken in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe. Unfortunately however, despite the relative prosperity, unemployment is quite high. This is almost certainly attributable, as it usually is, to interference in the free market and corruption of the price mechanisms that balance supply with demand, including of labor. Suspect the real reason economics is considered the dismal science is because so many people are so dismally ignorant of it. Like with gravity, you can ignore the laws all you want, but don't expect to avoid the subsequent consequences.

A characteristic that would make adjusting to living here difficult, related to a high crime rate, which may be related to high unemployment, is the remarkable level of security around businesses, subdivisions and individual homes. Nearly everything, everywhere is protected by high walls, razor wire, electric fences and limited, controlled access. This is somewhat perplexing as there's little feeling of anxiety as you move around and virtually everyone is wonderfully friendly.

Monday

Still awaiting injector rebuilds and motor mounts. Several calls to Seascape, the Yanmar dealer in Cape Town, have not been instructive. Can't begin to assess shaft vibration until engine together and running. Backup plan to remain past current visitor permit expiry on 13th is four day safari to Namibia on 12th. Additional benefit of this will be reducing need to sail into Walvis Bay, about 675 NM up the coast, in order to see Etosha National Park and Swakopmund. Sailing directly to St. Helena, about 1670 NM and perhaps 12 days, will make up a bit of time.

Tuesday

Seems there's been a South African customs strike and shipment clearances have backed up - injector parts in limbo. Speaking of backups, that plan has become operational so have booked tour, 12 - 15, and flights for 10th and 16th with a day in Windhoek, capital of Namibia. There was a nine day tour to Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, but after the first hundred or so falls one can stutter along without another for awhile.

Back hurts from lying down too much, stomach is messed up from eschewing advice to eat when taking meds four times a day and knee hurts from recently stopping everything but Celebrex two times a day. Since whingeing is not allowed, please delete previous sentence. Someone else must have written that and should be punished.

Above did not stop us from walking a kilometer and a half to Urban Craft Brewery to sample their stout, pilsner and dry cider. Excellent beer and Jan's cider was not bad at all. Walk back seemed shorter.

Monday

South Africa produces over a billion liters of wine a year, seventh highest in the world, 150 million of that in Stellenbosch. The SWFCP, Stellenbosch Wine Festival in Cape Town, was yesterday and for Jan's birthday we tried to put a dent in their output - unsuccessful, but not without a staunch effort (for which I sacrificed myself - it was all about her). Since my body mass is somewhat greater than Jan's I cheated death driving (for the first time since getting re- kneed) back to Hout Bay. Do not try this yourself as it is frowned upon by responsible adults everywhere. Indeed, there were CYA signs about that implored everyone to "drink responsibly". That is to say, ingest as much as possible of our product that chemically alters your brain, reduces your inhibitions and judgment, stresses your liver and can cause an addiction that destroys health and lives, but remember, it's your own fault.

Jack & Jan

Betwixt Quick Fix And Nix

28 March 2019 | Hout Bay YC Marina
Tuesday 26 March 2019

Nick (doctor Nick Martin) looks like he could bench press Jan and me together and not break a sweat. Orthopedic surgeons need to be strong to use the saws, chisels, hammers and other implements of destruction necessary for their profession. This is not like neurosurgery, it's industrial. If you need a knee replacement or think you ever may DO NOT look at Youtube videos of the procedure without strong drink, a bucket and the memory of a two-year-old. It's amazing that a knee can ever recover from that level of abuse. Ergo opioids (errata: Oxycontin is not an opiate), but why for only two or three weeks. I am duly impressed at the body's capacity for recovery. Went for nineteen day post-op checkup at 1000 this morning. Ripped off dressings, yanked out staples, picked up all records, done and dusted.

Wednesday

Turns out boat is in worse shape than me. No word yet on injector rebuild or mounts. Jan's at all-day bread making class so engineering crew is home alone. May have to stop eliciting sympathy by pretending to be a cripple and begin doing a few projects.

After melting our one British style 240 vac outlet using a portable heater have replaced with South African unit. Huge metal pins should theoretically provide less resistance and reestablish warmth to evening showers as air temps descend into teens Celsius. Since this moribund plug will not even be used by SA much longer, another change will be necessary as we bid farewell in perhaps a couple of weeks. Timing reference Yanmar engine.

Visa runs out 13 April, two days before settlement day on US taxes that politicians are more than happy to fritter away at insistence of oblivious or misinformed citizen's who think they're getting value for their money. Successful politicians are those that convince the most voters that a turd may be picked up by the clean end. The country oscillates between the two major political parties as swing voters discover that their end is actually dirty and switch to the other side until making the same discovery with them and going back. No one seems to learn from this. A growing number of people have come to believe (with help from politicians) that government exists to fix everything they think is wrong. Only your mum could kiss your boo boos and make them all better, yet her main job was to teach you to be an independent adult. ** Sorry, I tend to get a little cranky around tax time **

Thursday

After completing extension request form and rounding up various necessary paperwork including letter from doctor, went to Home Affairs to discover, contrary to assurances, that it would take no less than ten weeks to get a decision during which we could not leave. Scratch that. Current plan is to either wrap up all loose ends before the 13th or fly over to Lesotho or Namibia just as current permit expires and hope they let us back in with new one. Formulation of relevant rule seems to be somewhat capricious.

Jack & Jan

Say What?

25 March 2019 | Hout Bay YC Marina
Friday 22 March 2019

** Alert **

The following paragraph is unconscionably serious and so should be ignored as the dreary maunderings of someone with too much time on his hands.

Yesterday was Human Rights Day in South Africa. Great idea to celebrate every individual's inalienable right to life, liberty and property. The UN has a list that contains those plus 27 more such as the right to a "good life", some of which is apparently to be provided by other people. Seems that the concept of rights is a bit slippery. Do you have the right to make someone give you stuff to make you happy? Where do their rights fit in here? Also, rights are often referenced to groups, e.g. this tribe, clan, pack has these rights and this other mob has these rights. OK, but only people qua individuals can experience a right and shouldn't every person have exactly the same rights? Perhaps we should pay more attention to what words mean.

Monday

Speaking of words with meaning, we went to the Boulders Beach Penguin Colony yesterday where there is a colony of penguins on a beach strewn with boulders. No confusion there. African penguins (also called jackass because they bray like donkeys) are twice as large as fairy penguins and as cute as a bugs ear (having never witnessed this epitome of cuteness, would appreciate information on which bug is referenced). Their photos just beg to be anthropomorphized with adorable captions such as "nobody saw me do that, right?" or "Well just look at that, I'm a boy!".

The topography of this entire area is spectacular. Flat-topped Table Mountain rises 1085 meters nearly vertically above Cape Town. For those people in we-should-have-gone-metric-50-years-ago-when-told-it-would-happen-in-5-years land that's 3560 feet. Haven't ridden cable car to top yet (Jan gets a little twitchy contemplating hanging at eight hundred meters above ground on a wire), but it's on the agenda.

No one needs inveigling to visit vintners, however, and South Africa makes some very good wine. We want to visit every estate - all of them. With two weeks to get to 546 in the country including tastings, that's about 39 wineries and 8 1/3 bottles a day, each. We can do that.

Had been taking opiates on a regular basis (three pills on Saturday) then overnight pain went from unreasonable to background noise handled with Paracetamol (Tylenol). Sixteen and a half days post-op. I'm laughin'. Now we can save the 17 left-overs for party night or possibly to put in the medical kit for an emergency while on passage.

Jack & Jan

Blowing It Off

17 March 2019 | Hout Bay YC Marina
Monday 11 March 2019

Tropical storm Idai in the Mozambique Channel is forecast to gust up to category 4 by Thursday. Its projected path is taking it right along the track we sailed in November from Madagascar to Mozambique. Hardly anyone makes the run much later than that until May. Despite widely held notions, long distance cruisers aren't completely nuts - most of them.

The Cape doesn't need a cyclone to get a touch of that. It's been howling for the last three days up to fifty knots and we've hunkered down. Finally dropped this afternoon to almost nothing and clearing skies should make tomorrow a nice day.

Friday

Nothing much going on. We get out every day for exploring, but otherwise I'm a slug on drugs. Tried going without the hard stuff after five days for a day and a half and took three pills over a day and lots of ice packs to get comfortable again. Think I'll worry about addiction when the pain gets tolerable. Anyway, eight days in the thing goes fully straight and bends to 115 degrees. Right side normal is 130. Should be pretty limber when the swelling goes down. Walking if a bit slow is normal without a cane and for first time today walked up stairs with both legs. Right knee is inveigling for shiny new parts too. Jealousy is such an ugly emotion.

Sunday

According to Wikipedia, St. Patrick's Day is celebrated in more countries than any other national festival and Catholics can kiss off Lenten restrictions on eating and tippling for 24 hours. They don't even have to be Irish, but then isn't everyone today? Of course because intoxicating liquids should never be ingested while taking heavy drugs there will be no swilling here. You believe me don't you? In a related area do you suppose there's any truth to the suggestion that green coloring nullifies the effects of alcohol? Someone should conduct an unscientific experiment. Perhaps we'll observe someone doing just that at the Irish pub tonight.

Jack & Jan

Unhinged

08 March 2019 | Hout Bay YC Marina
Friday 8 March 2019

Knees jobs are obviously not like boat projects that take three times longer than one should expect. May have to take lessons from Mediclinic as they kicked me out this morning after less than 24 hours. Cool or what? We're at local coffee house pounding caffeine and awaiting prescriptions. Seven different drugs to either keep things from happening or move them along. Three pills for pain, one for inflammation, two for making sure nothing clogs up and a final one to sleep. It's true there really is better living through chemistry.

Apologize for all the recent medical minutiae that is only vaguely related to cruising and mostly of interest only to me. Assume continued excellent progress unless Jan gets tired of listening to my whingeing, forcing overflow onto whomever is tolerant enough to read this twaddle.

Diesel work will necessarily wait for parts and injector rebuilding, at least two weeks, so maintenance efforts in the interim will be restricted to minor diddling whenever malingering crew gets tired of hearing, "harden up slacker".

- Later

Turns out that "suggestion" previously mentioned was right on. Knee the size of a volkswagen bus and if oxycodone is worth its evil reputation, actual pain must be pretty sensational. Think there was administered an extra dollop of local anesthetic for impressing therapist to let me go home early and save money on additional hospital stay. Thanks doctor Nick. Should get a fair chunk back from prepay. Looking to be over the hump after tomorrow. Skipping will recommence.

Sorry folks, couldn't resist the update.

Jack & Jan

Moving Along

07 March 2019 | Costantia Mediclinic
Jack Warren
Thursday 7 March 2019

Done and dusted. Doc says all went flawlessly. Just after entirety of lower half thawed out from spinal block, skipped around the nursing station drawing flabbergasted looks from the crew by prodigious display of dexterity. You believe me don't you? In fact nearly true. Hurts less than did occasionally before procedure. "Hang on there sparky" someone suggested, "wait until tomorrow and Saturday". No worries, their drugs are dandy.

Meantime have Kindle, iPad, boundless WiFi and a TV. Meals are even tolerably good plus Jan infiltrated with a chocolate croissant and honeyed tea after lunch. Promised same in the morning, but with latte. It's not home, but will do for limited engagement. Barring events going seriously pear-shaped expect to blow this popsicle stand Saturday. Since dock finger along side of boat rocks like a teeter-totter the most interesting bit may yet be ahead. All revealed in the fullness of time.

Jack & Jan
Vessel Name: Anthem
Vessel Make/Model: 1997 Hylas 46
Hailing Port: Weeki Wachee, FL
Crew: Jack Warren, Janice Holmes disgraceful.twaddle@gmail.com
About:
Jack: Formerly productive member of the community as a Northwest Airlines Captain who retired to become a drain on, and embarrassment to, polite society. [...]
Extra:
While I will be delighted if anyone else enjoys these excursions into semi-intelligible foolishness, the primary purpose is personal amusement. This is not travelogue, cruising guide or philosophical exploration of anything in particular, merely random musing of a slightly twisted mind. Despite [...]
Home Page: http://www.sailblogs.com/member/anthem
Anthem's Photos - Main
5 Photos
Created 2 January 2017
Waterfall, etc.
5 Photos
Created 19 May 2009

S/V Anthem

Who: Jack Warren, Janice Holmes disgraceful.twaddle@gmail.com
Port: Weeki Wachee, FL
For a better map select "View Tracking" and click "+" below "Google" left lower of Sailblogs map. Download .kml file and open with Google Earth. See full profile for information on why this mess is being foisted upon an innocent world and for information on contact. Don't be a stranger.
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