Day 82, Year 6 With a Little Luck
Date: Friday, January 14, 2011
Weather: Mixed Sun and Clouds; Winds S 20 knots
Location: Simon’s Town, Western Cape, South Africa

When I wrote yesterday’s log we were thinking that we could leave on Monday or Tuesday, but when we checked the weather this morning, it looked like we would need to leave on Sunday. With a little luck, we thought we could be ready to leave on Sunday, so we proceeded with that deadline and went to Cape Town to check out today. We are now checked out, but we surely aren’t ready to go. Our main sail did arrive this morning instead of this afternoon. And if we were to leave on Sunday morning we now have a whole 36 hours until take-off. Thankfully, it now looks like we can return to a Monday morning departure but we will continue to ready ourselves to leave soon if the weather dictates. Lady Luck was with us today. Mark went up to get the receipt for the Ray Marine wind transducer that we ordered yesterday but didn’t expect to get until Saturday morning. Luckily, it arrived this morning. At 10 am we headed for the train station to go to Cape Town to check out. As we walked out of the Yacht Club, Kevin of Opela called across asking where we were headed. When we said Cape Town, he told us to hop in his car as he was headed there as well. Going with him probably saved us a good 30-45 minutes. He dropped us at a spot near the waterfront and only one block from the chandlery where we wanted to stop and buy the line for our Gyb-Easy. We had the mechanism with us and the guy who manages the chandlery was so glad to see one. People have been called him wanting to buy one, but he had never heard of them before. Now he knows they exist and are made by Witchard. He was just sorry that he didn’t have a supply this year as many ARC boats had inquired and he missed those sales. But there’s always next year. After getting the rope for the Gyb-Easy, we walked as fast as we could to Immigration and then back a few blocks to Customs. We were rushing trying to get back to Simon’s Town in time for me to go grocery shopping with the “girls” one last time. They were slated to leave at 2 pm, so we had little hope that I would get back. But after a few minutes wait, the Customs process went quickly. Then we asked how to go about getting back the VAT (value added tax) that we have paid for products here to the tune of 14% on every purchase. The Customs official helping us asked for our receipts and he went through them, stamping the ones that would be acceptable while we filled out the postal envelope so that a check can be sent to our home address. The five minutes we spent doing this will net about $250 US in return, so that was time well spent and it was painless. We then practically ran to the train station as it was nearing 12:30 pm. We don’t have a schedule but we both thought that there should be a train around 12:30 and then not another one until well after 2 pm. We got to the station and saw that we actually had ten minutes to spare as the train didn’t leave until 12:40 pm. And when we got to Fish Hoek where we have to get on the bus. The motor was already running. We called Odulphus and found out the supermarket trip had been delayed until 2:30 pm, so we had plenty of time to get to Simon’s Town, go to the PO to pick up books sent to us by Tony Herrick of Cruising Connections, get money from the ATM, and arrive at the Yacht Club ten minutes early. Whew!

When I returned from shopping, we unrolled the main sail and thought about trying to get it put on, but it was just too windy. We rolled it back up and then Mark went up the mast to put on the new wind transducer. That worked, but somehow in the process, the main sail halyard that Mark ties to himself when climbing the mast steps became incredibly hard for me to pull on my end. He came down tried to figure out the problem and found that not only the main halyard was stuck but the topping lift as well. He went back up the mast and found that the main sail halyard had jumped out of its sheave and onto the sheave of the topping lift. Once he straightened that out, every thing was working fine again and, in addition, the new transducer is working great. Once again we can accurately report the wind speed and direction.

We still need to get the main sail up, buy fishing gear, and try to get more South African photos uploaded. And tomorrow we are going to meet Tory and Piet Hein at the Claremont train station so we can go to a bank and exchange the Rand that was sent to Piet Hein’s bank account by Cruising Connections for the sale of our Monitor wind vane and dinghy wheels. Then we are going out in to wine country for a little tour. Piet Hein promises to have us back between 4 and 5 pm so we can get that main sail up before dark. So conceivably we could be ready to go on Sunday morning, but we both think we will be much more relaxed if we can wait until Monday. The weather will dictate and the report seems to totally change every twelve hours, so we will just have to wait and see.

Tonight we were invited to the Yacht Club for a complimentary braai. It was a delightful evening and in addition to free food, each yacht was given a complimentary bottle of Cape Point wine. Hospitality here on the southern Cape is most gracious.

Day 83, Year 6 Stellenbosch Wine Tour
Day 81, Year 6 Trip to Robben Island