Day 73, Year 6 Mountain Top Walk
Date: Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Weather: Sunny; No Wind, Continued Warmer Temps
Location: Simon’s Town, Western Cape, South Africa

The highlight of our day was a walk on the top of a nearby mountain with Giovanni and Nola. I think I have explained that Giovanni is the father of Nadine of Nadine and Bruce that we met in Madagascar. Bruce and Nadine took us to visit Giovanni and Nola on our way back from our fabulous two-day trip to Hout Bay and then Giovanni and Nola came by here to see Windbird a few days ago. They go hiking in this area often and they called yesterday to invite us to tag along on a hike up one of the local mountains this morning. But Giovanni called early this morning telling us that the plans had been changed due to the forecasted hot weather. Instead of climbing a mountain, we drove up a mountain and had a delightful walk into a mountaintop lake. The lake had a perfect white sand beach and after walking to it, we all had a dip in the cold water which felt great. Nola brought coffee and fruit cake, so we feasted in the sun and enjoyed this beautiful spot with just the four of us. It was a delightful beginning to the day.

When we returned to Windbird, Mark removed our fresh water pump to see if it might be the source of our water leak, but that was not it. While he did this, I hopped in the dinghy and worked on cleaning the waterline on Windbird’s starboard side which is the only side I can get to without releasing lines. It was harder to clean than I anticipated so took longer, but then working on boat jobs always takes longer than expected. We then packed up our computers and headed back to the clubhouse to do more research on a place for a Caribbean haven for a get-together with our kids. Our timing was just right to watch the yacht Coracle being pulled into the water. She looks good and is now tied to the main dock where she will remain while she is prepared for world cruising. We then did a little more research into where to meet our kids in the Caribbean, but there have been a few new twists thrown in. Our son-in-law has just found out that he has to be in California for a conference on May 15, so our most recent plan of meeting in Puerto Rico until May 10 cuts it a bit close for him. And now there are questions as to whether Culebra or Vieques are really the right place, so tomorrow morning we will go back to the clubhouse to use their free wifi and continue the research.

We had Happy Hour at the clubhouse to bid Irene and Duncan of Moose a good trip to Curacao. This was their Caribbean home for a few years and they need to go to wrap up some business. They will leave tomorrow and return on January 18. Since we hope to be gone by then, we might not see them again. And then we had dinner on Odulphus. Pieter and Carla had invited us for a simple dinner, but it was much more like a feast. ‘Lekker’ as the Dutch would say.

Tonight we received an email from our friends Alan and Helaine in Concord, NH. Evidently Bundaberg in Australia is having some unbelievable weather. This is the port where we left Windbird while returning to the US in 2007. Many world circumnavigators leave their boats in Bundaberg, but this was not the year to do this. There has been extreme flooding there sending boats moored or anchored in the town marina down the river or to the bottom of the river. Our good friends Bette Lee and Tom of Quantum Leap have their boat in Bundaberg this season, so we will be anxious to hear if QL has escaped damage. We sure hope so.

And on another bad weather note, we have heard from Peppe and Bob of Far Niente who are still back in Richard’s Bay. Evidently every weather window for heading south has opened has closed without offering an opportunity for heading south. They tried to leave yesterday, but they no sooner got out of the shipping area when they were hit with adverse winds. They had to turn back to Richard’s Bay, as well as three other yachts that were headed south. So we are feeling so blessed that we got out of there when we did. We wish Peppe and Bob and others who are headed this direction a good window for doing so soon.

And last but not least, we want to express our joy in hearing that our daughter-in-law Jo, from England, has just received notice that her ten-year unconditional US Visa is in the mail. That is very good news.

110105 Day 73 South Africa–Walk to Kleinpass Dam