Day 79, Year 6 Winds Back with a Vengeance
Date: Tuesday, January 11, 2011
Weather: Sunny; Winds NE 35 with Gusts to 45
Location: Simon’s Town, Western Cape, South Africa

How quickly one forgets. I know we had strong winds for days after arriving here, but it is hard to believe we survived. It has been blowing a steady 30-35 knots all day and this evening we are having a steady 40- 45 knots. It is exhausting to do anything on the deck and when you walk on the dock you truly feel like you are going to be blown away. It is even exhausting to sit below listening to the howling winds. When on Windbird’s deck, I have to hold on to the life lines when walking forward for fear of being blown over. But despite this, I did a big laundry today hanging a few things at time on our stainless rails with huge clips that will hold anything. You can only buy these clips that fit over one-inch stainless rails at boat shows, but I suggest that anyone planning on cruising buy a dozen or so. They are invaluable.

Even with the wind, we took down the bimini that covers our cockpit, as well as the side curtains, so we could polish the stainless that had more than a few rust spots. It was a bit of a chore in the wind, but we accomplished the task and slathered the polished stainless with Penetrol. This is an Australian product that Chris and Geoff of Shambala turned us on to. It is a cross between an oil and a varnish. You mix about a ten per cent of this into your varnish or paint to assure a smooth flow and coat your polished stainless with it to keep it from rusting. We haven’t tried it with varnish or paint, but we did coat all of our stainless with it in Richard’s Bay and true to its word, we have no rust. So coating the cockpit stainless seemed like a great idea before we head across the Atlantic. I bought one small can of this in Richard’s Bay, but if it is available here, I’ll buy more for future coatings. Mark is outside right now putting the side-curtains back in place so that our cockpit is once again a refuge from the wind and waves. Having a complete cockpit enclosure is another thing that I would recommend for anyone cruising around the world. It certainly makes for a warmer and drier trip in the cooler climates!

Our friends Piet Hein and Tory are waiting for a bank transfer from Tony Herrick in Durban from the sale of our Monitor windvane. It ended up that the only way to get the money was through a local bank account. So once that transfer is completed, we will have to arrange a way to pick it up. We need the money sooner rather than later so we can use it for the final provisioning costs. Otherwise we will have to have the Rands exchanged for US dollars at the last minute. So hopefully we can arrange an exchange point after the transfer is complete. Our new found friends, Nola and Giovanni, called us today to say farewell. We have only known them a short time but we feel unbelievably connected to them, so we really appreciated the calls-one from Nola and one from Giovanni. And then this evening Bruce, Nadine, and Tristen called from their vacation home in Langebaan. They will not be returning until Sunday evening, so we will probably miss seeing them again, but they make us feel so welcomed by phoning to check on us.

It is looking like Sunday will be our day of departure, so we are working furiously toward that goal. There are so many things we have not done in Cape Town that we really wanted to do, so we are trying to figure out how to do it all in the next four days. We did some internet searching to check availability of things and then went up to the Yacht Club for Happy Hour with Pieter and Carla of Odulphus and Kevin of Opela. There we decided that Pieter, Carla, Mark, and I will take the train into Cape Town on Thursday morning to do a tour of Robben Island. This is where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned and is now a World Heritage Site preserved as a memorial to those like Nelson Mandela who spent many years incarcerated there. We have heard from other cruisers that this is a “must do” while here. We had also hoped to go up in the cable car to the top of Table Mountain, but it was closed today due to high winds and will probably be closed through the end of the week. We are hoping to spend Saturday touring with Piet Hein and Tory, but maybe we can take an early train into Cape Town and go to the top of the mountain before they pick us up. We’ll just have to see what this South African weather sends our way.

Tomorrow the veggie and fruit lady comes to Simon’s Town and we are hoping to buy our potatoes, onions, and maybe even our tomatoes for the long passage from her. And maybe we’ll get to take a walk to see those adorable African penguins again. They don’t seem to mind the wind!

Day 80, Year 6 Getting Ready for Take Off
Day 78, Year 6 Shopping, Sewing, Cleaning, Socializing