Day 80, Year 6 Getting Ready for Take Off
Date: Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Weather: Sunny; Very Little Wind Early to 25-30 Knots Mid-day
Location: Simon’s Town, Western Cape, South Africa

We want to welcome Kit Martin Roberts to this world. Rachel, my oldest nephew’s daughter, had an 8 pound 9 ounce baby Kit on Monday. So now my nephew is a grandpa. We are so happy for Grandpa Rex and for Rachel and her husband Kit. We checked out Face Book tonight and saw photos of the baby. He is really a beautiful little baby. We just want to say congratulations to all and that we look forward to returning home so we can meet little Kit in person.

It was a struggle to keep ourselves from getting on the train early this morning and heading to Cape Town to go up Table Mountain in the cable car. The winds settled down during the night and it was calm this morning. We decided not to go so that we could ready Windbird for the Atlantic passage, and it is probably a good thing as the winds returned mid-morning. We have not had the really wicked winds today, but we have had a pretty constant 25-30 knots. Mark started his day by lowering the dinghy and cleaning the stern of the boat where diesel fumes seem to blacken the white hull. When he finished that job, the winds had already started blowing, so we raised the dinghy on the foredeck where she rides for all passages. He then helped our next door neighbor, Marissa, get fuel today and he did a lot of searching for weather reports for the next few days. I worked the entire day naming photos and getting them ready to upload to the website. I’m afraid I didn’t make a great deal of progress as the folders I chose needed lots of research in order to name animals and plants. But I will keep plugging away until we leave to try and get most of the South African photos on the web.

Mid-day we took a break and went up to the fresh veggie market that magically appears here in Simon’s Town every Wednesday and Saturday. I decided to buy potatoes, onions, and carrots here instead of hauling them from afar. But after I got the huge bag of potatoes and onions back to the boat and opened them to repack for the passage, I found that I had made a huge mistake. At least a third of the onions and almost half of the potatoes had soft spots. I separated the good from the bad and threw away the really ugly. But I don’t have high hopes for the ‘keep-ability’ of either the onions or potatoes. So I will buy a few more pounds of each just in case.

We went to the Yacht Club for Happy Hour to make our plans for tomorrow’s trip to Cape Town with Pieter and Carla. Jan and Ellen of Witchcraft, another Dutch boat, and Kevin of Opela were also there. We talked about the weather, possible departure plans, and fishing. We are banking on catching fish on our way across the Atlantic and need all of the advice we can get. Tomorrow we head out at 6:30 am to walk to the train station to head to Cape Town for our tour of Robben Island. Pieter and Carla will go with us and we will be tourists for the day. If time permits we might go ahead and check out while in Cape Town tomorrow. We are still working towards leaving on Sunday morning, but Monday morning is also a possibility. We are waiting for books we ordered from Durban and from the US (about fishing), but our departure plans really depend on the return of our main sail on Friday. We can’t leave without that. So we’ll be ready to leave on Sunday morning if the weather is right and if the mail arrives and the main sail is returned on time.