Day 84, Year 6 Invictus
Date: Sunday, January 16, 2011
Weather: Partly Cloudy, Then Rain with Moderate Winds
Location: Simon’s Town, Western Cape, South Africa

The short story for today is that we are now planning to leave on Tuesday morning and that tonight we watched a fantastic movie about Nelson Mandela called Invictus. I’ll have more to say about that in the longer story which begins with getting the main sail and Doyle Stack Pack cover back on. This was our last boat job that had to be done before we leave, so now we are ready. We could leave tomorrow morning, but the weather looks much better on Tuesday and even better on Wednesday. But we will leave on Tuesday if it is at all acceptable. I did a huge laundry today and then did cooking for our passage. I made what we call ‘Leaf Pie’, a combination of flour, eggs, milk, cheese, and Swiss chard which can be frozen and is great for passages, and I also made salmon cakes which are also a great passage stand-by. Mark did a little stainless polishing and weather info gathering. Late in the afternoon we had a Skype video call with our daughter Heather, her husband Jed, and Sam and Jonah. Both boys put on quite a show for Oma and Granddad. Sam proudly announced that he will be four years-old on Friday and Jonah and Granddad got into a water fight. Yes, a water fight through the Ethernet. Jonah had a shower head and pretended to squirt us. We reacted by jumping back and covering our faces. He would then giggle and do it again. Then we got out an old shower head and pretended to spray Jonah and Sam. The interactions we can have on Skype via video are just so much fun.

Since we had thought this was our last evening here, we had invited Pieter and Carla of Odulphus over for a champagne toast to our friendship and for dinner. Even though we are now staying another day, it was a great chance to spend some quality time together. We have so enjoyed the company of Pieter and Carla and will miss them very much. They are headed back to the Netherlands, but we continue to try and convince them to first sail to Florida to visit their daughter who lives there. We have one more day here and still hope to convince them to head in our direction. Adriatica left at first light today and later in the day a boat named Kaisosi left. It was a good day for getting around Cape Point as we had northwest winds slowing out of the bay, but then once round the Cape, northwest would be directly on the nose. So hopefully the winds on the other side of Cape Point were not from the northwest. When Carla came for dinner, she brought over her hard drive with the movie Invictus on it and said that we must watch it while here in South Africa. So we spent the later part of the evening watching Morgan Freeman do a great job of playing the role of Nelson Mandela in the movie Invictus. Matt Damon plays the role of Springbok rugby team captain Francois Pienaar and the movie highlights the political genius of Mandela. In this case, it shows how he worked with the rugby team captain to help the underdog Springboks win the 1995 World Cup and at the same time help the people of South Africa start seeing themselves as one. If you haven’t seen this movie and you are interested in learning more about what has been happening here since Apartheid was banned, this movie would be a great start. Mandela was in his seventies when he was released from prison on Robben Island and became the first President of a free South Africa. In this 2009 film produced and directed by Clint Eastwood, the last verse of a short Victorian poem written by the English poet William Ernest Henley, was referenced many times by Mandela. Mandela had recited this poem to other prisoners on Robben Island and they were empowered by its message. The last verse reads:

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

From 110116 Day 84 South Africa–Farewell Dinner on Windbird