Welcome everybody! This was our first blog which I put on facebook. I just copied it over to here (Marike)
Hi all! I have decided it’s time to start blogging. I’m not sure yet of how exactly you make a page for something on fb, but since time is getting on, I’d better start so long anyway.
This is our last year (Lord willing) of staying in South Africa before our big trip around the world on our yacht Shang Du. So I think I will tell a little of what has been happening so far, and what has been planned.
We have been going down to Cape Town to live on our yacht for a week at a time every three months or so over the last two years, getting use to her, and fixing what needs to be fixed.
In December 2013 when we did a shakedown cruise to Lüderitz, which shook us up a bit. (I did put on some photos, in case you didn’t see.) It was the closest my mom ever came to saying she would refuse to sail around the world. My dad labeled her ‘handle with care’ for a few days, so we had some nice outings in Lüderitz. We went to Kolmmans kop, visited a church, and went for an oyster tour. Sophia didn’t like the oysters very much.
The trip up was lovely, we sailed most of the way and got used to the movement of the boat around day 3. Me and my sisters were able to watch a movie, and I think I even made some hot chocolate. The last day was a bit blustery, and a few little things went wrong – lines getting tangled and so on. When we came close to Lüderitz, and we had to start our engine to motor into the harbour, our engine refused to start. We had to call a tow, drop anchor and wait in the dark for the tug to come. When it did come, it pulled us out the wrong way, and our bowsprit was bent off, (so also making us lose our main forestay and jib) and we had to leave our anchor behind in the sea with a buoy attached to it. (Luckily we were able to retrieve it later on.) It was a definitely scary night, and I would really not want anything like to that happen ever again. -To top it, everything happened on Christmas Eve!
On Christmas morning we woke up, double banked next to a HUGE fishing boat (at least, to us it SEEMED very big.) It was big, blue and named REX. (It changed my whole perspective of the word – a T-Rex will now always make me think of that boat.) We managed to get ashore and to get stamped in (they opened customs especially for us. ^_^) And had a very relaxing day standing absolutely still and not going anywhere. It’s amazing how tired you can get of moving surroundings. On our way up, I sometimes wanted to tell everything to just stop moving for a moment!
Our trip back from Lüderitz was uneventful, except that we motored all the way, because the wind was against us. There were a few engine troubles, but not too much.
So that basically sums up our Lüderitz trip I think, if there are any questions, feel free to ask – just know there won’t be any quick reply, because we’re going to Mosambique for a week. Karin and Sophia have just got their scuba diving licenses, and can’t wait for their first sea dives =).
Soooo . . . when are we planning to leave? We want to be able to go down to Cape Town by end November (if possible), leave the house, and start stocking up the boat for the ocean crossing. Then we’re just basically wait for a weather window.
Are we exited? Our most frequently asked question – answer: depends in what mood you’re in, or what specific train of thought you have. If you’re thinking about all the friends left behind, and relationships that might suffer because of the long distances, how everything will be completely changed when you get back, you don’t feel exited at all. But then again, at the prospect of being able to say ‘I sailed around the world’ and to have seen all the interesting places we’re hopefully going to see, makes me exited. It will definitely be weird, but also lots of fun. At least I’ve had my whole life to get used to the idea – we’ve just always had the prospect of ‘we’re going to sail around the world someday.’
Until next time
– Marike ☺
P.S. No, we will NOT swim from the yacht while she is moving – no way in any type of crossing, ONLY when standing still (even then with ropes tied on). There is no way you can catchup a moving boat, no matter how fast you swim. (Well at least no way at all for any of us.) If we are anchored in a quiet, clean harbor/lagoon, we’ll probably swim and dive in excess. (I get asked this question a lot too.)