The Girls

By God’s amazing Grace, we have four lovely daughters.

Each one with their own unique character and special contribution to the Van Zyl family. To demonstrate their differences, I have only to describe their responses to the whole sailing thing.

When Frans and I  flew down to Cape Town to go and look at a possible yacht, we certainly didn’t know that this would turn out to be THE YACHT. We spend time looking at a few possibilities, but as we moved through Shang Du, we both really liked it. As the girls were back in Gauteng with Grandma, we took some extensive video footage to show them.

As soon as we entered the home, we were badgered into watching the video first thing.

Their reactions to the video were as follows:

Marike, the oldest, just said: “Oh yes!!! buy it!! Let’s go!”

Franci, the conservative one, the saver of all her money, said: “Are you sure?? Can we afford this?? What happens when we are stuck somewhere without money?” “I don’t know. Shouldn’t we perhaps get a Catamaran? Maybe we should think about this a bit longer.”

Karin, sat down, burst into tears and wailed: “I don’t want to sail around the world!!!!”

Sophia, gave a shrug, said “That’s nice, what’s for dinner?”

Since then they have all changed their views to more and less positive as they’ve faced the changes that this would bring in their lives. Some days they loved being part of our strange sailing family, but other days the reality of what they would be leaving behind would really strike home and it would all become overwhelming. Especially for the older ones. Marike will leave at 16, but come back as a 19 year old.

The 3 older girls also had some “activities” that they were worried about. Things that they were not sure that we would be able to do while sailing.

While doing day trips to Dassen Island and around, Marike and Franci waylaid their fears.

Marike managed to bake her Choc-chip Cookies while we were underway even though the boat was doing her merry rocking thing. Sitting flat on the floor in front of the oven, she baked a few oven-loads (the oven is not big), which we proceeded to gobble up before even reaching the Island.

Franci was only worried about schooling. Will she be able to do her schoolwork while the boat is rocking to and thro? She too, proved that this was possible on our trip round to Simon’s Town.

Karin’s fears were the most realistic. She was VERY worried that we would have nothing to eat as she has NEVER seen any of us catch fish anyplace, anywhere!! This was not something our family did (maybe having four daughters had something to do with this). Well, I am glad to say that even her fears were alleviated. We have caught the sum total of two beautiful fish while sailing. A Bonnita around Cape Point, and a Yellowtail on the way to Luderitz. The only reason that we didn’t catch any more fish on that trip, was an unanimous decision not too. Our fishing platform having not been updated yet made the killing really messy 🙂

We love our girls!!


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