Wednesday, November 6, 2019

CRUISING THE USA EAST COAST


We hauled MYLADY out at Yankee Point Marina the beginning of 
September. Yankee Point is at the western shore of the greater Chesapeake Bay in Virginia, USA. Cruising the Intracoastal Waterway up to here was different and very interesting. It has its own charm. And it was not always easy or safe to find an anchoring spot for the night, although it was safe in the sense that the waterway is behind the seaward islands therefore not ocean
conditions. We went out to sea a couple of times to make big jumps. That was very tiring. Our 2.10 meter (6,7ft) draught was a concern everywhere in/on the ICW, and therefore limiting. Most of the ICW is a tide's puzzle. It's either with or against. And we  definately needed it on the rise over the shallows. We did the 862 NM ICW northbound from Cape Carneveral to Virginia from June to September. Winds were mostly very light and from the wrong direction. We motored a lot. However there were times we had rough ocean condition sailing, considering to turn around for safety. Other cruising boats, local or international, either direction, could be counted on one hand. Hefty commercial freight on the other hand, took us by surprise more often than not. There were places where one could see till the end of the earth and other places where we passed right through a city. It was a surprise receiving a vhf call, being spotted through our AIS, with an alert that where we were heading was a submersed danger. Thanks to involved people, in a country with accountable standards, we passed safely. There was one place where we had strong winds with heavy weather, but found a spot where we could tuck away safely for the night. We were pleased
with ourselves. And just as dusk turned into dark, we realized the sound in/at/on/around the horizon somewhere, = mosquitoes!  Mosquitoes with GREEN blood! It took weeks to get rid of their invasion.
There were magical places I could live forever. Looking into the face of an inquisitive manatee is unforgetable. Seeing the unbelieveable moving lights as fish dance and dart through the bioluminescence water in a dark night is awesome. Dolphins are shy and hiding, so much in contrast to ocean dolphins. The birds and the bees and the moss in the trees, and now also the colourful
autumn leaves - there is just none I would have chosen to miss. Through the warm hospitality and eyes of the locals we are getting a great insight into a great land and people. Even our all-around-the-world-gasbottles can be filled here.
MYLADY will spend Christmas on the hard and end April 2020 sail direction Nova Scotia and New Foundland. 


Tuesday, July 2, 2019

ICW

Sorry for my long silence.  It was an amazingly slow trip to the USA. I'm not complaining, merely saying. The winds were light.  However, it was always from the good direction. We came into the Intra Coastal Waterway at Cape Caneveral dancing over big swell. And once inside, the water was flat calm. We went thru the two birdges and lock with little trouble. And from there on it was only 50cm or 1meter under the keel. It still is difficult for me to accept that. It was possible to sail the first twenty miles of the ICW. 
We stopped at Titusville and from there it was New Smyrna Beach, which we thoroughly enjoyed, and onward to Daytona Beach with its great flee market. St.Augustine was good. The municipal marina had a coooool laudry room and lounge.  It was great to catch up with the household chores. And now we're on anchor just 3 miles north of St. Augstine and hope that we will be able to see the fireworks displays on 4 July from here. At least it will be a couple of days of taking it a bit calmer.

Saturday, June 8, 2019

underway to the USA

We are on our way to the USA. That means mainland, because we have already 'arrived' in the USA when we entered Puerto Rico. The winds are very light. For most boats it mean excellent motoring weather. For us it means convenient living with the possibility to do 'regular' jobs and chores.
We passed rafting sperm whales at boat's length and a pod of Atlantic spotted dolphins came to visit. Mean temperature, 31 Celcius. No other yachts on the radar so far, just a few cargo ships. The fishingline only catch drifting seaweed.
position at time of writing 19.50.284N / 068.06.838W 

Saturday, May 25, 2019

Isla Vieques

Vieques Island, southeast in Puerto Rico, was our kind-of place. Not many boaties there. Neither loads of tourists on land. But definately a constant flow of both. We loved Bahia de Chiva. The south coast is splashed with beautiful sandstone hills. Esperanza is a laid-back little town. GREAT affordable pizza at Lazy Jack's. Elblok hotel has intriguing blinds weighing 600kg each. Weather is warm and good. Not enough rain to fill the tanks. 

Thursday, May 9, 2019

Sailing from South Africa to the USA

SOUTH-AFRICA; Leaving South Africa, from Port Owen on the westcoast, mid June (mid winter in the southern hemisphere), was a strategic drama. The pattern between the winterstorms with their average 35-40knot winds, seemed to be two weeks. The lows came weekly but the strong ones only fortnightly. On every chart, all across the Atlantic from St.Helena to the Orange River (northern boarder of ZAR), was a band of blue, meaning - little wind. This band changed daily but was ever present. For us, using sails, that was a big concern in the stormy conditions of the south. The apparent perfect window always disappeared. We left with fog and onshore seas with 25knot wind during a two day gap in the weather. The two new jerrycans on deck with extra diesel came in handy whilst we motored away in the no wind areas to miss the next bad storm already approaching.

NAMIBIA; It was a surprisingly calm sail during the four days to Namibia. There were plenty - well lit - diamond mining dredgers from the Orange River up north. It was a wake-up call to suddenly be confronted with 45knot winds as we turned into Luderitz. It blows most of the time in Luderitz. Luderitz is an amazingly busy commercial harbour. And port-control is, in control. We stayed 4 months. According local source the weather is not as bad as it use to be. We left Luderitz the beginning of November with a light breeze.

ATLANTIC OCEAN; Aiming for St.Helena Island in the mid Atlantic Ocean, we were supposed to have 10knot winds from a big stationary high. It happened to be 20-25knots constant. Seas were on the couterback. There were plenty big ship traffic. The trip took 12 days.
St.Helena anchorage is ocean bound. Swell is of concern. Wind bullets came charging down the mountain alleys. We enjoyed friendly St.Helena.

From St.Helena we set course for Barbados in the Caribbean. Up to the equator we had light southeast winds and plenty grey skies. The little wind and solar were not enough charge for the batteries. Once we motored for four hours because there was no wind for half a day. We had two bad squalls, one south and one north of the equator. Southside was in daytime and northside during the night. Both had 45knot winds crashing into us like a wall. They were mighty serious and impressive.
We crossed the equator at 032.04.197 W
A couple of days later we turned into the west-flowing current.
The water changed. It was lifely and short. All the way to the Caribbean. And at times it was frightening high and chaotic simultaneous north and south swell.
We had daily squally rain weather all the way to North 10 degrees. From there-on we had tradewinds weather.
Our Atlantic crossing from St.Helena Island to the Caribbean took 34 days. Having been on the same tack with the wind from behind for so long, shaved our mainsail against the massteps.
We used 4 Litres of freshwater per day. Once we filled up the tanks with rainwater. And had extra for laundry.

the CARIBBEAN; We read in the cruising guide that one have to win the lottery ticket to find a good anchoring spot amidst all the yachts in the Grenadines. Therefore we skipped it. With a heart belonging to either the panorama of the Namib dessert or the Ocean dessert, we didn't need boatboys, overcrowded anchorages or criminality. Neither was the forecasted weather inviting.

We made landfall in Le Marin, Martinique, With more than a thousand boats on anchor. It was a culture shock for me.

Clearing in and out of the French Islands are electronic, easy, cheap and visas no problem. Customs control boat check the anchorages.
Wine (and cheese) is affordable in the French Islands.
Living is costly in the Caribbean.
We learned to drink rum because beer is so expensive.
Barbuda was my kind of space. There's nothing, other than nature. We stayed two weeks.
Antigua is extra expensive. Also paying for trash disposal and water. International cooking gasbottles can be refilled here.
At Nevis Island I found basic food in 'Best Buy', tax exempt, at a decent price. So we stocked up.
At Nevis one pay dubble to be on anchor. So we took a mooring. Garbage disposal no problem. Water tap on quay.
CARICOMEAPIS.org is the caribbean equal of the Schengen. Open borders within the Caribbean but foreigners need to be registered. Also yachts.
Doef-doef vibration noise is called music and regularly doef-doef through the night everywhere.

PUERTO RICO is effectively the USA. We cleared in, in Isla de Culebra. The CBP officer was extremely helpful and informative.
With the Bahamas and Bermuda being part of the ADJACENT ISLANDS in the Caribbean, we have now a 6 weeks shortfall on our visas at the end. That means our neatly worked out agenda will have to change again with an interesting pricetag. We have to report in every district. The cruising permit is valid for 12months and our personal stamps for 6 months. We will stay around Puerto Rico till beginning of June. When we will set sail for the eastcoast of USA mainland - a 10-14 day trip. 

Thursday, April 18, 2019

2018 summarized


MYLADY was moored in Port Owen Marina on the westcoast of South Africa since January 2016. Since the marina is quite a distance up river with tidal shallows, and once out at sea, being directly on the Atlantic Ocean, we never moved MYLADY during this time. Instead, we travelled by car through South Africa. The wild card to visit the national parks was a winner on cutting costs, yet exploring South Africa was exciting and interesting. Skipper went off to earn us some freedomchips again on mv Texas. And again he had the West Africa / USA run. His daily confrontation with pirates and corrupt African officials were enough to make him decide not to repeat this job.
Eelco returned the beginning of June 2018. MYLADY was already on the hard. With a quick-quick here and there, we did what we should and could for MYLADY and then got out of Port Owen between the quick succeeding winter storms. Port Owen was a great place to rest.
The trip north to Namibia took four days. Once out of the path of the southern lows, we had no wind which slowly but surely increased to soft wind. Birds we could not identify crossed our path. Sailing through the diamond mining field in the Oranjemund area was interesting and tense because it naturally happened at night. We only later realized that the 'cities of lights' were actually moving so slow, they were not a true concern. There must have been at least ten dredgers.
By the time we arrived in Luderitz, the wind had picked up to a sporty 30 knots, gusting 40. And we tacked into the harbour just before daybreak. Luderitz port control came on the vhf "sv MYLADY, what is your intention in my harbour?"
We realized later that it was indeed a very busy harbour. We arrived the end of June and stayed till end October. It was a good harbour for us to spend time. Eelco had time to do a lot of good things for MYLADY. The Namib desert sand creeped into every nook and corner. It is a windy place.
We made a safari with roadtripnamibia. Eelco got land-sick like Misale gets sea-sick and did not had a good time. Misale thoroughly enjoyed the road trip through Namibia. Please watch and hear her stories.
All stocked up MYLADY left Luderitz early November, heading northwest. It should have been 10 knots all the way and were 25 knots. Fortunately from behind. We crossed paths with a few real big ships and was amazed at how high latitude we saw these albatrosses. We also sailed through fields of we-don't-know-what. Eleven days later we made landfall in St.Helena with the help of 45 knot bullets chasing down from the cliffs. The mooringfield is actually on the Atlantic Ocean, with ocean conditions. Tieing up between bullets and without dinghy to the huge pancake mooring was challenging. The water taxi was good. St.Helena was expensive. There was a 36 hour notice on the local radio before the four meter swell came rolling in. It was mighty impressive and stayed for three days. Even the ferry service stopped for a day. Getting on or off at the landing goes swinging with the aid of monkey ropes. Which was another first time experience for me and quite challenging.
St.Helena has a lot of history and we are happy about the tour we made of the island with Robert. The morning of our departure we had a manta ray visiting MYLADY. It was super special. Especially when it circled MYLADY a few times.
We headed northwest for the Caribbean. Winds were souteast and light. Therefore the windgenerator did not had wind to work. It was grey weather most days. The batteries did not charge well at all. There were the occasional sunny days. We sailed into a school of pilot whales. They came to check us out just like dolphins. But they didn't ride the bow-wave. Neither did they sing. Instead, they inspected the keel and surfed the following waves. We had a very hefty and bad squall on the south side of the equator. Fortunately it was daytime and we could see it coming and prepare. With light winds we hopped over the equator. Soon after we got the good current going west and northeast tradewinds. Sea conditions changed to short and hefty. We got another squall, this time at night. It was bad. Once we rounded the corner to make a northerly run for Barbedos, the seas changed again. Confused northerly and southerly swell created huge and steep mountains fighting for superiority. Wind was strong 25 - 30 knots northeast. The first strings of fine seawead appeared. It was on this leg that I saw the sharkfins sailing above the waterline, two-three meters from our boat. After fourteen years on the oceans, this was another firsttimer for me. A few noddies did not follow instruction good and got mixed up in the windgenerator, and lost. Amazingly the windgenerator is still working. We changed our mind and decided to make landfall in Martinique, just 100 miles further north. We passed Barbedos 31 December 2018 after 33 days at sea.
Miles sailed in 2018 = 5660
Misale doesn't get sea-sick anymore.
Fishing: caught one, lost one, have shark teeth print on one lure.
Fresh water consumption: 2 litre per person per day

Sunday, March 10, 2019

Whales

We were sailing from Jolly Harbour on the West Coast of Antigua to Barbuda. The anchor weighed at daybreak. At first the wind was gentle but 8AM - like every morning - the tradewinds came on full force. MYLADY glided along. The ride was smooth. Maybe due to the Antigua shelve more prominent to our east, the seas were not as high and rough as during our trip from Guadeloupe to Antigua.
10AM our comrades under sail in their twice our MYLADY size, raced passed us.
All in all one could classify it as a bluewater cruising day.
10:30AM "Whales!" roared skipper, "Whales!"
I grabbed the camera and made my way to the cockpit.
"WHALES!" skipper screamed.
Catching a glimpse of the backfin of the humongous 'diveboat' infront of us, I was shocked to realize the distance of almost nothing between us.
Panic-control kicked in. Skipper vigorously disengaged the windvane-clutch off the steeringwheel and abruptly swung MYLADY to starboard whilst muttering under his breath.
Hastily I turned to port with my camera. Arms-length from the boat, the water was light turquoise where one whale had just submersed. The other had its dark pancake 'footprint' as it leveled the surface, next to number one. They became unidentifiable in the lively water. In the wake of MYLADY, two boat-lengths away, first one, then the second spout raised into the air and they became one with the ocean.
With relief and amazement and annoyance that once again MYLADY was picked out for an encounter, skipper corrected MYLADY's course and windvane-self-steering.
Naturally, I could not get a proper photo. We were instantly reminded of an event in Tonga where a playing whale came blowing bubbles under MYLADY. The water was the same light shades of turquoise. It was scary. As was this.


Friday, March 8, 2019

Big Lift

When the Big-Lift ship came into the harbour of Port-a-Pitre, Eelco was a continuous commentator. On deck the Big-Lift had a shore container crane as freight. How big and strong were the deck-cranes. How the chief officer remote control the cranes. What preparations on the ship to prepare for the off-loading of the cargo. What preparations on shore to receive this immense crane. How the ship is taking in more ballast to lower its deck to shore level for a smoother transfer. And what is the differences with the submersible ships he worked on previously.
Apart from learning something of the countries and people we visit, and learning something sometimes of the sport of sailing, I also get to learn something about ships and freight and...
What an interesting life I actually have.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Guadelope

We are still in Guadelope. It rains almost every day, at least a little. But it is nice hot temperatures. We are busy with boatwork. Eelco removed the bridgedeck that blocked the entrance and made it portable. Because we still need it when we sail. But now it's easier to get in and out of the cave. It is a major happening for us. I am busy with sewing new covers for everything on the boat. The old ones have been eaten away by the sun.

We have started to use our last bottle of cooking gas. Normally we get four weeks use out of it. We must sail to Antigua soon because that's the only place in the Caribbean where international gasbottles can be re-filled, hopefully.


Wednesday, January 23, 2019

MARTINIQUE


Martinique, the island of flowers, says the tourist info booklet. But I see no more flowers than on any other island. However, the flowers are lovely and vibrant.
Le Marin where we made landfall is a boating place. Thousands of boats are anchored, moored or layed-up. Clearing into and out of Martinique is easy and cheap. Internet is only available with wi-fi which is mostly only available in restaurants where one is expected to buy something. Many times internet is not fast.  Australian, NewZealand and South African propane bottles can not be re-filled here. Water is available at the marina. We only took jerrycans and that was free. Lovely hot weather. We had no rain whilst the land was frequently not visable with downpour. Martinique is very hilly, lots of cars, narrow streets, parking on sidewalk.
We sailed to Forte-France, the capital, and anchored in Anse Mitan at Pointe du Bout, not knowing there is a casino and lots of entertainment long into the nights. The ferry to Forte-France runs every hour and was 7 euro return. Forte-France has an interesting mix of architecture and buildings and are overloaded with tourists. Everyday comes and goes one or more cruiseship(s). Prices match the tourists.  Lots of airplane traffic low over the bay.

Our next stop was St.Pierre. Another anchoring shocker. It is very deep and the shallower part very limited. Therefore one drop the anchor almost on the beach, still in 15m of water, and need lots of scope. But St.Pierre is a tourist attraction and boats-a-plenty come and go everyday - anchoring on top of each other.  We finally found a place far away from the others, on the other side of the bay where local fishing activity was visable. That brought us into the 'local'. And local also means 'Mount Pelee'. The vulcano that wiped the old St.Pierre and its 30,000 inhabitants from the earth. As we walk the streets, one is confronted with ruins of a sad story, yet life pulses through the new city. Our week in St.Pierre was good.

Saturday, December 29, 2018

Pothole ROAD

Out here on the Atlantic Ocean we are sailing along to another continent. It takes some time. Watching the track of our sailboat MYLADY behind us, let me ponder on the road conditions. Our track is a smooth line amidst the lively waters. The birds like to check for an easier catch on this track.

At the moment the sea is rough and white, the waves strong and steep, the swell very confused and high. That gives a cacophony down here at the meeting point. The swell moves in 'mountain ranges'. MYLADY sails up against these steep cliffs, just to drop perpendicular on the backside thereof. Straight into a sinkhole. Of course the water was drawn into the mountains charging again. We fly downhill and crawl uphill. Yet in MYLADY's wake the water is smooth.

Other times when the sea is pleasant or calm, there is always movement. Going would be good with its own rhythm which one gets use to. And then suddenly in between, we hit the cross country section. Off roading. Bundu bashing. Being thrown about with three or five wackers.

But sometimes there is an amazing tarred road. Smooth as a mirror we would glide along - no left right, no port starboard, no front aft movements. Not too long though, then starts the regular rhythm again.

It is as if the Creator wanted to say, it's not all bad.

Monday, December 24, 2018

Christmas at sea

To all the wonderful people who shared our lives - those on farms or in the bush, those in the towns and cities or on ships - in many countries of the world, those who welcomed us into their homes and lives, those who've done more for us than needed, those wonderful friends, family, loved ones and accuaintances - we wish for you a lovely Christmas and New Year. May you have a restful, peaceful, joyful, shared time with your loved ones. You are in our thoughts.
BLESSINGS to you.
Our position 24 Dec 2018 04.26N 047.56W NE'ly 25 knots. 900 NM to go till Martinique. All well onboard.

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Cruising along fine

The equator is 30 nautical mile away.


Sunday, December 9, 2018

Atlantic Oceanic buoys

We are in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. Brazil and Africa are equally far. The last 24 hours we have passed five buoys. Approximately twenty miles apart. There size either 10x1m or 4x4m or 2x6m. One had a row of strong lights which illuminated even the clouds above. The others had none. Their AIS signal only two miles distance. How interesting that in the middle of no-where we happen to cross paths with it.
So far, all good with us. We had light southeasterlies all the way. Sometimes not enough to turn the windgenerator but we made our average of 100 NM a day. It is around 30 Celcius everyday with lovely promising clouds. We have not had proper rain yet. The clouds make for lovely sunsets. A big dorado got away today.
Greetings.

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

shark

We troll a fishing line behind the boat. Two days ago we caught a young dolphinfish and enjoyed it thoroughly. Today we pulled in the empty line to find that half our lure was gone. The lure is a little jelly-rubber colourful fish that has the shape of a whale. We once-upon-a-time bought it in New Zealand. Rolling the half-lure around in my hand before discarding it, I realized I'm holding a great piece of proof in my hand. Just like a dentist make a cast of one's teeth to replace or crown a tooth, similarly was the shark teeth imprints in the half-lure. Two triangles (16mm width) with pure edging were cut straight through and two double teeth and double sided were cleanly cut half-through. AMAZING !
Naturally this half-lure stays in our collection of memories as proof of the humongous shark we fortunately did not catch.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

St.Helena Island

St. Helena rose from out of the fog and overcasted day slowly but surely. It kept on rising. Not to be missed. Sheer, barren, very high and steep rock cliffs facing bravely towards sea, warding off any unwelcome intruders. We chased into the harbour on the whim of a 45 knot bullet. When we were finally safely moored we enjoyed the redbill tropicbirds with their long tails parading in a dance on the drafts off the cliffs at the green waterfall below Ladder Hill.

St. Helena is harsh and barren outside and green and lush on the inside. It was foggy and raining almost every day we were there (nov'18). But temperatures were comfortable and warm. The mooring is strong and solid. A water ferry is used to get ashore since there is no beach or anything for landing a dinghy. At the landing one get off and on with the help of a jungle rope with knot which you grab and use as an extra arm. Naturally - jumping at the right time. The ferry-drivers are very good. Calm and at ease and tell one what to do. We rode out a three day swell into the harbour. It was very rough.

Formalities were easy going. To avoid you doing the up-and-down and up-and-down the hill we did, I'll give you the 1,2,3 of how to. First customs at the wharf. Then the bank to get money. There is no ATM on the island and credit cards when possible to use, more troublesome than worth it. Then buy travel-insurance which stipulate the evacuation. Then to the police station way up the hill by the big tree where one is directed to immigration. And with your travel-insurance immigration will stamp you in. Welcome to St. Helena. It is like the islands yet it's not. It's actually very English. There's about 4000 people and everybody greets everybody everywhere. Nobody walks with his nose in the cell phone. The streets are only one car wide and there is no natural level ground anywhere. Driving is considerate and give way. There are more than 5000 cars on the island. Internet is expensive and the wifi can only be used in the area where you bought it. Thus, no good out at the boat. Most everything is imported therefore has a price tag on it.

We made a day tour around the island with Robert. He is very knowledgeable. High Knoll Fort could have been my castle, rabbits and all. I loved it. Poor old Jonathan the tortoise was very old and quiet (187 years). What surprised me most was how Napoleon Bonaparte who was in exile here for the last five years of his life, was treated as royalty.

I'm glad we came to St. Helena. It was the first time in a long time that I did not felt the need to watch over my shoulder if we're safe. Where there are plenty benches along the streets for people to sit down, rest, enjoy the view and visit. Where smiles were exchanged easily. To top our visit, a big manta ray swam circles around our boat the morning of the day we left.


Luderitz

Luderitz is a natural safe harbour along the desolate and uninviting coastline of Namibia, on the southwest coast of Africa. A place where the wind blows one away. A cluster of civilization in the desert. Where the wind carriers the sand over the rail and road. The historical hub of the diamond. With a bygone era which still amazes. And where small and big diamond boats actively persue the big shine. Diamonds are after all still the highest producer of income for Namibia.

The port of Luderitz is quite active and big container ships, and tankers visit frequently. Large international cargo carriers come in on a regular basis to load mining oar to be shipped worldwide. And the fishing fleet supplying the five fish factories in Luderitz, come and go on a twentyfour-seven basis. The two tugboats are very capable of good maneuvering of the big ships in harbour. Our mooring was next to the working channel and we got the frontrow view everytime.

Luderitz and surrounds are lucky if they get any rainfall in the year. Normally it is stone-dry and the sea-mist is sufficient to keep the desert-life going.
The town is small and most everything in walking distance. Luderitz Spar (a grocery shop) should be watched for wrong pricing. We got hooked a few times. There's a daily sail to the penguine colony on Halifax Island for tourists. Dolphins, jackass penguines and seals regularly come into the harbour. Not to mention all the seabirds especially when small fish or mud shrimp were plentiful. The desert surrounding Luderitz is a combination of rock and sand and totally beautiful (if you miss the sandstorms).

We stayed there four months on a mooring of Heiko (++264 81 604 2805) and had all types of weather and wind. It was a very productive time for boat maintenance. And Mylady was covered inside outside to the top of the mast with fine sanddust. Fortunately a good shake or wash down gets it out.


Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Atlantic Crossing


After 11 days at sea, we arrived safely in St. Helena. During this trip we had one day of sunshine, and one night of clear starry skies. The rest of the time it was cold and wet (misty and overcasted.) Once we had a raindrop. A big breaker filled our cockpit to the brim - before coffee one morning. The mainsail was up only 10% of the time. For the remainder we were powered forward with only a stormsail. Wind was constant 25-30 knots SE. Seas were occasionally huge, otherwise considerate. Birds were less then 10 total. No fish took the bait. Fresh water consumption 2Litre per person per day.
Take care

Sunday, November 11, 2018

From the Atlantic Ocean

Hello everybody,
Just to let you know all is well with us. We had two cold overcasted days but now we have sunshine again. I lost some weight and Eelco is in 7th heaven. St.Helena is only 830 nautical miles away. We have an average of 15 knots SE winds and do an average of 5 knots.
Stay well. Be good.
Misale and Eelco
Footnote for Johan at the Teleshop in Ldtz - and any other 'to be' boatowners,
We forgot to mention - we have met quit a few people who bought a boat in the area they intended to cruise and then sell again. If your desire is to cruise the Carribean, check out for instance Trinidad on the internet for boats for sale. There might be a few admin advantages also.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

From Luderitz to st Helena

Ahoi !
We are on the move. Mylady left Luderitz this morning and we are heading for St. Helena. The sun is shining. It is chilli in the wind and hot in the sun. The wind should be a steady southeast for us all the way.


Saturday, June 30, 2018

Voyage from South Africa to Namibia

AHOY !
Dear Friends and family around the world,
Great news! MYLADY is underway again ! 
Skipper has run out of visa time and therefore we are underway again. We left Port Owen, on the westcoast of South Africa in a veil of thick fog. The radar worked hard in the narrow dredged channel where many of the big fishingboats were moored. Wind against - fortunately just 10knots - pushing into the river high, short swell. My stomach made its first churns. Once out of the pier and onto the shallow banks, we hoisted the mainsail immediately and on a port beam we got going to Stompneus punt. Then made a tack on a long northerly run. Wind was 20-25knts NW. Tacked again to sea between the 9big ships out at anchor waiting to go and load in Saldanah Bay and repeated the long tack northerly. Night time came and the wind went to sleep. The iron sail roared into use. Fog cleared during the night. It is COLD. At the moment we are sailing wing-to-wing with a 15knot southerly in our backs.
Things to report:
*The intensity of my seasickness went from previously 100% to currently 10% !  That's magic. Maybe after all these years I'm actually turning into a proper seawife. The down side about that is that I'm not loosing the kilos that I anticipated.
*Our main source of steering - the windvane - has a problem. Therefore this whole trip to Luderitz will be done with the autopilot.
(our joblist for Luderitz before we go skipping across the Atlantic is already toooo long.)
*Saw a few white chimneys (whale spouts), albatrosses, cormarants, sleeping seals, petrels and flurescent torpedo dolphins at night and schools of dancing dolphins in the morning glow.

*Sailed right through a fleet of very impressive diamond mining boats at night.
*Saw a kind-of-petrel, which our books can not identify. Dark brown all over. dark legs. slate bill. The broad wings have one large whitish window underneath towards the outside. On top the wing has three white windows. From big to small, outside to inside.
*For the rest, far horizons, long and high seaswell, sunshine - MYLADY and crew are dancing.
What a wonderful world we're living on.
Wishing for you good health and golden memories.

ps. The wind picked up and we arrived in Luderitz on the ear - in the dark. Then portside, then starboard. We dropped anchor and waited for daylight to start our life in the next country. 

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Time flies

Yes, Eelco has been down to South America with cargo and back to Houston and is currently underway over the Atlantic Ocean to West Africa. But he should be relieved on arrival. All is well with him. All is well with me who has been doing the family rounds. I have just arrived back on Mylady and from now on it is PREPARATIONS for her departure. As you can tell, the time of holidaying is past. 
I finally got around to sorting some photos into a video. Please share with us the amazing, beauty of the wild flowers of Namaqualand. On my way here, everywhere the country was covered in a carpet of green. If the rains prevail, not only might Cape Town be saved from their water crisis, but the wild flowers just might bloom prolific.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Open ocean

Eelco has left the piracy infested and ultra corrupted coastline of West Africa and is on his way to Houston in Texas. He thoroughly enjoys the peace and 'normal' life out there in the blue yonder. Isn't this copper plate artwork a masterpiece? We came across it on a street corner in one of the villages on Cocos Keeling in the Indian Ocean during our voyage. 

true or false ?

Good or bad ?
The word pollution has become a stick to hit and control the world. We all believe for the better of the world. That's why we accept it. On the ship was a crewmember who got a haircut during his off hours. Doing the good thing of not polluting the ocean, he put the hair- cuttings in an empty plastic container that was trashed. And afterwards the filled plastic container went back in the plastic trash. We all agree; the answer is, 'good'.


True or false ?
Not a single thing may go over the side of a ship these days. Everything (oils or trash) is separated and a register has to be kept to have control by any and all countries and harbours the ship visits. Seperation and control are very strict.
Marpol (marine police) came on board in Nigeria. Dug out the trash and thoroughly combed through it. Triumphantly a trophy was lifted out - the plastic container with hair. "How could you allow this, captain?"  The ship got an unreasonable hefty fine. After hours of nagging and threats from the officials, the fine was discounted with sigarettes and alcohol.
After the issue was paid and settled, captain asked the Marpol official:
In what category did the hair had to go?  Answer: overboard.

True or false ?  TRUE.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Monday, February 12, 2018

Close Call with pirates


  9Feb
  A lot of buzz and activity filled the VHF channels. In stones throw distance from our scheduled meeting point with the guard boat which would escort us through pirate alley into harbour, the gb (guard boat) advised us with great urgency to turn around immediately and run for shelter to another nearby gb because right in front of us was a pirate attack happening. Naturally we made a speedy u-turn and made a beeline to safety where we waited with apprehension.

 About an hour later our guard boat gave an all clear signal and we proceeded to harbour with them on our side without any trouble. They were efficient and gave good advise. It is a great help to have effective escourt in pirate alley.
 For us it was a close call. But for 4 crew members of the attacked vessel the nightmare of being hostage started.


Friday, February 2, 2018

freedom-chips

Once again Eelco is earning our freedom-chips along the westcoast of Africa and into the heart of pirateland - the gulf of Guinea. Hopefully time will fly.
"Persistent Danger in the Gulf of Guinea
In 2017, there were 36 reported incidents with no vessels hijacked in the Gulf of Guinea and 10 incidents of kidnapping involving 65 crewmembers in or around Nigerian waters. Globally 16 vessels reported being fired upon – including 7 in the Gulf of Guinea.
'Although the number of attacks is down this year in comparison with last year, the Gulf of Guinea and the waters around Nigeria remain a threat to seafarers. ' said Pottengal Mukundan, Director of IMB.
http://www.swzonline.nl/news/8925/maritime-piracy-and-armed-robbery-reach-22-year-low

10Jan2018
  Owners lost contact with their tanker which were at anchor at Cotonou, Benin. They informed the authorities. Both the Nigerian and Benin navy searched. 16jan the owners reported the ship arrived intact in Lagos. The crew successfully negotiated with the hijackers.

Saturday, January 20, 2018

Netherland

We have spent the Christmas and New Years in Netherland. According the weather bureau it was the warmest end of year in a century. The SAFARI PARK BEEKSE BERGEN was the highlight of our visit. We will definitely re-do this safari and spend more time. Eelco is currently on m/v UAL Texas earning our freedom-chips along the west coast of Africa. Misale is doing the family rounds. 

Friday, December 22, 2017

Travelling South Africa 2017

I don't know where to start. It's been a long time since my last writing. First things first ; Please know that you're in our thoughts more often than not. Memories are the gifts around our tree. Thanks for your sharing our lives and we wish blessings upon you. We are healthy and well. Hope the same for you.
This is a long story. Copy and paste it onto your desktop and read it when you have time.
    We've been doing lots of boatwork. The main project was to replace the old batteries and in the process enlarge the batterybank of Mylady to five batteries. The money was major but the real problem was where to put the extra two batteries in our overful boat? I'm happy to report - the project ended well. In the process of making space, Eelco also entered the seemingly timeless defense of the impenetrable lost space below the cockpit bunk and created extra cuboards and enlarged others. And that for us, is the cherry on the cake. Because space = LUXUARY ! Wow...  I shouldn't say it was lost space because it could have served as floating ability. We left Mylady with great satisfaction to start our travels in South Africa.     

Attending the Hantam Meat Feast in Calvinia was a great experience.  For two days the sheep farming community were celebrating the sheep. And in their thousands the people supported the feast. Mutton and lamb were served in any imaginable way - the crowd enjoyed. Queues stood inline for a taste of the 'kliprib' (rock-rib) - also we. The rib grilled between two hot rocks, was better in anticipation than taste. I actually prefer the traditional barbeque way. There were entertainers galore. We loved the Rieldancers best. They were from the Middelpos secondary school in the middle of nowhere with only a handful of pupils. Accompanied by only one guitar and a homemade song of real life in the dry rocky bundus, the kids performed the rieldance with vigor and joy - kicking up dust in puffs till the earthy curtain covered them all.  
   
Our next experience was Sutherland, -2 degree Celcius. The road to there shook our car apart. Over the first hill to the big telescope, the car would go no further.  The oilfilter holder cracked open. Due to our driving slow and careful, we thankfully had no engine damage. A local young man fixed our car problems and with only one day delay we continued. Stargazing in the karoo is phenomenal. And the big telescope at the observatory absolutely amazing being able to see a five rand coin (or a dollar quater) in detail at a five kilometer distance. The campsites at Jurg's was perfect with wind-breaker-trees and bush, electricity and good facilities. The road from there took us through the harsh beauty of the fascinating Koue Bokkeveld ranges. It's a sad, dry and rocky,
striking beauty.
    We followed the Hex River snowcapped Mountains leading to Cape Town until we turned away direction Montague. The developed valley flushed with colour as the raw turned soil alternate with the orchads of fruittrees that started to bloom. We loved Montague with it's bird sanctuary in the midst of town. The Montague Caravan Park where we camped was a delight.  It has hotwater springs and pools and waterpark and dam with plenty fishing and birds galore. It is very clean, friendly and safe with town in walking distance. The rock formations and colour around Montague is amazing. 
    A year ago we went to the Philidelphia Church bazaar. We enjoyed it so much we attended this year again. It's every year the first Friday of September. The rows of big black pots standing on three legs over a bed of coals (just like you've seen the drawings of the people vanishing in a man-eater's pot with fire around it's bottom), between all the smoke of fires on the side, is a picture to
smile at and remember forever. The cooks with cold drink in arms reach, all compete for the first sell-out (empty pot). Interesting though is that Philidelphia (a hour north of Cape Town), consists of one church and approximately ten houses. Yet drew thousands of people for this once a year event and justified the rows of potjiekos and a church full of delicious traditional goodies. They also make the biggest campfire in Africa. And around this huge circle all the guests passed and warm up.
   
Our next stop was Paternoster. Thirteen years ago we spent our honeymoon here at the Tietiesbay campsite. The wind blew us almost away. In the morning we woke from the bellowing foghorn, warning everyone of the dangerous rocks around. The lichen covered boulders are strewn along the coastline and into the sea. And in the distance one can always see the colourful fishing dories
of the locals. This time round, we've pitched tent behind a two storey rock. Indulced in the exotic feel of a private small beach covered with whitened, weathered shells and the breaking waves a few meters away. After a lazy lunch we went for a snooze. And woke from the tearing of our tent. No, it wasn't the wind but a burglar. We jumped up and chased after him. With his hands overful he dropped the passport and binoculars underway, but got away with our laptop, camera, wallet and cards, driverslicence, etc. We packed up and went to the police to report it. Two hours in the police station we finally could make a report.The officer in comand did not know where this campground was. We learned fast that we were in the lion's den. In season twelve cases per day are registered, and campers are cleaned out. Murder is a common threat. Nothing further has happened to our case. Welcome to South-Africa.
    We took the car again sometime later and drove over Citrusdal across the mountains to Ceres. We thought being October, the winter is passed and left our 2nd down duvet at home. Well, we froze our buds off. We layered all our clothing across the bed to generate and keep more warmth. The cold snap cleared after a couple of days. We were in beautiful, blossoming cherry country.
From there we drove the old road over Wellington to Paarl. What a beautiful area. In Paarl we went to see and listen to Stef Bos and enjoyed him thoroughly. He's a musician that write and sing ballads from personal experiences. The next morning we drove to Franschoek. A pictureque, historic and now tourist town. We left the huzzle and buzzle behind and enjoyed the beautiful panorama views of the patchwork valley and the steep mountains on either side as we crawled up over the Franschoek pass. Over the hill it was a different view. The mountains more rounded with loose boulders. I spotted a klipspringer standing motionless on a rock. It was lovely to see.
      Down the hills we drove to the TheeWater dam at Villiersdorp. It was sad to see how empty it was. (It is the 3rd dam supplying Cape Town with water.) Strong winds chased up white walls of dust from the dried-up mud and deposited fine sand all over everything. From there we drove over Bonnievale to Montague again. This time over the mountain pass from Ashton side and through the amazing hole in the rock-wall.

    In Swellendam we visited the National Museum. It was very interesting and history became more real. Heidelberg is not far from Swellendam and there we spent a few relaxing days with family. My aunt sent us underway with loads of citrus and veggies from own garden.  Calitzdorp was our next camp at the old railwaystation behind the high cliffs. The three storey high sandstone rock wall was home to an active beehive just above our tent and the nesting site of a pair of spotted eagle owls. They were lovely to see at dusk and to listen to during the night. The countryside was beautiful with interesting red stone natural carved hillsides where the sunlight played colourful mosiac.
We continued to the Cango Caves above Oudtshoorn. It definately is a very impressive piece of creation. Also interesting was how over the years it has become very developed. That night we were welcomed at the lovely Malva cottage in De Rust. It is a place with history where one feel at home. Beautiful humming birds visited on the varandah whilst the garden was a bird-der's delight. And then it was off to the Camdeboo National Park in the vacinity of Graaff Reinet. It's a small park. We liked it. But the mollest making monkeys dancing on our tent trying to get in, were not nice. At Camdeboo we walked to the Valley of Dessolation. The impressive rock formations and erosion were surreally topped with a Black Eagle keeping watch. It majestically took to the air as we approached. 

We zipped down to the Addo Elephant National Park in the vacinity of Port Elizabeth, with tortoise pace. Had to pitch tent in gale forced winds and the dust of the town Addo ends up gritting between the teeth. In Addo Elephant park one see elephants - plenty. Addo Nat.Park is very commercialized and the game not spooky. It is also a confrontation with the solid and high thicket of the african bush where one's vision is limited to the clearing of the road. And it happens often that you see elephants at one or two meter distance because of the bush. After a week we left
for the dryer and open country north to Cradock where we camped in the Mountain Zebra National Park. From all we've experienced yet, that must be the best. It's a medium sized park with a good diversity of game. But the scenery is hard to beat anywhere. The changing landscapes in the different light settings of day and weather is absolutely stunningly beautiful. Every day the same place is different. It's a place we wish to return to. Our week there was not enough. I saw for the first time Grey Rhebuck.
    In Hogsback with its terrible roads we enjoyed the eco-shrine of the the inspired artist Diana Graham. And the chocolate shop had
goooood homemade chocolate. We took the gravelroad north. The area was beautiful. The road sometimes only wide enough for one car. We saw our first crowned cranes. They are so very colourful and pretty. In chaotic busy Queenstown we lost our course for a short while. Got directions from a local street-user and made a u-turn. The road to Dordrecht meander through beautiful landscapes. In Maclear we overnighted and had a super lovely and affordable breakfast at the mug&bean restaurant. Further north we went until we reached Mount Currie campsite near Kokstad. It was great and relaxing. It's a big dam surrounded by grassy hills with game roaming. When we arrived I thought some hilltops had red sandy tops. In the warm light of the morning we discovered the red tops were beautiful red lilies.
   
The road from Kokstad to Underberg passed miles and miles of swamps. It was beautiful and interesting. There is also a new camp but our VW Jetta was not fit for a sticky, muddy 4x4 track, so we had to look only from the roadside. We camped at Garden Castle on the foot of the southern Drakensberg mountains. FANTASTIC! It must be the gateway to heaven. We were the only camping, but everyday the hikers passed us by the dozens and envied our surreal spot. There were no power yet hot water and a freezer were part of the clean fascilities. Rugged majestic mountains to one side, sometimes dissappearing in the soft mist blanket, to the fifty shades of green on the mellowing foothills and valleys on the other side, covered with the loveliest dainties flowers. I presumed some of it was the famous 'edelweiss' of  the 'Sound of Music' ?? movie.
    Too much rain chased us out of the Drakensberg Mountains. We reversed our track and went westward round Lesotho from the the south. The mountain passes from Elliott to Zastron were absolutely lovely. Rain obscured our view but we could imagine the scope of the panorama we saw. Zastron is a non-tourist town. Nothing is happening there, but it serves a 'genuine' people. The very best sosatie sausage we bought at the Zastron Butcher. And that butcher and friendly staff were serving it seems like a whole city, so busy
they were. From Zastron it was on towards Gariep Dam. A thunder-dust-and-rain storm gave us an equal to see-storm experience. Windgusts would flatten our tent. But our tent being flexable, would just bend as low as being pushed and jump right back up only to be flattened again to right itself again. I stood inside watch to keep everything covered from the wet and had the roof on my head several times while Eelco paraded the outside to check the lines and anchors (tent pens). We survived it well. (The adjacent chalet's roof blew off.)
    We headed back east towards Lesotho and the Drakensberg Mountains. It was a main aim of our trip - to see the Drakensberg Mountains. From Gariep we headed to LadyBrand 15km away
from Maseru, the Lesotho Capital. We rented a log cabin at EinGedi Retreat and had a super good time even though it was freezing cold. Yes, we woke to snow capped mountains. We had good hikes and spotted lots of game. Some would come very close to the cabin. After three days we followed the snowcapped Maloti Mountains to Golden Gate - the northern 'gate' to the Drakensberg Mountains on the eastern border of Lesotho. Golden Gate has beautiful and very colourful, huge sandstone formations. And camp was right underneath one such hillside. Especially at sunset it was a sight to behold. Baboons were a disaster. In Golden Gate Nat Park I saw for the first time Oribi antelope.
   
On our way to the Drakensberge, we stopped at the Sterkfontein Dam. It has beautiful turquois water similar to that of the mountain lakes in New Zealand. Sterkfontein Dam has the largest dirt wall in southern Africa. Close to the lookout over the dam is the vulture restaurant. And there happened to be fresh carcasses on the hillside. Our last count were about 50 whiteback vultures when we left, but they were still gliding in from heavens know where to join the feast.
   We camped two nights at Monks Cowl in the middle of the Drakensberg Mountains on the east side. And three more nights at the adjacent Dragons Peak Resort. The facilities at Dragons Peak is up to standard and the tree canopy so thick, we almost didn't got a drop of the continuous rains. Whilst sitting out the rains we went to a concert of the Drakensberg Boys Choir. It was a great show. From Dragons Peak we took the back road hugging the Drakensberg ranges which were still snow-capped. It was tarred. Yet it was a pothole disaster to the point that one needs a 4x4 to get through some of the bad spots. We stopped at Giant's Castle Nat Park. The giant and his castle were playing hide and seek in the mist blanket. In fact ; they were not there. From a great distance and at the next town, the castle was visible. Majestic.

   
Rain and icy temperatures, followed us southward to Glengarry in the vacinity of Kamberg and Heimoor, fortunately the wind was not too strong when it was on duty. A duiker ewe visited our campsite shyly. Very special. We said goodbye to the Drakensberge and camped at the Meiringskloof Nature Reserve at Fouriersburg in the south-east of the FreeState. Birdlife was vacinating. We continued to Secunda where Sasol makes fuel from coal and had a great visit with family there. From there it was on towards Emerentia and had special time with old friends (met on our travels in New Zealand). And we had a super family breakfast in Midrand, Pretoria before we turned around and made a beeline for home on the West Coast. We slept in Vosburg, about midway of our trip, a place of ten houses. It was like walking back into the 60's. We loved it.


  
Dear MYLADY is as good as always. And she can rock soooooo nicely. We are running around to get visas organized and pack for travelling to the northern hemisphere.
Thanks for reading. Keep strong. Drop us an email:  mysaillady@yahoo.com 
Surround your special people with love - surround yourself with the love of special people

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Travels

We are travelling again in beautiful South Africa. When one experience the beauty, the bad and sad stuff seem so far away. 
Picture overview of Franshoek valley in the Cape Province.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Back HOME

Hello to everybody. I presume it's time to let you know we are still alive, well and at home. And that is great as always. The mechanical department on board is in overdrive with the maintenance and new projects on Mylady. And the supporting crew is on red alert standby. The steamlight on the mast was UV-ed to dust over thirty years. Eelco replaced it for less than a fraction of a new. Of course we are chuffed and happy about it. It is winter in southern Africa. And along the coast - cold, misty and wet. Talk to you later !

Sunday, February 26, 2017

PIRACY AND CORRUPTION

Maffia - corruption - piracy - all bad words and unfortunately all applicable to Nigeria. If they're willing to pay the price, cargo vessels can be escorted fore and aft by gunboats. Piracy is an age-old trade and gunning them down, part of daily life it seems. Normal protection is just one highspeed vessel to accompany the convoy of cargo vessels in and out of the seaport Onne, which is just south of  Port Harcourt in Nigeria. There is a certain area in the delta where no police or navy control is done. Therefore the area is used for pirate-trade.  Eelco's ship left Nigerian waters again under surveilance. It is though on the high seas out of the high risk area (and protection), that the pirates are active.  Pirates are one thing, but it's the corruption applied in maffia manner by the officials on all levels which leaves the bitter taste. 

Friday, February 10, 2017

UAL TEXAS underway to Ghana


Skipper is on his way with the mv UAL TEXAS to Takoradi in Ghana, West Africa. The trip started in Houston Texas and they battled heavy seas and large swell crossing the Atlantic. Now in the lee of the African continent, they can pick-up speed again. I can follow him on marinetraffic.com

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Freedom chips

Yes it's that time again. m/v UALTexas is providing the opportunity to collect the much needed freedom chips. Eelco joined ship in Brazilia and is now underway to Mexico and the USA, and from there to west Africa. Crew is multi national. 

Saturday, December 10, 2016

2016 update

2016 has been an interesting year. No, we didn't sail even one mile...... sad but true. Mylady arrived December 2015 in South Africa. We rested in Knysna over Christmas and then sped around the Cape of Good Hope to Port Owen on the southwest coast of South Africa. Here in the marina which is quite a distance upriver on the great Berg River, Mylady is safe from any heavy seas or swell. Yet close enough to sea, to freeze (not truly - just very cold) when the wind turns and comes onshore across the cold Benguala of the Atlantic.
Therefore we're not complaining. We have cold, cool, warm, hot, mist weather, all in the span of one week, and then over again.  Sea is half hour walk from the boat. We go there often.
            We have been hard at work - travelling. Eelco earned some freedom chips for us around western Europe. Mi-sA-le joined him for a few weeks. We alse spent time with mom in Netherland and explored some of Holland. Mi-sA-le then went to visit her son in Texas USA and also her son in Cape Town. The time back on Mylady we enjoyed and happily groomed the boat, ticking-off the jobs to-do list which only grows.
             We went on a flower safari for a month in Namaqua land. It was beautiful, stormy, wet, cold, interesting. We made a roadtrip through the southwest part of Namibia. It took us two months. The land and desert were as always, soul-charge beautiful and amazing. When out on the water I colour in my mind the blue around me with browns, beige and greens - then I have the Namib right there at sea. While travelling through the Namib, I coloured in my head the black and browns of the landscape with hues of blue - and it is truelly just asif we're at sea. Mind boggling. Even Eelco agreed. The roadtrip was hot and dusty. Birdlife quantity and variety was astounding. Game sighting along the roads were plentiful. But I dare say not 10% of the dust kicking cars flying by saw the well camo-ed animals.
             At the moment we are spending time in Jonkershoek Nature reserve area between the massive peaks and cliffs of the ... mountains. (Have you watched my JONKERSHOEK movie yet?) Then its off to Cape Town for some visa paperwork. Then on toward Pretoria for Christmas with the family and in the New Year we start with freedom chips and overseas trips again. As you can tell - we are well. 
              Wishing you all the best and hope to hear from you soon. 
   Eelco  and Mi-sá-lê -  blessed & happy  

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Road trip Namibia

After the haulout, we scurried with half of everthing inside Mylady, to the old VWJetta and started our selfdrive road trip to Namibia, camping along the way. We had detailed, good info from the stgcnam consultant in the planning stage and  underway.
          Ai-Ais hotspring to which I was so looking forward to, was a very big disappointment. A troop of baboons reigned and spread disaster. Some of the facilities were noticeably improved outside but the inside was unkept, dirty and worn. Even in the spa the tiles were broken off, the water temperature either boiling or cold, and the massage jets not working.
The viewpoint of the Fishriver Canyon at Hobas was fantastic. As was the camping facilities. Very dusty powder soil though.
Gravel ROADS in Namibia is a disaster for any sedan car. All the roads servicing the tourist destinations are over-used and the roadbed destroyed by corrigation, making grating it not very helpful.
Luderits was very enjoyable. We had perfect weather. Stayed at the oldest building -signal tower. And enjoyed a marvellous trip out to the islands with Zeepaard Boat tours. 
Aubures - west of Helmeringshausen was very good. We were guided to ancient Bushmen rock paintings - fascinating! The view accross the valley refreshed the soul everytime you laid eyes on it. Hot - dry - rocky - yet grippingly beautiful.
We enjoyed the immense beauty along the C27 road passed Wolwedans. On the spur of the moment we bypassed Sesriem with its maze of accommodation and stopped at Weltevrede
From there we made speed to Windhoek, bundu bashing over the D1261, Remshoogte pass.
         Windhoek Mediclinic operates like Africa - spent two nights there.
Urban camp.net was a super great experience. Very central to downtown Windhoek and five minutes walk to Joe's Beer House. The staff at Urban were very helpful, friendly and accommodating.
Next stop was Spitzkoppe. An impressive place with its overpowering boulders and curios rock rabbits. 
We had lunch in Hentiesbay and stayed in Swakopmund. The dunes gave us an excellent and exhausting experience.  It was freezing cold, windy and wet ! And we chose to return to the blazing hot Spitzkoppe. 
In Gross Barmen we relaxed. The hot inside pool was not clean, the floortiles in all the pools were dangerously slippery. To top it all - around twelve noon all electricity went off! In pitch dark we had to find our way with hands and the occasional faintest of cellphone light back to our clothes. And no discount was offered for this inconvenience. Daan Viljoen Game Reserve just outside Windhoek on the other hand was a super experience.
From there it was south again. We slept between the quiver trees 20km north of Keetmanshoop at /Garas. And continued to Amanzi at the Orange River. Amanzi was good, but for us very unpleasant when students noised loudly through the night, making sleep a disaster. We cancelled the rest of our booking and left.
The last stop of this trip was Modderfontein 8km west of Springbok in South Africa where we also started this trip. First time round our air mattrass failed. Second time round we brought back the borrowed matras.
Back home on sailboat Mylady here in Port Owen, it is suprisingly
windy and cold. With time I will update this post with a lot of links.  

Friday, September 9, 2016

HAULOUT Port Owen - South Africa



A shocking, anti-climax to 'normally'.

Sailing vessel Mylady has been quietly at rest in Port Owen Marina for the last few months. But now it was time to haulout at Port Owen Boatyard. On our way to the boatyard we ploughed half a keel deep through the mud, but eventually we got there.
          Mylady looked very good since her last haulout two and a half years ago. 
    Here at the boatyard the atmosphere is relaxed and the services effecient. 
     As always, there are more to do than 'just a scrub and paint'. Whilst we continue life on the hard and climbing high ladders, we'll keep on dreaming.

Why the "shocking, anti-climax to 'normally'"?
Because it is so relaxed.
How come?
Because the boatyard closed for a couple weeks holiday and we are all alone fiddling with dear old Mylady while we watch the thousands and thousands of cormorants flying to the fishing grounds every morning and returning every evening above the meandering river.