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African penguins galore!

Friday 25th Jan - Sunday 27th Jan 2008

What a windy place this is!!  I was clearly very lucky to have had the wind abate somewhat as I came in to dock at the False Bay Y.C. here in Simon's Town early on Friday - ever since then, the wind has generally been whistling around 30knots!!
But this is a lovely, really pleasant place with friendly people in & around the marina area.  There are plenty of old buildings nearby, lots of greenery & flowering shrubs and the dramatic steep backdrop of stony mountainside, added to which is the view over False Bay itself with more steep-sided mountains and small inlets.
After treating myself to a full cooked breakfast, I had an enjoyable meander around the main street soon after checking in at the False Bay Yacht Club where I'm berthed, chatted to a few people.. and then crashed out soon after midday, to awaken near 8pm!!  Clearly, I was tired after my sail here.... I just managed to get a meal before they closed the kitchen for the night - and an excellent one, too, of fish & seafood - and then proceeded to stay up late chatting to people, being now wide awake!!
Saturday was another sunny, if windy, day & I decided to walk south a short distance to Boulder Beach where I'd heard there were penguins to be seen.  Twenty minues or so later, I'd arrived at Seaforth Beach, a natural rocky cove with a lovely sandy beach, full of swimmers and people relaxing under the shady trees and was soon entering the Boulder Beach Marine National Park.
A boardwalk led through the shrub-covered sand-dune environment where penguins could be seen sitting on eggs (normally two) in a hole in the ground in the shade.  It ended overlooking a large beach area with huge rounded boulders.  There were hundreds of penguins, mainly resting, with just the occasional ones heading into or away from the water's edge. Many very obligingly posed close by for the visitors'cameras... I could have stayed a long time watching them, they were so comical & unafraid and the setting was so beautiful.
Sunday I tidied up the boat, made my list of 'jobs-to-do' & looked at the watermaker which has been misbehaving - to find a filter-holder has cracked & needs replacing. I also had visitors in the afternoon - friends from London, Andy & Alison, who are staying not far away (son Thomas is getting married here in March). Being 'new' cruisers themselves, they've offered to help me with boat jobs and, being familiar with the Cape Town area, they'll show me around a little also - all very nice and very welcome. My laundry has already been taken to Alison's brother's washing machine..!
It is so much more pleasant here, & safer to walk around, than the area close to the Royal Cape Y.C. in Cape Town that I've decided to stay put, rather than move there as planned.  My re-rigging can just as well be done here as there, along with my other jobs.  In any case, with the strong wind we've had so far, moving was out of the question.

Written by : Mike

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