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Cape Town report 3 ... and London report for 13-27 June 2011

Cape Town Report 3

'Chunky', Dockmaster at the Royal Cape Y.C., very kindly placed me conveniently right in front of the Clubhouse - I can get wi-fi to the boat without a problem and have no distance to walk to the restaurant and Bar .... and on a sunny, warm day, the view of Table Mountain can't be bettered!

Work has gone frustratingly slowly - but I've also been relaxing and socialising a lot - often in front of the lovely log fire lit in the Club of an evening now that the winter cold weather has arrived - I'm glad to have a small fan heater in the boat to take the chill off  the air quite often... and it's nice to be able to play my iPod music through the radio speakers at last. 

Present jobs in hand include sails, series drogue bag, transformer, instruments and autopilot problems, watermaker, gelcoat repair, windsteering adjustments and vane replacement, tricolour replacement, stainless steel work ... and I've probably missed some items....!

It was lovely to be invited to join Leeann and Giovanna for some Sunday walks in a group - good exercise, beautiful views and some delightful flowers and plants to be seen to add into the enjoyable company!

Sunday 29th May 2011:  Climbed up the Lion's Head mountain on a rather damp day - luckily, it hardly rained at all.   It was so nice to get away from the Yacht Club to get some fresh air and exercise!.

View along coast beyond Camps Bay, with the 'Twelve Apostles' shrouded in cloud:

Pretty but tiny flowers were frequently seen beside the path up:

The top of the mountain looms high above us - not too far to go now....

A steep climb in places, over the rocks - but lunch beckons...

The obligatory 'over-the-edge' photo (with Leeann), Robben Island in the distance, under the overcast sky with the sun trying, but mostly failing, to shine through..

The cloud closed in a bit as we made our way down....

Lovely giant proteas, typical of the Cape area, were flowering near the end of our descent:

Some proteas were just about to open:

On Friday 3rd June, I gave a short after-dinner talk and slideshow about my sailing to the Officers of the Royal Cape Rifles (Duke's) in their Mess in the old Castle of Cape Town - an area not normally visited by tourists and full of old memorabilia.   A very enjoyable evening and an interesting insight into a different aspect of S. Africa.

On Sunday 5th June: I got away from the boat again - this time to climb Table Mountain itself.

Start of climb from Kirstenbosch Gardens - we're headed up to the top, right up there!!

Giovanna and daughter Beth rest on way up steep waterfall - section of the steep scramble up Skeleton Gorge - definitely not a relaxing amble through the woods...!

Lovely, often vivid, flowers, often very small... But with eyes constantly looking down to see where feet had to be placed for secure footholds, there was little trouble spotting them!

Lunch was eaten under this craggy, worn overhang near the top of Table mountain, before the descent:

Interesting wind-eroded rocks at the top:

We girls do the 'over-the-edge' photo-shoot at the top!!

Looking over to False Bay on descent down Nursery Ravine on Table Mountain - It was this steep all the way down!   The climb up Skeleton Gorge was easy by comparison...

These tiny little flowers needed a touch more sunshine for them to open up fully:

More of the beautiful flowering plants in the Kirstenbosch Gardens:

A visit to the Cape area wouldn't be complete without seeing some of its dramatic Proteas - these magnificent blooms were on display in the Gardens' entrance, but we'd passed lots of the plants near the bottom of Nursery Ravine and on the slopes above the Gardens:

13-27 June:  
Flew to London while work was stopped on dealing with electrical and instrument repairs/problems with Robert taking a 3-wk holiday (I'd hoped his work would have been finished beforehand, but some problems were rather time-consuming to sort out ... and a lot of TIA-type delays also didn't help....) 
Brought some items with me to UK for testing/repair/replacement - took them down to Portsmouth and  Southampton for a speedy turnaround - Raymarine and Navico both being very helpful, as usual, and made a useful stop at a couple of chandleries.   Pauline, at Force 4, was her usual very helpful self. 
Have been catching up a bit with family and friends, plus getting dental and medical side of things sorted out.   And have spent a lot of time on paperwork - being away for long periods means lots of post to catch up on ... and tax returns can't be avoided...  
ITN wanted me to visit their TV Studios in central London for a 'live' News item on my successful RTW completion and resultant record-setting....  Eventually managed it on Monday 20th June - was very relaxing to be chauffer-driven there and back through the busy London traffic - and no parking problems either...!  Was very interesting to see the studio production side of TV - lots of people crammed into a relatively small space!  
Summer weather in England is very similar to winter weather in Cape Town, with Cape Town a little colder and often needing heat in the evenings and overnight, but the days in England, being around Midsummer's Day, are noticeably longer, of course.   It's still light well after 10pm in London, but dark by 6pm in Cape Town.
I'm hoping to complete all work on "Nereida" within a fortnight of my return, so I can sail over to St Helena and Brazil for some warmth and relaxation, until the seasons change later in the year....  But my plans, as always, are 'made in wet sand at low water'...!

Written by : Mike

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