Clearance paperwork completed - leaving S. Africa Monday morning

Stress right up to the end here!!.... The guys working on warranty work on board turned up just two out of the last five days - for half a day's work... It's still not complete and I've a big hole high up above the galley which was supposed to have been covered up with a wooden spice shelf - no sign of that , nor of Manuel all day Friday.....and I just have to leave.   I had begun to wonder if I'd ever get away - and my visa was due to expire on Tuesday 9th March - making it  three months that I'll have been in S. Africa!! 

The people at the Royal Cape Y.C. where I've been berthed whilst work has been in progress were very helpful on Friday in resolving problems so I could  be ready to clear out... but I had to spend all Friday afternoon trying to organize international payments so I could leave here... Phone calls to Sweden and England kept being dropped just at the end of a convoluted process - so I had to go through it all over again- several times until successful!!   I keep hearing "What!  Are you still here?"!!

On Wednesday, I took the opportunity at the Race Prize-Giving to say "Thank you" to everyone here - so many people have helped keep me sane over the stressful times I've gone through while here.  Melvin & Shama came by on Friday and took me to meet her family for a meal, which was very nice of them and very enjoyable.  On Saturday, I spent all day trying to get the sail and running rigging sorted - Miles (one of Melvin's 'Day Skipper' students) had kindly volunteered to help me the previous day - and despite being hung over from celebrating passing the exam until the early hours, he came along and proved very helpful.  Baden popped by from Simons Town to say goodbye and was also a great help, even though, unfortunately, he couldn't stay long.  So the mainsail, lazyjacks, reefing lines and reef tie-in strop system were all in place by the evening - and looking far cleaner due to Miles' efforts!!

That still left me with lots to do today - but Vice Commodore Tony stepped in to help me with provisioning, finding somewhere to buy jerrycans for the extra fuel I felt I should take, providing bits of wood for lashing one of the cans on deck and eventually ferrying me around to the three different places needed to clear out this evening:  Port Authority, Immigration and Customs - who also dealt with my VAT reclaim form. Thanks a lot for all that help, Tony. 

I've done laundry, got the Hydrovane ready, flaked the Jordan series drogue & chain into its new bag on deck, run lots more lines, hosed the deck and solar panels down to get rid of the usual black dust, and stowed food away... but still haven't got my pulpit back together  - taken off to access the bow navigation lights' wiring so they could be changed.  That has turned into a major problem, with the silicone sealant, which was  most unfortunately used previously, together with a tiny hole for the wire, seriously complicating what should have been a simple job. 

I'll go back to the boat now to finish tidying up and stowing things away ready for sea before getting some sleep... the wind looks good for leaving tomorrow morning - NW, but not strong, so I may have to motor for a day or two to get down towards 40S - the latitude I'll be roughly keeping to while on passage towards S. Australia and Tasmania.  The HOT sunny day has now given way to overnight thunder ...

I'll be keeping up my usual regular news updates while on passage nonstop to San Francisco  - or Hawaii, if taking too long (see my website:  www.svnereida.com .... 'Home Page' .... and 'Travels' page  - "Where is Nereida?" for noon positions)

'Bye for now from Cape Town - hopefully my next update will, finally, be from "Nereida" at sea again!

Written by : Mike

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