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Excellent news at last...!! "Nereida" should be away sailing soon!

After weeks of frustration, including suffering from the 'silly season' here in South Africa (as they term the schools' summer holiday/Christmas/New Year period from the point of view of getting work done!), I finally had the good news I'd been hoping for - my engine repairs can go ahead, along with completing other repairs & work I'm getting done while in  Cape Town - an excellent place to get boatwork done.  I'm hoping to get all the work completed within the next 2-3 weeks.  I'm spending the weekend celebrating... and started off well with dancing to the swinging music of  the Cape Rockers band on Friday night!

     I'm one very happy person right now...!!!

Many people here in Cape Town have been very kind & helpful, especially at the Royal Cape Y.C where I'm berthed. I originally arrived here on Dec 9th expecting to stay just 2-3 days!  My special thanks are due to Melvin and Shama for their kindness in giving me lots of their time, taking me on a tour of Paarden Eiland, the Waterfront and Cape Town to get items on my shopping list, as well as getting some great fish and chips at Snoekies, both in Hout Bay and in town.   We tried hard to get me a sou'wester hat but it seems S. Africans have no need of such raingear, so no luck there!!

In between getting on with boat-related jobs, I've been  taken to a Township school, to the Newspace Theatre for a performance of Jacques Brel's songs and on tours of the beautiful coast both north and south of Cape Town with its white sand beaches and offlying rocks.  I've sped along, getting drenched, in a racing catamaran at 25 knots, touching 28 knots.... & taken part in Wednesday night yacht-racing - last week in SE 30-39 knots of wind!   (The racing should have been cancelled but somehow went ahead - but these S. African sailors are a tough lot, used to regularly sailing in very strong conditions!!)  This morning I went out for a pleasant sail in Table Bay, helping on a boat wanting to train up its foredeck crew for spinnaker work, ready for the Mykonos Race in mid-February - the big event of the racing calendar here.  On the way back, dolphins visited the boat, with a mother and tiny youngster jumping together among them!

Cruisers have come .. and gone... mainly headed NNW to the SE Trades of the S. Atlantic ... to St Helena and on to Brazil or the Caribbean or the Azores, but a few have headed east to Australia - the direction in which I'm hoping to sail before the end of February.

The wind is howling just now - the typical 25 -30 knot southeaster of Cape Town.  When I see the 'table cloth' drop over Table Mountain's edge,I've learned to expect the strong SE wind which usually keeps blowing for several days, sometimes calming down temporarily in the early morning.  It should stop by Sunday, turning to N-NW - which often heralds some rain - before the next southeaster comes in again... and so the cycle continues.

Written by : Mike

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