Finally - a new engine in place! I might actually get away sailing soon!

Thursday 11th February: AT LAST!  Clive gently guides the new engine down into "Nereida", with Welcome, crouched low, and Philip, above, helping, - soon it will be ready and, after other related work is completed, I'll be ready to set sail - well before the end of the month, I hope!  The keel needs a good clean from having been still here for so long and then I'll need to provision and generally get the boat tidy and well organized for the next long passage eastward...

    
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A  RCYC member brought me a sou-wester hat from England - I wanted it for extra protection from heavy rain at sea .... they don't seem to sell them here anywhere!

Although busy trying to sort out the various problems I've had of late, I also took time out to climb up Table Mt with some other cruisers one Saturday morning - in heavy mist...  Beautiful views and plants, but a tough climb up the steep path through Platteklip Gorge ... stepping up enormous stones most of the way up, often slippery in the moist conditions of early morning - but definitely worth the effort!
     
           
A timid dassie ...... about half   a metre in length.....whose nearest relative is the elephant!!

Last week ended up being pretty busy both over the days and evenings.... I've been out Wednesday evening racing several times now on 'Thalassa' with skipper William and his crew - last Wednesday there was excellent wind & lots of boats on the water, making for a fun race, followed  by the usual very sociable evening.  The following evening, I was taken a short distance down the coast to busy Camps Bay, with its lovely beach and spectacular waves crashing onto the rocks just off the shore,  for a lovely fish dinner and Friday saw the usual excellent live music here at the Royal Cape Y.C., so I got a bit more exercise with some dancing ...

On Saturday, I enjoyed a lovely drive along the beautiful coast road from Cape Town, over Chapman's Peak and on to the Cape Point National Park, which has the Cape of Good Hope and its lighthouses within it.  Surprisingly, only one baboon was seen fleetingly, but I saw several more dassies, a few Cape zebra, black lizards and a blue-headed lizard, as well as some pretty striped mice!  The original light house high up on the promontory  was replaced with a lower one, which is better seen in cloudy conditions, after the liner Lusitania was wrecked on Bellows Rock, just off the Cape, in 1911 when the light was hidden from view by rainclouds.  Many people around were under the commonplace but mistaken impression that they were looking at the meeting of the Indian and Atlantic Oceans - which is actually at Cape Agulhas further to the SE.  Afterwards, I was driven around to False Bay and the surf beach of Muizenberg beyond Simons Town and Fishhoek.  Swimming here is a risky sport with people occasionally being taken by sharks....one poor man in a wetsuit was lost off a False Bay beach just a few weeks ago...  The thought is that wet-suited people are mistaken for seals - regular  food for sharks.  Sounds like a recipe for indigestion to me!!

       

       

 
High up ... the old light-house.  Low down, quite close to the sea... the replacement light-house.

Written by : Mike

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