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SA Report 12 - Getting close to December & still working hard to prepare boat

Good productive, hard-working day today - stowage project behind saloon settees coming on well.  Just need to get some perspex bent, re-staple Velcro to hold settee backs and screw on piano hinges ... and it will  be complete!  Should also have new cables in mast and new tricolour/anchor light fixed tomorrow - 'tail' on new light-fitting was so much shorter than old one that mast cables were just not long enough - amazing how a simple job turns into a convoluted one....  Still have a small wiring job to complete - to connect new Eberspacher control unit to system - finally found connectors I'd lost sight of for over a month!  AIS has stopped working so having to disconnect display and GPS to take back to UK for repair/replacement.  I'm making quite a list of items to bring back from UK (either unobtainable or stupidly expensive here)  - some small, others not so.  Various other jobs have been completed over the last few weeks (most items have now been crossed off' the list), albeit at the usual Cape Town snail's pace, and I'm hoping to sort the boat out once my settee project is finished.

Had a possibility of a two-day ride to Jo'burg last Monday - but had to abandon idea.  Pity, since I've not been able to get away from here as I'd hoped and that was probably my last chance.

This is a very belated newletter...  I've been to two recent Saturday events at the Royal Cape Y.C. The first was their Opening Cruise (as reported last time) which was good fun and highly sociable - I took some photos which weren't posted before - so here's one of a well-dressed sailing yacht saluting the RCYC Commodore on his plush motor-yacht:

I'm still feeling quite excited about the invitation I heard about that morning - to meet the Queen and Prince Philip (and possibly others of the Household) at an evening Reception (for 'Adventurers and Explorers!!) on 8th December in Buckingham Palace - should definitely be a fun event with plenty of interesting people to chat to!
On Sunday, I returned via Kalk Bay and stopped off for some 'fish & chips' (it's a small fishing harbour, so very good, fresh fish there)  and enjoyed live jazz over my coffee at Polana's afterwards:

The following weekend I went with a group of Club members here to a concert given near Scarborough which is just over the mountain from Simon's Town.  Dan Patlansky, from Jo'burg, was playing guitar with his group:

 - he turned out to be every bit as good a player as I'd enthusiastically been told, and the afternoon was dry & sunny - just as well since many people lounged around on the grass outside the main marquee:

To my astonishment, at one point in the concert, I spotted a locust making its way towards my table..

There have been a few evening 'brais' (barbecues!) here at False Bay Y.C. for birthday celebrations and after one, I was given some fresh Saldanha oysters - which were enormous and absolutely delicious.   I hadn't realised that Saldanha Bay was well-known for its oysters until meeting a couple who run an oyster 'farm' there.

The second enjoyable sailing event at RCYC was the Ladies Day Racing on 12th November when I joined 'Team Lobelia' with Judy Provoyeur as skipper - the practice in the morning went beautifully - several spinnaker gybes went very well - but unfortunately in the Race itself, we got into a real mess with the hoist so instead of coming first, as we clearly were all set to do, we made third place - but we were happy to have beaten 'Puma' to the podium. (Puma's usual crew went on to start the Volvo Ocean Race - but lost their carbon mast a few days back and are now on their way to Tristan da Cunha where they'll meet a ship from Cape Town bringing them a replacement...money clearly no object there!)

'Team Lobelia' pose befiore the race:

and again on board 'Lobelia":

We celebrated with lots of ;bubbly..

Richie, the fibreglass worker here, kindly took me in to CT to get the perspex which had been cut as I wanted - I gather perspex is really difficult to cut without it suddenly breaking, just as it has to be treated gently when screwing into it - or it will suddenly start cracking.  I'm about to drill into the pieces to attach them and I also have to cut 'finger holes' in it - so I hope I don't have any such problems tomorrow!  On the way back, we took the scenic route along the beautiful coast road - which passed  Kommetjie Beach - a well-known surf beach:

On our first trip into town to order the perspex and collect a few other items, we also went into the Waterfont complex where Richie had some work to sort out on the big Lifeboat in the Table Bay NSRI (National Sea Rescue Institute) station - so I got a chance to see the two lifeboats (one a small, fast Inshore RIB) - they've a close connection with the UK's Lifeboat Institution (RNLI) of which I'm a member, as are most UK seafarers.

The smaller inshore lifeboat (RIB):

And, finally, a few more flowers not posted previously.  Unfortunately, having fallen in the water here recently, with my camera in my backpack, until I replace the camera, I can only take photos using my mobile (cellphone) - surprising how well they're coming out for emailing...!

Don't forget the SeaBC - seabird count - coming up in December...  Do take part if you can - seabird conservation will be helped by reliable data.

For additional information and tally sheets, go to www.Facebook.com/Birding.Aboard

The central clearing house for the data will be Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s eBird website.

You may be a landlubber, but if you know birds, team up with a boating friend and get out in December to add to the count!

Written by : Mike

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