Thursday, January 15, 2009

Starting in Cape Town

“Sell up and sail away” is the title of a book written by some yachties who did just that.... and it sounded so easy! Although we are not doing exactly that, our approach is similar ... and it is not easy at all. The hard parts? Saying goodbye (or, rather, farewell and au revoir) to family, friends and pets. The packing up: all your worldly goods divided out into items to store (less than a single garage); get rid of (donate / sell and discard); and take into your next phase ... a single luggage trailer-load only! As I wrote this I thought: what are the easy parts? And for that question I don’t yet have an answer, but we know that this will ultimately be a wonderful experience and enrich our lives greatly... so comfort-zone be damned! In a year’s time we will look back and pin-point the easy parts...

We must have looked hilarious on the road to Cape Town: the entire back of the car was packed with goods, none in glorious matching luggage sets but rather items simply tossed individually on top of each other, squashed down and the door closed on them hastily to stop them falling out. This packing strategy is not our normal, but resulted from a crisis: too much was designated to be taken to CT and not enough space! So inspection of the trailer and car revealed shoes (no, not in pairs), spice bottles packed in Tupperware, towels, etc, tossed around amongst boxes, packets and bags. So it was with great interest that a metro cop near Beaufort West regarded our flurry of activity when she insisted that we dig out the new trailer license - from one of the folder-files (which one??) in the file box (which one??) .... and was that in the trailer or back of car??

The staff at the Eastern Boulevard Garden Court (home for the first week) probably also think we are a bit odd, but our room functions well as an office (3 boxes of work-files still on the go), general laundry (well, would YOU pay R7.80 to have them launder a handkerchief?) and storage venue for all our books, laptops, cameras and other electronic goods. This seems like luxury when we contemplate our next six weeks, during which time we will be living in a small cabin in the training yacht in Hout Bay, using our trailer as a cupboard!

WHAT ABOUT THE YACHT, you ask?? The pictures below tell the tale: although initially disappointed that her progress was not further, all modules are fitted in the hull and she will get her roof this week. As you see, whilst Rolf engaged in close inspection of yacht, masts etc, Irene “took tea” in the saloon! We have had great discussions with David and Craig (the Admiral people “we will bring Ketoro production forward in the queue”..... hmm, let’s see), the sail maker, mast fabricators and the interiors guy. We now sit with samples and must choose our colours and fabrics this weekend. What is most impressive is that we have been allowed full access to all the production sites and get to see every stage of Ketoro’s development... looking for the warts!

The weekend will hopefully also see some relaxing. We have been exhausted, both physically and emotionally, but have still managed to fit in some evening socialising this week.... but tonight is TV and computer night!

Thanks so SO much for reading the blog and giving comment there or via sms, call or e mail... it helps us to feel that we are still with you. Roll on Monday training: watch this space for the next update!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year new start

The first day of 2009 has heralded the start of making our dream a reality.

Well, not the start really, as SO much work has already been put into it (by Rolf mostly!) but the real beginning of the voyage. The next 4 months will see us leave this home with only a car and trailer, travel to Cape Town where we will both undergo 6 week training courses, finalise yacht details and watch Ketoro take shape. Hopefully we will start living in this new home of ours in March, provision it and do a LOT of practice-sailing before we set sail up the east African coast around mid-April.

When did the dream REALLY start? Probably in Rolf's mind about 30 years ago.... seems he has always been besotted by boats (which does not help if you live surrounded by mother earth: you surround yourself with yachting magazines instead). So, when Irene adopted the dream and vowed "for better or worse, for richer or poorer" she too made a commmitment to this route.

And so, ultimately, Ketoro was born. The yacht's name means "It is the dream" in three African languages: a beautifully appropriate name for this yacht in this place at this time.

So it is the first day of the year which will see the fulfilment of the dream. This is the first entry of, hopefully, many. We have no idea when, where or what the last entry will be. We will try to share as much of our journey as possible with our beloved friends and family: this will be via the Ketoro Travels blog mainly but ideally also through your Ketoro visits to really share our experiences. That was your open invitation.... now make that a reality!