Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Almost there…. last stages

It seems we may at last be on the last leg of this waiting process… or is this, again, na├»ve and wishful thinking? Here is the news of our present status and you can also assess where we are at…!

Firstly, we are now in an apartment owned by the yacht builders (buying our patience…?): an exceptionally spacious place on the third floor in Bloubergstrand on a hill, we have panoramic views through floor-to-ceiling windows of Robben Island, the whole of Table Bay, Table mountain, Blouberg beach and some of the village area. We watch the light sequences of the three lighthouses and lateral marker buoys in our view and observe the constant march of ships going in and out of the harbour … and the ship that almost grounded on the beach in front of our eyes in massive winds! We now have good 3G so are enjoying internet access… and the man of the family has, for the first time in 6 months, a TV remote!!! Rugby, cricket, soccer, tennis…. He is getting cramp in his thumb!

That thumb also holds a pencil a lot as Rolf pores over charts; he has spent considerable time doing passage planning to avoid cyclones and pirates, take advantage of monsoon seasons and generally be in good places. The yacht factory visits are numerous, we practice interpreting weather forecasts and barometer readings from “home”, and continue with the other planning and decision-making, but the forward progress is happening….

We have been given important dates in the life of Ketoro: apparently they will try to get her on the water on 23 July (they book a 5-day slot around that time as this is dictated by weather), and will hand her over to us by 10 August…. Celebration time!! We will then provision and equip her and spend some time in Saldanha Bay and Cape Town learning how she works and sails, before setting off at the end of August up the east coast to Richards Bay (with some stop-overs).

A rough picture of our travels is: sail up the Mozambican coast as far as Bazzaruto, visit Bassas (an atoll in the channel) then make passage to Mayotte before going across to Nosy Be and other islands on the NW side of Madagascar for 1-2 months. The end of December and January will see us in the northern region of Mozambique (Pemba, St Lazarus Banks and the Querimba Archipelago) then we will head for the Seychelles for a month or so in February / March after which Thailand will possibly call us (heading there via Chagos and the Maldives and getting to Phuket around end of May / early June).

We will set out these journeys on Google Earth as we update our positions to another blog set up for that. Check out the link in the column on the right: you will presently just see the location of “home” in Bloubergstrand, but it will eventually have our place marks showing our journey on the SEA! If the link does not take you there, use this web address: http://blog.mailasail.com/ketoro.