Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Launch Day

Oh wow, it has finally happened!!

Ketoro is in the water at last, and WHAT a fun day it was! We set off from the factory with huge smiles on our faces, hazards flashing and towards the back end of a sandwich of 2 traffic police vehicles (with all the dee-dahs, flashes and razzmatazz they could think of), 2 black 4x4s (both Admiral boat-builders: they seem to have a uniform…!) and the trailer with LE BOAT overflowing its edges.

Most sections of the road were single carriageway and the yacht filled the road so oncoming traffic had to pull over and stop, while there were huge back-ups behind us (travelling at 50kph…. many frustrated commuters, we are sure!).

As we drove the low front descended upon Cape Town and the wind picked up, making the hearts flutter somewhat! There was low, threatening cloud but the rain held off obligingly.

We got to the Yacht Club 90 minutes later and the boat was strapped up, hoisted, turned in the air and placed in the water in what was an exciting but very efficient process.

We were delighted to have the support of friends and family in Cape Town who gave of their time to be with us (and the support of SO many who phoned, sms-ed, and we know just thought of us at that time….THANK YOU!).

All this time we were drinking champagne, having decided that it would be ridiculous to wait till we were actually on the boat …. but then we continued the toasts as we showed the guests around our new home… and got them to sign the visitors’ book! Finally, we moved on (for that, read: we were kicked off our boat as they had to continue working on it, and the mast and rigging was put up...) to lunch at the yacht club, which was very festive.

Cape Town did not present us with the best weather conditions for the launch, but she saved the really bad wind and rain for later in the afternoon, when our yacht was already safely on the water and not subject to slippery roads or wildly-swinging cranes.

So Ketoro is now where she should be, on the water, but we are not yet calling her home: however, if you click the link (in the panel on the right… you need Google earth) you will see that our place-mark is now where the boat is, not where we are; soon those will be in the same place!

Hopefully the elements don’t test her too sorely in the next few days…. or maybe they should, so the builders can do a full assessment before they hand her over to us sometime next week!