Monday, 10 June 2013

YACHTPORT SA 10th June 2013

Things have moved along. Customs have cleared us back into the country. Perhaps we will be naturalized! Waiting for immigration to visit, or we may have to get permit to drive to Cape Town to see them there.

View out the window at Dunes B&B Paternoster
North Sails are building us a new sail. They said they needed 3 working days! Not bad!
Quantum said they would be 2 weeks but because they had already had the old sail for 2 weeks to make it sound for the trip, and because they didn't inspect the stitching properly and so the stitching broke just below the 3rd reef, in 7 knots of wind, We didn't feel inclined to give them the job. 
We have decided to haul out, anti-foul and complete the replacement of the new shaft and cutlass bearing. We attempted this project in Cape Town and  it turned into a nightmare because the shaft material we needed was 38mm and the one they made us was 40 mm! Quite  a difference!  Will see how it goes. The new shaft will work if we can match a cutlass bearing to our "P" bracket. (They also do paint jobs here. The prices we heard were very very good. We don't want paint but a good place if you did.!)

We are due to replace some standing rigging so we are getting a price for that. It may be worth pulling the mast out here to repair a wire tangle inside, if we can't sort it while its standing. No wind instrument or mast light working since Cocos Keeling. The crane on the travel lift has a problem at the moment so we will see if mast lifting is possible later.
Panty Bar at Paternoster.

On Saturday a great guy we met in Cape Town, and spent fun times with, Robert Ravensberg, drove up to Saldanha  with his friend Trudy, to bring us some new fuel filters, and we took a drive to Paternoster, a nearby fishing village. Very quaint and now developing into a tourist attraction and holiday destination. The architecture has remained fairly true to type of the original fishermen a cottags. It's got a feel not unlike Rottnest except its white instead of ochre and there are cars. We were swamped by local boys wanting to sell us lobsters. Bought  9 large specimens for $2.50A each after bartering down from $4.50.

After securing Lobsters, we dined at the Paternoster Hotel and visited the famous panty bar! Thousand s of panties hanging in the ceiling! Different and somewhat colurfull.  Then we took a drive out to the Cape  Columbine light house and along the coast. Trudy was a light house keepers daughter and grew up here. Most interesting.

The weather was fairly wintery and the coastline is rugged. Not particularly high but very rocky, lots of granite boulders and some a long way off shore. A cape to keep very well clear of, but must be beautiful on a hot summers day.

Later in the afternoon we visited Dunes, a fabulous 4 star B&B owned by their friends. What a spectacular spot, right on the beach, and lovely friendly people. Architecture, furnishings and art designed or selected by the owners, both Interior Designers.  Inspiring.

Coming back to the boat in the cold and dark evening got a little interesting when the port guards decided we couldn't go in if we weren't breathalyzed! And if ther was any alcohol present they wouldn't allow us in. Fortunately Robert was able to talk them around and we were allowed back to Taipan!   It was after David and I started to walk in that the guard felt sorry for us because he said it was too far. it was only about 300 m so they don't obviously walk far here! They have funny port rules here and complain that it's Americas fault because the Americans won't accept ships into their ports which arrive from unsecured ports!
We did encounter similar problem in Mossel Bay when we left the boat one night to have dinner in town. Had a long walk back via a diffrent Gate and were breathalyzed!

Well it's good to know the rules and that there are some interesting places not far away because we might be here a while. There are worse places to be to be sure.

More Saldahna Bay photos  
Addendum. I had a call from Tony Strut of Quantum Sails   (    regarding my comments on this post. To clarify, They had the sail for 2 weeks prior to our departure from Cape Town to repair batten pockets, make good a previous repair at the head of the sail and inspect stitching and replace defective stitching to make the sail good for the trip to the UK. Quantum sent someone straight to Salddana to pick up the sail again when we arrived here with split stitching, and promptly gave us a price to fix the sail again or build a new one. Their price for a new sail was 25% cheaper than North Sails and they needed 2 weeks to build new or one week to repair the old one.