Monday November 8, Eric is a local club member who will drive you around town, for a fee, instead of getting a taxi. He is well known throughout the club and his service is used by many cruisers. Along with Mark and Susan from s/v Erie Spirit (from Toledo, they’ve been cruising for 11 years), Eric dropped us off at the mall, the Boardwalk Inkwazi Shopping Center. Known as “the Heart of Zululand”, it has over 160 stores.
In the evening there was a meat and greet Braai (barbecue over wood or charcoal) sponsored by ZYC, Ocean Sailing Association of South Africa (OSASA) and Ocean Cruising Club (OCC).The event was for all the “International Yachties” that are here, about 20 boats.
The OSASA was formed within the past couple years, by three South African cruisers. They streamlined the country check in process, creating an online portal to fill out and upload required documents. Cruising boats visiting South Africa has increased in recent years as the Red Sea route has mostly been avoided due to pirate activity. Around the world sailboat races also include a stop in South Africa.
The OCC, administered from the UK, is an international club promoting long-distance cruising. Membership is open to anyone either as skipper or certified as competent by the skipper, who has completed a continuous ocean passage of at least 1000 miles, measured along the rhumb line, in a vessel of under 72 feet. The Ocean Cruising Club maintains a network of over 100 Port Officers worldwide to assist members.
Tuesday November 9, day trip to Hluhluwe Game Reserve (see separate post on the adventure). On the ride there our guide, Hayden Elliot, pointed out a few things along the way.
Eucalyptus Trees, not indigenous to South Africa but introduced from Australia, are engineered to grow fast and straight, ready to mill in just seven years. There are over 450,000 acres of trees here. They are the most valuable and widely planted commercial plantation tree species in the world, with high pulping yields and low production costs. The downside is the trees threaten the valuable water supply.
Typical Zulu people rural houses. Polygamy is legal in South Africa, each wife has her own house within the compound. The circular houses belong to the Grandmother.
Wednesday November 10, we hired a local contractor to finish stripping the varnish off the teak cap rails. On the side of the cap there is a metal strip, we didn’t remove the varnish below that strip or on the transom.
Dan went racing again in the evening on a different boat, they finished first. Shorter race than Sunday, around the channel buoys, not a typical race course, it was a zigzag path.
Thursday November 11, 🇺🇸 the work on the teak rails is almost complete. In the morning I baked lemon scones with lemon glaze. For dinner Curry Chicken, first time I made that, so good!
Friday November 12, Teak rail on the starboard side and stern is completed. The port side is cleaned, needs to be sealed then metal trim put in place, rain delayed the process.
Saturday November 13, Eric took us to the mall, Dan got a hair cut, we did a little food shopping mainly for produce and chocolate! We found at least four large grocery stores in the mall.
Falbala arrived this afternoon. Their passage from Reunion Island was not great. A day away from South Africa, their boat was struck by lightning in a storm. They lost all electronics, but we’re able to arrive under motor. We stopped over Tuzi Gazi to say hello.
Ohana is sailing to Richards Bay from Reunion, currently about 6 days away. Estran my be ready to leave by Friday, they are having their standing rigging replaced.
Sunday November 14, Blueberry pancakes for breakfast, with fresh blueberries!