Monday December 27, Trance at V&A Marina, we occasionally share the dock next to the boat with seals and sea lions. Twice that we know of, one has actually jumped up on to our boat and rested on our bow.
Tuesday December 28, Wine Tour! With a hired driver, aka our previous tour guide, we did wine tastings at three vineyards and one restaurant, together with Carol and Kurt s/v IceBear and 3 friends of theirs, Mike, Felicity and her daughter Nadine.
First stop was Spier, near Stellenbosch, one of South Africa’s oldest wine farms dating back to 1692. Next was Muratie Wine Estate established in 1685, with its old world charm and beautiful gardens. Our last vineyard was Boschendal, where we tasted wine with a light lunch at the Farm Shop & Butchery on the premises. Most wineries in the acclaimed wine district are each a complex destination in themselves. Offering more than wine, restaurants to choose from, overnight accommodations as well as other activities to participate in.
Wednesday December 29, Dan and I had another Wine tasting. This one at the Waterfront Wine Shop at the V&A Waterfront. Several of our cruising friends have mentioned it. They feature a different area wine farms each day. For R100 ($6.00 USD) you can sample four different wines generously poured. Bottles are also available to purchase.
Wine from South Africa is excellent! It is also very inexpensive especially the premium wines. The industry had just recovered from a drought when the pandemic hit. Wine had been difficult to export in the past two years due to lockdowns and alcohol export bans from COVID. The bans had a sweeping effect from growers and producers to distributors, retailers and suppliers and to those that manufacture or sell production equipment, bottles, closures and even labels.
Thursday December 30, lunch today at Willoughby & Co Purveyors of Fine Seafood, along with Susan and Mark on s/v Erie Spirit, we met them at Richards Bay. Had my first sushi, but with cooked crab.
Friday December 31🥂, COVID tests for traveling in the morning, followed by immigration then customs. Exit stamps on our passports, we are departing Saturday for Namibia.
We celebrated ringing in 2022 at a dock party, with the cruising friends we’ve met here. It’s bittersweet that it now a new year. This means there is at the most 6 months left to our circumnavigation journey, to arrive in the Chesapeake Bay before the Atlantic hurricane season begins.