Posted by: powellpjc | February 14, 2013

Out of Africa. Well, South Africa.

I’ve been in South Africa now for almost 2 months and had a wonderful time. Pig hunting and photo safari in the Eastern Cape and Table Mountain, Cape Town waterfront, spectacular drives through the rugged Cape. This past weekend I hopped in the car and drove 5 hours east to George, near the paragliding centre of the south coast.

The coastline at Wilderness from the Map of Africa launch point.

The coastline at Wilderness from the Map of Africa launch point.


Of course weather was poor. Wrong direction wind, some rain drops and low cloud. Something like sailing but the consequences of bad decision making are worse. I didn’t fly at all, just kited my old wing. I had my old wing (7 years old now) checked out by a real pro, with laser line testing, porosity and tear strengths in all lines and panels and it passed with flying colours. No pun. Just faded from the Chilean sun. I bought a new glider here in Cape Town because the prices are just unbeatable. The Rand (RSA currency) is sinking fast and a guy can take advantage of that. My glider cost $1900 CAN and would have cost $3000 in Canada. I will fly it next in Brazil.
The boys jamming and drinking on la Rosa. I have only pathetic 3 harmonicas to add. Stored the piano a few days ago. Fun anyway.

The boys jamming and drinking on la Rosa. I have only pathetic 3 harmonicas to add. Stored the piano a few days ago. Fun anyway.


Checked out of all necessary bureaucracies today and will let go tomorrow from Simons Town, south around the actual Cape of Good Hope (not the southernmost part of Africa) and then north to Walvis Bay, Nambia, the former German West Africa colony. Big dunes there and hope to fly. Maybe see some desert elephants.
Cape penguins in Simons Town.

Cape penguins in Simons Town.


There's always one showoff in the group.

There’s always one showoff in the group.


The cormorant is a lousy flyer, lander and take-offer.

The cormorant is a lousy flyer, lander and take-offer.


And there a hell of a lot of them.

And there a hell of a lot of them.


Little dockside marine life.

Little dockside marine life.


He final flops onto the dock. Same way I used to climb ice falls. With difficulty.

He final flops onto the dock. Same way I used to climb ice falls. With difficulty.


Cape Town, baby.

Cape Town, baby.


Simons Town harbour on a rare calm day.

Simons Town harbour on a rare calm day.


Pete's not worried about pirates anymore with this missile frigate parked beside him.

Pete’s not worried about pirates anymore with this missile frigate parked beside him.


Heading south around this today from Simons Town enroute to Walvis Bay, Namibia. The actual Cape of Good Hope.

Heading south around this today from Simons Town enroute to Walvis Bay, Namibia. The actual Cape of Good Hope.


From there, after a week or so, I will head across the South Atlantic, making for Salvador, Brazil. St. Helena is on the way so if it suits me I will stop in there for a pizza. I expect a 5 week crossing the way I sail but anything can happen and usually does.
For instance, I had some chafe (wear) in my mainsail halyard (the rope that pulls the mainsail up the mast) and it has been nagging me for months so I decided to change it. It goes up to the top of the mast, through a sheave (roller pulley) and then down inside the mast, exiting through a small hole. My first attempt failed due to ineptitude. My second attempt, ditto. This required climbing the mast 3 times. The fourth climb, with assistance from a couple of fellow yachties was successful and now I have a lovely new halyard and thighs that are burning plus a sunburn from 4 hours work in the hot sun. It’s done, nevermind.
Maybe I can post from Namibia, don’t know. St. Helena, doubt it. So maybe we talk again from Brazil where my Portuguese is non-existant.
The ‘New South Africa’ is a mess, run by Corruption Incorporated. Beautiful and lost.

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Responses

  1. Before you get aloft in Namibia, be sure to pack an extra bottle of water. The Skeleton Coast is just a stiff breeze north of Walvis Bay.


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