Logbook: October 3 , 2016
Mossel Bay, South Africa
Yesterday was spent unwinding from our camping trip, finishing little jobs around the boat, and, for me, sailing! We are replacing our two single-handed RS Aero sailboats with a double-handed one, so I had the task of testing a couple boats out: the Topaz Topper and the RS Feva.
I was a little anxious about sailing when I woke up… the swells had grown, the wind was up around 15–20kts, and I hadn’t really sailed in over a year. Add to that the fact that I’m really not that good of a dinghy sailor and you’ve got a cocktail of nerves. Luckily, as the day went on, the sun came out and made for a beautiful day, but the wind was still strong and the swells were still quite large. Because I wanted to see what the boats felt like when sailing double-handed, (…and because I was nervous) I asked the instructor to go out with me. When we got out on the water, she handed the tiller over pretty early and never got it back. To my surprise, she never asked for it back. When I offered her the tiller after we did an upwind and a downwind leg, she refused, saying she actually felt comfortable with me driving and was having a lot of fun… and that was saying something since her father is pretty much the only other skipper she trusts. Needless to say, my ego got a little larger, but in all seriousness I was just glad to hear she was enjoying the ride as much as I was! The swells became towering walls of water as we got further offshore, but we made sure we endured a few of them so we could turn around, hoist the spinnaker, and absolutely scream downwind, surfing the whole way.
Sorry to go on and on, but man did it feel good to go sailing again! Four hours later, the RS Feva was the clear winner. Easier to handle, more fun, more stable, and still just as fast. When I got back to the boat and opened the door, everyone in the salon couldn’t help but laugh at the obvious euphoria on my face.
We capped the night off with some Cards Against Humanity since Blake and Michelle hadn’t played before, a few bottles of wine, and a refreshing homemade meal onboard.October 1 — Oudtshoorn: Caves and Ostriches
Camping… and a lot of driving
We spent the past 5 days or so driving East along the Southern coast of South Africa, a drive popularly known as the Garden Route because of it’s lush beauty. It didn’t disappoint! The drives were just as interesting as the activities, and the activities were no slouches either. Because it was our last planned camping excursion, we decided we needed to camp the shit out of it. Even so, we found an excuse to get some decent lodging so we could have a fun night out in Knysna, a beautiful city located on a picturesque inlet and known for their oysters. As you may know, oysters are meant to be “paired” with tequila… and we seemed to really enjoy the oysters!
Yesterday was the “morning after”… and we had a classic dirt road drive out to Oudtshoorn to get rid of (or make worse) our hanging heads. Since the Cango Caves are located in Oudtshoorn, it proved to be well worth the torturous ride. (I know now that Chase chose the dirt road on purpose, even though it was 30 minutes longer… bastard) Once in the caves, it was a long walk to get through the big caverns and into the smaller tunnels. Right at the intersection, I started to feel a bit concerning and decided to voice my discomfort with the others. Thankfully, they were all experiencing the same thing so we attributed it to the humidity in the close quarters. Once we went in the tunnels, since we took the “adventure tour”, we had a couple pretty hairy contortions to complete as we shimmied up, around, and through the tiny openings. As the anxiety over enclosed spaces dissipated, we enjoyed ourselves immensely, climbing, sliding, and running back through the caverns from which we came.
We were pretty eager to get to bed, and as much as I want to blame it on climbing through the caves, exploring Knysna’s night life was probably the culprit. After setting the tents up, eating dinner, cleaning and packing the truck back up, we finally climbed into bed around, oh, 7:30pm and promptly passed out.