Port Elizabeth to Knysna…..
09 February – 12 February, 2013
We pulled into Algoa Bay Yacht Club in Port Elizabeth late in afternoon and luckily were able to get a slip assignment before the dock master left for the day. First of all, the docks here were extremely surgey. Worse, they were lined with rusty metal facing the boat edgewise. If you touched the sides, a big gash would be guaranteed. Surgey docks are never fun as you feel like you\’re doing a smash dance. Having a dull razor blade aimed at us, all the more distressing.
The more interesting story was when we woke up the next morning. A very smallish German woman came up to us and told us we were in a private slip. That we should pay her as the representative of the owner who would otherwise never receive any money from the yacht club. She explained there was local politics going on and this would be the best way to handle it…..NOT (thought I).
The next day, Alexandra and I returned from getting supplies and had several jerry cans of fuel with us. As soon as I came aboard, she confronted us asking if we now intended to leave and not pay the slip fee! I told her that we would be staying several days and that I would work out the slip arrangements with the Yacht Club on Monday (it was Sunday), and I wished to stay out of it. We\’d been assigned the slip by their dock master, etc. She proceeded to get very \”huffy\”. I asked for the owner of the slips phone number to explain that I understood all politics are local, but leave me out of it. She did indeed give me his phone number and I called. \”Mr. Davis\” as it turned out, was very nice on the phone. He did not know his friend would be trying to intervene on his behalf. I asked him to please call the Yacht Club on Monday and get their arrangements straightened out. He said he would call. His friend came by again. I\’m a bit large, she was a bit small. I shooed her away with glares and stares. She complied…..:-)
The next day, I informed the Yacht Club of the situation. They were needless to say a bit perturbed at the \”local\” trying to get involved. We paid the Yacht Club the fee. Now get this…. We\’re talking 10.00 USD/day. You\’d of thought from the way we were approached by Ms. Local, we were trying to abscond with the proceeds from the local church.
Welcome to boating around the world…….:-)
The next day, Alex and I hired a car and drove to Cape St. Francis and Jeffery\’s Bay. These were the legendary surf spots from the 1960\’s cult surfing film, \”The Endless Summer\”. Cape St. Francis was touted to have, \”The Perfect Wave.\” It was a lovely drive and a pretty cool place to watch the warm Indian Ocean peel off some nice waves. Jeffery\’s Bay was featured in the follow up film of about 10 years ago, \”Step Into Liquid\”. Both films are cool viewing if you\’re of a mind.
The following day, we drove on recommendation to Ado Elephant Park about an hour north of Port Elizabeth. It\’s a very mini Kruger Park; part of the South African National Park system. At first, it was just a nice drive. Then, we got to see four or five elephants and finally a large male lion just sleeping on the side of the road. The thing about lions is, you don\’t realize how big they are till you\’re right next to them. I was (IN THE CAR), about 10-15 feet away. He was completely disinterested, but wow, was he big.
All good things must come to an end and as the weather window for our next coastal hop was arriving, we did some shopping and got some more fuel preparing to head off to Knysna, our next stop and pro-ported to be one of the more spectacular locations along the South African coast. Standby!
Scott with Alexandra