The Wind is in from Africa…..

The wind is in from Africa….. (Joni Mitchell)

24 November 2012 (Eastern Hemisphere)

Dear F&F,

Well…it\’s been 10,000 miles this season! Wow… Lots to reflect upon.

We arrived here on the 20th in a blustery Northeaster of 20-25 knots. We did see a 38 knot gust here in the harbor at Richard\’s Bay on the night of the 21st. We\’re all checked in, we have internet and phone. We\’ve gotten the boat in the slip where Beach House will be for a few months while I\’m back in the UK/USA. Nice to be able to go to a restaurant too!

We\’ve found our \”boat guy\”, Hebron (a local Zulu chap), who works on lots of boats here at Richard\’s Bay. Geoff and Chris from \”Shambala\” highly recommended him.

I was very lucky. AS A COMPLETE COINCIDENCE, the boat across the dock from me had the fuel polisher guys up from Durban today. They only come a few times per year without huge travel fees. $220.00 US later, I\’m clean and polished down to 1 micron. What a bonus! They are all about installing the \”Algae X\” system. I may consider it. The fuel was black for awhile while being polished. Apparently, in either Indonesia or Nose Be (or both?), the fuel companies added paraffin to the fuel. This saves them money, but causes the fuel to turn brown and is not good for the diesels. It has a much heavier smell to it too. So between the water/dirt/paraffin, this may be my \”power problem\”.

The fuel guys said it could easily cut performance by the 1/3rd I\’m seeing. The mechanic wants to check my exhausts on Monday. We may go for a boat ride to see if \”Mr. Fuel\” made a difference. I still need the alternator fixed and major oil/filter change. I replace the impellers, belts, etc. \”Sunflower\” got in yesterday noon. And a good thing. It blowing like stink outside right now. This will all be gone when I \”go around\” the 900 miles to Cape Town in Jan/Feb. They say then, that motoring is just as likely as sailing. Apparently, it\’s unusually wet/windy here for this time of year. The sailmaker arrives Monday to take the main and genoa to Durban, they come up here once/week. (Quantum Sails).

We\’ll be going 1 hour north to Cape St. Lucia where hippos roam the streets! Upscale town too! Then a Hippo/Croc river tour. Don\’t mess with the Hippos or the Cape Buffalo. They kill more people annually than all other animals combined. They are not aggressive and they don\’t eat meat. It\’s a problem only if you threaten them or scare or corner them. A local up in St. Lucia, recently had his leg taken off by a Hippo whom he startled. They really do roam the streets at Cape St. Lucia, especially around dusk.

After our Monday afternoon and evening at Cape St. Lucia, we\’ll drive to Umfolozi Game Park on Tuesday which has everything in terms of animals in high density except big cats. We can easily do the whole place in one day. It\’s only an hour and 15 minutes from here. We\’ll do Kruger National Park upon return in January. It takes about 3-4 days to do that park. An 8 hours drive each way. It has all the big cats.

We\’re cleaning and decommissioning…. Happy Thanksgiving to all in the USA!

KIT, Scott and Naturally Nice Nikki…..:-)