Having made it to Cape Town, it was full steam ahead preparing the yacht for the Cape Town International Boat show. Malcolm, who came down with the yacht from Knysna, stayed on board Catching Up to finish up the last minute work projects that were required on the yacht. Grant Boshard and Peter Abbot were not far behind, arriving a few days later with more supplies. The week purely involved cg, touch ups, wiring, sorting and storing all our personal belongings.
During the process preparing for the boat show, a St Francis Catamaran named S/V Wanda Rose came floating in at night into the V&A and docked next to us. Quickly Wanda Rose became more than a yacht you’d pass on the way to the ablutions. On board were Rorke (The owner), Joe (his brother), Meryl (Rorke’s partner) and Geoff (Rorke’s best friend). These Americans had travelled all the way from around the world to pick up this yacht and like us, were preparing to leap across to the Caribbean before they’d head up into the Great Lakes of the United States. After having a few chats on both yachts, the group invited me to join them on a trip up to Table Mountain. Having only gone up Table Mountain once as a child, I was super excited to jump at the chance to go back up and experience one of Cape Town’s natural wonders. I was the only one with a South African sim card and decided to order an UBER to the base of the cable car, however, if anyone was paying attention to the number of people on that boat it would become very clear that the UBER was not big enough for all of us. This resulted in a squished up car ride with 4 in the back and me in the passenger seat. Table Mountain is notoriously deceptive, one moment the skies above the mountain are crystal clear, the next it’s covered in a thick layer of cloud, the locals say that Table Mountain then has a tablecloth on it! We arrived at the base just as the cloud had descended onto the top of the mountain. The views from the car park were already fantastic. The ride up was amazing until we hit the clouds, then there was no visibility. We returned down after a short walk on the top of the mountain, before departing back towards the V&A Waterfront.
The preparation for the show was repetitive. Wake up, shower, clean, pack and store, before walking over to Wanda Rose for a few beers in the afternoon. The days leading up to the show went quite quickly, finally, it was the evening before the show. We were all given our lanyards and the access control measures were in place. The show grounds were all set up. Catching Up was moved to her new spot with Wanda Rose on our left side and an Exquisite yacht on our right. A massive 75ft Catamaran shadowed over Wanda Rose on her left side with even more catamarans, power cruisers, fishing boats and small sailing dinghy’s all filling up the marina. Catching Up was all cleaned and primed, she was spotless! The interior looked like it had never been touched nor lived in. I have to commend Rika Fouche on her excellent work; she managed to flip our yacht from a live-aboard home to a showboat in 4 days. I tried to get an early night, as I didn’t know what to expect with the show starting the following day.
I woke up on Day 1 extra early to make sure I had enough time to clean up the mess I’d made on board. Grant and the whole Knysna Yacht Company team arrived a few hours later to ensure last minute touch ups were completed and that the boat was ready. At 10h00 the show doors opened, I was honestly expecting a surge of people, but we didn’t see more than 4 people within the first hour. The show quickly became an endurance battle with long stints of standing or walking around and talking to potential clients. I was so lucky that I was able to step away and look at some of the other yachts on display at the show. After walking around and looking at the “competition”, I became increasingly happy with our decision of buying a Knysna yacht. The St Francis 50ft yacht was a close second for me, it had immense storage space and an amazing layout, however, I felt that it lacked the immaculate detailed finish on the interior. The popular Robertson And Caine Leopard Catamarans were also on display looking lovely and smart. In my opinion, their interior looks very clinical with flat packed modular furniture; however, they do have a huge amount of storage space! I’m still a fan of our Knysna 500SE.
Day 2, 3 and 4 were very similar. Wake up, shower, clean and get ready for the hoards of people. The big difference is that over these days there are many more families visiting the show. I have nothing against family members stepping on board Catching Up unfortunately, a number of people don’t seem to understand that this is our home. Thankfully, we got off quite lightly with only a few children climbing on beds and jumping on our front trampoline area. I’ve heard that other yachts were not as fortunate with children causing chaos in cabins and saloons. The days all seemed to blur with the hundreds of people who came through. The big positive I took from the show was the large number of visitors who were fascinated by our journey. There were countless interactions with guests who said we were living their dream. The show ended and Catching Up had held her ground beyond a few scratches and a layer of dirt left by the people, she came out pretty well after the hoards that had walked through her. Knysna Yacht Company obtained some good leads from the show and we are so proud to have been able to show her to the world. After the show, we finally took ownership of Catching Up, taking photos and celebrating over copious glasses of champagne!
The work was only just beginning!