Falling In Love with a Cape Town Girl.

This article is going to be slightly different. When I started this I wanted to document the entire journey, new revelations have meant a significant person has entered my life and I will continue to do as I intended…. Document it.

When I left Australia, I never thought I would end up meeting anyone let alone falling in love. Even tho that thought did cross my mind, I never thought it would happen in the first country at the very start of this adventure. Having sat in Knysna for a few weeks, I got talking to this amazing girl in Cape Town named Dantelle. She lived near a place called Durbanville, a 30-minute drive from Catching Up!’s berth at the V&A Waterfront. After countless back and forth messages between us, I struck up the courage to ask her to be my tour guide in Cape Town and show me the sights when I arrived. She of course said yes and the plans were set.

Pulling into Cape Town a few days later, I asked if she wanted to meet up before going on the tour. She came down to the Waterfront and we took a stroll through the area. We decided to go to a Greek Restaurant in the area before ending the night with a ride on The Cape Wheel. The wheel was completely barren and the wind was howling, however it did nothing to take away from the beauty of Cape Town at night. The night ended there and soon enough we were messaging each other again. Dantelle was competing in a tournament in the area the next day and offered to come past and see me again. Once again, we took a lovely walk through the waterfront where I was challenged to a game of Chess on the oversized public chessboard. For those that don’t know, Dantelle is a National Chess champion so it was safe to say I was publically annihilated in the shortest game of chess I’ve ever played. We returned to the yacht and spent the rest of the evening relaxing on the deck of Catching Up! looking at Table Mountain.

During the boat show preparations, I decided I needed a break from the chaos down in the marina and Dantelle was kind enough to take me up on my request to show me Cape Town. We got all set and hopped on the Cape Town Red Bus Tour right outside the Aquarium at the V&A. The first stop was Down Town Cape Town where we had a small layover before hopping on the Blue Route. Soon we were back in motion… right into the chaos of Cape Town traffic. It gave me the chance to carry on talking and spending time with this girl who was quickly becoming my favourite person to spend time with. Soon we left the confines of Cape Town City on route to Devils Peak and the lovely drive through the Kirstenbosch botanical gardens. Our first hop off point was the Constantia Nek Winery where we had a beautiful view of the Cape. We returned to the bus with a long beautiful drive down to Hout Bay. It still sticks with me how vast and diverse the Cape area is. Hout Bay is completely different from the forests of Kirstenbosch and the wineries near Constantia Nek. After an amazing local fish lunch it was back on the bus where we decided to hop off at Camps Bay and walk along the coast to Bantry Bay.

All was going amazing until two lovely individuals decided we looked like nice targets to try mug. Unfortunately for these two less intelligent individuals, we noticed their not so smooth plan quick enough to spook the guys making them leave. Being rattled and shaken we decided to quickly walk to Clifton’s first beach to calm down before getting an UBER to the next pickup point. We hopped on the bus and finished back up shortly after at the V&A. To finish the afternoon on a high I pulled the portable speaker and a blanket out and set everything up to watch the light fade away from Table Mountain. Despite the two fine idiots who tried pulling a knife on us, I couldn’t ask for a better tour of the Cape area.

The days with Dantelle continued to become more frequent as we grew closer to each other. Dantelle spent multiple days with me at the boat show, breaking up the repetition and adding some fun to the long drawn out days. It was this growing connection and bond that made me ask her if she wanted to join me on the trip to Namibia and onwards. I am happy to say she has accepted and decided to join me on this amazing adventure as we sail around the world. The time in Cape Town has been amazing and most if not all of my fun in this amazing city can be attributed to this incredible person. She has helped me grow a new love for this City and its people. I can’t wait for what’s to come as we continue to build and grow closer to each other.

Training Day: STCW’s PART 1

A common saying within fire fighting is “Let no man’s ghost return to say his training let him down!” I am no fire fighter but I feel this quote is very relevant when dealing with Mother Nature. The ocean can be very dangerous and we believe that training is essential to know what to do should an emergency take place. We decided to enrol into a number of international accredited maritime safety courses. They are known as STCW’s or Standards of Training and Watchkeeping. These safety courses are required for any professionals intending to work at sea. We were seriously expecting to feel like “a fish out of water” when walking into the lecture room on day one.

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Boat Works in Cape Town

Everyone who owns a boat or yacht knows that no matter how new your boat is, there will always be something broken, about to break or dirty. Catching Up had just finished an onslaught with hundreds of people touching, feeling and walking through her at the Boat Show. She was in need of a well deserved clean. After doing a full exterior detailing she was back in a presentable condition. Since leaving Knysna, we never had the time or chance to fully sort out the storage and layout of all the things on-board and the boat show provided an excellent opportunity to do so.

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Cape Town: A Boat Show and New Friends.

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.

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The Maiden Passage of Catching Up! Knysna to Cape Town

It’s been a few weeks since an article was posted. Cape Town has been a non-stop adventure from the moment I got here however, these stories will be discussed in articles to come.

Catching Up has been sitting in Knysna since it’s splash in August. With the final fit out and testing taking place, Catching Up never left the Knysna lagoon apart for the photo-shoot with the Knysna Yacht Company. Mum and Dad flew down specifically for the passage, however, due to abhorrent weather conditions around Cape Agulhas, the passage was delayed for another week. Our expected departure soon arrived on Wednesday the 10th of October. All was on track until Tuesday when Malcolm the delivery skipper approached me and informed me that due to worsening weather we were departing at 17h00 that day. I quickly got into action to prepare our yacht for the passage. I ran to the shops to get meals for the yacht while Grant from Knysna Yacht Company decided to provide catering for the yacht. After a long day of preparations, two last minute guests arrived on the yacht. Dave and Iolanda, boat owners of sister ship SV Impulse decided to join us on the passage. We loaded them up along with Andre, our sailing instructor and Malcolm and set sail to the Knysna Yacht Club Dock bound for Cape Town.

The cloudy afternoon leaving Knysna on way to Cape Town

As the sun started to set, we settled in for what was going to be a very long night. The swell caused big waves to crash against the side of the boat, the resulted in Dave, Iolanda and I suffering from the effects of seasickness. I managed to hold it off by lying down and falling asleep until 3am, when I heard that Dave and Iolanda were not as fortunate as I was! Malcolm and Andre were nice enough to struggle trough the entire passage ensuring that one of them was awake for watch at all times. Having never done a night crossing before, it was very reassuring knowing that we had two highly skilled sailors on board with us for our maiden passage. As we continued through the moonless cloudy night, bioluminescence trailed in the wake of Catching Up. The first night passed and soon dawn was rising behind us with the Western Cape off to our starboard/right side.

One of the first of many spectacular sunsets that Catching Up! will see.

Day 2 on the ocean was much more exciting. The ocean calmed down greatly and the wind was no more than 16 knots off our port/left forward quarter. The wind angle didn’t give us much of an opportunity to get a sail up, however, as the morning progressed the wind began to slowly pick up again giving us a more favourable sailing wind angle. We raised the sails and started picking up a few knots and dropping our time to the next waypoint. Dolphins would come up and play off the bow and just as fast as they arrived, would skirt off back into the deep blue waters. Massive whales would be seen breaching and their spouts going off. The amount of nature on this passage just blew my mind. The wildlife kept us busy for a few hours in between navigating, looking out and just listening to music. Catching Up was well stocked so there was no shortage of food to snack on during the long watch throughout the day. As sunset was approaching, Catching Up achieved her first major milestone … she passed the southern most point of South Africa! Cape Agulhas separates the Indian and Atlantic Ocean. As the sun set, Catching Up crossed into the Atlantic Ocean. The next time she will be back in the Indian Ocean will only be in approximately five year’s time. After the celebrations were complete it was back to the long night watches with ships pinging up on the radar screen. After a while we could see the lights of Hermanus off in the distance before I left my watch period and went to bed.

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