Click to view the map showing our trip through Canal du Midi to Sicily.
Check the South Africa Page to see our visit to Zama Zulu Cutural Village and Hluhluwe Animal Park.
St Helena, created more than fourteen million years ago by volcanic eruptions, was in sight upon the horizon soon after the passing of dawn. The island, inch by inch, became more pronounced as each hour passed. The highest peak of an ancient volcanic mountain range, she was enshrouded by the misty haze of the tropical airs and bright backlight of … Read More
Yes, he did it! A solution for the twins!! Two U Bolt through mast head, attached to which was a 12mm eye bolts to which a block was attached. Winched up the mast, Bob made the repairs and those monoliths flew once more – until this day, that was. Only hours into daylight disbelief swept through us as we … Read More
Fishing stories this trip were the tales of the ones that got away. Behemoths aplenty resided well below the surface of the seas we discovered, as time and again fishing tackle went missing in great numbers. Two of the lures remained behind to tell the story: one scarred deeply as razor sharp teeth etched trails through the plastic, whilst the … Read More
The first days out, winds were sublime. Late afternoon upon us this particular day, we were both in the galley, me preparing tea and Bob procuring an afternoon drink when the emission of a loud popping sound, followed in its wake by a muffled thud, promptly caught our attention. Whilst Bob raced upstairs, I rapidly carried out a cursory check … Read More
Excitement of the day occurred first thing. Upon awakening, I entered the pilot house as the whirring of the fishing line commenced. Mental faculties poorly operating as a result of sleep deprivation, looking at Bob the only sounds emitted from my mouth were, ‘Fish! Fish! Fish………….’ Bob glanced askance at me, with total lack of comprehension. I repeated, ‘fish, fish, … Read More
The one thing we discovered about Cape Town, was that there was no in between when it came to the wind: it was either blowing a gale or absolutely nada. One could also be in Cape Town with the wind at Force one, and around the corner at the Cape of Good Hope it would be blowing Force 8. The … Read More
We’re off. Exquisite weather, little wind after winds of up to 42 knots racing through last night.
Sunday afternoon saw us taking a few hours off of our departure preparations: with the intention of returning to South Africa for further exploration, we haven’t been too concerned about the lack of time spent exploring. The countryside itself reminds us of good old Oz in may ways: rugged and dry. For our Carnarvonite friends, you will be amazed to hear Carnarvon isn’t the … Read More
At last, a day for exploration of the region to the south. Cragged crater remains, the barren rocky mountain peaks reaching to the heavens, whilst below a green carpet of low growing bushes stretched to the shoreline and managed to survive, despite the harshness of the coastal environment. Eucalypt trees introduced from Australia grew in patches here and there, whilst homes were … Read More
South Africa, a fascinating region of the world. An ancient, harsh land eroded by time and its elements, its magnificent animals leaving you in awe of their power. Animals aside, many were the times we commented upon how similar the country itself reminded us of home, but that wasn’t so surprising when one considered the continents were once connected. It … Read More
Some pics from our arrival in Cape Town. How different were the waters: ten hours before we were in six metre cross seas with short fetch.
The following days found us driving Cape Town in search of batteries and a new aluminium whisker pole. Initially travelling by taxi, we drove through what was once a suburb lived in by the wealthiest of Afrikaans and had since become a middle class sector. Pointing out a series of yellow multi storied apartment buildings below and informed us they … Read More
After an interesting sail, we moored in the yacht club marina early last night. Just a few pics to whet the appetite.
During the early morning hours it came time to turn Gratis to starboard for the final run to Cape Town. Easy one would have thought, but oh no, not here. Sound asleep was I upon the starboard bunk when Bob commenced the turning. Rudely awakened was I, while simultaneously throwing out my right arm to prevent a fall from the … Read More
Between Mossel Bay and Cape Town Early morning, still no wind: how monotonous, but a blessing in disguise, as our slow motoring speed meant the worst of the strong winds expected around Cape Agulhas the following day would be missed. In a first, it was a case of slowing Gratis down. Oil Platforms upon the horizon were silhouetted against the darkening … Read More
Calm seas all night, nil wind meant motoring and low speeds: what a contrast to the last leg. Morning found Gratis surrounded by ships in the busiest shipping route encountered to date. Fishing boats were doing their thing just south of us, whilst a myriad of birds soared across skies and waves. Bob made the decision to attempt fishing once … Read More
Mid-afternoon, Gratis entered the gentle swirls of the eastern coast of South Africa once more. What wind there was came from the South – upon the nose. With sea swirls flowing beneath, we were entertained by a mama Pacific gull educating her fledglings in ocean flying. Off, she would take, only to land a short distance ahead. Patiently, she waited, … Read More