South Africa to Saint Helena, Day 2

gratisaustralisAfrica, Atlantic Ocean, Ocean Crossings, Saint Helena, South Africa 2014

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

A Quick Exploration of Cape Town

gratisaustralisAfrica, South Africa 2014

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

Cape Town and Surrounds

gratisaustralisAfrica, South Africa 2014

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 Perceptions

gratisaustralisAfrica, South Africa 2014

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

Cape Town

gratisaustralisAfrica, South Africa 2014

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

Port Elizabeth to Cape Town, Day 3

gratisaustralisAfrica, Indian Ocean, Ocean Crossings, South Africa 2014

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

Port Elizabeth to Cape Town, Day 2

gratisaustralisAfrica, Indian Ocean, Ocean Crossings, South Africa 2014

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

Port Elizabeth to Cape Town, Day 1

gratisaustralisAfrica, Indian Ocean, Ocean Crossings, South Africa 2014

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

Durban to Port Elizabeth, Day 3

gratisaustralisAfrica, Indian Ocean, Ocean Crossings, South Africa 2014

Having arrived in Port Elizabeth early that morning, the ensuing evening saw an unpredicted strong westerly blow: what a relief to know we were not thrumming into the waves and swell. This was a time where, unable to purchase an ali whisker pole of the right thickness and weight, a second much stronger piece of wood was purchased. Bob thinking … Read More

Durban to Port Elizabeth, Day 2

gratisaustralisAfrica, Indian Ocean, Ocean Crossings, South Africa 2014

Fun this morning. Twins up, a beautiful relaxing warm shower to release the aching muscles, enjoying a cup second coffee for the day, we were carefully monitoring the wind as it commenced creeping up and down, like a shy animal teasing as it slithered forward then back as one attempted to entice it out. A sudden short sharp burst of … Read More