South Africa to Saint Helena, Day 10

gratisaustralisAfrica, Atlantic Ocean, Ocean Crossings, Saint Helena 2015, South Africa 2015

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

South Africa to Saint Helena, Day 6

gratisaustralisAfrica, Atlantic Ocean, Ocean Crossings, Saint Helena 2015, South Africa 2015

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

South Africa to Saint Helena, Day 2

gratisaustralisAfrica, Atlantic Ocean, Ocean Crossings, Saint Helena 2015, South Africa 2015

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 2015

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

South Africa Perceptions

gratisaustralisAfrica, South Africa 2015

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 2015

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 1

gratisaustralisAfrica, Indian Ocean, Ocean Crossings, South Africa 2015

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 1

gratisaustralisAfrica, Indian Ocean, Ocean Crossings, South Africa 2015

Midnight, the alarm rudely emitted its piercing cry. Finally, the long awaited weather window had arrived and a northerly was gently kissing the air. A final perusal of the weather predictions online, Big Bertha roared to life. Mooring lines released, Gratis gracefully glided into the darkness. With the coming of full daylight, it was possible to view the rolling hills … Read More


gratisaustralisAfrica, South Africa 2015

Preparations for the move are coming along: food stowed, repairs made…… It’s now just wait for the weather window. Video editing has commenced. With some rain predicted, another visit to the parks is imminent: with water pooling in a region that is currently rain deprived, that’s when the animals appear. Our friends from Thor espied cheetahs and wild dogs last … Read More

The last of the images taken at the Zulu village are on

gratisaustralisSailing, South Africa 2015

Scroll down to the 2nd January to see the pics and spiel. A bit more on Daily Snippets. Some information to be found about South Africa and the places we’ve been.

Preparations for Richards Bay Departure

gratisaustralisAfrica, South Africa 2015

Time is a passing and work on Gratis well under way. The engine maintenance is practically completed and the replacement of the flood pump hose continues: good quality product is required, otherwise the oil destroys it. Images from the first day in Hluhluwe have been completed and are now on the page for South Africa. Another week at least to complete the … Read More

Emdoneni Cat Rehabilitation Centre

gratisaustralisAfrica, South Africa 2015

No images this morning. Believing we were heading to Bayeto Zulu Elephant Game Park and informed the drive was only 45 minutes duration, we were surprised when the distance was much greater. With no sign posting, which puzzled us a little, we continued onward, for our information came from a local in the marina who knew the area. It was only upon finding … Read More

Hluhluwe Animal Park, South Africa

gratisaustralisAfrica, South Africa 2015

An early rise, and on this rain cloud morning we departed for Hluhluwe and our accommodation, Hluhluwe River Lodge, just an hour and a half north of Richards Bay. The red marks our trip to our accommodation, the blue the unexpected exploration we had on the Saturday. Eucalyptus plantations – the trees originally brought in from Australia, Zulu villages, pineapple and … Read More

Indian Ocean Crossing the Hard Way versus the ‘Milk Run’

gratisaustralisAustralia, Australia 2014, Indian Ocean, Ocean Crossings, South Africa 2014, South Africa 2015, Western Australia

Thanks to Somalian pirates the traditional and much easier northern ‘Milk Run’ route through south East Asia, India and the Suez Canal is no longer an option, and it was armed with this foreknowledge on the possible conditions to be faced that we commenced our first Oceanic crossing. For many geographical and climatic reasons, the Indian Ocean is one of … Read More