Captain’s Log December 2006

So here it is Merry Christmas……..

AND HAPPY NEW YEAR 2007!

It has been quite some time since we updated our website. This year we have made some major decisions, the most important being – we are finally going sailing!

After 4 & 1/2 years of waiting in Dar to get a project up & running we’ve decided that life is too short and dreams need to be fulfilled rather than put on hold for TOO long. We have a beautiful boat so we intend to sail her.

News in brief – Since our last update over a year ago, (actually we have added the July 2006 log including our Zambia & Malawi road trip) we have enjoyed a few sailing trips around the region, mostly Zanzibar and Pemba.

We also had the opportunity to go on a road trip through Tanzania, Zambia & Malawi in May/ June, which was fantastic. It is something we had been planning for some time, but the impetus came when a friend who was planning to re-visit Zambia having left there 40 years ago, e-mailed to invite Lynne to join her on the leg from Dar to Kabwe, where she had gone to school! What a wonderful opportunity and a big thank you to Yannick for making it happen! After driving through Tanzania and northern Zambia, stopping off at the amazing Africa House, Lynne dropped Yannick off in Kabwe and drove on to Lusaka to collect Eric and we continued on to Lake Malawi. What a beautiful place that is! The strangest thing was diving in fresh water. All our diving has been in salt water…. The drive from Livingstonia down to the Lake has to be one of the most spectacular anywhere with more than 20 hairpin bends and sweeping views across the Lake to the Livingstone mountain range across in Tanzania.

We were back in Australia in April/ May to celebrate Eric’s 60th birthday with his growing family (his second grandson, Sebastian, was born in July!) – another reason to take off sailing and hopefully get the chance to have the family visit us more often in various locations as we sail around the world….plus it was so lovely to catch up with little Bayden & see him growing into a great little lad & as boat mad as his dad & granddad!

Having moved back onboard to live in August and left our land ties behind we have ‘grown’ our onboard family/ crew by adding a little Jack Russell puppy! He’s adorable and very cheeky. We’re thoroughly enjoying his company and his antics keep us amused. We have named him Chumvi, which means salt in Swahili so we hope to have him swimming competently once his new life jacket arrives later this week.

Sadly, in the middle of updating this news, our lovely little crew member Chumvi passed away after a routine operation at the vets. We have been coming to terms with this and as a consequence this update was put on hold.

Of course we shouldn’t forget ours & SV Amarula’s greatest achievement yet – this past weekend (Dec 9th/10th) we broke the Dar to Tanga Yacht Race record on the Tanga to Dar leg by racing past the finishing buoy in 13 & 1/2 hours! Considering this was our first EVER race, not only on Amarula, but EVER, we’re feeling very pleased with ourselves. Eric’s strategy of sailing across as close to Zanzibar as possible worked as the winds we caught all the way back from there were ideal and we sailed with the MPS right back to the Yacht Club! Not bad for a big, heavy, floating ‘block of flats’ (as she’s occasionally been referred to!)

Plans for the New Year – we’ll be in Mombasa for New Year itself catching up with old friends from Dar who left here 9 years ago. After that we plan to sail in Kenya for most of January then return to Tanzania to complete some maintenance jobs and catch up with friends before heading south to Mozambique, across to Madagascar and cruising there for a while. We will probably return to Dar again (hard to tear ourselves away!) before heading back across the Indian Ocean to Asia/ Australia……. It’s all fairly loose at this stage as we’re enjoying the freedom of not planning too much.

We have some good friends joining us which will be a great way to share the sailing, travelling & dog watch duties! Plus we are considering offering occasional dive/ passage trips to limited numbers who would like to experience the live-aboard lifestyle with us. If you are interested let us know and we’ll keep you informed of our itinerary.

Photos to follow soon……

For previous Captain’s Logs, please click here