For once we are in time to wish you all the best for the silly season! This will be our first Christmas & New Year out of the tropics since 2001 and so far we are finding SA unseasonably cold in ‘summer’…….However Knysna is the beautiful location that we had hoped for and we are looking forward to exploring the town and region soon.
Our last news dates back to Easter 2009. Since then Lynne was in UK from late May for 3 weeks visiting family and friends and celebrating her mum’s birthday in June.
marriage‘ celebration on Pungume sandbank. Then in October, after many years in Tanzania, we dropped our mooring for possibly the last time (?!?!?) and set sail to South Africa, where we are now visiting Knysna for Christmas & New Year, then who knows……
brother‘s yacht on Lake Windermere, which was fun despite the drizzly conditions.
At the end of August Nicole brought her fiancé Dave to visit Tanzania. We did the usual Zanzibar trip with Stone Town and Spice Tours, plus they spent a night ashore at a lovely boutique hotel (pre-wedding honeymoon!) In addition we went to the Fox camps in Mikumi and The Selous on safari and enjoyed both, particularly the boat safari at sunset on the Rufiji River and the sightings of wild dogs. pageboys, Chui & Scrumpy, behaved well and only peed on the aisle rocks once!
After we said our goodbyes to Nicole & Dave it was then time to say our goodbyes to many of our dear Dar friends. It was all too much for us to have a farewell party and having ‘left’ so many times before no-one believed we actually were leaving anyway! The down side of this was that there were people we didn’t really get a chance to say goodbye to and we apologise – we hope we are forgiven and that you all keep in touch from time to time. You can always find us via our website www.amarulasail.com or on Facebook (Lynne Dorning Sands) – Eric doesn’t do Facebook but Lynne will pass on any messages….
We have added a (long) daily log of our trip if you’d like more detail, otherwise here is a synopsis.
So, our latest cruise began on Wednesday 21st October after the usual final farewell drinks which went on for about a week, whilst we waited for gas bottles to be filled and various other loose ends to be tied up (which of course weren’t). We anchored at Sinda for the first night and had a wonderful relaxing sleep before waking up to a walk on the beach, a swim and negotiations with some local fishermen for some crabs and lobsters for lunch, after which we continued on our trip.
Our sail took us down the coasts of Tanzania, Mozambique and South Africa with many wonderful experiences including numerous encounters with dolphins and whales, some great fishing (dorado, Spanish mackerel, wahoo, yellow fin tuna, barracuda), amazing hospitality at Linga Linga in Mozambique, meeting up with friends in Maputo, more wonderful hospitality at Zululand Yacht Club(Richard’s Bay), Buffalo River Yacht Club (East London) and ultimately Knysna Yacht Club, plus the chance to visit the Husuni Kubwa ruins at Kilwa which we hadn’t been to on our previous visits there.
Once we arrived at Linga Linga, near Inhambane we enjoyed meeting the lodge owners and other visiting yachties there, sharing stories, meals and drinks together.
Maputo we were in a marina for the first time since we left Yamba (Australia) in April 2002! It was good to take water from the dock seeing as our water-maker had broken down a couple of weeks earlier.
The isolation we had enjoyed at most of the anchorages down the coast was unexpectedly broken at Ilha dos Portugueses when a huge cruise ship disgorged its hundreds of passengers onto the beach nearby! Arrival in South Africa was also a shock to our systems, as we were suddenly vying for space on the international wall and in the end had to tie up alongside another boat at the end of a finger at the Tuzi Gazi marina. The cacophony of large ships, motorbikes on the dock, restaurant activity and other traffic, not to mention the wind and rain driving into the cockpit, convinced us to allow the dogs a change in their routine and let them sleep indoors. After 2 nights of this we decided to move across to the Zululand Yacht Club anchorage, which was delightful and ZYC so welcoming.
So here we are in first world South Africa after many years in deepest darkest Dar es Salaam and yet right there in our anchorage at ZYC we had hippos – yes hippos – and dolphins and apparently also crocs (however we didn’t see the crocs), then incredibly we had a stowaway onboard from Richard’s Bay to East London – what we thought was a cute green tree snake curled up on our bookshelf in the wheelhouse turned out to be a deadly Boomslang! Welcome to South Africa!
We continued our sail south using the next weather window and reached East London by December 7th, then our friends from Knysna joined us there and Trish & Lynne drove back to Knysna whilst Eric, Fitz and the dogs sailed the final leg and we made it to our destination goal of Knysna in good time for Christmas as planned.
Now we plan to enjoy Christmas & New Year here with Trish & Fitz before they up and leave for Brazil in February. As yet we haven’t decided how long we’ll stay – we’re hoping summer kicks in soon – we’ve been told the winters here are very cold, but so far summer hasn’t even been warm yet (stop press – lovely day today!!)….
Anyway wherever you are and whatever you are doing this Christmas and New Year we send our best wishes and pray that 2010 is a great year for you. Wishing you health, wealth and happiness
Lynne, Eric, Chui & Scrumpy xxx
For previous Captain’s Logs, please click here