Adina is all set for her next leg – we’re going to be leaving Port Elizabeth and we’re hoping we can make it all the way to Cape Town!
We’ve enjoyed being in Port Elizabeth although being on a fishing boat wall has had its challenges. When we arrived at 11pm on Monday friends Paul and Susie on Firefly had rallied a few people to help us get tied up onto the wall which was much appreciated. The wall is pretty rugged and has big black tires. While we’ve got a quite a few fenders we decided to boost the numbers with some car tires to help fender us, more remembering tires were used when we transited the Panama Canal. The marina man at the Algoa Yacht Club found us one tire and as we were wandering back rolling the tire along a fisherman asked us if we would like some from his boat. Yet another example of South African friendliness and helpfulness.
With the tide going up and down and a fair amount of surging going on, we were constantly watching our lines, watching the tires and fenders. Adding to our joys the wind results in manganese which is stored and loaded on one of the docks nearby being blown everywhere. We’re slowly accumulating a nice coating of black dust. There’s going to be some cleaning to be done in Cape Town!
Every morning a crowd of people gather on the dock around 5am hoping to get work offloading fish from the incoming boats. We chat away to them and they are all friendly, offering to help in any way they can, wanting to know what we are doing.
A day of light winds meant we could leave Adina and we headed off with Paul and Susie for a day trip to explore the Tsitsikama forest. The trip included a zipwire experience where clipped on to a wire tied between trees you shoot between the trees. Good fun and Susie is just starting to forgive Tom for dragging her into doing it.
Today we woke to the sounds of feet on the deck and what sounded like Adina being moved. We dashed upstairs and indeed there was a man on deck with others moving her backwards along the wall. He explained a fishing boat wanted to come in ahead of us. We explained our situation and asked if there was anywhere else they could go instead. Again, all friendly and polite but by then they’d freed up enough space to wedge in. You have to admire the skippers of these fishing boats, they have incredible manoeuvring skills. We went back to bed and woke later in the light to realise their anchor was very close to our front. So we sat and adjusted the lines and moved back to get some space between us. Later chatting to the skipper he said he’d put a spring on his boat and promised they wouldn’t move an inch. Phew – relief! While a bit stressful at times being on the wall, we’ve enjoyed the people here and a wave and a hello gets them all smiling and starts conversation.
So now we are sitting waiting for the winds to drop and swing south and east so we can leave. That will be anytime from 6pm tonight. It’s roughly 440 miles to Cape Town, we’d love to be in by Monday afternoon but we shall see what the sea and wind throw at us. Time to crack on, time to be part of that Christmas cheer.