Thelma, Yoalin, Verna and Wayne.
Hout Bay, South Africa January - February 2010
Our "free time" had expired in Simons Town and we were scheduled to be hauled out in Hout Bay on January 4th.  That morning of the third the weather was fair and the seas were settling so we ran out of False Bay and rounded The Cape of Good Hope.  On land it is known as Cape Point. The photograph above left is The Cape of Good Hope.  We rounded it south of Bellows Rock while a local catamaran took the short cut inside and very near the Cape.  The commercial shipping was another couple of miles beyond us to sea, giving the Cape an even wider berth. 

When we were in
Redondo Beach our good friend Chad Thomas was always willing to let me tag along.  Chad has been involved in the commercial shipping business nearly all his life.  He has been the Captain of survey vessels, tugs that tow huge ocean going barges & crew vessels that support the light oil tankers that moor off the Chevron refinery in El Segundo.  Chad always opted for sea room and saftey rather than taking the short cut.  I think he burned this into my mind!  I always think of Chad and his responsible seamanship whenever we get near a hard spot.

Clearing the Cape of Good Hope and now adding north to our way we bounced along the South Atlantic to scenic Hout Bay. 
Hout Bay is home to a huge commercial fishing fleet.  We were somewhat surprised to see all the fisherman out in such "uncomfortable" conditions.  It was a with great relief to enter Hout Bay. (photograph above, center)
The photograph above right is
Blue Sky in the shipways.  Arriving in the late afternoon on a Sunday, we were able to side tie to a fishing boat in front of the slipway.   The fishing fleet on the dock in front is mainly after tuna and as the tuna were not running the fleet was busy making repairs and preparing for the fish.  In the morning with the help of the fisherman and the Hout Bay Boat Yard we turned Blue Sky around and backed her through the tightly parked fishing boats and into the ways.

All good plans...  Well you know the rest.  Attempting to haul on our expected day,
Blue Sky was just coming out of the water only to have one of the hydrolic winches loose its clutch.  Thus two days spent in the ways either pulling in on the mooring lines or letting them out as the tide flooded and ebed. It was fourty-eight hours of limited sleep as every two hours we would need to adjust the lines.  Wednesday morning the winch was replaced and we were ready to try again.   
Emma had to remind me what I was trying to say.  Eighth haul-out in six years!
If you see the table cloth over the mountains in Cape Town, it means the wind will be strong from the SE. Above the clouds cascading over the peaks and below a blue sky day.
Clear day & flat seas at Hout Bay.  Protection is good here but if it blows from the east it can be quite a challenge.
Phoebe & Drake on the cannons at the northern entrance to Hout Bay.  Great fish & chips place is just out of the picture to the left. It's called "Fish On The Rocks."
Warren, the yard manager, navigating the haul out of Blue Sky.
Blue Sky was safely out of the water and now, after a year of playing it was time to get to work.  Drake and Phoebe enjoyed exploring the boat yard and found an old wooden rocking horse to play on.  The same storm that damaged our bollard and toe rail in Mossel Bay blew through Hout Bay and they experienced 80 knots from the east.  Three boats sank, and one is pictured above in front of Blue Sky.
While in the boat yard, the children were playing on an empty trailer, Drake fell and quess what?  He broke his arm.  We took a taxi to the Constansiaberg emergency room, where Drake was wheeled around, in luxury, on a guerny to get x-rayed. Confirming it was broken, we then returned for the cast.  It was only a green stick fracture and the "water-proof" blue cast went up to his elbow.  Knowing it would happen one day, we were glad to be in civilization when it did.  The whole cost was approximately $400.00. 
The work in the yard progressed smoothly as we had hired two men to help. They were loyal and hard working.  We provided a mid-day meal and all the Coke's they could drink.  In the yard we replaced the cutlass bearing, polished the prop, checked the thru holes and stuffing box.
After scraping the bottom in the Maldives, we anticipated that the bottom would need some epoxy filling and faring.  When you look at the damage with a mask on everything looks twice the size.  Fortunately, the damage was minimal,  after some epoxy and sanding it was time to prime and anti-foul. She looked great, anticipating that we could splash her by the following Tuesday.  This would work out perfect as, Granny and Grandpa Byrne-Quinn were arriving on Monday.  Well as we have discovered that most good plans in the boating world always change.  A yacht that we had made the aquiantance with in Richards Bay arrived in the Marina.  They saw us in the yard and were curious about our experience, as they had some minor repairs to do.  Kindly we assured them the yard was professional and we have had a positive experience.  Next thing we know, they cried wolf to the manager, saying they had to haul out or they would sink, and that it would only take twelve hours.  (Don't ever believe some one if they think that they could haul out and be done in twelve hours!)  Six days later, we were finally able to get Blue Sky back in the water.  When we were scheduled to haul out, the anti-foul had been applied and was dry.  Anti-foul does not like the air so because these (insert bad name) delayed us the paint failed in spots.  Thus, we had to find a ride into Cape Town and purchase more anti-foul, which is not cheap. We paid $850.00 for 20 litres for Intersmooth 360. (Great Stuff.)  Needless to say Granny and Grandpa arrived and we were ready for a holiday, but had to still work on the boat.  Hopefully the Karma fairies will find that yacht.  The positive side to this story is the children had a wonderful hotel to stay in, instead of the yard, while we were finishing up the work. 
Back in 2005 just prior to our departure from Redondo Beach, we received and email from Erik Bjerring, his mother lived in the South Bay and she read about us in the Daily Breeze.  He informed us that he used to be a member of King Harbor Yacht Club and now currently lives in Cape Town.  After four years of keeping in touch it was wonderful to finally meet him.  Conveniently he lived in Hout Bay and has a daughter, Tanille, who got along famously with Phoebe and Drake.  While we were in the yard he was a great source of information as well as an enormous support.  Meeting his extended family and enjoying braai's at his in-laws house, above left are his step daughter Keri, Jim, Keith and Sheila.  Then taking the children on the weekends to swim and play putt putt, getting them out of the yard while we worked.
While in Hout Bay we met us with the families whom we had met in Madagascar.  They met us for lunch one day, pictured right are Jobre, Roddy, Louis, Dawn and Adi.  During our stay we had the pleasure to go to Roddy and Adi's house in Contansia and enjoyed the local wine and company.

The
Hout Bay yacht club was a relaxing place to go after all the hard work we did in the yard.  Having hot showers and cold beers.  Jim trades a Latitudes and Attitudes flag for a HBYC burgee.  The staff pictured below, always made us feel welcome.
Jim and Peter exchanging burgees.
Enjoying lunch with our Madagascar friends.
Three fishing boats in the marina
Duncan, Emma, Jim, Roddy, Alasdair and Irene, at Roddy's home, where we celebrated Irene's birthday.  Duncan and Irene are on s/v Moose who we spent five months traveling through the Indian Ocean together.  They are currently staying and exploring Africa for a year. You might be interested in Duncan's book, which was recently published and dedicated to Irene, "Never a Dull Moment", recounting their first three years of sailing. 

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Baie Dankie South Africa!