10/12/2015 – The first week in Cape Town.

As planned, we pulled up the anchor at 0500 and motored across False Bay towards Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope. We managed to take some photos just before the fog enveloped the coastline and us! It was very sudden, with visibility less than 50 metres, we were very pleased to have a radar display in the cockpit as there was a fishing boat motoring towards us. We altered course because we didn't know if it had radar and we found the edge of the fog a bit further offshore. To amuse us on our short trip, a large pod of dolphins put on a fantastic display, leaping in unison right out of the water. Sadly I was below and missed them though John took a short video and some stills of them. Further on we found lots of seals, lazing around in groups of up to a dozen, some just waving a flipper above the surface, others diving down and waving their tails at us. We made the 1415 bridge opening, were tied up in the marina by 1430 and walked round to check in with the marina. There was a lot of misinformation and confusion surrounding the need to check in with Immigration: Rally Control had given us documents to take to Immigration, the marina office said it was unnecessary, one boat went and reported back that Immigration had opened a file on their boat so the entire crew of three other boats and ourselves walked to Immigration. Nobody there knew what to do though they found the file, opened a couple of hours earlier, then said that only the skippers needed to go back the next morning after 1000. Confusion reigned next morning when one official was opening a file on one boat while the official in the next window was saying it was not necessary. In the end they decided they had made a mistake opening the first file! The pontoon was a hive of activity with workers and reps from a variety of companies getting the jobs started on the boats. A week later we are still waiting for someone to come and quote for a new sprayhood, this one won't last another tough crossing! We are also waiting for someone to come and look at the generator which runs but doesn't produce electricity though John finally got the guy on the phone this morning. He also found a Webasto supplier who will send someone tomorrow to fix the heater. Yes I know, we are in sunny South Africa, heading to Brazil and the Caribbean in the new year, however we will be in the US in the autumn and a heater will be needed. On Monday we had a rig check. We are now waiting for a new forestay (1 broken strand right at the top), two new cap shrouds, but only the bottom sections from lower spreader to deck, as one has a broken strand right at the top and a new forward lower (same problem) to match the one which was replaced in Opua in February. The rigging is only 7 years old but it has done a lot of miles. The SSB has been removed and taken away to be thoroughly checked, people have complained that the transmission keeps skipping parts of words. On Friday we went into the city centre and found a number of fabric shops, I now have all I need to make a new set of code flags in somewhat heavier material than the ones which we bought in England and have now started disintegrating. 'Started' is probably the wrong word, 'have disintegrated' might be nearer the truth! We then caught a train to Lansdowne, a suburb where we had identified a canvas stockist. We bought the material for a new bimini, which is made and installed, and some fuel can covers. We got the train back then a taxi to the waterfront area. On Monday two people were shocked that we had gone on a train as it is apparently very unsafe. Oh well, we survived but perhaps we'll heed their warnings! John is currently off the boat, collecting a hire car. Yesterday afternoon we visited the Ayama winery, organised by Stefan on Ayama. It is owned and run by an Italian couple who welcomed us into their lovely home. We had lots of Italian breads, cheese and sliced meats to help soak up the wide variety of wines they plied us with. They had invited a neighbour with a smaller organic vineyard to bring some of his wines along too. I'm not sure if our total order was for 30 or 42 bottles which we'll need to stow somewhere when they are delivered tomorrow afternoon. Not sure if there will be any if these left by the time we get home! It's about time we did some more sightseeing, roll on the weekend.

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