Sitting here now in Port Saint Francis after spending three full days here- and this harbor remains a personal favorite. I guess the first thing to address is that fact that Lisa (my wife) is not here- how incredibly disappointing. For those that have not heard the story: Lisa and I planned to fly down to South Africa and sail around the Cape of Good Hope from Port St. Francis to Cape Town. Everything was set, coverage for the kids, the dog, etc… Lisa would spend a glorious 9 days escaping the dreadful Mid-Atlantic winter and experiencing SA. But is was not to be. I was unable to board the plane last Thursday (not enough blank space in my passport- yes, it is a thing, and yes, they will not allow you onboard!) so we spent two days in NYC trying to make the best of things before I caught the next flight, with a new passport, 48 hours later. Wow.
Even with all that drama I have not really had a moment to reflect much since arriving here. Too much work to do on Alyosha. It took the Saint Francis work team every bit of Monday and Tuesday to finish off some calibration for my tank sensors. Plus, there was a fine layer of “factory dust” that coated almost every interior surface. So I have been quite, quite busy.
Alyosha absolutely looks fantastic, and I am very excited to enjoy the many different new “features” of the boat, like a much bigger refrigerator, new sails, etc… In between much cleaning and sorting of things, a few “provision” runs, and generally ensuring we are ready to go to sea, I have been obsessively tracking the weather. The Cape of Good Hope was given this name after a Portugese king decided the first name- The Cape of Storms- was not inspiring enough to sailors! (true story) And believe me, the weather watching that began in earnest three days ago has not stopped. Right now I am leaving in about an hour and have found a “weather window” that will allow Henning (Bash) and I a nice night of heading directly into the waves/wind followed by a 18 hour period of nice sailing, followed by 30+ knots of winds screaming around the Cape- good times ahead!
Still, regardless of what is coming, the weather in this small port town has been terrific and there are plenty of seals in the harbor to keep company. My newest crew mate arrived this morning and has been learning the ins and out of the boat. And I am very thankful to the great team at St. Francis Marine for all of the hard work that went into Alyosha.
My sense is that I will post a single quick blog while in Cape Town but then it is going to be a couple of weeks across the Atlantic before you hear from me. (there is always twitter and the GPS tracking to be found on the website if you are really interested…)