East African sailing trip – Log 4

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June 28, 2004

Faith, Hope and Trust
Every cloud has a silver lining

We work at trying to find leaks in our rubber dingy. We invite everyone to Karibu for dinner.  It is wonderful… calm water… no wind…. an almost full moon shining on the bay, and super new friends! I could get used to this!

We are enjoying being with these people. We are happy to zoot around the bay on the dingy and pop in to visit whenever we feel like it. I’m not in a hurry to leave. We help Hennie at the building site. We meet John and are overwhelmed by his generosity. He truly is a fabulous host who enjoys cooking exotic dishes and sharing these with his guests.

We have bought some air-time for our cell phone but discovered that the phone is locked to a certain provider we will have to get it unblocked or we will not have connection with our families who have not heard from us since we left.

June 29, 2004

pump it up
This dingy has to pumped up everytime we used it...

The wind blew constantly and it rained throughout the night. At 6:30am it is still overcast but calm. Our dingy is deflated again. Wolf finds at least 3 more places along the floorboard seams which have leaks.

We head off to the big house to see if we can fix these too; only to find that our dingy is past repairing… the place where it is leaking is impossible to access.  Now we have to resign ourselves to pumping it every 30 minutes until we can order another one. What a Bummer!

The morning is spent exploring the shores of the bay which has become our new neighbourhood… We travel past the site of the new lodge and then turn around and head up the channel to the mangroves. Everything is new and exciting we feel alive and full of energy.

Dolphins eating

We get back in time to enjoy lunch on the deck up front and watch a small pod of dolphins enjoying theirs. This place to so peaceful I could stay for months and decide that a better name would be Linga Longa.

While we are lazing around onboard we hear the yacht calling our friends Bill & Jen on yacht Moonshadow They are apparently in the Bazaruta archipelago and we are hoping to join them in the near future. We hear from the yachts in Madagascar, they are experiencing bad seas and strong winds and we do not feel up to facing that yet!

One of the ladies living here allows me to use her cell phone and I am able to call our daughter in Vancouver,Canada… contact at LAST. She is relieved to hear from us and happy that we are having such a great time.
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July 1, 2004

What a hectic past 2 days. We thought that we were sailing to relax… Calamity hit us at 3:00am. We go to bed really early (7:45pm) and sleep wonderfully only to be woken by the sound of heavy rain drops on our cabin roof. We race around closing all the hatches and get back into our bunk hoping for a few more hours of slumber.

an awesome but frightning sight

There is a bolt of lightning which lights up the cabin and a loud roar of thunder and we realize that we are about to be hit by a squall. Within minutes pandemonium breaks loose. Within minutes we hear the South Easter heading towards us and we jump up and run out to check the gauges, GPS and depth sounder.

By now the wind is blowing at gale force and the rain is pelting down in true African style. Wolf is up front trying to winch the anchor in but the chain is wrapped around the bulb of our hull. The force of the wind has pushed us side on to the shore and no amount of struggle can free the anchor chain.

In the torrential downpour we can’t make out where we are in relation to the shore. The flashlight shows us just 10mts from the beach. Our main concern is to point the nose into the channel so with one motor in forward gear and the other in reverse we struggle against the wind & current and slowly manage to winch ourselves closer to the anchor. The fact is that we are not pulling ourselves closer at all, but rather the anchor is dragging towards us

Karibu beached
This is not the best situation to find yourself in - but God is faithful

I am up front operating the windlass and Wolf is in the cockpit. The rain starts to abate and is now a steady shower; the wind is no longer gusting but has settled to a fresh breeze, the full moon cheekily pops out from the black ominous clouds, “you may as well give that up,” I hear Wolf say and as I look to the side of the boat I can’t believe my eyes. He is out of the boat in knee deep water! My heart sinks at the realization that we are stranded like a beached whale.

Fortunately we were successful at keeping the nose of the yacht pointed into the channel. There is nothing left to do but to get dry and go back to bed to wait until daybreak.. It is 4:30am.

We can’t sleep and by 6:00am we are dressed and on the beach, assessing the situation. As a result of having the motors going, we dug ourselves into a big hole, fortunately we are facing the channel, unfortunately it is spring-tide and if we are not able to get ourselves back in the water on this high-tide we will be high and dry for another 2 weeks. Other boats normally moored along the shore are also beached but it doesn’t look as if there is any serious damage.

With the help of 5 eager locals we are able to dig a trench from each hull to the waterline and by 2:30pm we are floating. We move deeper into the channel. One good thing that came from this adventure is that we are able to paint another coat of antifouling. I clean the boat from front to back and tidy up. She looks smells and feels brand new.



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