East African sailing trip – log 51

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October 16, 2004

The DYC was hosting the annual “Latham Open Fishing Competition” held on Latham Banks 30nm from DAR. The club organises a weekend get-away on Sinda Island, where they set up tarps with tables and chairs, food and drinks galore. A large tug boat belonging to one of the members- transports all the food,drinks, tents and equipment and boats move en-masse to Anchor off the island.

We square off our account at the DYC and I design and post the advertisement for the sale of Barnarcle B2 onto the notice board. We had met Jane and John back in Richard’s Bay and they are now in the process of fixing up a 40’catamaran which they bought dirt cheap in Madagascar – they have named this one Barnacle B3 and are selling their older yacht a 32’monohull called Barnacle B2.

We head off on Karibu to join the hordes at Sinda Island. The wind is blowing big black clouds towards us and by the time we anchor we can hardly make out the island through the down-pour. The rain is here to stay so I decide to wash everything –there’ll be enough time to dry it when the sun comes out. Towels, linen, clothes all get a great wash in this wonderful fresh water. I have washing hanging on every line.

It’s pancake time and I make a batch which we share on yacht Manatee – yummy in South Africa we call them pancakes but in North America they call them crepes. For me they are synonymous with cold or rainy days, a tradition my mother introduced when I was growing up and I have never been able to shake.

With all this free fresh water bucketing from the sky we put on our dive-gear and decide to clean the hulls and the water-line. While I am in the water I brush off a tiny crab the size of my pinky finger-nail – it is clinging to my mask… As I dry off on the dive-platform I feel something crawling into my ear. With the memory of the crab still fresh in my mind I am jumping hysterically, it manages to wedge into my left ear and the noise is unbelievable. Wolf runs to fetch his glasses and the tweezers but by the time he reaches me I have managed to dig it out and squash the poor little thing into a pulp with the heel of my hand. Yuck… even now it gives me the creeps.

We shower out on the deck in our swim-suits shampooing and conditioning our hair… what luxury… and how much pleasure can be experienced in an act, seemingly as simple as a shower. Everything feels squeaky clean albeit damp.
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We head off to the little island for the day’s weigh-in and to socialise with our new friends under the make-shift shelter, while the rain continues to pour down in torrents.

October 17, 2004

We hoped to leave for Zanzibar this morning but the sky is still dark and ominous – rain surrounds the island of Sinda where yachts dance at anchor over the gentle swell. The organisers put so much effort into this competition and its success, only to have the one unpredictable component show up negatively for them. The rain may have dampened their spirits, but judging by the partying and laughing coming from the Island into the wee hours of the morning, I am sure the competitors and supporters are having the time of their lives.

Denise suggests a lazy day of reading, relaxing and resting while we wait for the weather to clear and we decide that regardless of the weather we will move on towards Zanzibar tomorrow.

I take the opportunity to bake bread and a batch of oatmeal crunchies. 

We lounge around reading and listening to music. It’s on days like these that we discuss the pros and cons of sailing. Though the time is appreciated and we are very grateful for this experience, I want my readers to know there is also a down side – one of frustrations, lack of purpose, loneliness and feelings of restlessness.

Tomorrow will dawn, and the outlook will change, we will experience new people, new places, and new events and that’s when I realize… this is what keeps ‘yachties’ motivated – content to be on the move or to stay put… depending on their whim at the time. Perhaps the longer one lives this life-style the more comfortable it becomes.

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