First Bimble in Richards Bay

Beez Neez now Chy Whella
Big Bear and Pepe Millard
Mon 11 Nov 2019 23:57
First Bimble in Richards Bay, South Africa - YAY
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We chatted to Trevor and Kimi as we made the final turn to The Small Yacht area, very busy, it was decided that rafting up to Slow Flight (arrived a couple of hours before us) was our best option. I brought us gently in as Bear and Trevor sorted the ropes that would hold us secure. A big thrill as the engine went off at ten to ten. Huge hugs from our neighbours as Fred and Maria (who had anchored overnight in the tug turning pool) were encouraged to come in and raft up alongside Espiritu. Everyone helped and then Suzanne came in on Nehaj. I didn’t stand too close to the edge as the ground was bucking and weaving.......then I happened to hear someone talking about diesel and the next thing we are shaking hands with Lionel, go-to man, taxi and yacht-friendly helper who would pick up our empty jerry jugs in a flash. Back to Beez to finally and very proudly do this particular flag ceremony. Rod and Mary (ex of Sheer Tenacity now a new lady) gave us our South African flag for Christmas back in Opua, New Zealand. Rod told us to think of them as we raised our “Flying Jockstrap” – his words not ours. Bear went out on deck and got to the task.
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Flag held, joined by the ‘Q’ flag as a message spread through the dock that Immigration was waiting for us in the cafe. Not only chippy (dropping from 34 degrees in Mada to 22 here was a bit of a shock and needs warmer clothes and then did the rain come down.
As I tottered up the few step I was given the very best of sunny welcomes. Hugging the lovely lady and many others we entered the scrum. I have no idea how many boats, some had arrived Saturday and Sunday were now crowding around a single official, poor chap. It was lovely to see friends from Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Germany, Holland, Mexico, Philippines, Sweden and the USA. Some crew who have been here several days awaiting a weather window piled in to chat about passages, damage, weather but top topic was the thunder and lightning of last night.
Three boat crews form filling.
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There was friendly banter as skippers showed off their variously shaped boat stamps but Trevor stole the show with his paper imprinting one, meanwhile Kimi clearly needed a rum and coke. Once our Passports were stamped for three months we all decided to stay put for lunch.
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Bear and Suzanne “married up” on a two-for-one deal on hake and I had cheeseburger, giving Bear my roll. Delicious. Then Lionel popped in to see if anyone wanted to finish clearing in with a lift to Customs near town.
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Trevor and Kimi had planned to go with C. Coquin on the morrow, so we filled the car with Suzanne, Fred and Maria, and ourselves and headed off. Lionel was a font of knowledge and told me all about the wreck marker buoy we had passed just before we entered the port. I would look up the harrowing story of SV Smart later tonight (no fatalities thank heavens). Suzanne was first to fill in her forms, Fred and I were busily copying each other. Lionel was so impressed when we all stepped out in under ten minutes. We had been looked after by a lovely lady who gave us our outward papers to fill in, ready for our return. Next stop SIM cards.
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Lionel dropped us at a swank looking mall replete with Christmas decorations. To our left a gorgeous fruit and veg shop.
Pep. Ooo a shop for a new can opener, I’m currently using mine like nail clippers.
After being welcomed by a smashing promoter, we were handed to Brent who patiently sorted Sim cards times four. Very amusing for me to sit and watch the shenanigans. Some time later we headed for the Farm Market, there is also a Woolworth’s here but not the Woolies we Brits used to know and love.
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With the fridge still not working we had to bypass all the colourful and neatly laid out veggies.
 Bear’s muesli mix (when I have run out of all the Malaysian stuff) will be very sexy indeed.
This was just a fleeting visit but oooo’s and arr’s slipped from my lips. Just about everything we could ever wish for and need in a language we can understand – a real treat and the colours. The BBQ meats made us giggle, some of the sausages were about three feet long and prawns the size of fists. We made do (for today) with a pawpaw, bananas, French stick and I was treated to a jar of fat gherkins. Back to the marina with Lionel, all checked in and now to plan our next move. Probably sharing a hire car as the weather will be atrocious for several days.
                     A SPEEDY AND EFFICIENT DAY