Donald Begg
Fri 25 Jan 2019 08:56
The marina at Port Elizabeth is ramshackle, a little grubby, but thoroughly welcoming and friendly. The old Algoa Bay Marina appears to have gone bankrupt a few months ago, but the catering facilities have been taken over (by the town?) and renamed Nelson Mandela Yacht Club, and the marina itself appears to be being run by local yachtsmen. All good for us, except that the shore power does not generate enough voltage to activate the battery charger.
We had an on-site engineer, Frenchman Guy Fabre, look over the generator. His main source of work, he claims, is boats which have had repairs done at Richards Bay. Does every yacht harbour have an engineer who specialises in picking up pieces from the previous port of call? The verdict, an untightened banjo nut on the fuel line which was sucking in air, and probably, more significantly, dodgy fuel, which the engine could cope with, but not the delicate generator. Our only solution is to burn off fuel on the way to Cape Town, and there to refill with fresh.
The town itself looks industrial, smokes, does not appeal from the marina, and is reputed to be unsafe. But in the other direction there is the resort of Summer Strand which was ideal for recreational runs ashore.
The weather window again closed in on us. We arrived on Wednesday, I had hoped to sail on the Friday, but no such luck. When it became clear that we would be stuck for the weekend Graham and Mark hired a car and spent an enjoyable day at the Ado safari park. At least it meant that Graham was able to see something of the classic attractions of South Africa (Mark had already seen plenty, and no sympathy required for the skipper, I needed the time on board, and had had a lovely few days at Ado with Nicola five weeks before).