2020 Early Flavours of South Africa
An Indian Takeaway to take one’s Breath Away
There is no shortage of eateries and bars around the International Dock to entertain and nourish the new visitor and I watched the vervet monkeys playing on the roof while Rob sat inside K N K Curries awaiting our order.
Back on board we unwrapped the goodies and tucked in and stopped dead in our tracks, hiccupping and coughing. We had been warned by a couple who stopped for a chat by the boat that the curries were hot and they weren’t wrong. But tasty as well and at £2.73 each we weren’t complaining. Not so much as a grain of rice was left on the plate.
The day after that a big 64 foot American design, Swedish Yacht arrived with torn foresails on two of his forestays. The skipper had taken her and her three man crew into the Friday 13th gale on leaving Reunion and in one of the weather systems we reefed down for, Dawnbreaker sailed under main and two foresails, blowing out the two sails in front of the mast and ripping one of the mainsail shanks out of the mast groove and broke two preventers. I was annoyed at the risk he had taken with the welfare of the yacht and the lives of the four men on board but my mood was sweetened somewhat when the vervet monkeys nipped on board and pinched all his fruit that was kept in a net at the stern!
The day after his arrival, on Monday, a catamaran came in that had arrived at the river mouth just a few hours after us but had been unable to enter for 48 hours. We never did find out why. She also was in Des’s group for advice. That same day we had our Covid tests which came back negative on Tuesday and then the wait for Immigration started. Finally on Thursday after a wasted journey to their office a charming officer came to the dock and under one of the sun umbrellas at Dros Restaurant we all cleared in, all except for Ali Cat, the catamaran I mentioned who inexplicably disappeared just as the Immi Officer arrived.
Lines aboard for the short journey to Zululand Yacht Club Marina and less than an hour later we tied up with the help of local hands into our dock at C8 for what we think will be around a month. Most other yachts are keen to spend Christmas in Cape Town but we are keen to keep away from crowds where the rick of catching Covid are greater. This is the best spot for the local safaris on the Reserves just north of here; the club has a reputation for friendliness and is quite rural. Also the weather hopefully moderates a little as the season progresses and better weather windows can be expected from January onwards.
Most of this year’s IO (Indian Ocean) yachts are here now, safely out of the cyclone area but subject to the powerful Lows that romp up from the Southern Ocean. But we don’t have to worry about those for a while.
Mirabella, with Andre and Eva, Jael and Amina aboard is moored on the next jetty along and plans to join the group at CT for Christmas and it was nice to have a chat with them in the boatyard. Speaking of which is busy with lots of owners working on their craft. There are numerous wrecks, rotting away, but we have met the Club treasurer who spends some of his time re-cycling the ones no longer wanted by their owners. He pays them an agreed price, sells what he can and cuts up the hulls. So sensible.
On Friday Rob and I went for a wander around the lovingly cared for grounds, inspected the dinghies which included Fireballs and Lasers, watched our footing where the crabs had their network of tunnels and took in the pretty views over the waterways that link into Mzingazi Lake, a valuable wetland area fed by the Nundwane and Nkoninga Rivers. Much emphasis is placed on enjoyment for families with lots of play areas, home-made swings hanging from benevolent old trees, individual and communal braie, or barbecue areas and the club building has a lovely bar upstairs, didn’t take us long to find that and discover they show the rugby matches on the big screen tv. So we are hopeful for the Autumn Nations Cup, Eng v Fr next Sunday!!
As we sat slurping our WindHock beers in the open bar area the vervet monkeys group came around for a look see. Many of them carried babies on their fronts and they spun up the trees and sat watching us watch them. One leaped onto a table and grabbed a handful of discarded chips and sped aloft, sharing them out and looking down at us with that “too quick for you lot” look on its face as it nibbled its quarry.
Annelie took us in her car/taxi to customs for the final clearing requirement and then on to a mall for some fresh fruit and veg and safari clothes. Tomorrow she will take us to the airport to collect a hire car for the week and then it’s off to the dentist, followed by Zoonie’s fuel run with the 8 x 20 litre cans.
Tuesday we head North on the N2 and take a left opposite the Baobab Inn for the Rhino River Lodge on the private Manyoni Reserve. So looking forward to it now.
Yesterday our wander took us once more to the bar where we enjoyed Pele’s company for a couple of hours. Nicolaus had gone with the crew of Dawnbreaker on a two day safari but as Pele doesn’t do animals we chatted together instead, while the rugby, NZ All Blacks v Argentina in Auckland, played on the screen.