We’ve FINALLY left Knysna and now we’re in Cape Town, making the last minute arrangements to head out towards the Caribbean. So much has happened, but the “to do” list just does not seem to be getting any smaller. 🙂
Ray, Tonia and Eddie (the owners of the boat), arrived last week and we have been quite busy settlng in.
Meanwhile, we have had several visitors since we have been here. A couple of our youtube channel followers (Derek and Elmarie) reached out and came by for a visit, it was so great to meet them after a long email correspondence.
One of South Africa’s more famous muiscians, front man for the band Just Jinjer, Ard Mathews is refitting a pirate sloop close to us, He has been over to visit a couple of times, and we are now following him on YouTube.
We’re currently docked in the marina at the Knysna waterfront, while the folks building the boat do all the final fits and finishes before we head off to Cape Town. We’ve had plumbers, electricians, carpenters and painters working on the boat 6 or 7 days a week since we launched. George, of course not wanting to be left out of the “fun” has been doing his part. He’s been up the mast working on the antennas, in the water working with Malcolm to center the rudders, and battening down the hatches during the (at least weekly) storms that bring some crazy wind.
Meanwhile, there is definitely light at the end of the tunnel. They delivered our fuel for the trip today. Since there isn’t a fuel dock here, all the diesel is delivered by truck – yes, they bought 900 liters of fuel in jerry cans and siphoned them into our tank by hand 😳
While I was writing this post, George was working on a (very) short teaser video showing the boat dressing and ready to show off. Check it out on our YouTube channel and stay tuned for the detailed walkthrough coming soon.
In December of 2019 we first began talking with Ray about moving onto the new boat that he was having built in Knysna. In November 2020, George and I arrived in South Africa expecting the boat to be completed in Jan/Feb. And now, finally, after more than 3 years of design and construction, the very first Knysna 550 rolls out of the shop and down to the waterfront. The boat is so high that they could not install the helm and top of the flybridge in the factory.
After almost 8 months of waiting here in South Africa, it is almost time for us to move onboard the new boat.
To say that we are excited is an understatement. Soon we will publish videos of moving the boat down to the waterfront, installing the roof on the flybridge, floating the boat for the first time and eventually adding the mast and boom.
Then the big one, a guided tour of our amazing new home “Private Island”
Soooo….it’s June and the boat is still under construction ??♀️. Since neither the designer or the builders have ever built this model boat before, there have been plenty of unexpected design/construction issues that needed to be resolved – this is one of the reasons folks are hesitant to buy “Hull #1”. However, the flip side to the longer build time is that we’ve had an opportunity to learn this boat inside and out as well as make real time changes that will improve the boat’s performance and livability.
Meanwhile, if you’ve been watching our videos, you will know that George and I have been finding plenty of trouble fun to get into while living in South Africa. We’ve sailed and safaried (not sure that’s a word, but I’m going with it), wined and dined, and even travelled back home to visit family (and get vaccinated!).
Our latest target splash date is July 1 and we’re supposed to move onboard on July 16….(cross your fingers).
Watching the boat being built and providing input to day to day decisions does not take up all our time. We wanted to make sure we took in some of the local culture, so we plan trips (such as our game lodge trip).
Last weekend we traveled to the lovely town of Franschhoek, we stayed in a wonderful B&B with some of the largest rooms we have ever seen in a hotel, anywhere in the world.
We also spent the day being delivered from one farm to the next onboard a Tuk-Tuk, which is a great alternative to driving. Another alternative would be to take the wine tram, but we shied away from this given COVID.
We did wine tastings at five sites, ate some amazing food, purchased 47 bottles of wine (at some of the best prices we have ever seen) and had a great time! You can watch the video we made of the day, and see the impact of the wine throughout the day.
If you find your self in South Africa, anywhere near Cape Town, make an effort to visit Franschhoek, you will not be disappointed.
You may have heard us mention that we are launching a new video channel about our adventures onboard a new 55 foot catamaran that is being built in South Africa. Well, the day has finally arrived and the first video is online now. We will be delivering a new video each week. We hope that you will enjoy the channel and help us spread the word about it. The first video is just over 16 minutes, so grab a glass of something refreshing to drink, get comfortable and don’t forget to subscribe so you won’t miss an episode!
After our extended quarantine in Mexico and a nice house sit in Arizona, it is time for us to move on to our next big adventure!
On Friday November 6th: we are traveling to South Africa where a beautiful new 55 foot catamaran is being built by Knysna Yacht Company. When it is eventually completed, we will move on board and become the live-aboard caretakers for this handsome new yacht.
Right now the boat is still ‘on the hard’ at the builders location. It will go into the water in mid January and we will move on the boat a few days after that.
A bit more about this sailing catamaran: it is being built for, and owned by, our Australian friends Ray and Tania Smith. It has four cabins, each with it’s own shower and toilet. To say that this boat will have all of the modern conveniences would be an understatement; we are definitely looking forward to it.
So what does live aboard caretakers mean? Well in short, we will be on the boat to make sure it is taken care of and delivered to wherever Ray, Tania and their son Eddie want it to be when they get ready to use it. Bonnie will look after the care and feeding of the passengers on board, George will take care of all the regular maintenance and repairs and we both will take our turns sailing the boat during our ‘watch at the helm’ while we’re in transit.
What can you expect from us going forward? We will be producing LOTS of new video blogs; these will include adventure videos, sailing logs and how-to videos on repairs and etc. In short, pretty much everything we do on board will become the subject of a blog story or video.
So whether we are sunning in the Caribbean, lounging in the Med or moving the boat from one location to another, you can track our adventures, learn about the gear we are using and just see what we’re up to on board this new vessel called “Private Island”
As we prepared to (finally!) leave Mexico, our friend Van took us on an excursion to the Agua Termales (hot springs) in Puertecitos about 90 km south of San Felipe. We drove about an hour south from the house, paid the 200 pesos entrance fee and turned into a pretty shabby looking settlement of houses and outbuildings. As we drove up to the springs we had a gorgeous view of the Sea of Cortez.
The springs themselves are a carefully created set of pools, built into the hillside, each slightly higher than the last. The hot springs feed directly into the top spring, bringing the water temp to a scalding level. This scalding water feeds down into the lower pools and finally directly into the ocean.
At low tide each of the pools are isolated from the ocean water and are thus all quite warm. As the tide rises the pools begin to fill with sea water and the thus become cool enough to sit in and enjoy. The trick is to move up the hill to each successive pool thus staying in the balmy water.
As noted, the highest pool which is fed directly from the hot springs and is scalding hot. The only time you can sit in this pool is when the tide is at is peak and washing enough cool water in to make the temperature manageable and it is lovely.
As you might have already guessed, as the tide turns and begins to go out, the top pool gets increasingly hot and eventually you are forced to move back down the hill to more suitable temperatures.
Since it was a full moon, the tides were very dramatic while we were there. We hopped from pool to pool while enjoying a cool beverage and, in general spent a lovely day in the Agua Termales!
Now that the list of house projects has dwindled and the dune buggy is purring, I’ve had some time on my hands (thanks COVID). So I decided to try my hand at creating a time lapse video. All of the images were captured on my GoPro Hero 5 Sessions mini cam.
I did not have a tripod, so I borrowed a floor lamp from the house, clamped the GoPro to it and set it up on the rooftop deck.
After a bit of setup, I got the cam to take 1 high resolution image every 5 seconds, so ended up with 1,300 photos at 1.2 meg each. I imported all of the images into the Luma Fusion video editor and merged them into a video. From there, I color corrected (Bonnie said I got a little too much purple in the sky). At this point the video was still more than 20 minutes long, so I had to shorten the length of time each image was shown until I got the length down to about 1 minute 30 seconds.
I needed to add some music, so I searched around in the library of license free music on YouTube until I found an audio clip I liked, imported the audio into LUMA fusion, shorted the clip and tailed off the audio at the end of the movie.
Finally I produced the video, as a high resolution file and saved it. I must say that the high resolution file looks much more impressive than the one with all the compression that happened when I loaded it to YouTube, but it still looks pretty cool….