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”
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”