Solo Round The World 2015/16 – While I certainly wish I was writing this from the nav station of GS2- blasting eastward across the Indian Ocean
, I am instead still here in Cape Town
waiting on parts for my alternator that did not arrive before Thursday and the complete business shut-down for the New Years’ holiday. We were so close to success, but alas the planets did not align, and it made no sense to leave without a working alternator. I had successfully replaced the hydro-generator converter box and my hydro charging system is back to 100 percent. However the engine alternator is another key component, and the only hope we had of finding the necessary part was to contact Henrik Masekowitz, my German competitor who had recently been forced to terminate his RTW record attempt due to a very bad ankle injury, as Henrik’s boat
is a near sister-ship to mine and was sitting at a marina in Cape Town about a half mile from mine. I had a really nice chat on the phone with Henrik and he graciously allowed me to open up his boat and see if we could use the part. Unfortunately, the part did not fit, but it was a wonderful example of the friendship and support that sailors have for one another in times of need. Thank you, Henrik, and I hope your recovery from your ankle injury goes smoothly and quickly.
So there we were with the clock ticking down on the close of business on Thursday for the long holiday week-end and no solution. Not a good feeling… but… deep breaths… patience is a virtue…, and this voyage will clearly continue when it is meant to!
Luckily this unexpected stopover delay has resulted in my re-connecting with my old high school pal Peter Claypool, who lives and works here in Cape Town and has extended an incredibly warm welcome and allowed me to be a guest in his lovely cottage in the town of Costantia, just south of Cape Town. This is wine country and it reminds me very much of the Napa Valley, just north of San Francisco.
A beautiful mountain range starts at Cape Point/ Cape of Good Hope, and runs north along the coast and through Costantia, climaxing with the incredible Table Mountain that overlooks Cape Town center, with clouds and weather systems constantly rolling through and providing the ideal lush and verdant growing environment for the wine grapes. It is summer here with the reversed seasons of the southern hemisphere, and the pleasant climate and mountains-on-the-sea topography combine to form a magnet for European tourists and the beaches and seaside resorts are packed.