Sunday, March 15, 2009

Babies on board

We received our first guests on board. My brother and his family came along for another test sail.
The wind was blasting at about 35 knots SW and we were curious to find out what Catlyn will do in this wind. While the 3 month old Minjone was sleeping her first sail away, Catlyn was sliding through the water at a speed of 9.4 knots. All aboard was exhilerated, and we felt her trying to go faster, but we reefed her down to hold her in. The guests from Holland, Bert and Jose, enjoyed the spray of mist Catlyn threw all over us welcoming all on board.

That evening we had our first South African braai. The little Luhan and Marco entertained us dancing away on the deck,

while his baby sister had her beauty bath in my basin.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Catlyn' Nappy Drill

No one told me how tough it is to handle your new born baby. I thought she will just be ready and polished and you sail away, but what a surprise ! She is crying every two hours for milk, she is crying after milk, she is crying in a wet nappy...she is crying way more than the pink and blue babies I saw in other mom's arms in the shopping mall.

Since the 12 th of February, Catlyn is still lying in an "industrial working marina" Elliot Basin, and it feels like no one is realising the amount of work that goes into a catamaran and because of that is making idle promises of early dates they can not keep. Every day I have to get up out of her gentle rocking bed, fold up all the bedding into plastic covers, get my children up to do the same, pack our little belongings and leave her at about 7o'clock in the hands of the "doctors" to fix and fiddle for a whole day 'till 7o'clock the evening when we come back fully motivated that the end is one day closer!

We "camped" in the Royal Cape Yacht Club close to the Elliot basin, used their clean facilities and tried every dish on their well priced menu. The chicken burger is highly recommended by the boys. My kid's motivation and determination skills were greatly tested when they unpacked all their school books for a long day during the heat wave in Cape Town with only a fan moving some hot air around.

It is the 12 of March and the situation has only changed to a highly irritable and "slightly" demotivated family. We packed our bedding into plastic bags again, but this time we moved into a little two bedroom flat, storing all Catlyn's baby clothes and toys in a corner in a heap for the next time we are going to try to move into her.

I felt so lonely in this yachting world, but walking passed all the other catamarans lying there I realised the frustration in this industry. We met a family from Madagascar on their also partly finished catamaran. The owner remarked that he is used to everything in Madagascar to being slow, but he learnt that in South Africa it is always tomorrow! Their boy of 12 was skate boarding and playing in the dinghy to pass the time. Maybe they will be on their way by the end of March? We met the French couple with their yellow Catamaran also waiting impatiently to sail to the Indian Ocean. We saw the Canadian fuming on a Monday morning when no one pitched to work on his boat.... The newest member to the "Waiting Club" a South African family is still very enthusiastic and opportunistic about his waiting period and is sitting under his umbrella all day next to his dream.

We had enough, and got to the point of making a final snag list ( list of all the faults and outstanding items, big and small) and we have arranged a time limit on that, and hopefully we are going to get our baby in perfect condition soon. I will keep you posted.

Monday, March 2, 2009

First sail of Catlyn

Today at four we cruised out of the marina, gently getting Catlyn out of the pontoon to the open seas. My kids were wide eyed looking at this new experience.

,Marco had his new life jacket on, but was only bothered because he didn't have a whistle.
I was really trying to listen to all this men on Catlyn talking about the main sail, sheets, halyards and all that. I thought I read it all, but being on this Catamaran looking at all the ropes in different colors, I couldn't remember a thing I learnt at sailing school in Phuket.

The fog set in, and I stood right in front listening for big ships, trying to see through the thick whiteness. I had a little sensation of what it will be like to be all alone on this big ocean with no land in sight.

The fog lifted and we could sail safely into the basin.
Johan was the stack pack mechanic, and got a crash course by Craig from Quantum Sails. He climbed and crawled and got the main sheet nicely zipped up.

I had my first sail on Catlyn, and she gently introduced me with the sway of her hips into the world of the blue seas. I am in this dream, a dream with Catlyn.

Catlyn in incubator

Maverick gave birth to Catlyn, but because of complications she is still in the incubator. It is just as unexpected and I felt exactly the same disappointment as not taking my baby home to her pink woolly cradle. I touched her...slept on her...but the very next morning blue overalls came in and I had to leave her in the hands of good care. I thought you just start to love your Cat the moment she's in the water, but all you get is to put your hands in the incubator and touch her...

Then they organised this launching party, this celebration of having this new baby in the family, and all this people from the industry came to look at her, seeing if any of their stuff was on her. I met this lady, Carol and she told me how the feeding goes on a Cat, and I know, with my family of 4 I need to know a women like this. She and her family spend 8 years with their little boy on their yacht.

And then the next party came. People from all over came to look at our beautiful baby. Interested in buying a Maverick? I dressed Catlyn in all her new pinks, but was really offended by the old mothers trying to tell me how their baby's look better in blue and cream and....

But we met other families with the same dream as ours. They also want to sell up and sail around the world. Some of their dreams were still only in their husband's eyes, but I hope after I met them, they decided to get into that dream like I did, and start living this dream.
Janet, July allow yourselve to dream....