Sunday, July 5, 2009

My whole family aboard

Louis came to visit! For the first time my whole family shared in this magic of our dream! We left Table Mountain behind with a sigh of relief.

We spend the night at Dassen Island again, and the kids wanted to show Louis how to catch crayfish with the net. They caught a couple of small ones and we stood amazed at the reason why Nature Conservation has a period when no one is allowed to catch crayfish. The crayfish are spawning and we saw the cluster of millions dark red eggs under their bellies. The kids gently put them back into the sea, afraid they'll anger the Sea Angels.

We sailed safely into Langebaan Marine where Catlyn felt at peace again. On the jetty was friends from near and afar. Genevieve, Catlyn"s neighbouring Cat was there with it's owners, Johan and Annette. Michiel and Marline were anxiously waving at us. Andria was ruining her boots over the rocks, trying to keep up with Andre.

Happiness is best when shared.....

Check up in Cape Town

We sailed Catlyn back to Cape Town for a check up. Anxiously we set her free from Langebaan on our way to Dassen Island. All the "hotnotsvlooie" were cleaning her hull to look her best for her first return to her birth place.

The swells were beautiful and the wind was generous and with the main out we had a lovely sail to Dassen Island. And then luck struck Johan who trawled his lines.

A beautiful snoek landed on the deck. It's gills a deep ruby red, it's scales a shiny silvery blue. But the beastly men were hunting this awesome animal down and it's head was bashed on the deck. It was cleaned and washed in sea water and filleted and frozen in an instant, and then three more followed to fill the freezer.

Snoek for dinner!! Fresh!! For a girl always 'sniffing' fish out in the supermarket, it was a thrill to enjoy the meat of this blessing.

All went to their cradles except me, who had to stand guard for the first shift according to Janlie's list. When the deep breathing and heavy bodies filled Catlyn, I sneaked out and felt the darkness. The whole sky was lit up by stars almost touching the horizon. I didn't want to wake Jaco for his shift, almost too jealous to stop this.

Our Skipper started the engines at six o'clock the next morning. It was still pitch dark. How do you see? You can only hear the sound of the waves rolling somewhere. We lifted the anchor, watching it in the flash light coming closer...and then Catlyn was free to start her trip to Cape Town. The radar was on and we safely sailed out of the house bay of Dassen Island.

The fog was hiding Table Mountain from us all the way. We sailed into Elliot Basin the afternoon, after realising how fast those big ships really are. Size does count!

Elliot Basin was as disgusting as always. We tried to secure Catlyn as good as possible, but the jetties didn't look very stable. Just a week or two before a friend of ours launched their new Maverick, Be-Jo, and poor Bert jumped off his boat right through the jetty! A storm was brewing and we were really worried.

The next morning in the howling wind an waves, the stepladder slipped of it's rails and luckily fell into the sea on the other side of Catlyn. But we were still worried, because the storm wasn't subsiding and we strapped the jetty and ladders with extra ropes and we bought six big fenders to cushion us against the delapidated jetties. But it wasn't enough and the derailed ladder banged against Catlyn chaving her side.
We couldn't wait to get out into the open seas again!
"Honey, I'm home!"

It's done. Johan and Janlie wrote their last paper for their Matric exam for this year, and are enjoying a well deserved rest until August when they will start their studying for the last three subjects for next year May.

"Honey, I'm home!"

We drove back to Langebaan where Dad and Marco were waiting for us on Catlyn.

They survived the storm during June when they had to vacate the Marina, and look for shelter in Kraalbaai. The swells were high and the wind was strong, and even the calm Kraalbaai became a turbulence of water. Jaco and his friend joined the two to help them safely around, and Marco learnt to feed the crew.

"Honey, I'm home!"

I left for six weeks and went back to my house in George. It felt so big and roomy and wonderful, and I soaked in my bath for hours. I enjoyed the earth under my fingers in my garden, I loved the smell of my washing on the line, I stared into the licking flames of my fire place and every morning woke up looking at the blue of the sea.

But it happened. It was the call of the blue sea every morning. I woke up and I wanted to go back. My lovely wooden house just didn't fit my bones any more. I felt awkward. I felt out of place. Not even my hot tub could keep me there. I had to go back!

I crept back into my rocking bed on Catlyn, enjoyed the stream of hot shower water in my tub, wait for the whistle of my blue kettle, and I felt the sting of a sheet running through my fingers.

"Honey, I'm Home!"