Sunday, November 22, 2009

Janlie, our Eve aboard

It is time to introduce you to the other female member aboard Catlyn...Janlie! Our almost 18 year old girl always having a hard time amongst all the males around her, is my right and my left hand. I don't know what the typical teenage girl is, but according to shared gossip with my friends she is definitely not one!

She wakes us up every morning with a cup of coffee, and then after her cup she starts doing the dishes or sweep the floor or dust the tables or just any dirty place she can find. She is the one who can get the boys to make their beds and to wipe the toilet ring. She shares her bed with all our guests in need of a bed and take her pillow to sleep in the saloon without complaint. But then she is also the girl who will frantically clean her heaven again and crawl back into her cradle.
She is a Pisces, but the one who doesn't like the cold sea and doesn't like to eat the fish her brothers catch. She looks away when they hammer the fish and slaughter the cray fish. But she is always game! She will not be left behind when her bro's jump into the blue cold, she will chase the fish away, close her eyes and jump in to their delight.

And then, to their delight, she loves baking! Fudge and cookies and custard slices and anything sweet...and luckily for her even her not so successful products never go wasted!
When she is not studying for the last three subjects for her grade 12 exams May 2010, she loves doing her embroidery or to crochet herself a scarf.
Marco introduced her to his computer games, and together they build zoo's or create life on Sims. Without Janlie on Catlyn, the ropes won't be tidied up, the fenders won't be fitted and I will be lost!

Langebaan welcomed us!

It felt like coming home again. We had a beautiful sail to Dassen Island. A wind of 20 knots were pushing us towards our overnight destiny. The swells were small and the sun was basking and dolphins accompanied us all the way. We arrived at Dassen and celebrated Catlyn's first 500 sea miles with fresh snoek and cray fish.

The next morning we left with a clean" washed " boat to Kraalbaai. It felt so warm and homey, to sail into the calm lagoon and even familiar seals popping out of the waves. While sailing to anchor at Schaap Island we noticed that the port engine isn't spitting out water! Johan and the boys had to investigate. They spend the whole morning reading engine manuals and studying engine parts and then they started taking things apart and after a long time and almost giving up hope, Johan found the culprit. A little fish crawled into the sea cock's inlet and prevented the water from spitting out!

Tomorrow we are planning to go into the Marina to fill up diesel and water and spend a couple of days in Mykonos.

Tempted in the Cape

We are lying in Elliot Basin, daily tempted with howling winds and daily tempted with the soot coming down on us, and daily tempted with miserable weather. We are tried and tested....but luckily friends came to our rescue! Charles and Yolanda and the girls came to visit and saved us. Marco and all his girl friends enjoyed the new playground of Catlyn's deck and he introduced them to his swing.

We sailed to Robben Island for the day with the sleeping beauties aboard missing out on the big swells rolling Catlyn around. But as soon as we moored at Elliot they woke up for a great time.

We celebrated our Skippers birthday true to tradition on Catlyn with balloons and cake and pizzas at Panarotti's!

In the mean time the Solar panels were mounted and they are up and running and Johan is keeping an eye on all the in and outputs. Little things were fixed and we realised that as soon as the weather cleared we can be on our way.

Ready to go, we had a last surprise when Anton and Lorraine popped in for a lovely evening and to look at our water home. Lorraine opened everything and tried everything to see if and how it is working. The next morning our spirits was high enough to set sail for the open seas to Dassen Island.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Bread baking!

Jaco, our 20 year old Pisces, half of a twin, full time student, half time studying Tourism at Boland College (Stellenbosh), fell in love with the sea for ever. When he met Catlyn he found another twin. He loves nosing around her, trimming her sails, stroking her belly, diving down and saving her from strangulation.... He went for his Competent Crew and Deckhand Course and sail all around with his Skipper dad. This is what he loves and he is keeping an eye out for an opportunity doing a delivery crossing.

While his building up his experience, John our examiner told him that it is a benefit to be able to cook aboard...and look who is cooking!

I never thought I will see the day that Jaco our Two Minute Noodle Cook will stand behind the stove baking. After preparing breakfast he decided to bake us our first fresh bread in our little gas oven. I couldn't resist taking a photo for you with his hands full of clammy dough!

The compliment of his bread was in his family devouring the fresh warm slices with Irish butter.

Bravo, Jaco!

Two skippers for Catlyn!

I always said I will do the sailing thing , but I have to know how to do everything! That was really said easier than done! We went for the eye test to see whether we are colour blind or not, and although Johan's fashion sense proof otherwise he also succeeded. We made copies of our log book to proof the mileage we've done, and then we downloaded all the study material we going to need.

Down to the books. As usual I started immediately and Johan decided to make use of his very short term memory again. We were ready! The COLREGS was not too bad and I could recognise all the lights of all different vessels on the sea, all the Lateral and Cardinal Marks warning you like street signs and robots on the high way. And then I also had to know which way to go when their is traffic in your area....keeping left of the white line doesn't help when your road is a foamy and moving one.

But then it was me and the compass and the plotter and the chart on my floor...North kept on changing and I had to get the True One and the Magnetic One and then search for the currents and the wind and how it is going to push my boat where, and how many nautical miles the Light house is from me...and..and... I really tried to dig hard into my Matric Geography but that was just too long ago for my long term memory! What made me feel a little bit better is that I wasn't the only one having a hard time getting these brain cells moving again...Johan was getting the best position on his bed to make life comfortable while working, as usual, but unfortunately lost the rubber or ruler every now and then....not the North like me.

And then we were ready to do the exam. John out examiner came and the suffering started! It was difficult! Enough said. But the sea gods were smiling on me, and helped me pass! I sighed a big sigh of big relief, but it was short lived. The next morning I was woken with the news to take Catlyn out and come back to park her nicely at the jetty! If you haven't been to Elliot Basin before you won't understand my anxiety! Newly delivered yachts all around you, dilapidated jetties hanging in the water, and then all these pillars narrowing your way in and out. I'm only going to say that Catlyn was moored at the jetty with no harm done. Another big sigh of relief!

Friday morning came and John told me to take Catlyn out again to the open sea to show him how I will rescue a man overboard....poor me. I felt like the girl overboard. The wind was howling a whole twenty knots, and I realised that it is not going to be like the practise runs I did on the smooth Langebaan Lagoon! I am sure there was a mermaid holding on to the danbuoy John threw into the big waves, because after a while battling with the wind ,the sails, the engines, Marco had the danbuoy safely in his hands. Johan had his turn and I helped his "man overboard" safely back into Catlyn. He was supposed to take Catlyn back and I was so relieved, but then John decided it might be good for my confidence to take Catlyn back in. Oh no!

He coached me a bit with his gentle manner, and calmed all my raw nerves, and although the wind was pushing and although Johan and John had a couple of scary moments with me I did it!

I DID IT! Two skippers for Catlyn!

First family birthday!

Marco turned nine years the 30th of October and Janlie decorated Catlyn with balloons and streamers for a festive look. He was woken by Andria and his granny on the cellphone, and was spoilt by all the people who just love him. Jaco also came for the day and we sailed out to Clifton for a day in the sun accompanied by so many other yachts enjoying the good weather for the day.

The 3 kids decided to swim towards the beach in the icy waters, and reached the rocks trying to warm up their frozen limbs. He ended his special day with a pizza in Blouberg and the whole of Pannarotti's singing and rejoicing with him! He was touched by angels just loving him! Happy birthday, Marco!