Friday, January 29, 2010

TMT Charters born!

What an experience! You don't wake up one morning and decide you going to charter your boat and that is it! No, Catlyn had to go through thorough inspections to make sure that she is safe enough for humans. Not only life jackets were tested, but the life raft, the fire extinguishers, the gas inlets, fuel inlets and so much more... We had to get a new number listed. We had to go for medical screening and believe it or not another course. Pre Sea Induction Course, for two days, to make sure all our guest will be prepared and kept safe on Catlyn. I even landed in an ice cold swimming pool, trying out a life jacket while learning how to strap it, jump in the sea with it and how to stay afloat with it!

Now Catlyn is ready, and my two Johan's are very busy with the brochures and websites and paper planning. I phoned all the Newspapers today to get the ads running, and soon you"ll be reading about our firsts Charter on my blog. Maybe you will be our first guest....
You can follow this link to TMT Charters :

Settled with new Adventures!

Being a part of this family, doesn't leave you time to do nothing for a long time. So getting up one morning, the idea was born! While Johan and Janlie are preparing for their last and final school exam in their lives, we can just as well share our wonderful experience sharing Catlyn with some people! We rented a little house in Port Owen, just around the corner of the Yacht Club. The kids got their stability to put an effort in with their studies, Marco has a patch of lawn, and Johan and I can charter with Catlyn around the West Coast Area.

It feels great to know that we are able to share this, but I am also jealous to share Catlyn with strangers. Will they love her the way we do? Yesterday I had to move all our personal stuff from the boat, and it felt so wrong. She's been our home for almost a year. We moved into this little 3 bedroom house, and it felt so strange sleeping in a bed without being rocked to sleep. It felt so strange hearing noises in the street and next door and not the gentle sloshing of the sea.

But I spoke to my dear friend this morning, and realised that Catlyn needs to be shared. People need to enjoy her soft belly in the ocean and need to experience the feeling of being free when we set the sails and the wind takes us into the Blue. They need to lay in their bed at night, falling asleep with the lullaby of the sea....I want to share this!

Thursday, January 21, 2010

School outing...

Snow in Summer at Velddrift......?

I organised a tour visiting the Ceres Saltworks in Velddrift. What an interesting morning with Eduard as our tour guide. Ceres is 65 years old and one of South- Africa's biggest salt suppliers. We started at the salt dams being pumped full of sea water. They turn pinkish because of the density of the water and we could see the salt crystals glistening on the water. It takes two to five years before they can harvest a dam, only a layer of 15cm of salt at the bottom when it is dried up. We saw the washing process, the drying process and then the refining process until little packets are filled with salt. We were only allowed to feel and taste the very fine salt, made for Kentucky and Mac Donalds! Now we know why our salt doesn't make our pop corn taste so good.

The big white washed salt heaps are used by fashion models as snow back drops when they are featuring a winter scene. Not a lot of snow aroud in S.A.
Ps. Guided tours on Thursdays. Tel: 022 7831133

Life in Port Owen Marine

We just love living in Port Owen Marine. The berth is so protected from the currents and wind that Catlyn hardly sway around. Leaving Cat for the jetties, we pass "our" beautiful gardens. We enjoy the flowers and green lawns, but we don't have to mow them or clean the weeds. We have pets coming to visit often, but we don't have to feed or clean after them.

The kids enjoy it too. They have their swimming pool, clean and so blue, but they don't have to back wash the pump. Marco enjoy riding his scooter on the beautiful walk ways and Janlie loves her jog early every morning. Wednesday- and Friday evenings we pick up on the latest yachty news at the Port Owen yacht club with a beer and a braai.

And in the mean time my sink, with a leak needed attention, and Johan taught Janlie a little bit of plumbing. The outlet is too small, and I have to be so careful not to slip foody stuff through the plugs, but I am promised this will be attended to.

And when the sun sets Marco takes us on a Sun Set Cruise on the dinghy around the channels. We even spotted otters on one of his cruises!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Living in Port Owen

We are trying very hard to create a normal atmosphere for our family. We wake up in the morning about 6h30 to the sounds of what's happening around us. Usually it is the seagulls waking us or Mother Duck with her three surviving ducklings quacking around the yachts, and then the whistling sound of the kettle telling us that Janlie is on her way with our coffee. Johan will have his laptop already in his lap and I will enjoy the opportunity with a book or my needlework. Janlie will go jogging and Marco will be in front of his computer and Johan jr will get busy with his Math. I will make an omelet or French toast or sometimes it's just a bowl of cereal for the family. Every one will keep busy with their own things, and that will give me time to spend with Marco. We are busy with time tables and revision of Math and some writing exercises while we are waiting for the CD from Brainline with his work for gr4.

Lunch is a family affair with all sitting around while Dad is creating something in the galley. There is always something to clean or to check or to fix on the boat, and this will be done now. Today my project was the gas is shining again until the next braai. Dad's project was to polish all the wood surfaces on the boat.

Around sunset we love to watch a movie or something and with the sun still high we know our Dad won't fall asleep. I will go for a jog around Port Owen's streets with Marco trailing om his scooter. We all enjoy a light dinner and relaxing time with each other. Sometimes we can watch TV, a movie on e-TV and retire to bed with face book or e-mail. This is also the time for inviting friends from neighbouring yachts for a drink or go enjoy a drink with them.

Johan and Janlie passed their learner licences successfully and can't wait to spread their wings. Jaco has passed his Radio Licence and is preparing for his First Aid course to do his Skippers soon. But he has to leave Catlyn soon for Stellenbosch to complete his studies.
I gave you a slight look in a day in our lives when we are stuck in a Marina but we need to get out to sea soon!
Port Owen Marina Yacht Club :

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Back to normal?

What will that be? This is who we are, this is what we are, and this is where we are.... normal?

Catlyn needs a good rub and scrub on the inside and out, and all the crew with her needs the same! We spend a slow day getting everything in order again and the kids realised that the New Year has officially started for them! They started searching for the books and pencils, and in between Janlie and Johan has to study for their Learner Licences soon, apart from the remaining three subjects for Matric they're writing in May. Jaco is also studying for his Radio Exams next week. Only Marco is showing no signs of stress....

Johan and I are looking the New Year in the eye, waiting for it to happen to us. What ever it gives us, wherever it takes us, when ever it wants us, what ever it takes....we will live it in search of the love and peace in this life!
To every one sharing this blog with me...may you live this year as being free!!

Last leg of the West Coast Cruise!

Being worried about the weather we left Elands Bay at six o'clock. The sea was rough and the wind was picking up. Time Out followed us, but the other two were still lazing in the bay. The sea was choppy and Catlyn got sprayed every now and then. With our main sail and genoa we sailed close to the wind. The progress was slow, but eventually that afternoon we saw the breakers of Port Owen. The wind picked up to 30 knots, and Catlyn amazed us at being steady and her heavy "derriere" was keeping us on a steady course. At last we sailed her into the Bergriver and moored her safely in Port Owen, with Time Out already safe.

The wind didn't slow down, and we were worried about the other two yachts still on the open sea. Only hours later Yacht Kaisosi was safe, and the mono hull Lila crept into the Marina at about 20h30, with her single handed skipper, Paul exhausted.

We were all glad to be safe, and we hugged and ate together at the prize giving dinner, knowing that we gave each other the prize for living life!!
Our family did us proud!

West Coast Cruise. Day 3

We woke up, tired after another night watch, hoping that your boat will not drag, and hoping that the boat next to you won't drag either. Because of big swells a lot of the participating yachts retired this morning and left very early for Port Owen. Only a few were left behind.

We decided to still enjoy a little bit of Lamberts bay, and the kids took the dinghy out to town. Janlie came back with shoes and the boys with fudge! On their way back the kids tried to find the triangular white cover of the dinghy which was lost with the little roll Marco had. Jaco saved it from being rusted in the deep sea! We were ready to leave.

We left the bay just behind Time Out, and enjoyed a great sail with two Snoeks to compliment the day! Yacht Kaisosi radioed us to tell us about the beautiful anchor at Elands Bay. Four yachts anchored at Elands Bay with Lila joining in. Being the only four yachts to complete the last anchorage of the West Coast Cruise, we couldn't eat the snoek alone. With pre-dinner-drinks on Time Out, we completed the evening with shared dinner from all four yachts on Catlyn! Two snoek fed thirteen people sharing stories..... Elands Bay is beautiful, and nestled close to the rocky hill, with the old crayfish factory buildings looking spooky at night, we had a peaceful evening.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

West Coast Cruise-Second Leg

All the yachts gathered together close to one of the big ships in the sea to make that our new starting point..on the look out for wind! A couple of yachts withdrew but Catlyn was there till the fat lady sings. ( We haven't seen her on any of the yachts yet).

We had a good start and our main competitor, Time Out was also hanging too close for comfort. We all had our sails out for the light breeze and the spinnakers and two screechers were bulging to speed up the yachts. Each yacht went their own way to find a little bit of wind, some went inshore and we went quite deep hoping to find the wind there. But it was only a slight breeze teasing us all the way to Lambert Bay. We bumped into a couple of dolphins and a school of seven huge wales.

To pass the time while the wind stayed away the boys enjoyed cooling down on the tube behind Catlyn.

Hours later we could see Lamberts Bay, but we could also see Time Out's blue spinnaker on her way! The kids were doing all sorts of things with all the sails to help to get them filled up with the little bit of wind to get to Time Out. But we battled. Catlyn's voluptuous behind was holding us back. We could see Time Out slipping into the bay and only ten minutes later we crossed the finishing line! Major disappointment for Marco, who has never won a trophy in his life, Mom! But we were happy with Catlyn, she did us proud!

The boys immediately checked out the surf and Janlie checked out the shops. Marco taxied them ashore with the dinghy, but an unexpected wave crushed over him and overturned the dinghy! What a fright! Johan saved him from under the dinghy in seconds and Jaco overturned the little boat in seconds. He was fine, just a bruise on his back where the engine touched him. A steaming cup of coffee and a hot shower later and he was fine.

But, the little Yamaha engine was totally submerged and no sign of life! Thanks to manuals and friends with easy advise, we washed the engine with fresh water, dried the plugs, flushed the petrol and luckily I had an injection aboard, and we gave the engine a shot of petrol! That was all she needed and a little while later the sound of the engine was filling the air! Only the triangular lid in front was missing. A small price to pay for a big lesson learnt.

We invited Patrick and JC for a braai and a hot shower and living on their Holiday 23, they gladly accepted. He was the handy guy with the handy info to safe our Yamaha engine.

Again we had a choppy night, but our crew were on watch the whole night making turns to make sure that Catlyn is lying still and no other yacht are dragging closer.

My long lost friends...

He became part of my life story when we started our first day at school, and she became part of my life story a year later in gr2, at the Primary School of Delmas. We lived our stories together as great friends only to be parted because of human happenings when we were 16 years old....and then we didn't bother because we were too busy living our stories.

But then we anchored at Stompneus Bay and they were holidaying at Shelly Point and we got together on Catlyn! She was filled with people so grateful to meet each other again, sharing stories and memories and trying to build a new relationship of long lost friends.

Sipping a glass of wine we revelled in all our children mingling and getting to know each other. They left with the dinghy in the choppy sea getting soaking wet and laughter filled the night...

Adri and Charles and all your children...go well!

West Coast Cruise 2010

Port Owen was a buzz of being busy! After a lovely evening with fresh snoek and getting the spirits going for the big race tomorrow, the skippers and crew were polishing and checking their boats. They only interrupted the preparations for an enormous cholesterol breakfast at the Yacht Club. What an awesome start!

The skippers were briefed and the plan was to get to the staring line at three o'clock. What a sight! About thirty boats all shapes and sizes were lying in the bay awaiting the siren for the sails to fly! And we had a lift off....Catlyn had a great start and did her best, but the sneaky tri-marans and a couple more with carbon fibre sails slipped past. And so did a 46ftLeopard...what a yacht! The Admiral, Time Out was giving us a good challenge, but with our secret weapon, our screecher, we left her behind with screeching sails. No distractions from their female crew could waver Catlyn, but my male crew nearly succumbed to the female temptations.

All the yachts anchored in Stompneus Bay. A water taxi was battling to get all the restaurant goers safe and dry to the beach and back again. No easy job in those choppy waters with only a torch light and impatient passengers.

It was a busy night. Not a lot of sleeping was done on the boats. Some dragged, some lifted anchor a couple of times and some were just scared something is going to happen with all the boats lying snugly close together.

We had a lazy start after the night, and no wind to lift the spirits. We headed for the open sea on the look out for a breeze to carry on the second leg of the race.

Entering 2010

We left George with a new excitement for the New Year of 2010 and what it will hold...
Catlyn was waiting for us in all her beauty. Thank goodness for the clean water and air of Port Owen, after so many times scrubbing off the black soot of Elliot Basin in Cape Town. We couldn't wait to release Catlyn of all the lines holding her, and set off for Stompneus Bay. After a very bumpy night, it was spring tide the next morning and we went for a stretch on the beach. The huge rocks were filled with tempting black oysters, and we couldn't resist a few.

It was so good to be back!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

X-mas time

Soon we were pulled in by the buzz of shops and people and being busy with stuff and before I realised I was wrapping gifts for X-mas. I love X-mas, not because it is filled with too much food, not because it is filled with too busy shopping malls and hiked prizes but because it is filled with a different spirit than the rest of the year. People you don't know are wearing silly red hats and smiles, and people you do know are hugging you differently. Special goodies are made and wrapped and chicken livers in a little bowl for your X-mas starters or a bowl glued together from drift wood, picked up early morning at the river mouth of Gwaiing.
We spend the day with a traditional fondue dinner and tested the vocals of the family on X-mas carols.
After rehearsing and getting dressed to look as saintly as possible we set off for a serenade to all the neighbours. We were greeted through windows and treated by others....and shared a special X-mas memory with friends and our family!

To every one I know and who are part of our lives....a special X-mas greeting filled with the blessing of being loved and to love.....

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Free Spirits!

I thought it a compliment.....

I went to Wikipedia to find the meaning of Free Spirits...and decided to use theirs and create my own soulful definition!

Maybe it is people who live their life to their fullest, maybe it is people who really experience all the joy life has to offer, revelling in it, and tasting it daily. Maybe it is people who cry in their sorrow, but maybe it is people who change their sorrow into a soul growing journey. Maybe it is people whom it is joy to be around, that make you feel good and enjoy being part of their lives.

I want to attain that every day
I want people to remember me when I am gone
I want to make an impact on people
I want to have been unique
I want to have given people things to think about.....

Maybe by the time I am an old lady, I'll be a true Free Spirit.

I want to be a really cool unique old lady....
and I want to leave my family behind as True Free Spirits...touching souls....playing life!!!


Being busy in George

We left Catlyn with mixed feelings, but leaving her behind safely, we quickly started to enjoy the road again. We decided to go to George via the Tradouw Pass. It was a breathtaking Pass and we stopped for fresh water oozing from the mountains just about 2,6km from Barrydale. Going to a very dry George we appreciated the luxury of the mountain dew filling our water bottles.
Getting into the box at home was fairly easy this time for me...a true friend sponsored me a spring clean for my house.....I only had to lit my favourite incense to be home again.

The Garden Route, for the first time since we lived there got a new meaning to us and we explored the beauty. We hiked the Kingfisher trail at Wilderness near the Ebb and Flow resort. It is really a well maintained trail and 3,6km of easy walking up to the waterfall.
To cross the Touws river we had to use the pont to pull us to the other side. What a delightful experience after living on and with everything charged by fuel or batteries! Most of the prominent trees on the trail are labeled and make the walk so special, putting a name to the knobbly trees.
And then close to home we walked with our rucksacks packed for the night under the stars.
The whole family joined in, walking to the Gwaing River, protected by the huge milk wood trees sheltering us in our sleeping bags and hammocks. We bathed with our Palmolive soap in the river, and made sure the men in our company were clean. In the big yellow wood trees we saw the nest of the two fish eagles who woke us the next morning at five. I spent the whole night next to the fire, listening to my family sleeping, breathing in the night air, all under one sky roof filled with the love of being alive and loved, almost like seven years ago, when we slept seven in one room because of our own fear.


The long arms of the Milk wood trees protecting us and keeping us safe for the night!

In your arms we snug
lying there without a rug
souls mingling into your branches
taking on life, our chances
under the stars we lie
in our hearts we cry
for the loss of love
trying to find some...above
only to find some...inside.