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January 16, 2006

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August 12, 2006
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Jan 16, 2006

We got our boat repaired January 4 and 5 in Mossel Bay and met some great people. A nearby fishing boat had a welder working for him and allowed him to work on our motor mounts, which was very nice. Michael Rodan-Smith and his boys, Cameron & Indy spotted our boat at anchor, before we came to the dock and came to see us. Cameron drove Brad around for supplies and propane and they invited us to supper. Mike's family have been 3 generations in various countries in Africa with a colorful history. Interesting stories of his fishing and diamond mining and years flying his Lear jet, I could have stayed all night.

We were concerned about getting caught with a south westerly wind in the Agulhas current so were careful going east up the coast to East London. Stayed in Port Elizabeth, met some more nice people, I didn't remember the name of a guy who sent his son with a nice package of fresh fish, which we truly enjoyed. If you read this send us an email. Also John from the sailboat Miyott helped us with the wx and got us going again. Bought 28 jerry cans to fill in East London.

To stay out of the current while going east we needed to stay close to shore. With only one engine we don't feel comfortable that close to shore, its like a single engine plane flying low in rough terrain.

With arrival at East London we grabbed the first empty space we saw, but soon discovered it was the Police dock. Harry van Gerven the inspector came out and said 'no, you can stay'. Not only did he let us stay at their dock, but he helped us with transportation where ever we needed and located what we needed, from customs and email to fuel drums. We met his lovely family as well. Thanks Harry.

Everyone we met provided insight into their country and people. The whites are very proud of their country as are the blacks. I no longer feel the gloom about the prospects for SA as I had. The Dutchmen are known to be stubborn and tolerant and I see these Afrikaans as determined. No one tries to minimize the challenge ahead. The culture of corruption in government has to stop, the blacks all need to be educated and 90 percent of them need jobs. This is no small challenge but everyone seems determined. It will take two generations. Unlike every other country in Africa, the whites won't be chased out of SA, they'll stay if they have to fight. And if they fight they'll win.

Thanks also to Peter the Italian and to John Berry of the sailing school, and to Craig Fouche for SSB help. Nice to meet Alaskans Sallie & Jordan Greer of 'Syren', thanks for the Western Australia cruising book and hints that led to getting our SSB working.

As always it was nice to get to sea again. We got off to a great start with the help of Brynn, Ken, & George of www.commandersweather.com. We've always had concern for this long section of Southern Sea where you are on your own, far from shipping lanes, reach of aircraft or assistance of any kind. That's also part of the attraction, it's not crowded.