D Day – 3 (or 5 or 7)

D Day has always been scheduled for as close to 30 June as possible. It’s now definitely going to be a few days after that for a couple of reasons, mostly relating to the simple fact that I tend to be overly optimistic with my predictions as to how long things will take to get done! Throwing more people at the tasks will not, unfortunately, get things done any quicker as space below decks is the limiting factor. Friends, family and contractors have been brilliant in their commitment and seriously appreciated.

Grant and Anita testing the new inflatable and running in the new motor

Grant undercoating the spray dodger

Ian fitting the mast steps (apparently 3 hours in a ‘bosun’s chair’ is not that comfortable!)

Patrick preparing to paint the topcoat on the spray dodger

So now it’s just a matter of ticking a few more tasks off the list and we’ll be ready to go when Garrick’s passport is issued and Megan has had her birthday and…..or am I just being optimistic?

Men at work and a mutiny

Fortunately, the two elements in the title are not related!

Men at work
We now have tinted, safety glass windows in our aluminium spray dodger, thanks to the hard working and innovative team from Drakkar Marine.


I am thoroughly chuffed with the end result and I am sure the crew will really appreciate the shelter the dodger provides on those cold and wet days to come until we escape the Southern winter. As an acquaintance, Bob Taylor, said to me once when I questioned the addition of a hard spray dodger to his classic cold moulded boat ,”Nero”, “it may not be that pretty from the outside, but it’s damn beautiful from the inside”. (Or words to that effect!).

“So we’ll aim to depart on 30 June” I confidently announced to my First Mate in a rare foray into the realms of information sharing. “No we won’t.” Was the instant reply. I got the impression that there wasn’t much room for negotiation on this subject.
When pressed for a good reason for her stance on this fairly important matter, I was reminded that our youngest has her 19th birthday on the 1st of July! The logic was lost on me. Where I come from, 19th birthdays and the presence of parents can be reduced to an interval of around 15 awkward minutes, while said 19 year old tries to be polite before gapping it with any presents to have a major party with far more interesting friends!

Before completely shooting myself in the foot, I sat down to consider my options. With the benefit of engaging the brain before opening my mouth again, I reminded myself that we are not talking about just any old 19 year old here. This one really seems to like her parents and spending time with them and for that I’m eternally grateful. And yes, I think we can delay sailing away by a day or two for this very special young lady.


Over the last few months, as we prepare to go cruising, many conflicting thoughts go through my mind.

Two themes recur more often than the others:

1. Are we being irresponsible ‘abandoning’ a teenage, university student daughter and elderly parents?
2. Will we travel the world and find anywhere more beautiful than home?

The first one seems to be more of a problem in my head than in the minds of those I’m concerned about! Our families have been totally supportive of our venture, with only the most minor conditions!

You will fly me out to join you every year, won’t you?

You will come home to visit us regularly, won’t you?

I think these are conditions we can live with!

This brings me to the second theme. Will we ever find anywhere as beautiful to live in as Simon’s Town?



In terms of physical and geographic beauty, I am sure we will find many stunningly beautiful places that may even rival our jewel in False Bay, but home is more than just a pin on google maps.

There have been many definitions of “home”, and amongst some of the better ones are

Where we love is home – home that our feet may leave, but not our hearts.
Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

Never make your home in a place. Make a home for yourself inside your own head. You’ll find what you need to furnish it – memory, friends you can trust, love of learning, and other such things. That way it will go with you wherever you journey.
Tad Williams

Home is where the heart is.
Pliny the Elder

the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household.
synonyms: place of residence, accommodation, property, a roof over one’s head;
the family or social unit occupying a permanent residence.
the district or country where one was born or has settled on a long-term basis
a place where something flourishes, is most typically found, or from which it originates.

For me, all of the above, and yet none of them, encompass the many meanings of the word and concept of “home”. Perhaps it’s a consequence of having moved house so many times in my life, both as a child, with my expatriate and restless parents and also as an adult, dragging my family along with me to different parts of this country and the world?

Whatever the answer is, I know in my heart that I will leave this wonderful country in search of adventure and beauty in other parts of the world, but I will only feel home when I return to this amazing place!

D Day – 15

In theory, SY Jerrican will be departing African shores as close to 30 June as possible headed for the Republic of Maldives, via Mauritius.

I say “in theory” because we are some way off fully prepared!

This is the saloon area this morning:


And this is the workshop area:


And the galley:


All this hides the fact that we have one awesome and seriously industrious carpenter operating behind the scenes! Jason Friedlaar is our goto man who has made the departure time line even vaguely achievable. He has worked without a day off, often well into the night, for the last three weeks and the quality of his work is exceptional!

Why Maldives?

We are privileged to be providing support services to Stewart McPherson’s production company making a documentary on the Chagos Archipelago.


We are scheduled to collect Stewart and his team in the Maldives on 20 August and take them to the Chagos Archipelago for nearly three weeks of filming, above and below the pristine waters of the world’s largest Marine Reserve.

From Wikipedia:

The Chagos Archipelago (/ˈtʃɑːɡoʊs/ or /ˈtʃɑːɡəs/; formerly Bassas de Chagas[1] and later also Oil Islands, is a group of seven atolls comprising more than 60 individual tropical islands in the Indian Ocean; situated some 500 kilometres (310 mi) due south of the Maldives archipelago. This chain of islands is the southernmost archipelago of the Chagos-Laccadive Ridge, a long submarine mountain range in the Indian Ocean.[2] The Chagos also form a terrestrial ecoregion together with the Maldives and the Lakshadweep.[3] The islands and their surrounding waters are also a vast oceanic Environment Preservation and Protection Zone (EPPZ) (Fisheries Conservation and Management Zone (FCMZ) of 544,000 square kilometres (210,000 sq mi)), an area twice the size of the UK’s land surface.