22.12.2019

What happened 2019

Early 2019

Long loooong it has been since our last blog entry. So much happened that not even in my dreams I found time to tell our stories.

Therefore now basically a summary of different events or incidents to focus again at the big picture.

And of course all starts again with Lucky. He is meanwhile a 2 years old and 26 kg heavy big and strong boy. We invested very much time in his training to educate him as good as possible and make him obedient. He is well excepted in our Yacht Club and at the Sea Rescue and gets his regular hugs from all people he knows by throwing himself at the back, so all will deal with him. This is one side of the coin – a big teddy bear.

Richard still attends every Saturday morning the dog school to train with Lucky under instruction of trainer Jan, who is meanwhile over 80 years old. Lucky passed his “Canine Good Citizen” test in Bronze and Silver and just shortly at November 16th even Gold with flying colours.

Regularly once a week I go with him to Agility training how I already did with Benny. Lucky loves to jump over obstacles and runs through tunnels and is very teachable.

Only difficulty is that he is so focussed on me that he won’t leave my side and I nearly cannot send him away from me to an obstacle.

The other side of the coin is that Lucky became a fantastic watch dog and checks out all what’s happening around him. The slightest change is reason for him to alarm us. If someone approaches us from behind who he doesn’t know, he growls to inform us that someone is approaching. Seals, cormorants or sea gulls around our yacht are chased away immediately. He developed a specific “language” to tell us that a whale is approaching. We only have to be able to read his information to know exactly what’s going on around us. We lay him down behind us at an ATM and could be sure that nobody will come close. If somebody seems weird or suspecious to him it can happen that we hardly can calm him and keep him with his leash.

He is nearly permanently with us. I take him with everywhere, can “down – stay” him in shops and leave him. In the morning he often runs with Richard 12 km and warns him in the dark if a person approaches from any side.

In the car he likes to lay at the passenger side at my feet as we trained with him as a puppy, although he is meanwhile a real big boy.

A positive influence from Benny upon Lucky, that is in its small urn present at our boat, is in our opion clearly tangible. We have the best dog you can wish.

Those two “dog years” have also been very meaningful for me. Several times I had to struggle with serious injuries I got from other dogs playing with Lucky. I’ve ben run over and had problems with spine, arm muscles and knies.

Now for me life gets again more normal and with less injuries.

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Botswana

Early April 2019 we started to our next big trip to Botswana. Our car has been equipped with mosquito nets and we have been armed with all kind of malaria prophylaxis, homeopathic and natural substances up to “Chemical Maze”.

Our main weapon was citrus oil which we applied regularly from head to toe. After short time my nickname was “Miss Citronella”.

Two cars with all together 4 people started gen North.

Unfortunately the start to our holidays has been strained after two days at the last gas station in South Africa just before the border post to Botswana.

My rucksack has been stolen out of the car and with it credit cards, one cell phone, both of our wallets, as well as Richard’s SA ID and SA driving license – all gone.

 

Sitting in the car I could inform with my mobile our banks and block our cards.

 

 

At the local police station a case of mugging was opened and we could see from a surveillance camera as the thief approached the car, opened the driver’s door and disappeared with our belongings.

 

 

I was about to quit all and return to Simon’s Town.

But there was no thought about it.

We still got one credit card left, our German passports, certified copies of all stolen papers as well as our cash money. So we made our way to Botswana.

 

 

 

 

Already shortly after the border a new street sign made us wonder: Beware of elephants!

 

We zigzaged between massive potholes at a Botswana „highway“, allowing a speed between 80 and 100 km/h. It is close suicide to drive at night times as you have to reckon with elephants, goats, sheep as well as donkeys and cows and of course people in the middle of the road.

Police is as corrupt as also in other African countries and with road blocks and lots of false accusations they wanted to get 1000 Botswanean Pulas from us, otherwise jail.

If you haven’t experienced this by yourself you hardly can believe those stories.

We crossed most parks in Botswana and visited Guma lagoon where we spoiled us with a helicopter flight.

 

We slept overnight in open bush camps with all kind of wild animals around us, heard animal voices in the night and saw next day spoors of elephants, hippos and other animals directly next to our camp.

It was the time when they got their puppies and we saw lots of animal families with their new borns. Impressions have been stunning and can’t be described in words.

Our way back crossed the Central Kalahari – endless solitude and mainly deep sand tracks through which we had to steer our cars.

In this area you have to be completely self independent including your own diesel, water and provision.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After four weeks „time out“ we had to drive back home. A car break down with a broken drive shaft brought a special high light: On the back of a tow truck we travelled 400 km until Beaufort-West.

Thanks to unbelievable help from a good girl friend from Simon’s Town, her daughter and partner who works at the main management of Toyota Jo’burg, made the impossible possible!!!

1st of May, 22:00 the doors of Toyota Beaufort-West opened and our car was safely parked for the night.

Two days later after the spare parts arrived our car was fixed – no costs, to Toyota’s expenses.

Thank you so much for this great help and assistance.

 

And a very special Thank You to our guides Andrew and Kevin who gave us such incredible and unforgettable holidays.

 

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Boat News

Coming back home a very unpleasant awakening waited for us regarding our yacht MARIAH.

Our carpenter Hans who didn’t manage albeit all our asks and requests to bring our yacht in the last year to a safe and sea worthy status didn’t again manage to have any progress in his works. After a serious talk he reacted upset and threw the towel.

What first looked as a catastrophe turned out to be plainly luck.

Our stainless steel worker with two of his guys closed the gap and now half a year later MARIAH is ready to sail. And first time also a confortable accomodation in winds and waves for my brother and his wife who came to a short visit.

Our boat has now also a SA SAMSA registration which would allow us to leave South African waters and visit other countries.

Now we only must start sailing again!

Starting with the basics getting safe off and into our berth.

 

Our big boat is still waiting that the new sling lift will be finalized to be brought on the hard to get the underwater hull maintained also as some other necessary works.

But the meantime isn’t boring at all.

As our old generator refused to function any more we had to order a new one, which of course has bigger dimensions and didn’t fit through the opening of the engine room and also not to the spot of the old generator.

Long story short: All beside our big Mercedes engine had to be dismantled including the steel basis for diving compressor and generator. All pipes and filters had to be replaced, new electric wires connected and machines new positioned. Our old watermaker was taken out and is now at our small boat, a new 30 l/h watermaker is being installed at CAMAHETO.

We still are amidst of renovation works and often it is quite confined and unpleasant in our cockpit. One side steel wall has been cut out to enlarge the engine room entrance and will be refitted with hinges as a foldable side wall. The new generator and inverteer have to be connected with our CAMAHETO inverter, and, and, and …

But now we see again light at the end of the tunnel and looking full of hope to the near future.

We then have two fully functionable boats and also more room for ourselves. When our big boat is on the hard we now do have an alternate accomodation.

And a new start for us and Lucky with the sailing community of our club.

Boat life ahoi!

 

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