Adventures in Sailing


Just Waiting On The Sails Now

So Graham came yesterday and he went back to work on the mast, although before anything else was done we had to untangle the lines at the top, so we hoisted Graham up in “the chair” all the way up our 18 meter mast. We then proceeded to finish fastening everything down and getting everything in place and then came the boom. By that I meant we all lifted up the boom and got it attached to the mast without anything going boom. The boom was longer then we originally thought it was as it just barely doesn’t hit our solar panels at the back of the boat and it casts a bit of a shadow on them, which is something we’ll probably try sorting out at some point. Graham then went for another trip up the mast in the chair to install some stuff at the top and then he was finally done his two hour job which ended up taking around four working days.

After Graham left we took MissChief out for a spin for a bit and all of us took a turn steering as we motored around Durban.  After an hour or so we headed back and unwinded for the night. Today the sail makers came out and measured out our sails and they gave us a quote smaller then they had originally gave us so that was quite good, fortunately they came out fairly early in the day so we got some more time in to practice driving the boat but we didn’t stay out very long this time as a storm was coming in. Here’s to hoping that maybe, just MAYBE we won’t have a dose of that Africa time on the manufacturing of the sails.


Two Hours

“Two hours, that’s all it will take for me to assemble the mast” -Graham, the mast rigger

We’re now on day 3 and Graham’s still finishing things up…

Well where do I begin, we woke up bright and early at 6am on Tim’s birthday, we had some pancakes and looked out the window to see that the fishing trawler we were waiting to move had not yet moved. With that we had no choice but to either tell everybody to cancel today or find a new area to set up the mast, being Tim’s birthday and the numerous delays we had already suffered we did not want to give up that easily. So we saw a space that we might just barely fit in farther down the harbor and went to go contact who was in charge of that spot and he told us that a fishing vessel was occupying that spot but he’d be gone till later in the day so we were free to use it till then. So Tim dropped me and Brody off at the harbor to catch the ropes when he brought the boat in but as soon as Tim left the fishing vessel rolled up into its spot as its job for today got cancelled due to bad weather.

So Tim came back to pick us up and we tried to figure out something else, then we asked the Kevin the manager of the crane company if he could put the mast on us down at Dormac’s harbor (where we launched the boat), he told us that he couldn’t because in order to get the crane close enough to raise the mast properly he would need to be able to bring the crane onto the concrete jetty which he wasn’t allowed to by Dormac. So know we went to Dormac to ask for permission to bring the crane on their jetty and fortunately enough the guy we talked to was nice enough to give us permission for no charge.

So now that we finally had a location it was off to notify everyone where it was going down and then we hopped on the boat, removed the mooring and we were off to back where we began. It was a little difficult to moor on the high dock of Dormac as it was meant for large commercial ships but eventually we managed to secure ourselves. As we docked everyone was waiting for us, crane, the mast rigger and Len, the crane quickly hooked onto the mast and lifted it up onto the shore so the mast rigger could start assembling what was left to finish on the mast. We helped the mast rigger with anything he wanted us to help with and still the two hours he claimed this would take quickly passed and soon it was nearly dinner. The crane driver was tired of waiting around and finally left and this was when we knew we were staying the against the concrete wall of Dormac for the night.

The next day Graham and the crane operator arrived again and Graham got to work on the mast some more and before we knew it, it was 2pm and Graham still didn’t look ready to hoist the sail. This is when Kevin the owner of the crane company came down and asked what was taking us so long and that the crane was going to have to go do a different job soon. So Graham being rushed by Kevin tried his best to rush his process and by 3 we were hoisting the sail! So we hoisted the 18 meter behemoth and it took a good hour to fasten everything down so the crane could finally let go and leave (an hour late for its next job). We finally started to look like an actual sailboat even though the mast was only fastened in place and not actually finished. It was getting dark and quite windy so we decided it was best to not travel back to Bluff that night and so we stayed another night at Dormac.

Today Graham came down and started at it again setting up the mast and soon ran into issues as due to the rushed job the day before some of the ropes were tangled, some we were able to fix from the ground but some we’re gonna need to send someone up the 18 meters to fix the rest. Graham finished what he could today and we headed over to Bluff, we docked without any hiccups and now we’re having some beers to celebrate the mast being hoisted and being out of Dormac (again). Here’s hoping Graham can finish up on Monday so the sails can be measured on Tuesday.

Arrival of the Mast

Sunday evening Len arrived back at his workshop with our mast on the back of his truck, which he had been gone for several days going down to pick it up from the mast builders in Cape Town. Today Len got seven guys to move the pieces of the mast of his truck and into his workshop where tomorrow morning a specialist in putting together masts is going to assemble it for us. The mast is alot larger then I expected, but for a big boat I guess it’s gotta have a big mast and big sails.

Originally we thought we’d have to have it assembled out by the harbor after the boat was in the water because the fully built mast would be too big to fit on anything without overhanging but we managed to find a way to transport it, which is great because now we don’t have to worry about waiting for someone to assemble it after we’re in the water. We also are have heard that we should be good to go in the water very soon(hopefully Sunday at the latest), will keep you updated on that.