Blog

Join us as we sail around the world - share our joy, experiences, trials and tribulations as we proceed.
It's lonely out here! So please comment as we love to hear from you.

FEB
12
0

Photos - Cape Town to St. Helena

Despite many requests, it took awhile for us to post some images of the Cape Town to St. Helena voyage. Sorry about this delay, but it is not as easy as pie to do so. We first had to sort out a number of issues which took time, the marina does not have wifi, internet access via the "Pay-As-You-Go" sim cards is unbelievably slow (at the best of times, we can't even see our own website), etc. Anyway, here are 40 images of the almost 1000 images we took.

  1078 Hits
1078 Hits
FEB
12
0

Salvador thus far

The language barrier here in Salvador is huge and it is a real mission to understand and be understood - of the hundreds of people we have encountered thus far, only three of them spoke good enough English where it was possible to converse. It is not just a matter of spelling and language, words are pronounced in a very different way. Take "Bahia" as an example, here in Salvador it is pronounced as "Ba-he-ah" and not as we would in English "Ba-hi". So it is extremely difficult to communicate and I so wish I learned Portuguese and Spanish when I was younger. None the less, the people here are VERY friendly and helpful, so trying to understand each other is more of a fun thing - except when we need to get something done in a hurry, then it can be quite frustrating. It is quite a mission when we go shopping for food! Barring a few words which are clear enough to understand, just about every packet or tin of food holds some surprise or another. We walked past this coffee shop and ordered a cup of "cappuccino" which we know as a form of coffee back in South Africa - but here in Salvador it is a kind of "hot chocolate".

Thus far, we have not seen any mutton in the shops, the only sausages one find here are the smoked "chorizo" variety and the meat cuts are completely different as found in South Africa. The meats (beef) here are not cut in a way one can recognize from which part of the body it comes from - it is just a blob of meat. Salvador is a coastal city and one would expect an abundance of seafood but this is not the situation, the availability and variety is surprisingly minimal. Generally the price of food here is substantially cheaper than in South Africa - so is medicine, alcohol, ham, salami, pasta, etc. For example, a bottle of Vodka (750 ml) cost R$9.40 (Brazilian Reals) - which is just a little over R40.00 (South African Rand).

We have been warned that the entire city comes to a virtual standstill during the Carnival period (which officially starts today) so we have been stocking up on food supplies. Everybody we speak to, talks about the carnival and say it has already started in parts of the city - but so far we have not seen any such activity. So we will go hunting for some festive action later today!

  1775 Hits
Tags:
1775 Hits
FEB
08
2

To Rinette, Patrick and Joe

RevelationsCrew

We spend the past 6 to 7 weeks together on Revelations, a floating platform of only 15 x 7.6 meters on a HUGE blue ocean, we faced numerous challenges such as hectic seas at the start of our voyage, Rinette was sea sick for the first 3 to 4 days, equipment failures causing us to hand steer for days on end, continuous and tiring shift work, some great moments - and all the while you guys were part of this adventure and a steady crew. Rinette and Patrick never complaining about the tasks handed down to you and getting the job done on whatever task was on hand. Joe on the other hand, an innovative and dynamic sailor stretching far beyond his peers of similar sea miles - getting his back into the more challenging, risky and physical work - even sustaining several minor injuries. For you guys, there must surely have been misgivings, moments of frustrations, perhaps even anger, concerns and a host of typical human emotions - but you all faced and surpassed these challenges head on. Then, let us never forget the good of what we have all achieved together. We successfully and safely crossed the Atlantic Ocean - a feat which most people will never be able to experience. But not only have you achieved this, you guys came through in an unprecedented way and it was absolutely fantastic to have people like you on board Revelations.

Rinette - you have certainly come a long way, you have grown tremendously in sailing terms the past month and we hope that you and Patrick will follow in our footsteps one day (in a catamaran of course! Laughing). Patrick - all those ideas in your head, carefully formulate your plans, do your homework and then just do it man! Joe - I can see you go a long way in sailing or for that matter, anything else that you put your mind too - your knowledge regarding sailing stretches far beyond your peers of similar sea miles!

You have now all gone your own separate ways, back to your families and carrying on with your lives - but we will most certainly not forget you. We thank you one more time for everything you have done, contributing to our lives and making this voyage possible. Without you, your dedication, commitment, diligence and hard work (without complaining), the voyage would have been so much more difficult for us. We wish you every possible success in the adventures and challenges ahead. We are already missing your presence, laughter, stories and experiences - so please keep in touch with us.

Best regards
Wiets and Sue

SmileSmileSmile

  1670 Hits
Recent Comments
Jinne Wiets! Hier het jy my amper bewoë! It was great following you guys the past 7 weeks (actually more if you count in the prep... Read More
Monday, 09 February 2015 01:21
Hello Lianti - The same goes for you and although we have never met, you kind of feel like family. Through your comments, emails ... Read More
Monday, 09 February 2015 12:43
1670 Hits
FEB
08
2

Relocated to another marina

The past few days were quite hectic trying to find our feet. As mentioned it took 3 days to do the entire check-in procedures with exhausting long walks between the various offices in the main harbor (no taxis allowed). Then there is a huge language barrier, building are offices have no clear markings and nobody seems to know the location of the various offices. The result is that we walked an average of 6 kilometers in high heat and humidity on each of these three days. Anyway, we have now properly check-in and are flying the Brazilian flag on the starboard spreader.

Whilst all of this was going on, we had to find food to eat, arrange fresh water for the boat, find a grocery store and a number of other tasks. One cannot drink the freshwater available on tap as it is contaminated. Just finding a fitting for the hosepipe to connect to the tap in Bahia Marina was not easy. Sue and I took a taxi to a more up class area looking for a supermarket - we ended up walking for about 8 kilometers before we found a superette the size of a small "Spar" back in South Africa. The people here are friendly and helpful, but we just cannot understand each other. We read about a specific chain of supermarkets here in Salvador called "Bompreço", but in a matter of pronunciation, nobody seems to know what the hell we are babbling about. In the end, we found out that it is pronounce as "Bom - presch". With that sorted, we now know of this huge, modern and well stocked supermarket located in the suburb of Barra, Salvador.

In the interim, the crew had to make plans to get on with their lives. Rinnette and Patrick spend countless hours sending emails and looking at flights bookings to return to Cape Town, South Africa. On the morning that we left with the owners of Entheos to check out "Terminal Pier Salvador" (another marina), they left for the airport to return back home. Joe intends staying on in Salvador until after the Carnival, he was looking around for accommodation, he said goodbye and left on Friday afternoon. Together, we shared 6 weeks of our lives sailing to St. Helena and then to Salvador, we got to know each other quite well and we shared some good and challenging times together - so it was difficult to say our goodbyes to these great people. Rinnette, Patrick and Joe - good luck to you all, we certainly wish you the very best and it will be great to hear from you once in awhile. THANK YOU (to each one of you) for everything and it was indeed a pleasure sharing a tiny snippet of our lives together and having you on board Revelations.

Despite certain good reports received and read, we found "Terminal Pier Salvador" marina to be neglected, dirty and in bad condition. There was no way we could risk taking the yachts to this place - located in a very dodge area. So we caught a taxi back into Salvador city and stopped at another marina called "Terminal Nautico Da Bahia". Although not as up-class as Bahia Marina, it offered most of the things we were looking for - so we decided to book moorings. we were informed that we needed to immediately bring the yachts over to the marina as they were expecting new arrivals the very next day. So we all rushed back to Bahia Marina where we checked out and we first brought Entheos and then Revelations over to our new location - Terminal Nautico Da Bahia. We are in the center of the old city, the surrounding area is not to savory, we believe it is quite dangerous alone at night.

But this relocation also meant that we can no longer enjoy the wifi we had at the up class marina. We don't have wifi where we are now as the telephone cables were stolen (reminding us of South Africa). We bought a sim card and after battling with the language barrier for 2 days, we finally managed to get it activated - so we can now once again send messages. I now need to go through the many photographs we took, resize and edit them and share some of them with you.

TerminalNauticoDaBahia

  1515 Hits
Recent Comments
Sunday, 08 February 2015 15:27
Hi Wiets and Sue,it really was awesome following your progress and at the same time frustrating knowing I'm of no bloody use while... Read More
Thursday, 12 February 2015 05:13
1515 Hits
FEB
05
8

At last - Internet access!

If you followed our Location reports, you will know that we arrived safely in Salvador, Brazil yesterday morning. We are securely moored at Bahia Marina - the most upclass marina in Salvador. For the past 2 days, we have been walking our "gatte" off to the various Brazilian Government departments trying to check in with Immigration, Customs, Health Department of the Port Authority. Up to now, we have only managed to complete Immigration and Customs. The process is difficult as virtuallly nobody speaks English, nobody knows where the relevant offices are, the offices are far apart and one hell of a distance to walk in high heat and humidity, especially when you have to dress appropriately - smart casual with a coller shirt, long trousers and proper shoes.

We finally managed to get access to the internet via the marina's wifi - slow, intemittent but working. When we finally find our feet and get more organised, we will add to this blog and some of the 100's of pictures we took.

  1544 Hits
Recent Comments
GREATTTT!! Really glad you guys made it! Any news about Entheos? Have they arrived yet? .... and get yourself a google translato... Read More
Thursday, 05 February 2015 02:15
Karen Brits
So bly julle is veilig daar. Ek stem saam...Google translater is n goeie idee. Ons volg al die posts op die location tab. Sien uit... Read More
Thursday, 05 February 2015 04:27
Hello Lianti! Entheos arrived safely on the morning of 4 February 2015. I was concerned about them getting into the marina as they... Read More
Thursday, 05 February 2015 10:03
Hey Karen! Ek antwoord in Engels want dit is makliker (my Afrikaanse skrif is iets terrible) ... you can't believe the difficultie... Read More
Thursday, 05 February 2015 10:19
Wiets, can't wait to see pictures of your trip so far!
Thursday, 05 February 2015 14:45
Wow. It's really hard work for all your team, you crossed ocean. One month in a trip. Keep doing it
Friday, 06 February 2015 15:07
Howzit Brent! We so wish you were here and we are missing you!!! We will post images and information soon - still just trying to f... Read More
Sunday, 08 February 2015 11:43
Hello Dmitry! Thank you for sorting the position reports in alphabetical order - much appreciated! It will now be much easier for ... Read More
Sunday, 08 February 2015 11:48
1544 Hits
JAN
15
6

Rio de Janeiro next!

We have been in st. Helena for a week now and it is time to move on. We enjoyed our stay here but there is not much begging you to stay. In fact. St. Helena is about 30 to 40 years behind the rest of the world - no ATM's, no cell phones, handfull of poorly stocked shops, no manufacturing of any kind (barring a local distillery), virtually no internet access and if you do login to a WiFi hotspot - it is damn slow and at 6 British pound per hour, it is very expensive. Part of the interior is lush with plant and tree growth - quite beautiful. St. Helena is a tiny island of around 30 square kilometer with a population of between 4000 and 5000 people. It might be attractive to stay here if you want to be cut off from the outside world - or perhaps if you do not want to be found. But here is no crime of any substance - the St. Helinian Police reported that there was no reported crime in the past 4 weeks! Unbelievable - especially from where we come from.

Posting updates on this blog is quite difficult - long and tiring walking distance in high heat and humidity. Once you get settled in a WiFi hotspot, you have liters of sweat pouring out of every bodily orifice. Then at a very SLLOOOOWWWWW connection (if any) and 6 British pound per hour, you can hardly download and answer one's emails.

We were quite surprised to learn of the many yachts who had and still have crew problems. Several crew and even some skippers are jumping ship and making alternative arrangements for their next port of call. Some yacht owners are no facing some difficulties getting their yachts to the next destination. We feel quite blessed as we had just about zero problems with our crew.

Thanks to Rinnete, Joe and Patrick - Revelations is once again packed, checked over and ready to take on the next leg of our journey. We have now checked out with the St. Helenian Customs and Immigration, we can leave at any time. We will untie the mooring line at 11H00 to 13H00 on Friday 15 January 2015 and set sail to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Updating the blog whilst enroute might be a problem as our HF radio is not working and our usual SailMail and WinLink email accounts therefor also do not work. The satellite email account is able to update the "Location" section of the website but seems to have a problem with the blog.

Thank you for all the support, the many people who work hard to assist us, the many emails, the comments and words of encouragement. Chat later and cheers for now ....

  1815 Hits
Recent Comments
Enjoy the next "leg" to Brazil! All is well with me and the boys! We will be moving to Wellington on Sunday. Love You!
Thursday, 15 January 2015 18:21
Our prayers are with you! Enjoy the second part as you now know more what to expect - you can relax now!!
Thursday, 15 January 2015 19:17
Awesome....enjoy your jouney....safe travel!
Friday, 16 January 2015 02:38
Hi Wiets & Sue, so you guys might wonder why you have not heard from your favourite sister - hahaha - well it could be put down t... Read More
Friday, 16 January 2015 16:58
Hi Wiets and Sue! It seems you have things under control. All very impressive given that you guys are Gautengers! Glad its working... Read More
Friday, 16 January 2015 17:15
Rather belated, but thank you for all the well wishes, compliments and love. This is the first time since leaving St. Helena that ... Read More
Thursday, 05 February 2015 02:18
1815 Hits
JAN
13
4

Website Updates

Keeping this website updates is proving to be far more difficult than anticipated! The problem is one of technology - or rather, the lack thereof. St. Helena does not have cell phones neither is access to the internet commonly available. There is no WiFi nor internet access available in the anchorage. So one needs to pack up the laptop, call the water taxi (2 British Pound for a 600 meter ride) and get onto the hard in the small harbour. Then, it is a 3 kilometer walk in high heat and humidity to get to Ann's Place where you buy WiFi access - 6 British Pound for 1 hour. You get here out of breath due to the steep incline of the road you have to walk and sweat pouring out of every crevice of your body. Not smelling of sweat, one can get to work and write some article to post here. Once done, it is a 3 kilometer walk back to catch the water taxi to get to Revelations. For the above reasons, we have not been posting much of late and this also explains the lack of pictures. In St. Helena it takes a lot of effort, time and money to post articles here. Hopefully we will be able to do better once in Brazil. So what is St. Helena all about? Friendly but money greedy people, not much going on here, real one horse town, fairly poor place, most of the houses are old and neglected. The place is damn expensive compared to South Africa. Prices in British Pound - diesel: 1.2, Cigarettes 2.1, tin of Coke 1.2, Wifi Access 6 per hour Pound, etc. One can see just about the entire island in one single day, the shops are poorly stocked and here is almost no fresh produce. I saw some beetroots in a shop that must have been on the shelve for at least 2 months. The sea water is quite clean and fairly warm - early 20 degree Celsuis and fish life seems quite prolific. At best, St. Helena is worth a couple of days visit and then it is time to move on - the most important event to hit this country was Napoleon who was exiled here. Nothing really wrong with the place, just very isolated and backward - not quite my cup of tea.

  1713 Hits
Tags:
Recent Comments
Wiets & Sue, thanks so much for figuring out how to post the blogs. Looking forward to catching up on your trip. Thankful with y... Read More
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 03:24
Hello Lianti. Yes, it is proving to be quite a challenge! Our HF radio is defective so there goes our SailMail and Winlink email a... Read More
Thursday, 15 January 2015 17:04
Well Done to all aboard for completing your maiden voyage. You'll always remember the first one. Have enjoyed reading your blogs a... Read More
Thursday, 15 January 2015 17:49
Howzit Storm! As you probably know, we are now in Salvador, once we get sorted out we will post more messages with images.
Thursday, 05 February 2015 21:56
1713 Hits
JAN
13
3

The last time

Rinette & Patrick The last time we wrote, was still en-route to St'Helena Island. While approuching, there was a sense of excitement building up, and it was also quite different to actually have a waypoint on the horison to steer to. It was astonishing to see the apparant barren landscape with its rock clifs rising out of the water, and you cannot help but wonder how life must be on this remote Island. You wonder again at it's only means of access via sea, and almost feel the isolation tightening around your body. What the Boer prisoners must have thought when this Island first appeared on the horison all those years back?! a Whole "school?" of dolphins came to greet us whit a splendour of leaps, first from the port side and then trailing behind. Bird life was also back! Today Patrick commented that you often see them diving through the sky in pairs. It is beautiful to see. The welcoming committee was there to greet us on their rubber duck, and crossing the line between them and the buoy with the red flag on top, meant it was the end of the Gov.Cup Race for us! That evening, when anchoring was secure, including a stern line, we all sat relaxed for the first time in two weeks. We opted to have a braai on board and to deal with customs and immigration in the morning. The table was set, and we toasted to a successful completion of our first crossing! For us it is quite an accomplishment. Island life is at a slow and steady pace, and we soon settled into the rythm. The St'Helena Yaught Club orginiser, Tracy arranged a choice of tours that we could sign up, to explore the Island. We opted for the Airport tour, which we enjoyed, and also for the Island and distillary tour. This was a great way of seeing the Island, in a 1952 Chevy open top "bus", driven by Collin. It was his fathers vehicle, and now he looks afer it. The day turned out to be a delight! Apart from visiting Napolions landmarks, the distillary was interesting as it is know as the most remote distilliray in the world. The highlight of the day for us was to discover the different habitats of the island - being astonished by it's beauty around each corner as we meandered through the narrow pathways. As the road is often not wide enough for two cars passing each other, it is important to know the rules of the road: Traffic ascending has preference, and "hoot" before you enter a turn with a blind spot! The road was cut into the slopes and supported with rock walls on the clif side. It all adds to the ambiance of the Countryside. Walking through the main street of Jamestown, greeting the friendly people along the way, even having a "chat" here and there brings your pace down to a stroll. The houses and shops all grouped together all adds up to the distinct caracter of the town and the Island. Anns Place became our meeting spot - apart from the yaught club on the way back to the ferry. Anns is situated in the company gardens - and it brings a peacefull relief to all the activity. It is also the spot for internet, and communication to our family! Lovely to talk to Lianti and Bertha, and it was great to eventually communicate and see our two boys and Mom via skype last night! We love and miss you dearly!

  1511 Hits
Recent Comments
Hallo julle! Lekker om te hoor hoe dit gaan - en dankie vir die mooi beskrywing! Geniet elke oomblik - die res van ons is lekker ... Read More
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 03:12
Hi, ek love die blogs!! Kan nie wag om hulle te lees nie, baie goed en interessant geskryf! Geluk met die klaar maak van die race,... Read More
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 17:42
Wonder net of julle weer gaan Skype. Gisteraand by die seiljag klub gebraai saam met die Claassens en Davidsons. Dit gaan goed. Be... Read More
Thursday, 15 January 2015 18:13
1511 Hits
JAN
09
0

Arrived St. Helena - 9 January 2015

Wiets writes: We crossed the finish line at 14H35 (UTC) Jamestown, St. Helena. We are now safely moored to a floating mooring with steep cliffs on the one side and open ocean on the other side. St. Helena is a large lava rock formation with steep cliffs rising from the ocean floor and is quite barren all around the coast. Everybody is very friendly and although granted permission to go ashore, we stayed on Revelations for the night as we were quite tired from the continuous shift work and duties we had to do on the leg of our voyage. We had a small celebration by ourselves, tasted some champagne, toasted ourselves and thanked GOD for the safe passage. By 22H00, eyes starting to shut down, we all retired to our cabins for a well deserved rest. We woke early this morning and started getting ready for Port Control, Customs and Immigration procedures - which was a very casual and relaxed affair. After this, we all headed into different directions - Sue and I, dealing with more practical yacht issues; fuel, food, repairs, etc. The business centre in Jamestown essentially consist of two short streets and within an hour, we saw just about everything available for sale. Here are no cell phones on the island and the pace is quite slow. We still have to find and arrange for internet access and can then hopefully post pictures. Chat again soon!

  1352 Hits
1352 Hits
JAN
08
1

Sailing to St. Helena - Day 12

Wiets writes: We have been at sea now for 12 days and might arrive at St. Helena tomorrow evening - if the winds co-operate. None of us has done a ocean crossing on a yacht, we did not quite know what was in store for us and could only prepare for the voyage as best we could. The first few days was a hectic affair with typical high winds around the Cape Peninsula. We had moments of sheer exhilaration, especially at the start of the race as Revelations matched up against the other yachts. One thing is clear about Revelations, although heavily loaded, she is indeed a fast cruising yacht. But we were also plagued with breakages and strangely enough, the things that broke are mostly items we had services just before departure! How does one explain this? We had a couple of scary moments like when the starboard jib sheet broke literally a few nautical miles off Cape Point. In strong winds of 30-35 knots blowing us towards the rocks, it was a mad rush to start the engines and motor out of danger as we replaced the jib sheet. It was also a blow to our morale so early in the race to see all the other yachts disappear into the night as we found ourselves last. Nobody turned around to come to our aid, nobody radioed asking if we were OK and that was when I realised that it is a matter of each boat to himself. So it was especially sweet as we started passing some yachts throughout the night and saw them disappear astern. I had a terrible first couple of nights and there was no way in hell I could sleep. Never before has Revelations sailed into a stormy night, wind gusting to 35 knots and boat speed at times in excess of 12 knots - thundering and crashing through waves as she went. With waves frequently breaking over the boat and the next minute surfing down some high waves - it was hectic at the helm, but it was far worse on the inside. It sounded like Revelations was about to break up, the noise was unbelievably loud as she crashed and hammered through the waves. As husband and skipper, I had the added responsibility of making sure that Sue and crew emerge alive on the other side and this weighed heavily on my mind. Due to lack of sleep, I was quite exhausted by day three and realised that no matter what, I needed to get some rest. As Revelations thundered through the big seas, every cash, bang, shudder and slam felt like Revelations was near her end. But, these were misplaced fears as she absorbed the punishment for four continuous days and emerged with only a minimal damage due to some equipment failure. I now have a lot more respect and trust in Revelations ability and state of sea worthiness. Since then, it has been calm sailing - too calm perhaps. Every now and then, I found myself praying to GOD to protect us all and afford us a safe voyage. Strange how we instinctively know what to do when we feel we are deep into the shit - pray to GOD! Always asking HIM something ... safety, good health, mercy, long life, happiness, wealth and all the normal shit we as humans so badly desire ... yet so little thanks. So, thank YOU LORD for answering our prayers, thank YOU for keeping us safe and healthy, affording us the opportunity to come this far on our voyage. Thank YOU! Amen!

  1472 Hits
Recent comment in this post
AMEN to that! GOD is our refuge! Praying that HE will keep you safe and steer the yacht through rough spots.
Wednesday, 14 January 2015 03:30
1472 Hits
JAN
07
0

Mystery lights in the night

Three nights ago, all of a sudden some lights appeared on the horizon. First a white light which faded into nothing, then a red light which would be visible for some 15 seconds at a time and then die out ... only to appear a couple of minutes later. At first we thought it to be another yacht on the horizon. We tried to make radio contact but ... nothing. We looked for an echo on the radar ... again nothing. Then some 20 minutes later, more of the red light - again shining for some 20 seconds and then disappearing. This was repeated a number of times and then we thought it might be somebody in distress shooting off emergency flares. So we rush over in that direction and spend a good 2 hours motoring around the area searching for life, boat, debris, life raft, any sign of life ... but, nothing. Puzzled by all of this, we eventually started sailing our course to St. Helena. Last night, at around 07H30 the lights were back! This time much closer on our port beam. At first a bright white light with a hint of red - similar to a vessel sailing away partly showing their starboard side. The light then changed to red indicating their full starboard side. Remembering the lights from a few nights ago, we are all on in the aft cockpit and while we are all watching this, all of a sudden ... no lights what-so-ever. Almost like the lights were switched off. Again no radio contact, no echo on the radar ... just nothing. This is certainly puzzling, strange and unusual. Now debating what this could possibly be, for your entertainment, here are the crew's theories; Sue's theory; Being on the open ocean with nothing but water for 10 days, you kinda get excited about anything alive around you. From catching the 1 or 2 fish a day, to dolphins, whales and tortoises and then the mysterious lights. We are constantly looking for other boats, as we are 17 yachts taking part in the race, left from the same place and heading for the same destination. One would think you would see other yachts regularly. We did make contact via VHF radio with 4 boats that we either heard on the radio or saw, hence the continues lookout for other boats, especially at night as it’s easier to see the lights. So, the first time Patrick shouted "boat" ... "lights"! grabbing the binocular to have a good look, everybody ran out to check it out....now you see them.....now you don’t. I got instructed to get to the forward deck to get some height, Wiets up the bimini, Joe at the helm steering towards the light, Patrick still on the binocular and Rinette running for the spotlight and also trying to spot the light. By now, this is getting mysterious bordering on panic. It might be pirates that spotted us and turned their lights off as they are heading towards us. Then ... no, can’t be, this is not pirate area, but how is this possible, we all saw the lights, and now nothing. Every now and then it appears again and then it’s gone. We decided to switch off our navigation lights and all other interior lights ... all looking, seeking, watching and minds running amok. We decided that it is just to dangerous to sail without our navigation lights, so on the lights go again, and now Wiets is flashing in the direction of the "lights", taking whatever it is head-on. After about an hour of this, with all different theories, we settled for ... we don’t know, might have been a flair or two, might have been another boat just on the horizon, or ... who knows, but this is getting boring, so everybody retired to their normal duties. Wiets' theory; This is a vast expanse of international water and you are out here all on your own. Here is no police force, no 911 calls to be made, no 24/7 security company, no safe haven and nobody to come to your aid when something happens out here. You have no clue who is friend or foe and although you might have honourable intentions, you never will know the intentions of somebody else out here. I think that this a another yacht which is sailing in our proximity and who became aware of us. Being cautious, not knowing who or what we are about ... friend or foe, decided to play it safe and switch off it's navigation lights. That way, if we had bad intentions, by the time we get to his last sighted position, he would have move on in the meantime and there is little chance of finding him in the darkness of night. If we cannot see him, we then cannot find him (unless by chance) and any perceived danger we present would thus be avoided. Switching off one's navigation lights at night is off course against the rules ... but who will enforce it out here? Rinette's theory; Wiets just came in with an exciting smile on his face, chatting about our almost nightly sighting of the "lights on the horizon"! For days now we have been searching the 360 degree horizon for other ships that just might be sharing this big blue with us but none are to be found ... except for the strange sighting to our Port side! To my minds eye the immediate thought came to mind that it could be some kind of a government conspiracy. Something to the effect of a scientific experiment ship sailing open waters under the pretence of being a fishing vessel, but really busy with the supernatural! Scientists working in close cooperation with other governments on a mission to study 'Beings' discovered at UFO sightings? Maybe my imagination, or maybe recollections from a book I read with LeRoux(Nova) - but surely the sightings of the lights two nights in a row, and the sudden disappearance of it - really eerie - leaves the imagination open for interpretation! Joe's theory; Red light district, I think may be the strange red and white lights we see at night normally just after dusk, its happened a few times now. Lights appear, we think we have just encountered a fellow competitor or maybe just another vessel of some sort but then just as soon as we see them they disappear ... strange ... Doesn’t quite make sense coz if one sees navigation lights of another vessel then normally one can see them for quite some time and then they get closer and more concerning or drift into the twilight zone beyond, on a few occasions now they have simply shown us a short display then disappeared again pretty much as soon as they appeared…strange. We have been at sea now for many days and the presence of another vessel would be pleasantly welcomed but at the same time it is very satisfying not to see another vessel in several days, a few nights ago or many nights ago we saw lights that looked like flares so off we went chasing into the distance rather concerned that we may have seen a distress signal sent out so we got onto the radio and started speeding into the general direction of the lights we thought we saw but to no avail….nothing but open expanse of ocean and no more lights ... strange ... Pirates?? Optical illusions?? Flares?? Distant vessels?? Vessels worried that we are pirates therefore turning their navigation lights off?? Fellow competitors trying to hide the fact that they’re motoring?? Red stars?? Mars?? Mermaids?? Hmm all good theories, all good options, all good rationalizations but what then could these disappearing lights be, considering all these perfectly good theories. Well my friends of course there is only one perfectly sane and very RATIONAL answer for these night lights that keep appearing, disappearing, moving up and down, all around of course it is the only option left to us all ... ocean basketball ... clearly what we are seeing are the slam dunks of the ocean team slamming the red/white ocean ball used in these mammoth wars of the ocean teams playing out the world series basketball (the fish are more clever than Americans coz they name it world series as opposed to Americans who call American only tournaments world series) games under the ocean, now you might ask why then do we not see these lights (balls) more frequently well that too is simply enough, it is only the perfect slam dunk which catches the perfect light of the moon and sun at the perfect angle which then filters down to our not-so amazing human eyes which are just well enough equipped to handle such amazing displays of light fused with ocean ball. Now u also may ask what is this ocean ball made of? Where are the basketball nets? How do the fish slam dunk? Well I for one don’t need to know the answers to such trivial questions, I mean who cares about nets who cares about what the ball is made of, the amount of shit that us humans throw into the ocean I'm sure there are many many options for the ocean creatures to use ... Nets ... obvious. How fish slam dunk ... obvious, have you ever seen a Dorado jump 5 metres in the air have you ever witnessed a marlin or sailfish tail walking along the sea surface defying gravity or their water-bourne constrictions?? No my friends it is perfectly viable and easy to work out that the pelagic fish species have their predestined positions secured in these world series ocean basketball teams for which ever position they may be built to fulfil. Think about it ... Defence – whales, Midfield – tuna (very fast very powerful) and Wahoo (VERY fast very powerful), Offence – Marlin/ Sailfish (very fast, great aerial capabilities) and Dorado (fast with great aerial capabilities) and Flying fish. Need I say more. Think about it.

  1435 Hits
1435 Hits
JAN
07
0

To St. Helena - Day 10 or 11 or 12?

Sue writes: Hello Mamma, Pappa, Pieter, Karen, Chantella, Stefaansie, Fielies, Budster, Pieta, Daantjie, Tannie Dollie, en al die vriende en familie! Die laaste 5 dae op die boot was soos op die movies en in die advertensies, kalm blou see, warm son, clear skies, en baie relaxed. Ons is almal 4am vanoggend op met ‘n bottel champagne reg vir die oorgang van oos na wes. Dit was ‘n groot mypaal vir almal, en ons het selfs bietjie champagne vir die see gegooi vir goodluck en bietjie wind. Dit raak elkedag warmer en vandag was besonders sticky warm, selfs nou in die aand het jy nie ietsie vir die arms nodig nie. Ons almal sien nou uit om by St Helena uit te kom, maar die pas is nou bitter stadig. Min, na geen wind ......... so ons dobber rond en probeer elke angle om bietjie wind in die seile te kry. Die roetiene is maar op in die oggend, ontbyt, sit bietjie buite, lees, seil bietjie, nap, weer bietjie buite, lunch, lees nog bietjie, nap sommer weer, aand ete, seil en slaap. Ek en Wiets raak nou goed met die brood bak. Ciabatta, maar dit is nogal ‘n storie, want die deeg staan vir 12 tot 18 uur en dan eers in die pan en weer 30 min voor hy gebak word. Aanvanklik is Wiets die suurbrood bak ou, maar jitte, hy maak so groot gemors, dis meel net waar jy kyk. So, ek het die brood bak oorgevat. Pappa sal baie impress wees. Ons eet en snack geweldig baie, so ek dink dis tyd dat ons ‘n skaal aanboort kry ... ;-) Almal is perdfris en gesond, niemand het nog erge besering opgedoen nie, geen kwale of aandoenings nie. My rug cope, ek is nie goed met die oefen nie, kinda moeilik met spasie. Die kayakte is vas gestrap op die nette en daar is altyd iemand in cockpit op diens. So is bietjie awkward om pilates moves daar te gooi. Mis julle, weet julle is altyd in my gedagtes, love you always and forever! Groete, Petro...Sussie....SuziQ.....Budsie.....Sue, Joe writes: Well its day 10 or 11 or 12,what day is it?? Not too sure maybe Monday maybe Friday not too sure, who cares?? Been very chilled the last few days, sailing has been mellow, chilling has been chilled, weather has been awesome, except for minimal wind, fishing has been pretty good, sun has been hot, water is warming up beautifully, sleeping has been ok, eating has been epic, thanks Sue!!!!! Yacht has been cruising, morale is up, watermaker is working which is a behemoth PLUS, braaing in the middle of the Atlantic always rocks, doesn’t matter who you are. But ja some decent wind would be very welcomed, we’re about 300 odd nM away from St Helena now so a nice stiff breeze would be very leka to get us there sooner than later ... still flying the spinnaker which at least gives us more speed than any other sail in these min wind days ... very little steerage due to min speeds. Well hopefully be reporting on some better windy conditions in the near future… Later zzzzz Patrick and Rinette writes: Today was another day of gentle breezes, and we seemed to have adapted to the slow pace. Sleeping when you are off shift, and also having conversation about anything coming to mind. It might sound boring, but it is peaceful and nourishing to the soul. I must say, I do miss Adriaan's early morning hello's - and it would have been a pleasant distraction to see his face at 05h00 on an early morning shift at the steer. It is also not a bad thought to see Patrick in my minds eye, snuggling behind LeRoux's back after shift to say hallo. Life is good!

  1385 Hits
1385 Hits
JAN
06
0

Sailing to St. Helena - 6 January 2015

Patrick & Rinette writes: Pure bliss sailing, with just the gentle slapping of the sea swells against the hull and the sound of the sails filling with wind to power the yacht onward towards St'Helena Island. It is peaceful, and a three hour watch on the steer goes by quickly without tiring the mind and body to an extreme. The constant tussle between the swells, sails, wind and I think definitely the 'mind of the yacht on it's own' is a pleasant challenge to keep on course at the best possible speed. Today we should cover an average of 96 nautical miles judging on the 4 miles per hour with an average wind speed of 5 to 7 knots. Not bad, although, LeRoux, at one stage I did wonder if it would be possible to operate a remote control sail boat next to the yacht while under sail? Hmmmm . . . O yes, before I forget again, we (again I was asleep) also saw 2 turtles swimming past and Patrick is of the opinion that the one had a small 'island/habitat' in the making on it's back! Adriaan - this made me think of Nemo! Joe caught a fish again today. So far we had Yellowtail and this will be the second Dorado. I am not complaining. All in all a good leisurely day on the big blue! Love to all, Patrick and Rinette

  1227 Hits
1227 Hits
JAN
06
0

Sailing to St. Helena - 6 January 2015

Patrick & Rinette writes: Pure bliss sailing, with just the gentle slapping of the sea swells against the hull and the sound of the sails filling with wind to power the yacht onward towards St'Helena Island. It is peaceful, and a three hour watch on the steer goes by quickly without tiring the mind and body to an extreme. The constant tussle between the swells, sails, wind and I think definitely the 'mind of the yacht on it's own' is a pleasant challenge to keep on course at the best possible speed. Today we should cover an average of 96 nautical miles judging on the 4 miles per hour with an average wind speed of 5 to 7 knots. Not bad, although, LeRoux, at one stage I did wonder if it would be possible to operate a remote control sail boat next to the yacht while under sail? Hmmmm . . . O yes, before I forget again, we (again I was asleep) also saw 2 turtles swimming past and Patrick is of the opinion that the one had a small 'island/habitat' in the making on it's back! Adriaan - this made me think of Nemo! Joe caught a fish again today. So far we had Yellowtail and this will be the second Dorado. I am not complaining. All in all a good leisurely day on the big blue! Love to all, Patrick and Rinette

  549 Hits
549 Hits
JAN
05
0

Sailing to St. Helena - Day 8

LIFE ON REVELATIONS SO FAR

CREW
First of all, we are not use to sharing our home, kinda private people. We never sleep over at friends or family, merely because we like our own space. To join the Governors Cup race, we had to take a minimum of 4 crew. Through one of the sailing schools, we had candidates phoning and e-mailing us, thus Joe, Patrick and Rinette joined us for the cruise. Joe knows his way around a yacht and a fishing rod. Patrick, loves the ocean, he does not swim though, but also have experience in all aspects of sailing. Rinette grew up on the Westcoast and sailed with her parents and now with her family on a monohull. All three crew members on Revelations respects the fact that they have a skipper in charge and follows demands and duties without any hesitation. Although we have different personalities, we all get along and enjoy the diversity of characters on board.

SHIFTS
Shifts are in place, 00H00 to 06H00, 3 hours a day per crew member, and 18H00 tp 24H00. Although everybody works shifts, we are able to have breakfast, lunch and dinner together. Crew takes power naps during the day to cope with the night shifts. Life is much different now with the no wind situation, very little to do, so we enjoy the beautiful ocean and take full advantage of the relaxed ambience.

FOOD
Breakfast starts with coffee and rusks, then cereal or oats. Lunch might be sandwiches or leftovers from the previous night. For dinner we braai, pasta or fish and something....... I don’t spend hours in front of the stove as it’s sometimes difficult to keep your balance with all the motions of the boat. One pot meals seems to work, also to be able to eat with one cutlery utensil. I was clever enough to freeze some ready made meals, so heat and eat provides hearty meals in a jiffy. We have a fridge freezer in the galley, and in addition 2 freezers in the port hull which allowed me enough space to feed 5 people with comfort. We are not on the tins yet, not my kinda food, but got it for back-up.

DRINKS
All aboard enjoys water during the day, and the odd cold drink. Fizzy drinks takes up space and goes flat quickly, so, Tang, Game and Pop-o-Drink works well. Early morning and night-shifts enjoys coffee by the dozen, Nescafe Cappuccino and Boston Rooibos Cappuccino are quick and easy to make. No alcohol on route.

SNACKS
Sitting at the helm for hours, requires nibbling. So I have 2 baskets with nibbles, from biltong to chips and nuts and sweets and dried fruit and biscuits and cheese wedges.

HOUSEHOLD
The boat gets dirty quickly, hair and fluff ... amazing how many hair we loose per day. I run the de-humidifiers every time the generator starts, also let the fans blow in the cabins and saloon. Cushions and clothing gets damp quickly, and once you have a mould stain, it’s impossible to get it out. So before clothes goes in the laundry bag, it must be completely dry. We are using a roll of paper towel a day, always something to clean-up to dry or ... damn, I don't know ... but a roll a day it is.

GENERAL
The first morning shift starting 06H00 washes the deck by about 07H30 when they find themselves to be in a functional state. You see, firstly they are tired, then the body must get going to loosen the sore muscles, then coffee and rusks, then a silence and a stare for a while, ... this proses takes an hour and a half.... Batteries must be charged daily, either by the motors or generator. We have solar panels which helps a lot, but due to 12v, 24v and 220v systems on the boat, we have to use the, generator for at least 1 hour a day. During that time we run the water maker, the ice maker and the washing machine. Also need to run the fuel transfer pump daily to clean the diesel that goes into a day tank. Dirty diesel creates major drama for the diesel engines, so we take precaution and run the diesel through filters. We kinda have a little town here. Generate our own power and communication systems. Talking about communication, ... now that is quite another story. We have a satellite phone to phone, as in voice calls, also to email. Then SSB (short wave radio) also to email and voice. SSB is very time consuming and complicated affair to get a connection. Then the VHF radio for communicating with other yachts in close proximity (line of site) and to inform port control of your arrival or departure.

CLOTHING
We used our foul-weather gear only for the first 3 days. Now, at night it gets slightly chilly when on duty outside, but inside the boat it’s nice and warm. Day temperatures are currently extremely high, so the guys end up in baggy’s and the ladies, ... well what ever feels right.

IN CLOSING
I must admit, I quite enjoy the anonymity in the momentous space. One can just be, have the time to observe, process and soak up. A fulfilling experience to say the least. I do however miss my parents, family and friends dearly.

  1340 Hits
1340 Hits

Our current location

Log in  \/ 
x
x