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.

JAN
24
0

Revelations returning to Cape Town

Our sailing future remains unclear, it is costing a small fortune every month to keep Revelations in Trinidad and we miss our yacht. For these reasons, in October 2017 we decided to bring Revelations back to her home port - Cape Town, South Africa. On 2 November 2017, I flew to Trinidad for a 2 month period to prepare and get her ready for the return voyage. Barring a few great people, almost everybody there sees you as a walking US Dollar sign - the place is ridiculously expensive. Labour is expensive, food is expensive, yacht parts are expensive - even common labourers earn a small fortune simply to stay alive.

I had a hectic (shit) time in Trinidad and spend a small fortune fixing, repairing and hammering Revelations into shape. It is astounding the number of things which went wrong, broke for no reason or simply did not work anymore. A lot of "supposed" work previously done to the engines had to be redone due to the thieving, lying and cheating Adian Gittens, a Yanmar agent in Chaguaramas, Trinidad. What a thief! What an arsehole! Then to get the local tradesmen to work a fair number of hours per day was simply an uphill battle. Some of the workmanship delivered was pathetic to say the least and had to be redone a couple of times before it was done proper. For me, it was a very frustrating two months. On top of it all, when I arrived, I found a large number of items stolen - these items were locked up inside one of the cabins. Somebody gained access to the yacht by removing a set of burglar bars over a hatch and helped himself (herself) to almost five hundred thousand Rand of items and equipment. Damn thief! Now we probably face another big fight with the insurance company!

The delivery crew arrived in Trinidad on 30 December 2017 and had to work their backsides off to get the last remaining things done. Revelations finally managed to leave Trinidad on 20 January 2018 and set sail for Antigua - they safely arrive there in the early evening of 22 January 2018. They will leave Antigua within the next couple of days for the next leg to Natal, Brazil where they will stock up on supplies before the long voyage home. We simply cannot wait to have Revelations back home!

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576 Hits
JUN
11
0

Renata and our Isreali friends

We just received an email from friends we met in Cabedelo, Brazil. It is Tanya, Oren and their beloved cat who twice sailed around the world with their yacht Renata. We again met up with them in French Guiana where we spend a couple of evenings together talking about a range of topics.

In the morning, after checking out in Saint Laurent du Maroni, French Guiana we saw this small yacht sailing towards us as we were sailing down the Maroni River, French Guiana on our way to Trinidad. As the small yacht got ever closer we could see that there were people in the cockpit. As we passed each other, sailing in opposite directions, we saw that it was a man and a woman with faces heavily covered up to protect themselves from the sun, they waved in what we thought was a bit over friendly. So we waved back as we continued our journey to the sea. The woman on the small yacht stared back at us as the distance increased between our yachts.

In the late afternoon, after encountering difficulties at sea, we decided to return to Saint Laurent du Maroni - which involved sailing up the unmarked river at night. The next morning, we once again saw the small yacht we passed on the river - now tied up to a mooring. Then to our surprise, Tanya and Oren emerged from the yacht! We passed our friends on the river the previous day without recognizing them nor their yacht. We felt foolish, apologized and took up on our friendship where we left off in Cabedelo.

Another week later, we left for Trinidad and they followed a couple of weeks later. But by the time they got to Trinidad, we already suspended our world cruise and were back South Africa. Since then, they sailed the Caribbean and visited places they did not visit on their first world cruise - Montserrat, Nevis, St.Kits, Statia and Saba. They have just completed their third Atlantic crossing from the Caribbean and have now arrived safely at Horta in the Azores.

Tanya and Oren must surely be some of the most down to earth people we ever met and we immensely enjoyed their company, stories and tales during the times we met. On one such visit, Tanya prepared the most delicious Humus we ever ate - a simple dish, but it was so much better than the store bought variety. We miss you guys and hope we can meet up again in the future.

Renata

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665 Hits
APR
12
0

Common Denominator

So what does crayfish, a dentist, stainless steel cable, macerator pumps (yact toilet pump), spices, pipes and yacht engines have in common?

Well I can tell you a tale where you caught some crayfish and kept them in a bucket near the engine but unbeknown to you, a tiny piece of stainless steel cable broke off from the engine, fell into the bucket embedding itself in one of the wriggling crayfish. Later, with eyes glued to Facebook and ears listening to the cell phone, this little detail escapes the attention of your wife as she prepares a delicious dish with exotic spices. At the dinner table, as luck would have it, this particular crayfish landed up on your plate. With teeth working overtime, chomping away in your usual Neanderthal style, all of a sudden, you felt this searing pain as your broke one of your ngasers on this hidden stainless steel cable - all of which you swallow in your shock and agony. After visiting the dentist the next day and feeling quite normal again, you visit the toilet to relief your bowels where once again not thinking, you pass both tooth and the piece of stainless steel cable. As you wash everything away into the dark pipes of the sewer system, the macerator pump came to a loud grinding halt. Damn expensive exercise, not only did you break a tooth, you now also have to buy a new macerator pump!

No, not quite! The common denominator is Marcello - Marcello Brocchini from Salvador, Brazil. We met Marcello soon after arriving here in Brazil and at the time, little did we know the extend which we would come to rely on him. Within hours after arriving, he was the person who showed us and took us where we could buy sim cards for our cell phones. It turns out that he is also the guy who fixed our autopilot system and the hydraulic leaks. He told us where to buy food, spices, arranged the dentist when my tooth packed up, delivered containers of drinking water for us, filled our gas bottle when it was empty, removed and serviced the macerator pumps, organized that we buy 4 kilograms of crayfish for a really good price, serviced both engines and also the generator, replaced several ropes and made up stainless steel cables for the davits, told us of the best anchorages in Salvador, pulled out some damaged pipes and replaced it with new ones, befriended us and invited us to his home where we met his lovely wife and family, where they fed us various Brazilian food specialties for hours on end as prepared by his wife and son, we drank bottles of his red wine, took us visiting some of his friends and associates, helping us translate and communicate, drove us around Salvador for hundreds of kilometers without charge - ever helpful and ever willing. When we went to Federal Receite (Customs) to find out how to import goods duty free into Brazil, who did THEY phone to get answers? Marcello! Indeed a remarkable Portuguese speaking Brazilian man who studied part time to learn how the speak and write English.

Today he owns and operates "Bahia Boats Ship Chanderly", a successful business supplying all sorts components to the yachting fraternity, repairing and fixing yachts not just in Salvador but also many other places in Brazil. Not only has Marcello been a tremendous help to us, we are proud to call him a true friend. If you are in Brazil (especially in Salvador) and you need to get things done, he is your goto man. You need parts for your yacht - contact Marcello! You need drinking water - call Marcello! You want to find out where to find something - talk to Marcello! You need something/whatever.... make sure you get hold of Marcello Broccini.

MarcelloBrocchini

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663 Hits
DEC
16
0

Colin aka ZS1RS

Our paths crossed a mere few weeks ago and man, am I glad that it did - no, that is an understatement .... I'm ecstatic that we got to know each other. Colin browsed some sailing forum and from there he found our website. He started commenting on a couple of my posts and it later emerged that the man is a ham radio guru! This all happened at the time of us installing a Pactor modem on the yacht and had endless shit with the damn thing. Without asking, Colin volunteered his services and understated his knowledge on this voodoo science subject. In the interim, I heard about this boytjie and that he was quite a "meneer" nogal. So on this public holiday and at 09H00 sharp, Colin arrived at Revelations and wrapped me up in a conversation that was mostly difficult to understand and follow. He spend more than 6 hours patiently and enthusiacticly explaining as he was working on our radio | Pactor modem | computers | email software. He successfully got both PC and Laptop to send and receive emails, GRIB files and even updated the radio frequency lists. Now bear in mind that I have been "sukkeling" with this damn thing for the past 3 weeks without any success. Even another Pactor modem guru failed dismally. But Colin took no prisoners and now everything is working like a charm! This fucken oke is a genius I tell you! Colin, we are indebted and we are grateful. We will remember you as one of the few people who genuinely went out of their way (without asking for anything in return) to enable us to live our dream. Thank you man! Appreciated!!!

Colin

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1090 Hits
DEC
12
0

Time is short

TimeIsShortIt is only 14 days and a couple of hours before we depart on our world cruise! Time is now really short and despite all the work we have done to date, there remains some stubborn issues which we have serious difficulties getting sorted out. For us, the past 3 to 4 months has been a hurricane of activity, a massive transformation to our lives and at a pace where we were on the very edge of losing control over the rapidly unfolding events.

Four months ago, we were relieved when the sale of our company fell through as we were getting very concerned about a number of issues. Hardly 2 months later, our instincts and unease proved to be well founded and correct when theft of sizable proportions was discovered. But at the time, the sale cancellation forced us to almost liquidate our company. In the very nick of time, by the grace of God, a new buyer was found and a deal was forged.

We had slightly less than one month to do a complete handover of the company to the new owners. This was hampered by manipulations from a key person in the company who was only interested in self enrichment and very little else. When the theft became apparent, this person had to be replaced at very short notice - luckily we knew somebody suitable who would be an asset to the company.

Then we had to rapidly sort out our house so that we could get to Revelations as quickly as possible. This was a difficult process for us as we had to get rid of most of our possessions. In the end, we reduced our possessions from a full and well stocked 400 sq. meter house to as much as we could load in a car and off we went.

We found Revelations dirty and in typical chaos as maintenance and upgrade work was still carried out on a non stop basis. It took weeks to establish some sort of order and right now, we are still struggling to stow all the various bits and pieces we require for our world cruise. It has been a major adjustment having all the space an conveniences of a established large home to the tiny cramped space of a yacht. Both Sue and I have lost our cool a couple of times already as we struggle and forge ahead in very difficult circumstances. We are both private people and tend to keep to ourselves - we find it challenging to be constantly surrounded by workers, suppliers and contractors. We have difficulties when people have little respect or regard for what is ours and inflict damage as they go forth.

Soon after arriving, we enrolled in the Governor's Cup Yacht Race 2014 to St. Helena. This afforded us the opportunity to sail in the company of other yachts on the first leg of our world cruise. With a firm departure date and a additional list of requirements (besides our own long list), the race was on to get it all sorted out in the available time.

On the face of it, it seems quite simple to work through these lists and get it all done. But one single item on the list requires that four or five other requirements are met first - then each one of these four of five requirements have their own list of requirements which needs to be done first. So what seems to be a singular issue, quickly spreads into many other tasks and requirement - very much like the roots of a tree. In the end, the initial task list expanded into a massive task list with the barest minimum of available time. We probably made more phone calls during the past month than the entire year. We learned that institutions like banks, travel insurance, medical aid, credit cards and many others do not really cater for people in our situation. Things which are quite simple for people staying at a fixed address become formidable problems when you stay on a yacht.

Listening to other cruisers, most of them took more than one year to prepare for their world cruise - we have a little more than 2 months to get it all done. Thus far, it has been a ball breaking experience in the shortest possible time frame and we absorbed massive strains and stresses. This has been one hell of a rough ride for both of us on so many different levels, we are under some serious pressure, still playing catch up in the red tape department and there are several serious challenges before it is all sorted. But somehow we are coping with all of this, all that matters is that we are together and have every intention to complete what we have started - go on our world cruise and enjoy our freedom.

  1139 Hits
1139 Hits
OCT
17
2

No Insects - Strange!?

NoInsects

We have done lots of long distance traveling, especially between Johannesburg and Cape Town - a distance of around 1400 kilometer (870 miles). Insects seems to be much more prolific at night than during the day. On all of these trips, the car windscreen needs to be cleaned of all the insect roadkill at every petrol stop. However, this time on our drive to Cape Town - not a single insect on the windscreen! Whilst this is good in that no insect ended up dead on our windscreen, it is indeed very puzzling and strange! How is it possible that not a single insect ended up dead on the windscreen? October marks the end of Spring and the beginning of Summer here in South Africa. Insect life in the wide open plains, especially at night, are normally very prolific and on this occasion, the temperature outside of the car was mostly around 12º C (around 54º F).

Do any of you have an explanation or a theory for this strange phenomenon?

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Recent Comments
That is actually a bit disturbing.....insects are part of the whole system that makes up our Earth
Wednesday, 22 October 2014 08:37
My thoughts exactly! It is indeed concerning unless it was something to do with the unusual sandstorms we had a couple of days pri... Read More
Wednesday, 22 October 2014 09:55
1199 Hits
OCT
17
2

New beginning

NewBeginning

The house was finally packed up, we loaded (rather, overloaded) the car a couple of days ago and drove the 1400 kilometers from Johannesburg to Cape Town. It was mainly a night drive, we encountered a HUGE number of cargo trucks along the way, the usual handful of idiot drivers endangering everybody on the road and two really dangerous overtaking situations. Both occasions involved heavy cargo trucks passing each other, occupying the entire road and refusing to budge - blinded with lights and traveling at speed, we had to swerve to the very edge of the road to avoid head on collisions.

After a few hours of sleep over, a couple of stops along the way - we finally arrived safe and sound in Cape Town earlier this morning. We still need to unpack everything but we are now on Revelations as we should be. It has been a long process to get to this point - this day certainly marks a new beginning in our quest to sail around the world!

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Recent Comments
Exciting times!! A entirely new chapter of your lives begins & so many, many new adventures to look forward to
Wednesday, 22 October 2014 08:39
... and hopefully you guys will join us on Revelations at some stage!
Wednesday, 22 October 2014 09:58
1059 Hits
OCT
14
0

Twisted logic

TickTockWe spend the best part of today sorting out shit with SARS (South African Receiver of Revenue). For some unknown and unexplainable reason, SARS suspended the PAYE (Pay As You Earn) account of the company. They cannot explain this neither can they produce any letter, email, etc. where they were requested to do so. As it happens to be, the company shares are still in my name as the share transfer takes some time and have not been changed at government level yet.

Due to all this shit, through no fault of it's own, the company is unable to pay SARS the PAYE taxes on staff salaries.

"You have to write a letter to lift the suspension. There will be penalties you have to pay!" the idiot tells us.
"But it is not our fault! It is the fault of SARS" we say.
"Yes, that is so. But you still have to write the letter and pay the penalties - you can later claim it back." he retorts.
"Huh??? What the Fuck!?" I think to myself.

So, with all this SARS suspension fiasco, their twisted logic shit and further letter writing - we have now lost another precious day! MadSadCry

  1036 Hits
1036 Hits
OCT
13
0

Gun Free

I've had this Smith & Wesson 38 Special Snubnose for almost 30 years and for many of these years actually carried it on myself for personal protection. Surprisingly but also fortunately, I never had the need to use the gun in any situation ever. After wearing the gun on my person for the best part of 10 years, it became a hassle lugging this dead weight around - so it continued it's life in my safe. But what is the use of that for if you need a gun to protect yourself, there would normally be no time to first get it out of the safe. Let me also tell you, the couple of times I took the gun to a shooting range, I was shocked by the inaccuracy due to the very short barrel. To be able to shoot the target, you have to be real close, otherwise you will miss.

Then there are the draconian South African Laws regarding personal gun ownership, the moral issues of possibly shooting somebody and the legal complications if and when you do. Add to this, that taking the gun with us on our world cruise is simply not feasible. The red tape involved when entering another country is simply not worth it. Besides, most countries will confiscate the gun and only return it to us when we depart - which in any event leaves you weaponless whilst in another country. We therefor have to leave the gun behind but it is simply too dangerous to leave it lock away in a safe. What is the point of owning the gun then? Selling the gun or giving it away to another person is also not feasible and is problematic with lots of legal red tape. With this in mind, I will be visiting the South African Police later today and voluntary surrender the Smith & Wesson 38 Special. But this does not mean we will be weaponless on Revelations.

What are your thoughts about taking weapons on a world cruise?

38Special

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1147 Hits
SEP
30
0

Finally!

Finally

Finally and at long last, this was our last day of work! I have been a business owner for almost 40 years, Sue for the past 21 years and it has been one hell of a ride for both of us. In particular, the past 21 years owning and managing a kitchen cupboard manufacturing business was an intense affair with extreme highs and lows.

We had a full and wondrous life during this time with a purpose stretching far beyond ourselves, we were fortunate to create wealth and provide employment to hundreds of people over this time. We played our part in the greater scheme of the economy, paid millions in taxes and provided an income and opportunities to our employees and suppliers alike. We invested heavily in training our employees affording many of them to move on, follow in our footsteps and become business owners in their own right. Out of all this, we formed long lasting friendships and played a positive and meaningful role in the lives of many people. No matter your background, wealth or education - we showed that it is possible for ordinary folk to achieve and make their dreams a reality. Limits were continuously pushed, new benchmarks were set and over time, the company became a force to be reckoned with in it's industry. This list of achievements, benchmarks and performances are expansive and impressive - but those are stories for another day. To all of you who positively contributed to our working lives, who assisted in our success - "A HUGE Thank YOU!" Much appreciated, we are eternally grateful, we will never forget you, we wish you every success and a bountiful life.

Then there were the lows, the set backs, frustrations and the disappointments. At times it felt like ten steps forward and then eleven steps backward. The appalling incompetence from employees and suppliers alike. The lack of discipline and motivation which caused losses to no end, ending careers and leading to financial ruin. The lawless situation in South Africa offering more protection to the criminal than the victim. The ups and downs of the economy making or breaking you whilst you have absolutely no control over it. The merciless business and tax laws ever threatening you with jail time, making you a slave of the system, unless you fork out millions to the Government who in any event squander your taxes. The many liars, cheats, thieves and crooks who crossed our path plundering as they went along. I can certainly write volumes about all these experiences - but now is not the time. To those who lied, stole, broke things, acted with blindness for own selfish gain, adding nothing whilst taking from our lives - "Go and GET FUCKED!"

Today is a day of celebration for us. Finally and at long last ... the end of working life has arrived! We are now free to chase our dream, live the life we always wanted and for which we worked so hard.

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1119 Hits
SEP
25
0

Shocked and disappointed

I have just arrived back home from a very trying day at the company. It was a hard, shocking and disappointing day requiring tough and testing decisions. Had no choice but to say goodbye to somebody that I considered to be a close friend and a like minded associate. Torn between friendship and doing the right thing, there was no other choice but to terminate a friendship spanning some 25 odd years. But then, when trust is devastatingly broken and destroyed, no such friendship can really be called genuine. What is the point in carrying on with such a friendship which clearly is not mutual, where trust is destroyed and thus revealing to be nothing but a farce. Despite this logic and doing what one knows to be right, it remained tough, disappointing and sad that it was time to walk away.

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982 Hits
SEP
21
0

Vasbyt - Min Dae (few days)

LastDaysIn the way back days, when 2 year military services was compulsary in South Africa, service men would count off the days left to the completion of their military stint. At 100 days left, we would earnestly start the countdown and this period was called "Min Dae" - Afrikaans for "not many days left". This was normally preceeded with with the word "Vasbyt" - meaning "bite fast" or "hold steady". "Vasbyt" was a kind of motivational saying we all used amongst each other to indicate that it will not be long anymore before all this shit will come to pass.

Now almost forty years later, I once again find myself mentioning "min dae" and counting the days left. We have another 7 working days left at the company and then we are done with our contractual obligations of handing the company over to the new owners. In addition to these few remaining days at the company, we also have just around 100 days left before we leave South Africa and depart on our world cruise. First stop - St Helena in the middle of the Atlantic. Can't wait for this day to arrive!

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4633 Hits
SEP
18
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Voyaging belongs to seamen

Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about. "I've always wanted to sail the South Seas, but I can't afford it." What these men can't afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of "security." And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the routine of routine - and before we know it our lives are gone. What does a man need - really need? A kilogram of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in - and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That's all - in the material sense. And we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention from the sheer idiocy of the charade. The years thunder by. The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed. Where, then, lies the answer? In choice! Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?

Trapped

  1100 Hits
1100 Hits
SEP
12
0

Busy week

KeepCalmWe have been very busy at the company during the past 9 days showing and helping Michelle and Sandro (the new owners of WEIZTER KITCHENS) understand the business. Both Michelle and Sandro have substantial retail business experience, but not manufacturing experience. The kitchen industry is a very detailed and complex industry - not many kitchen manufacturing businesses are succesful. Our available time with the company is very limited and we need to cover a huge array of business aspects. However, the more I get to know Michelle and Sandro, the more confident I get that they have what it takes to make a success. They are both down to earth and likable people with sharp brains and a no nonsense approach to business.

So, we are quite exhausted when we get home at night and after eating and doing normal personal hygiene duties - it is time to hit the sack. But we are certainly enjoying ourselves working with Michelle and Sando and will do so to our last day on 30 september 2014. That will also mark the beginning of the next phase in our lives.    

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1158 Hits
SEP
11
0

Don't trust

DontTrustToday was a shocker and an eye opener of note. Once again the age old wisdom prevails - "I don't trust words, I TRUST ACTIONS". There are many such gems of various sayings with the same meaning. In essence, never judge people by what they say, judge them by what they do. At this time, I do not want to elaborate but will do so later.

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2255 Hits