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Join us as we sail around the world - share our joy, experiences, trials and tribulations as we proceed.
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JUN
17
0

Thinking about continuing our world cruise

It feels like an eternity since we postponed our world cruise some 19 months ago and a whole bunch of things has happened since.

  • We have been working our arses off getting our company back into profits. The previous owners had no clue how to run the company and literally ran it into the ground - in addition to financially plundering the company for their own financial gain. It took months of hard work, extreme discipline, training and a bunch of money to get the company back on track. The company is now healthier and showing greater profits than ever before.
  • After a long sick bed and deteriorating health, Sue's Dad (Britsie) sadly past away some three weeks ago.
  • We bought a stunning 420 square meter luxurious penthouse at the coast, right on the beach front with the most amazing views imaginable.
  • Whilst land locked, we used the time to gather tons more information, books, knowledge, music, videos, software and data for our eventual return to Revelations.

With all this, we are now once again starting to consider Revelations and the continuation of our world cruise. We must now sell the company again, finalize a couple of outstanding issues and off we go again! We cannot wait to get it all sorted!

ocean

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OCT
14
0

World cruise delayed

We have to postpone and delay our world cruise indefinitely for another day as I have to return to South Africa once again. Due to Britsie's ill health and recent developments with our previous company, I have to return and see what can be done to manage the company. Flights are already booked and I will land in Johannesburg this coming Monday morning. We will then meet the people who bought the business from us and discuss the way forward.

Quite frankly, we do not have any desire to become landlubbers nor business owners again and will surely miss our life on the water. Revelations will go into long term storage here in Chaguaramas, Trinidad and hopefully it will not be too long before we can return and resume our world cruise.

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JUL
24
0

Leaving for Trinidad & Tobago

We have now checked out of French Guiana and we will leave this historic place at around 10H00 tomorrow morning (25 July 2015) and set sail to Trinidad & Tobago. Contrary to the lenghty check-in and check-out processes in lovely Brazil, all the check out formalities here was done in less than 30 minutes. We would have liked to spend more time here in French Guiana and perhaps even visit Suriname, but we have a range of pressing and urgent repairs we have to sort out - so we need to get our arses in Trinidad ASAP. We throughly enjoyed the peaceful town of Saint Laurent du Maroni, it is rich in history and there is such a old colonial feel about the place. Then, David Matelicani, the owner of SLM Marina, has been most informative and helpful during our stay - we could not have asked for any better. Judging by what we have experienced, SLM Marina will be a great marina once everything David has in mind has beed completed and we wish him the very best. Hopefully we will return to this peaceful part of the world - perhaps during next year's hurricane season in the Caribbean. We will be at sea for 4 to 6 days and as usual, due to equipment failure, we will not be posting anything during this voyage. Cheers and we will be back soon!

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JUN
29
0

Time to move on

We have been in Brazil for almost 5 months and we need to leave soon and continue our world cruise. We are now starting to look at our next destination, French Guyana which is about 1200 nautical miles sailing distance from Cabedelo, Brazil. We initially wanted to stop at Forteleza and then later at Belem in the Amazon, but having read many bad reports about crime, theft and several other issues, we decided to skip these destinations and head directly for French Gayana.

This will be the longest continuous voyage we have done by ourselves and we anticipate that the first couple of days will be tiring until we find our sea legs. The wind is mostly from behind and this will greatly assist in making this voyage more pleasant and comfortable - also less strain on Revelations. We pan on sailing well offshore and thereby not encounter all the coastal fishing boats.

FrenchGuyana

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MAY
20
0

Leaving Recife soon

Entheos managed to get their US visas and collected them at the US Consulate this afternoon. So we all plan on departing Recife tomorrow sometime in the afternoon. Our next port of call is Cabedelo about 60 to 70 nautical miles north from here. We will sailing 10 to 15 nautical off the coast due to fishing boats, nets, other potential problems and hazards. We will therefore sail around 90 nautical miles and should be there sometime late Friday morning. Once we arranged internet access, we will post here again - cheers until then. Laughing

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APR
24
0

Checking out of Salvador

In South Africa you can check in at a certain port in one province and then check out at a port in another province. Here in Brazil, when going to another province, you have to check out when leaving a province and then check in again when you arrive at a port in another province. We are just about done with Salvador and it is time to leave, so we grabbed the powerboards and set off to do the check out procedures at the Police Federal and Port Captain.

Unlike when we arrived in Brazil and walking our arses off in high humidity and oppressing heat, in pouring rain we zipped through the traffic and a couple of minutes later, we arrived at the offices of Police Federal - completely drenched. Kicking up water and mud, the spray from the powerboard wheels made us a sight for sore eyes. The officials took about thirty minutes to sort the paper work and we were sent on our way to the Port Captain. Once there, we were asked when we intend leaving and our next port of call - which is Morro de Sao Paulo then Camamu and then Recife.

We have now checked out of Salvador and plan on departing here on Friday (latest Saturday). Yeah! Laughing

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APR
24
0

Extending stay of Revelations

When checking into Brazil, you are issued papers which imply that one's boat can stay in Brazil for up to 2 years. Although this is true, this is not automatically applied or granted. A little known fact is that your boat is granted permission to be in Brazil only for the same time period of your visa - in our case, it is three months. Like you would then apply to extend your visa, one also have to apply to extend the stay of the boat. Many boats owners don't know about this and whilst they extend their visa's time period but not the time period allocated for their boat's. They then overstay their boats allocated time period and have quite a bit of hassles when they check out of Brazil later.

Thankfully Marcello made us aware of this little known issue and yesterday morning we went to Receite Federal to appliy for permission so that Revelations can stay for another three months. Fortunately for us, the person who assisted us spoke fluent English and the process was quick, efficient and quite painless. Revelations has now been granted permission to stay in Brazilian waters until 4 August 2105. Thanks Marcello!

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APR
22
0

Next destination

We discussed our next destination with Bertie and Theresa from Entheos and before sailing directly to Recife, we agreed to first visit "Morro de Sao Paulo" and then "Camamu" some 30 and 60 nautical miles respectively South of Salvador. These are anchorages (not marinas), we will have to anchor and will be without electricity and other conveniences (internet, water, etc.) whilst we are there. We do not plan to stay there for long - at best, no longer than a week after which we will head North up the Brazilian coast to Recife. We are now preparing the yachts for this short voyage and will most likely depart here on Thursday or Friday - weather permitting.

NextDestination

 

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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.

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DEC
26
4

Now checked out

After another very late night and 4 hours of sleep, we woke up this morning at 05H30 to get ready for check out procedures. The roads were quiet with liitle traffic about - so we arrive sooner than anticipated. We were surprised to find the immigration and Custom offices open for business. We were directed to the Immigration counter wher we were met with friendly and helpful staff. They knew all about the yachts participating in the Governor's Cup Yacht Race 2014 needing to check out. We handed them some forms (Forms DA1 and DA3) we completed earlier and then completed a couple of new papers which as so-called "Master" of the yacht, I had to sign. "Master of the yacht" nogal! Jeez, sounds like an important meneer. We could not proceed to the next step as we first had to wait for Patrick and Rinette who was running late.

They arrived some 20 minutes later and after these two were done at Immigration, I had to sign yet another important looking document - this was to be handed in at Customs a few steps away. At the Customs counter, I handed in all our passports, these were stamped without any issues, we were declared to have checked out of South Africa and the official wished us "Bon Voyage!". If only all the other officials we dealt with during the past 4 months were as efficient, helpful and friendly as the South African Immigration and Customs Department, perhaps our experiences would have been much more pleasant.

Never mind all that shit now, it is in the past - done and dusted. We are all free to leave South Aftica and start our world cruise.

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DEC
23
3

Looking at the weather

We have been looking at the weather patterns for the past 3 weeks or so - but now it is getting much more serious and we are now earnestly following the weather predictions. As of now, we are in for a bit of rough weather during the first 2-3 days of our voyage. We are participating in a race, so we need to do the maximum speed we can. On the other hand, we need to be mindful of everybody's safety and not to break things on the yacht - especially during the first 2 or 3 days. We therefor need to strike a balance between speed and safety - going as fast as we can whilst staying within the capabilities of Revelations. Having spoken to a number of people who have done this race before, the first 3 to 4 days are the most critical due to the effect the Cape peninsula have on the weather. Once out of this zone and in the trade winds, it is said by all that the wind settles down considerably. The red line is the route I think we should be sailing. Sailing closer inshore will later cause us to have very little wind and slow boat speed. Sailing to far offshore will land us in the clutches of the high pressure system prevailing in the mid South Atlantic - also little wind. This route is by no means firm and final, it needs more work with more accurate predictions. From Thursday evening to Saturday morning, I will do a number of optimum route simulations in our navigation software.

Weather
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DEC
23
2

Only 3 Days left

There are only 3 days and some hours left before we depart! We have been working our arses off getting everything ready for "D" day. The past couple of days, we have been going to bed at 02H00 to 03H00 in the morning and up again after 4 or 5 hours of sleep. Sue and I are now pretty exhausted and really need a break - rather a good night's sleep. When we decided to do this voyage, if we knew then what we know now, we would probably have walked away for all of this. It has been one hell of a ride, riddled with obstacles, incompetency, delays, huge expenses, confusion, disarray and bad organizing. Hardly anything was easy and mostly an uphill battle of note. Now before you think we are a bunch of sissies and moaners, let me tell you that we know what it takes to work hard. Owning, managing and running a business most of our lives, we know what it is to stay focused, committed and work your arse off. Having said that, that part of our lives is not a patch compared to our experience the past 3 months. So, at this late hour, we are still not excited - there is simply not enough time in the day to even think about what adventures await us. I guess we will start getting excited when we finally get away from this hectic pace and start our voyage.

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DEC
19
2

Running around sorting minor details

Today was spent running around getting some last minute stuff sorted out. Our handheld radio charger packed up for no apparent reason and we took it in to be checked out at IMTECH - both the charger and battery tested faulty. After driving to several gas refilling companies, we had our 2 x 9 Kg. gas bottles filled at AFROX in Paarden Island. We are now have 3 x 9 Kg full gas bottles on board and should be sorted for at least 6 months or so. We stopped at the dive shop to fit my ScubaPro Eqauter 2 BC which finally arrived. It fitted like a charm and I was impressed with the quality. Then it was off to BCanvas who was kind enough to make us a canvas cover for the stuff we will strap to the front deck - all done within 2 hours!

Next inline was the fishing shop where we bought split rings, lure bags and a couple of lures to catch squid. Joe was like a child in a toy shop, checking this, feeling and touching just about everything as we walked around in the well stocked shop - he had to severely restrain himself. Then probably visit No. 10,501 to the local boat equipment supplier to buy a couple of fitting for the dinghy, national flags for South Africa, St. Helena and Brazil. Typical of South Africa, the world flags we ordered almost 2 1/2 months ago, has been at customs Johannesburg now for more than a month! Thanks to the strikes at Customs and the Post Office, flags for more than 100 country flags will not reach it's destination in time. There is no chance in hell we will get it before we depart. Typical of the new South African standards, you can't speak to anybody because nobody ever answer their phones!

Then a visit to the hardware supplier where we bought some stainless steel grub screws and dome nuts for some of the fittings we have on board. After this, it was a long drive to Robitech in KuilsRiver where I bought myself a 1.0 meter spear gun and some spares. All of the small things took just about the whole day. Whilst running around doing all these small little things, all the while also talking to suppliers who need to complete outstanding work on Revelations. When we got back to the yacht, we found our new screetcher sail as manufactured by Ullmann Sails. This is a beast of a sail and will surely give us good speed in light winds. During the past week, Sue has been buying food and drink to provide 3 meals per day to 5 adults for the next 45 days. Revelations is now loaded to the maximum, every cupboard is overflowing with goods and there is hard;y space to fit a mouse.

ScubaProEquater2

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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.

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DEC
07
5

Now it's the paperwork

DocumentsIt was bound to come sooner or later! We are now receiving officialdom papers we have to complete for our departure here in South Africa and our arrival in St. Helena. In the land of the blind, the person with one eye is the leader .... and Sue's eye sight is a damn better than mine. So she is taking charge of all this paper stuff. It is certainly the best way to go as I am guaranteed to fuck it all up. If left to me, we will probably all end up in jail right there in St. Helena with my mate Napoleon!

For those of you who might also sail to St. Helena, you can download the official papers required by the authorities in St. Helena - valid as at 7 december 2014.
Download in WinRar format
Download in WinZip format

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