Actually staying aboard for 4 days gave us a much better feel for what would be needed in the short term (the delivery back to Durban) and for later as we make Catarina our future home.
Firstly, a dehumidifier which proved to be worth it’s weight in gold! We installed it in our main bathroom and with the door left slightly ajar, found that it kept the cabin toasty warm and the damp towels dry.
Next up, besides the sleeping bags we had brought with us, we needed pillows and a warm throw. Basic kitchen essentials, such as a whistling kettle, a couple of pots and cutlery, some knives and very basic kitchen gadgets for the crew of four guys to make use of during their delivery trip back to Durban.
Of course, the quintessential food stocks!
Whilst I have always been fascinated reading how other cruisers provision, what they choose, what they eat, how they prepare it and of course, where they store it all, there is nothing quite like experience. Books and many blogs and articles have been written on the subject and I’m sure I’ve read them all! So, after a sortie with Our Delivery Skipper, who would be in charge of the vessel, her safety, the safety of the crew and their nourishment for the trip back to Durban, shopping lists were drawn up and I set off excitedly. We had a great deal of fun running (yes, literally) through various supermarkets, Hubby and me, literally searching for EXACTLY what was suggested/recommended/requested. “He said ‘rooibos chai’ not ‘five roses chai tea’!”
“Okay you go this way and I’ll go that way…”
And so it went….
Breakfasts were a choice of cereals, toast and marmalade/preserves, bacon & eggs, baked beans on toast and fruit, even pancakes with honey.
Lunches were cold meats, cheeses, crackers (assorted), crispbreads, pickles and on one day I had randomly included pea and ham soup.
Snacks were biscuits, crackers, biltong and apples
Dinner was an assortment of frozen meals which came from Freezer-land, which I believe is a factory outlet for Woolworths frozen dinners. Lasagna, bolognaise, cottage pie and large enough to feed a small family or two hungry guys! Fresh chopped butternut roasted with honey, salads in abundance. Extra potatoes and onions, bacon and boerewors should any one of them have felt inclined to cobble that together for a scratch-made meal.
Well it was an interesting shop (many shops), with rolls of paper toweling and paper plates saving washing up after each meal. I must say I learned a lot. I also learned that Pick n Pay at the Waterfront deliver to the Yacht Club, right to your boat in fact, passing the packets up to you!
I was impressed by the amount of storage space Catarina offered, including fridge and freezers. Way impressed! I know it was only a week’s provisioning but everything had to be thought of, for four guys, from their beverages, to water and sodas, juice, salt pepper and other condiments, jams, butter and bread, oil, salad dressing and the like …..
The security chaps back at the Durban Marina scored four days later.
Super excited to be on board Catarina again, we disembark impatiently from our Durban flight, having spent the entire travel time going over checklists of items still needing to be purchased, fitted and checked over, all prior to her homecoming sail, scheduled for the following week. Time has literally flown and dragged at the same time and I’m pretty sure that Catarina, herself is quite tired of strangers climbing all over her decks, fixing, delivering, overhauling and safety-checking things.
Hubby has mixed emotions bordering on nervous hysteria over his impending SAS Coastal skipper’s examination, coupled with the sheer elation of being a part of the sailing team bringing Catarina from Cape Town.
Far removed from such maudlin thoughts, I contemplate profoundly more important matters, such as the how and what colours to decorate the interior and of course the food storage, because everyone knows that a well-stocked galley rates right up there with soft pillows, pretty surroundings and comfortable mattresses.
Our first priority – a dehumidifier, which proved to be a wise choice, giving us a toasty warm bathroom first thing on a chilly Cape Town morning as well as dry towels.
Apart from a few admiring glances at one another on the first day we met, we hadn’t really made formal acquaintance, Catarina and us.
So here we were, back in the Mother City of Cape Town, breathing in that beautiful sea air once again and basking in the majesty of mountain and seascapes. Offer to purchase accepted, Catarina’s subsequent survey revealed she was in excellent shape and proved that her previous owner had taken particularly good care of her. Something for which we were very grateful!
Time for the Test Sail!
The following day, being the first to arrive on deck, we were blessed as the guys who would assist on the test sail began to arrive and my nervousness at the unfamiliarity of it all settled.
The weather was perfect and light winds had us surfing along at a respectable 9 knots as the chilly early morning dew, which had collected on her decks overnight, originally threatening to freeze my sodden socks to my feet, succumbed to the warm sunshine and we warmed and basked in the fact that life was, indeed very good.
The start of our love affair was not as a result of a long and protracted courtship. It was a first glance, a turned head and a sudden heart searing moment!
She was the last boat we looked at, very hastily, at the tail end end of a long day of rushing through morning traffic, getting lost, meeting our ever patient boat broker half way up the West Coast, just before before tearing up the highway once again, in a frantic dash for the airport in order to catch our flight back home from Cape Town. We literally skidded into the car park at Royal Cape Yacht Club, coughed through a cloud of dust and ran towards this Cape Town Lady to meet with the boat builder who performed introductions and took us on a whirlwind tour of her.
A little later, arriving back at the airport by the skin of our teeth, we ran all the way through the car park, through the terminal building, up the escalator, through security checkpoints and onto the aircraft, collapsing into our seats, flushed, breathless and oblivious to the disapproving glances of fellow passengers for holding up the flight. So relieved that we hadn’t missed our flight, we chatted and giggled like love struck teens, as we pored over the boat’s pamphlets and advertising paperwork and schemed how to make her ours.
Yes, after a 15 minute courtship, we were in love and just knew, she was the ONE.
Meet our Cape Town lady – Catarina
Every Story has to start somewhere.
Usually it’s at the beginning, but not always. Mine started somewhere in the middle but I did keep going back to the beginning because that is where all stories SHOULD start. It’s just that sometimes you live in your life and don’t always remember that every day is part of the whole story. YOUR story.
Mine begins when I woke up to the fact that time was marching on … with or without me.
I am also a Princess.
Not a REAL one in the strict sense of the word, but a Princess Granny (sort of …) This means that my “Princess-ness” happens in my heart and my mind. You see, I don’t have real magic powers but I have extraordinary human ones. For instance, I can tell stories that can whisk little children away to faraway lands (in their imaginations); I can dry tears and make sore hearts better in a click! Of my fingers. Like THAT!!! I can bake and cook and make people laugh. I can crochet and knit and can teach you how to do the same. I can encourage and motivate little ones to dream their own dreams as I take them along with my dream.
Yes, I have a dream, a BIG dream. So big, in fact, I have had to verbalise it, often and to random people along the way, just so that I could keep it real within me. Watching their incredulous faces as I shared my dream, subjecting myself to answering the inevitable questions, all helped the swirls of foggy “dreamness” within me, to take shape and form and slowly, hatch into a plan, albeit a long-range plan. What started in that soft and pleasant, misty place in a nighttime sleepy fugue, formed itself into something tangible, something with actual handles to hold onto, rungs to hoist oneself up. Realness began to breathe into life by way of baby steps and small, steady goals and, even when the gloom of stock markets crashing and currencies devaluing, devastatingly threatened to bury “the dream” in an avalanche of fear and disillusionment, that small seed of hope stayed cradled and nursed, carefully, always alive.
The dream of sailing away, across the oceans of the world, exploring lost islands, meeting and mingling with cultures and peoples very different to my own, slowly but steadily climbed out of the background of my mind as we began our search, in earnest, for the right sailing vessel.
Grandchildren would be able to look forward to endless summer holidays in far-flung places with us, where they will be able to explore sandy beaches and secret coves, leave footprints on pristine powdery shores, taste cuisines previously unknown and they would make memories to last lifetimes!