Saturday, July 4, 2009

Shelter Bay

I believed that I was almost on time to meet my forecast of 4 days and 4 hours to get to Shelter Bay. But the wind abandoned us at about 3:30 on Friday morning, and we had to resort to the iron sail after messing around at 3 and 4 knots for some time. However, we tied up at Shelter Bay marina at 3:30 p.m. on Friday and I think we can be quite happy with the time.
Shelter Bay has wonderful facilities, especially the bathrooms, with shower heads as big as our own head. The people are extremely friendly and I think we are going to enjoy our four days here.
As we came in, our help came in the form of a taxi driver/guide sent by the agent Tina McBride, nicknamed Dracula. He is taking care of everything, and all we have to do is supply the proper documents, and everything happens. On Saturday morning we had the measurements made and in the afternoon Dracula came back with visas, cruising permit, etc. . . .
Tomorrow we will do the shopping, Monday we will just get ready to transit and on Tuesday we will go to the flats and wait for the "advisor" and begin the transit.
Here in the marina, I met a skipper from South Africa who does Yacht deliveries worldwide and gave me a lot of excellent informations which will help me fine tune my program.
First, I don't think I will sail to New Zealand. From New Caledonia, New Zealand is straight upwind. It makes a lot more sense to go to Australia and from then, fly to New Zealand to be with all the other brothers of the Coast for the mini Zaf before the Sydney meeting.
Then, after Reunion, I will go north of Madagascar, then on to Mayotte, then Maputo and Richards Bay. He tells me that he goes around South Africa all year round and that you can do it if you play the weather right.
So, already, being still in the Atlantic side, I feel a lot better.
On top of all those good news, it looks like we will get better weather forecast assistance than a US aircraft carrier. Tom and Sarah, the previous owners of Papy Jovial, who themselves have earned in their own right an excellent reputation for providing weather information, have enrolled their son who used to do it for the US aircraft carriers in the Pacific.
I feel very good about the rest of the trip.

1 comment:

bighopper said...

Great news! The plotting is precise enough to see how Pappy Jovial is moored! Thank you for these news.