First, the electric autopilot. Graham, who runs the weathernet of South Africa on the radio had pointed me towards a friend, Tom, who sails extensively and is knowledgeable and helpful. Tom came to the boat, took apart the autopilot, and concluded that the only thing wrong with it was the fact that two bolts that secure the electric motor to the casing has gone loose and the contact with the brushes had been lost. He took the unit home and will bring it back tomorrow morning fixed. Really fantastic.
Then Ivan who works with Manuel, a boat builder himself, and the only brother of the coast who lives in Capetown, has put in place the six new opening portlights of the main cabin, all of which were leaking somehow. On Monday, he will come back and try and fix the forward hatch. After that, we should have conquered most of the leaks. We know that there is still some moisture coming from the starboard side forward, but we hope that fixing the hatch might help with it.
We ourselves replaced the aft bilge pump and the float switch which had failed, and did the little jobs that you always find that need be done after some passage, checking the rigging, taking care of the batteries and of the engine, cleaning inside, etc....
In the meantime, we also had the opportunity to go to the waterfront, where the real harbour lies. It is a place where there are boats and boatyards, but also shopping centers, maritime museum, shopping mall, all that in a very pleasant setting.
Unfortunately, Manuel had to go home just before we arrived for family reasons, so we have not had a chance yet to meet any of the brothers of South Africa. My understanding is that most of them live in Saldanha, and I will have to wait until I get there. If all goes well, we should be sailing to Saldanha on Friday, October 1st, but of course all will depend on the weather. Capetown is a very windy place and we will have to depend on a wind coming from a southerly direction.
Today, a member of the club, Barry, very kindly took us on a tour around the table bay mountain through some vineyards and back via Hout Baai et the waterfront. Very pleasant ride which gave us a good feeling of the layout of Capetown. And this was extremely nice of Barry whom we had not met before coming to Capetown, to drive us all afternoon for sight seeing.
The Royal Cape Yacht Club is obviously dedicated to racing. There is first of all the famous Cape-Rio race which starts in January. Then there is the race from Capetown to St Helena. And then, there are races in the bay with many boats taking part. As a result, the club is very lively and we meet quite a few very nice yachtmen and we see in the marina a lot of finely tuned racing yacht of different sizes.
So far, we have had a very pleasant time here.