Sunday, April 24, 2016

Notes For Landsick Sailors

We've been in South Africa for 18 days now.

We've found our feet to a certain degree.  Figured out the currency, and internet access, and how to load our boat to the gills with fresh fruit, and started making very tentative inroads into the routine problems of boat maintenance.

We even had a fantastic five-day visit from my mom and sister, who happened to be in Ethiopia and jetted down to Cape Town to see us.  Other end of the continent to a local, but it seemed like the same neighborhood to us tourists.  We took the opportunity to trek out to our first African nature reserve.

Everything, in a word, is going fine.

Nonetheless, Alisa and I had a moment today when we looked up at each other and said, at the same time, that we felt like just going to sea again.

Land.  It's not really all that.

And the sea becomes a hard hard habit to break.

So, this is in the spirit of looking back to the great seafaring that we've had over recent months, and some of the simpler land delights that we bought ourselves along the way. 

These shots come from Cooper Bay, on the south end of South Georgia. 

We were there during our spell of outrageously good weather.

One of the delights of that particular place was cruising the beach in our inflatable, Smooches, and watching the wildlife from close up.


Cooper Bay
Selfie with strangers
Cooper Bay was the one place where we had a close encounter with cruise ship goings-on.  The Zod in the picture above actually tapped into our anchored dinghy in an effort to make sure that the punters got a good view.  Or to make sure we knew who was cool and who was new.  Or something like that.

Alisa got ropeable.  She is, after all, now officially Australian, and therefore allowed to occasionally spit the dummy.

Luckily (below) the Galactics don't stay down for long.

We also got ashore at Cooper Bay, being very careful to follow the rules concerning various closed/open areas.  One hundred meters this way - ok.  One hundred meters that way - you must not do this!  The rules are for the greater good!

As our good friend back in the Falklands says, South Georgia is that perfect experiment, a government without any population to be responsible to.

Macaronis on land...
...and macaroni at sea.
After a delightful few days on the south end, it became time to bid a fond farewell to Cooper Bay and make tracks back to the northwest.

There were still some great spots to check out upwind of Grytviken, the "port of entry", and we were keen to use the tail end of our 11-day run of miracle weather to get to them.

No dust on us, mate.

North to the future!
I'm modeling the freezer suit that Lars the Swedish singlehander passed on to me in Puerto Montt.
What a refuge on a chilly day.  Any fool can have a wheelhouse.
Here and below - the views on the way

Still calm calm calm
There is so much climbing to do in South Georgia.  I can't imagine that ten percent of these routes have been done yet.  Given the dual demands of having the energy of your twenties to get up them, and the budget of your forties to get you and your friends there on your own yacht, I imagine it will be this way for a long time to come.

A day of traveling from Cooper Bay got us back to the perfect shelter of Ocean Harbour.

Ocean Harbour, with a wreck from a very different era
I feel better - thinking about it all is more than enough to ease the landsickness.

The delights of Husvik await...


  1. You guys don't know NOTHING about land sickness yet!! Fabulous photos. We'll look at all you can post, truly. Amazing grace you had. xx

    1. Taking a 3-month pause is to swallowing the anchor as raising a 5-year-old Eric is to raising a teenage Eric.

  2. Have you found any good used book shops?
    Great photos guys.

    1. mate, no, we haven't. Any recommendations??

  3. Truly fab pics.. Very, very special times you will savour with the 2 swabbies for years to come!

  4. Surprising I thought there would be some good used book shops in South Africa. It's really hard to beat the ABE website for books. We get a heap of kids books from our local op shops in Gympie for 20-50 cents. Jonah our 9 year old reads every opurtunity he gets and he is always wanting new reading material.