Thursday, July 21, 2016

In Praise of the Off Season

Elias, steering a local boat on a daysail
Another traveling crew, who had left their boat at the False Bay Yacht Club while they were out of the country, returned last week. They're Australian, with kids, and inevitably in this small world of traveling boats we share mutual friends with them. Together we had a braai at the club and fell into the easy chatting of strangers who have a lot in common.

Alisa and I have been missing the company of other traveling boats - since we returned from our safari we've been the only traveling crew here. At this point in our sailing lives, we start to miss the company of the also-saltstained if we're away from it too long.

But! It has also struck us that there has been a tremendous upside to being in South Africa during the off season. If we were here during the peak season, when as many as 16 foreign boats might pull into Simon's Town on the same day, it would be very hard to break out of the yachtie bubble. All those fellow-travelers on the other foreign yachts would have so much in common with us, and if experience is any guide would be a generally excellent sample of humanity, that it would be tremendously easy to just hang out with them. And it would have been correspondingly difficult to break out of the bubble and get to know some locals.

And so, it has been our great good luck to be starved of the company of fellow travelers this season, and thereby to get the chance to find friendship among the locals.

It's true - there really are good people everywhere. And meeting some of them in a place where we've never been before, and getting a bit of the unique perspective on the human experiment that they each provide, is one of the things that keeps us traveling after all these years...

So now we'll leave South Africa (soon!) having added to my thumbnail description of what we've earned for ourselves over these nine years of travel. 

We know fantastic people around the world, I sometimes say to Alisa. And almost all of them we'll never see again.

Finally, after nine years of sailing, we were invited to tour a candy factory. 
Now we can safely retire from travel, knowing that the crew's fondest wish has been granted.

Here, and below - getting down with the locals


More soon...

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