The sea has always featured prominently in my leisure and character building activities.
From early childhood every holiday was spent at my parents seaside cottage in Keinmond doing beach things and in my later school years, off times allowed us to hitchhike to Hangklip to fish and dive for abalone.
My National Service was in the South African Navy as a gunner. Historical Saldanha and Simons Town were great places to be introduced to sailing and boating.
During my second year at medical school I met Stan Jeffrey who owned Corsair. Corsair was the first South African built yacht to circumnavigate during the sixties. Stan was a great teacher and Corsair a wonderful yacht on which to indulge one’s love of boats and the sea. Many enjoyable trips were made up and down the Cape coast and even to the Seychelles.
In 1981 during a bareboat charter in the Caribbean the dream to go cruising was ignited in me and stayed with me since.
I married Henriette in 1984 and Dax (1985 and Kriegler(1988) soon followed. My practice in Vredendal and other commitments kept us from sailing. Especially after Stan passed in 1987 and Corsair was sold.
Henriette and I did manage to keep in touch thru the odd cruise, charter and coastal fishing.
In 1997 we immigrated to Australia and started a medical practice in Moranbah which fortunately was a short drive from the Whitsunday Islands. We were smitten, bought property and naturally a procession of sailing and powerboats followed. Since regular trips to the Islands and Barrier Reef with the odd charter thrown in kept my cruising dreams alive while slaving away in outback Australia.
Life in Australia treated us kindly and now that the kids are mostly off our hands (if not out of our pockets) I have rekindled my dream to go cruising one day. Best of all I have a supportive First Mate in this adventure.
Being born in Namibia’s Kalahari Desert, one of the most arid places on earth, doesn’t set one up for a life on the water. As I was growing up sailing opportunities did, understandably, not come my way very often, in fact prior to meeting Johann, I had never as much as tried out my sea legs on a boat, yacht or floating vessel of any kind!
A mere fortnight into our courtship and I was officially initiated into the life of a First Mate on a Hobicat 14 with little foresight of how things were about to change. .. While I was intrigued by this exotic new hobby, my future husband read more into our excursion. He began pondering ways to secure me as his permanent sailing buddy – marriage being an obvious and permanent strategy!
The tides of our sailing life have carried us on many vessels … hobicats, power boats, mono hull yachts, catamaran power boats and yachts and even the odd tinny which has now been bequeathed to our boys to continue the family tradition. My trailer reversing skills have been put to the test on many a boat ramp and I have gained a tremendous respect for the ocean along the way.
Johann’s lifelong dream remains somewhat of a challenge to me and will force me to learn the ropes. And the knots, the winds, the tides, the weather and everything else to be “Captain My Way’s” “Perfect First Mate “ on board our new Leopard 46, Scolamanzi. Despite the nerves, I can’t wait to see where this next detour on life’s journey will lead us!
2014: We have been to Amazing places and am yet again facing a new Challenge!
After 4 years on a Leopard 4600 Catamaran, we have decided to take on new waters, weather and a new boat! We have now sold the Leopard Catamaran and will miss her dearly, but at the same time we are very excited to embrace the challenge that our new Nordhavn 60 is going to throw at us! We have not yet decided on her name and end destination, but we hope she will take us places and waters we have never seen before! Being a motor-yacht brings a total different aspect to our skills and lives and style of cruising. We would love to explore the waters of Canada and Alaska at some point in time! Who knows where the waves will take us this time round!
Watch this space … I will certainly continue sharing our adventures with our blog friends as soon as we have set it up! I can’t wait!!