Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Ty hangin out...


Dolphins! Finally!

Dolphins again...

More Dolphin

JJ jumpin in to save our hook that Ty lost...

Dolphins again!

JJ returning with our hook yay! We need that! (to pick up moorings...and hats that fly overboard)

Rudi showing off...really close to our port side...

You can't tell but it was REALLY close...


We passed day skipper theory which was in the classroom that you last saw. Then we went out for a little celebration Friday night which was a LOT of fun. Saturday was Rudi's birthday so we bought him a few beers Saturday night. Sunday we went to a concert for Swedish House Mafia and that was awesome! It was out in a field! That would never happen in Houston because it is so hot and humid but this concert was actually out in a field (an ostrich farm actually) and it felt great outside! A little on the chilly side but great if you are dancing the whole time. They put on a really good show and we had a blast. On the way home there was the biggest owl I have ever seen in the middle of the road. We just turned onto it but it was there in the middle and it did a 180 with it's head and then flew off. It would have done some serious damage to the car if we had hit it but we saw it fly off and it was pretty awesome to me. JJ was driving and it didn't really seem to phase him much but me? i was in awe! lol... We started our day skipper practical week yesterday and its been pretty fun so far. Today we went out with Otto and learned how to steer the boat with JUST the sails!!! We tied up the tiller and just steered with the sails. We did finally see some dolphins today!! We were practicing our navigation when we saw about 6-7 dolphins playing a ways over off our port side. We quickly re-routed and chased them down! That was the first time we saw dolphins!! It was great! Not much else going on but we are braaing again tonight in Saldanha. I need a good fun book to read so if anyone has any suggestions you can email me. Our distance trip is coming up in a couple of weeks and I would like to have something to do besides watch movies and stuff on my down time. Thinking I need to just buy real books instead of using my kindle. That thing is useless when the battery runs out and it seems to do that a lot lately. Haven't even used it and its dead.

Creepy calm marina...

Ty and I at lunch on the beach near Cape Town

Nicole will be missed! This is her last week :(

Thursday, January 24, 2013


It has been pretty boring this week so nothing to really update on. We have been studying plotting charts which honestly is a pain in the ass....its fun to learn but we were here for 10 hours straight yesterday doing homework and practicing plotting. Learning currents, tidel streams and stuff. Last night and this morning were kind of creepy. There was absolutely no wind whatsoever and the marina was like glass. There were no masts swaying like crazy from side to side. It really scared me! I didnt know what to think! Apocalypse  Noooo...just to quite for me. I need more wind howling. It's just eerie how quiet it is but I'm sure it will pick up soon. Today we are learning flags and lights and what they all mean. It tells us what kind of boat we are seeing at night and what position they are in. So just a lot of memorization today and exam is tomorrow. eek! I am sure we will do great but its still nerve racking.

My chart plotting training

Our classroom for the week. Can't wait to get back out on the water!

I am really glad the one or two things that taste the same here are orange Fanta and Oreos! yum! I really miss mexican food though. There is good food to be had here but we are limited to this mall and the restaurants at Mykonos. I need sushi too!!! You would think there would be more seafood here but there is not actually. There is calamari and fried hake (common fish here) i think its like our tilapia. But not much crab or different fish or lobster. Well there are a few dishes with prawns but I guess I expected more of a variety of dishes this close to the water. 

Our boat is quite nice right now. It is just us and Nicole and since we moved it is much calmer and does not rock at all! Almost no fun...jk...Our head had been out of order for a couple days though and it will be out until tomorrow. The handle that you pump on the toilet broke off because it was really hard to pump after a leak was fixed on it. Tried flushing and it just popped right off! I am sure you can imagine how unpleasant it is waking in the middle of the night and having to run to the marina bathroom. yikes! You just pray you will make it! LOL. 

JJ plugging in our AC with the guys holding up the ladder :P

Monday, January 21, 2013


Windy day here. Boat is rocking quite a bit. There was talk of moving us but we are still here for now. Friday was even windier and one of our lines snapped. Our bow spring which keeps the boat from moving forward toward the dock snapped while we were here. It was just me and Tyrone so we had to start the engine and put it in reverse to keep it from moving forward. We called Rudi to come out and we reworked the line and tied it back up again. He took a look at it and it is ok but it is rigged and will be needing a new line soon I am sure. Friday night was a blast! We went out again with our classmates and went to a few more places around here. It hit the spot because I have been missing our nights out dancing all night with our friends back home.

Saturday we went to Cape Town with JJ and we got to meet his grandparents who are super sweet of course. They have the most beautiful view! The water is amazing here and the beaches have white sand and you have Table Mountain in the background.

White sand, beautiful beach and perfect sunsets!

Table Mountain

We stopped on the side of the road on the way to Cape Town
View from JJ's grandparents

View from JJ's parents home

Roadside gas station. All gas stations are full service here btw!

Another view from JJ's parents house.

 After a short visit we went to his house to grab some stuff for the camping trip. We went to Stolenbosch and camped out for the night. There was a music fest sort of thing going on in the middle of some woods. Well not really woods. We drove through all the vineyards and there was a patch of trees in a field where they set up the music fest. We camped out there and our little tent was cozy enough for us lol despite the rock and one large stick that was slept on.

Tyrone and myself at the music fest

 Sunday we packed up and headed over to this water ski cableway called Blue Rock. It was SO pretty there!!! As you can see in the pictures there were mountains in the background and the water was green and crystal clear. Gregors parents actually own this place which may be why he is so good on the wakeboard. We met his mom as “the Americans he told her about” lol. It is funny to hear it every time! We stayed all day and Ty and I watched everyone wakeboard. It was crazy seeing them do tricks and how much air they get! They have a nice set up with plenty of benches, a restaurant and even a kiddy park and swimming area. Tyrone did a little rock diving and they have a zip line there as well so maybe I will get to try that next time. Maybe. It was pretty high… came back Sunday night and Ty and I were beat so we came back to the boat and watched some TV on the laptop. Of course I was out in like an hour. JJ and Gregor kept going and went to a skate park…these kidzzz are crazy! Don’t know how they do it between wakeboarding, skating, surfing, hiking and diving but its nice to be around insanely active people…lol…

aaaand Gregor

A few pics from Blue Rock
Here is the launch point and I believe that is Rudi

Amazing scenery!

Can you imagine growing up here

I missed the flip JJ did but this is him

More JJ...

Random person Skiing instead

Woke up this morning still super tired but we had class at 8:30 and we had to walk up there. I would say it is about a  quarter mile walk which for me is nice, I don’t mind it, but Ty on the other hand…not so enjoyable for him. Our instructor for this course was off today and I believe he and his wife were supposed to have their baby today but they said he should be back tomorrow or Wednesday so I don’t really know. Rob taught us about dead reckoning, estimated positioning and course to steer today so we are learning how to plot charts and read them. We are in our day skipper theory class this week and next week we will be in our day skipper practical. We have a lot to cram in in just a week so I am kinda nervous but we did really well today and got everything right…for the most part…Ty went to the skate park with the boys after class so I got to catch up on some Breaking Bad that I passed out for last night and a little time alone was nice. I had the whole v berth to myself!! Lol its not much so that is quite an accomplishment. Haha. Nicole left to go home on Friday and she just got back this morning. And the girl brought a whole pantry with here! Yeah we have fooooood!!!
So we were about to leave JJ’s house before we went to  Blue Rock aannnd we were loading up the car when all of a sudden we heard this buzzing noise like zzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!!!!! It was a freakin swarm of BEES flying over the house!!! It was so loud I was sure were going to be picked up and tossed around by them but we jumped in the car and slammed the doors just in time. I think I felt the car lift a little but it was too heavy for them….ok well it wasn’t that dramatic but it was a big swarm and it was really loud. We just waited a few seconds for it to pass before opening the doors again.
Went to the pick n pay for lunch today since it is in the mall where our class is. Sandwiches did not look that great so we went next door to the pie king where they have these meat pies. They have one with chicken and mushrooms and I swear it is just like a chicken pot pie! Omg it so good and im sure extremely unhealthy but we did it anyway. Yum. Gotta get back to being good, I was on the right track when I got here and now I don’t know what happened. Between the McD’s, KFC and meat pies im gonna weigh 200 lbs and die of a heart attack. Sammiches and salads from now on I swear! 

Friday, January 18, 2013

Crazy birds in Saldanha Bay and Star Spirit

Tyrone saving lives

Gregor on the left savin lives

Smoke house 

Training pool and platform

Helicopter before it went in the water

Clumsy guy walked through glass door! jk

Tyrone, myself, JJ, Gregor, Brian, Mitch, Nicole

Helicopter crash training

Certifications! First of many to come!

More crazy birds and Star Spirit

Crazy Rudi climbing up the mast

Ty at the helm (last known appearance of his jacket)

Tyrone, me, Christo

Me and my honey bunny

Nicole's awesome tattoo. Can you see the face? and the shark?

Tyrone after we finished class


Went out with the boys on Tuesday night. Visited a few local places and had some fun but we paid for it in class the next day. Wednesday all we did was watch movies on how to put on life jackets and thermal suits and survival at sea kind of stuff. It was hard to stay awake but we managed to do it with 18 cups of coffee. Ok well maybe not 18 but close. The coffee is just not that strong so I think we may need a care package! Lol just kidding. It was not the most exciting day but we came home and watched some tv and made some dinner. We got some chops and chicken kebabs on the way back to the boat and had a nice hot dinner instead of PB&J. I guess JJ was sleeping off his ear infection from diving the other day so Gregor came over and crashed our party after a while. He showed us some of his wake boarding videos and turns out this guys pretty good on a wake board! I would give you a link but im not sure where he pulled it up. We did go up to Dockside for a little bit and waited for midnight to hit here so Ty could call his dad and be the first to wish him a happy birthday.

Thursday was fun! We went to class and watched a couple more videos and then we all had to change and put on overalls or coveralls. Then we practiced jumping in the pool with every different kind of life jacket. We also put on these immersion suits which are big red Gumbi looking suits that keep you warm and dry supposedly. I had water in my suit but it still floats. It was pretty funny because they all come in one size and we have a few small people in our group. You kind of come out looking like a telletubby lol. We practiced putting them on and jumping in the water so we know what to expect if shit hits the fan. And of course I was the only one who screamed when we had to jump from the platform! Haha it was about 7 feet up and I’m shaking and takin deep breaths before plunging to my demise. Ok it wasn’t that dramatic but I did scream the first time I had to jump in from the platform. Come on now would you expect anything else? We got cleaned up and went back to class after tea time and then went to lunch which was lasagna!!! Mmmm it was so great and really cheesy. We needed all those carbs after swimming all morning. I did see them put the helicopter in the water and practice diving but that was a different class. We finished our exams and received our certificates for first aid and personal safety. We have one more class to take but we are taking it later. Its for firefighting. We get to put on suits and run through a smoke house and put out fires with a fire hose. We have to wear oxygen masks and everything! I am pretty excited about that!

Ty and I have a 3 day weekend and I think we may just venture out a little. Might go out with some class mates on Saturday and come back Sunday. Something like that. Sleeping in does not exist anymore. We are normally up by 6 or 7 and in class by 8. Today we slept till I think 9! Lol then our boat was invaded by Dustin and Otto and they are working on the engine and the head right now. Mmm I love waking up to the smell of diesel. Haha just kidding at least things are getting fixed! We had some wine last night and watched a movie. We were in the middle of Breaking Bad when Trudy (one of the office girls) came by to fetch us. Her parents are so wonderful and they are staying on a catamaran 2 boats down from us! We went over and had some drinks and ate some curry dinner that her mom made. OMG it was amazing! Almost as good as my peanut butter and jelly, almost….lol jk…We were not even hungry but you don’t pass up a good hot meal made by mom ya know. We got to take a tour of the cat and it was huge and really really nice! It had 2 full heads with showers, like 4 bedrooms and a huge galley and saloon for everyone to hang out in.

Its pretty windy today. Sara warned me it was going to be and she was right! Crazy windy days are pretty common here though. That’s why we chose south Africa. :P man I am turning browwwn here! Lol my arms and legs are SO dark already and its only been 2 weeks! And I have a nasty tan line from my shorts…grrr….i am noticing that everyone here has some pretty nasty tan lines but it comes with the job so what are ya gonna do? Well Tyrone lost his jacket already! His blue fleece one with the orange zippers that we got just before the trip is MIA. He does have another one but it looks like we are going to get our foul weather gear this week. We have a distance trip coming up and we will need them for that. Well I think it is time to get up now. Gregor has all the photos from the training so I will steal them when I see him again. You will see us in our coveralls and teletubby suits!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


I guess I did not fully understand what STCW meant! Yesterday, Monday, we sat in a classroom and learned elementary first aid. It was all theory so an instructor sat up front and read through our booklet and showed us a few videos about hypothermia and stuff like that. Very important but VERY important! Any person working on a boat must know the basics in case something happens at sea. I did not know you could use the VHF to have a medic walk you through some things you may not know. Today we had an exam as soon as we got there which everyone passed. It was about 20 multiple choice and 4 long answers. After we passed we learned how to dress wounds and deal with broken bones n such. And then we PRACTICED IT ALL!  It was fun! Every person took turns being the victim and the instructor dressed us up with all sorts of different wounds. Tyrone came out with a severed arm, a cut on his leg and I think a protruding bone on the other leg. He was all jacked up. Nicole, JJ, Christo and myself had to go through the checklist as an EMT does when they ask you if you have any allergies, med history stuff like that and then we addressed all the wounds. It was so fun and really gross. JJ’s was the worst for me because it was the first one I saw and it looked kind of real. He had a rib bone poking out of his chest and when I asked what happened he said Tyrone pushed him down the stairs. LOL. After the fun and games we all went back inside and practiced CPR, AR and CAB. Nadia placed a dummy in the middle of the room and called us out one by one randomly to perform one of the 3. If you mess up just one small part she excuses you and calls the next person. So if you bend down to listen to the breathing instead of just glancing to watch the chest to see if its moving you failed your try…I was the first one to get it right and on the first try. Mine was CAB which mean compression, airway and breathing. So you look to see if the person is breathing, no breathing, check carotid pulse, no pulse so you immediately begin compressions on the chest then open airway and give 2 breaths. They are quite confusing between what you are supposed to do for CPR and CAB. Anyway we all passed and tomorrow we go back for the theory class of survival at sea I believe. Then we have to jump into a pool with a life jacket on and climb into a life raft. Sounds like fun but don’t want to wear a swim suit in front of a class of 18. The food they serve is really good for lunch though. Wow. I was impressed and Ty was also so that should tell you something.

Right about now we are sitting at Dockside with a beer since we have no homework and I am typing away while Tyrone wandered off to find some wifi somewhere. Lol these birds are going nuts here! Angry birds everywhere. I did see a cute baby kitten today. New little guy to the pack of cats that hang around here. He wont let me get close enough to pet him yet. He has not learned how good nails feel yet….we got a new boat mate. He is also from South Africa around Port Elizabeth. He is just here this week for STCW. Had some PB&J’s for dinner and it was Nicoles first  time to have one. She said they do something similar here but they put peanut butter and syrup. Their syrup is different of course. It is flavored and nothing like our maple syrup…mmmm…maple syrup….anyway weird right? Never had a PB&J! she liked it. I did tell her that we put our syrup on pancakes and French toast and bacon. She told me that pancakes are more like a desert here like a special treat after a meal. Old ladies make them and sell them in the markets.

It is rather hot today. It still is nowhere near Houston hot though. It is about 90* F but there is still a constant breeze and NO humidity! Lol its like Houston on a really nice day. You roll your windows down in your car kind of day. Today was just hot because we had to wear cover-alls for the STCW training.

Ty is learning about cricket which is similar to baseball and in a few weeks will be learning about rugby kind of like football but more hard core. Cricket is played for like 3 days or something crazy like that. They play all morning, take a lunch break and then come back and play some more. Its crazy! Rugby starts in a few weeks and that should be fun. They get really violent! No rules like our American football. Can’t believe we lost…boooo…that sucks but WATT said it “the best is yet to come” so we shall wait one more year.

Dockside is already like our little Cheers in Langebaan. We walk in and the bartender already has our beer out and ready. Can’t imagine why. It’s not like they see us every day…teehee.

So next week we will be in another theory class so another week with no sailing…grrr…so still no cooking on the boat. We do not have a fridge so we really cannot store anything like meat or milk or anything good like that. I think it may be cheaper to just eat here though when it comes to chicken and steak and burgers and all that. Prices are pretty good here. It’s a little less than $2 for a beer or a shot of Jager or whatever you want. We can get a pizza a big pizza for $4-$8 depending on what you get. I think the burger and chips (fries) are about $6. Not too bad.

Last night it got up over 40 knots of wind and it was friggin cold! We shut all the hatches and put the door back on so that the spray from the water would stop coming in and getting everything wet or damp. The boat was a rockin pretty hard but somehow I managed to fall asleep after a couple episodes of Breaking Bad. We started watching it and we are still in the first season. Pretty good so far. Definitely going to tighten some of the lines down before bed tonight.

Every day seems to keep getting better and better and I gotta say….it doesn’t suck…;P

OOH Tyrones food just got here!!! Gotta go!! haha

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Christo and Ty with our new pet! kidding.

This is where JJ and Gregor went for crayfish


Jess, Janitha and Tyrone at Dockside Bar