Greetings from Windhoek - the semi arid, landlocked (350km to the sea!) capital of Namibia. I am extremely impressed with the Cruisers Forum - not being an internet
addict I had never considered that something so useful and generous would be housed inside my computer (technically it's not really there I know!). I found the site this morning and have been happily reading loads of posts during the day. The generosity of the established members is astounding to me - you give so much of your time, knowledge and experience so freely!
A little bit about myself - I was born in South Africa
and grew up in Cape Town
. Started sailing when I was about 6 when my dad pushed me out into Hermanus lagoon
in an optimist that I promptly swamped and would have sunk if it were not for the flotation! Things improved marginally after that, and when I was older my sister and I were given a Dabchick dinghy
to sail together. After a particularly violent argument we were banned from sailing together as we taught the oldies at the club a few new swear words. I then crewed for a few years on another SA dinghy
while a teenager before starting with keelboats just before university. At that point my dad was getting tired of being cold and wet so much and so when he started with keelboats so did I.
We were involved with the South African Sailing Training Association and sailed their training vessel the Gordon Burnwood and raced a Petersen 33 'SASTA' for a few years before my dad bought half shares in a Corrida 36 of a friend. Loads of cruising and racing
around Cape Town
later I finished University and 2 weeks after my final exam left Cape Town for the US on a Swan 57.
That was the most amazing trip - I sailed with fantastic guys (sorry Barabara) and we had an unbelievable cruise
. From Cape Town to St Helena, Fernado de Noronah and Grenada
. Through Grendines to VI's and then on to Bermuda
and finally Newport
I then spent a couple of years sailing 'semi-professionally' in the Eastern US from Maine
and South America
. I did the Cape to Rio race
(which was fantastic) and a delivery
back (which was hard) before settling in Connecticut and then Virginia to work as a Mechanical Engineer
Returning to SA later I started work at Outward Bound and there met my future wife. We moved together to Ireland
where we raced together on Dublin Bay and in Schull week, and later got married in Scotland
. Our first daughter was born in Ireland
and shortly after we moved to Namibia for a better quality of life, to get away from the rat race
We now have two daughters, 3 and 5 years old and drive 400km's to Walvis Bay at least once a month to race against each other on our Lasers (or sail together on our ISO dinghy). When our oldest was born we decided to start a ten year plan to go cruising. After meeting a few cruising sailors stopping in Walvis Bay we decided that sooner was better than later and are now planning to leave next year.
So now all we need to do is buy a boat, prepare her, figure out how to finance her and ourselves, do a few million other things and then we will be ready to go!!!
Thanks again for such a great forum, I hope to be able to find answers to my questions in the threads here, and if not I can see that if I have new questions that no one has thought of yet someone here will be able to answer them for me!
Keep well and keep safe.