Monday, September 19, 2016

Durban: the end of a lovely day; poor no more

        The sun set a half hour ago.  The sky is dissolving from blue to black at the end of a lovely day, after a raw and blustery weekend.  This part of South Africa is suffering from a several years’ drought.  I cannot begrudge them the rain even if it exposed leaks in GANNET, and had me sleeping beside a plastic container to catch drips from the forward hatch hinge.
        This morning I disassembled that hinge and found a gasket folded back upon itself which was the obvious source of the leak.  In trying to put the hinge back together I stripped threads, steel screws into plastic.  I’ve taped the whole thing over.  New hinge parts cost $60.  A new hatch $500.  I’ll first try for the new hinge when I return.


        I am not stupid about money, yet I’ve never made a lot.  For unexpected reasons I have become among the wealthiest of men because, unlike greedy billionaires, I have enough and know it.
        Yet this weekend found me reduced to the equivalent of $14 US.
        South Africa is apparently a country of great credit card fraud.  Since arriving I have had my cards denied multiple times, causing at least eight Skype calls back to the U.S.  
        Yesterday was Sunday.  I took a taxi to a shopping center where I was unable to get cash from multiple ATMs.  I telephoned my bank and was told nothing could be done until Monday morning.  I forwent lunch, carefully calculated my purchases at a supermarket, hoping I would not have to move aside things I couldn’t pay for, and, after taking a taxi back to the marina—the distance was too far to walk—had left the equivalent of $14 US.  
         I have far more than enough food on GANNET to last the week until Carol comes to my rescue, but I was feeling squeezed.  Fortunately today my cards were unblocked and I was able to get cash.  I paid a sailmaker for repairs and new mainsail and tiller covers and splurged on a cheese burger for lunch at the yacht club.