Thursday, February 9, 2017

Durban: cleared

        A little after 5 p.m. Thursday.  I’ve just come back to GANNET from my last fresh water shower and iced drink for a while—the drink a double gin and tonic at the Point Yacht Club bar.
        I cleared with the officials this morning.  I remembered this being more complicated in Durban than it needs to be, and today I had to visit five different offices, three of them twice.  This is more than usual.  Two return visits were due to a miscalculation of my port fees.
        Immigration apparently intends to send an official to the marina at 0800 tomorrow morning to be certain that I actually depart.  This has not happened in the past and perhaps is due to my having cleared for St. Helena, a foreign port.
        After dealing with bureaucracy, I Ubered to the shopping center for lunch of grilled calamari with a side Greek salad and a Naked Mexican, and to replace some of the provisions I have consumed while waiting this week.
        Back on GANNET I dragged the Torqeedo from aft of the port quarter berth and fitted it.  It started at the push of the button.  The battery showed 99% charge.  I removed it and charged it briefly until it showed 100%.
        You are not supposed to sail in the entrance channel here.  I did sail in.  I’m not sure the Torqeedo has enough range for me to power all the way out.  I’ll go as far as I can, then sail.
        I also re-tested all the tiller pilots.  All are working.  I’ll start with a Raymarine because I am more familiar with it and it is easier to control from the cockpit, but expect to shift to the Pelagic before Sunday.
        The forecast, except for Sunday, is acceptable to good.
        With the current and wind behind us, GANNET should cover some distance on Saturday.
        I have generally been treated well most places, but I have experienced exceptional courtesy and hospitality in Durban, most notably from Chris Sutton and his family.  I thank them.  I thank everyone here, at the marina and at the yacht club, for making my stay so pleasant.
        I’m about to activate the Yellowbrick, so I don’t forget in the morning.
        If all goes well, the next entry may be about three weeks from now from St. Helena.
        I wish you joy.