23 November 2017 St Lucia, South Africa
We had a bit of a lie-in, only having to get up at 06:45 to go horse riding. Craig and Kristen have only done a couple of horse rides, but they had a great time. There were seven of us in the group all of varying experience levels, so when we went for a canter, the less experienced went on a slightly different route, meeting up a few minutes later.
The ride went out into the St Lucia Nature Reserve and we rode very close to Zebra, Wildebeest, Warthogs and Impala. The horses are grazed in the area, so the wild animals are used to the horses - we are just seen as strange lumps on the horses’ backs. It’s quite amazing to be a few feet from Zebra who are unconcerned. The horses were very steady and we had some nice loping canters, so Glenys is keen to go again.
After a shower, we went for lunch at the St Lucia Ski-boat Club, which was nice & relaxed away from the tourist restaurants on the high street - be warned, they do massive meals.
In the afternoon, we went for a drive around the iSimangaliso Wetland Park. It was surprisingly good. The main road to Cape Vidal is long and a little boring, but there are some nice gravel road loops, where more wildlife can be seen. We saw plenty of animals including Hippopotamus, Crocodile, Nyala and Kudu.
24 November 2017 Richards Bay, South Africa
After another large breakfast, we drove to Durban airport and said goodbye to Craig and Kristen. We’ve had a lovely six days with them, but they move onto Cape Town for their second week in South Africa.
We drove back to Richards Bay and checked that all was okay on the boat. The only job that the boat yard had to do was to make the bush for the rudder shoe, but they’ve not finished it. It’s like any boat yard - if you’re not around to keep hassling then the job doesn’t get done.
We checked into Tree Tops and had a quiet time for the rest of the afternoon. I made a start at sorting through the 1,000 photos that I’ve taken over the past week - editing the better ones and deleting the rest.
25 November 2017 Richards Bay, South Africa
I had a very lazy day, pottering about in the apartment doing some admin and editing photos - I can’t motivate myself to do any jobs on the boat - seems too much like going back to work after a holiday. Glenys is starting to investigate Namibia and our route across the South Atlantic Ocean - we should be back in the water in six days’ time and will be starting to head west in the first week of December.
In the afternoon, we popped to the boat to pick up some odds and ends. Our friends Karen and Graham have moved “Red Herring” into the marina, so we stopped by and had a chat to them. They’re going off travelling for a couple of weeks, so we might be gone by the time they get back.
26 November 2017 Richards Bay, South Africa
After yesterday’s rest, I was up at six o’clock planning out the work to do on the boat. My first job was to look at the engine alignment because the propeller shaft was “wobbling” at the outside end. I removed the coupling between the propeller shaft & the gear box and cleaned the two mating surfaces. After bolting it all back together the propeller shaft was running much more central, so there must have been a burr or dirt on the flanges.
Glenys started to scrape off the silicone sealant in the front heads - I re-caulked all the corners a couple of years ago and despite using a good quality anti-mildew product, it’s all turned black. It’s a tedious job and I’ll make sure that I use a marine quality silicone sealant this time.
Jannie, who runs the boat yard, was at work this morning and turned the bush for the rudder shoe, so there’s some progress there. He now needs to saw the bush in half and fit some screws to hold it in place when the rudder shoe is split in half. Hopefully, it will be ready to fit onto the boat tomorrow afternoon.
I attempted to fit the cutlass bearing housing, which screws onto the end of the stern tube. It wouldn’t go on and when I looked at the threads, they were damaged when Arno removed and replaced the cutlass bearing. I took it to Jannie who gave it to Arno who used a thread file to clean the threads up.
Arno gave it back to me an hour later, but when I got around to trying it again, the housing would only go on for the first ¼” and then locks up. Unfortunately everyone had gone home by the time I discovered that it still doesn’t fit, so I’ll have to wait until tomorrow. I despair...
The propeller has been “singing” (resonating) when we run the engine at 1700 rpm. The manufacturer told me to file “Anti-singing” edges onto the trailing edge of the propeller. It was quite scary doing the job and hard work using a hand file for an hour or so. I think that I’ve done it properly. I ought to get the prop balanced now, but there’s no-one in Richards Bay who does it.
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