Exploring Cape Town

8 January 2018   Cape Town, South Africa
The engine mechanics from Southern Power arrived at 10:30 and had the timing belt fitted in a couple of hours.  I’d asked them to replace the lubrication pipe to the turbo, but there was a misunderstanding and they’ll be back tomorrow to fit it.

After lunch, our friend Ian ran us around, so that we could buy a few things on our technical shopping list - it’s handy having some local knowledge.  He also took us to his doctor, where we made an appointment for a check-up in a couple of days.  We were then dropped off at a huge Shopping Mall called Canal Walk in the Century City district, where we ordered a pair of glasses for each of us.

The Marina is in the middle of the commercial port

After all that running around, we had a quiet evening in, watching a movie.

9 January 2018   Cape Town, South Africa
The diesel mechanics turned up promptly at 08:00 and fitted the new lubrication pipe.  When they’d gone, I removed the sea water pump and stripped it down to replace the seal and a rusty bearing.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t get the bearing out of the pump body, so needed to take it to the Volvo workshop for help.

The water came on at 09:00.  Due to the water shortage, the water supply in the marina is only turned on for one hour, three times a week.  After, topping up our water tanks, we called an Uber taxi and went into town to collect a small hire car - only £15 per day, which is a bargain.  

I dropped Glenys off at the V&A shopping mall, so she could do some shopping without me moaning and I carried on to the Southern Power and they are going to get the rusty bearing out of the water pump for me.  They also commented that the pump shaft is very worn where the lip seal makes contact, so they are also going to get the shaft chromed and ground back to the original dimension.  I’m hoping that I’ll get it back by the end of the week.

I recharged our drinks fridge with R134a refrigerant - we have a small leak on it, but I’ve been unable to find anyone to repair it - another job for Trinidad.  The boat yard has an oil disposal tank, so I dumped all of our petrol (25 litres) because we’ve had some of it for over a year and it hasn’t been used for three months - old fuel causes problems with the outboard.

Tablecloth on Table Mountain

The wind had been 25 knots from the south all day, but in the late afternoon we started to get strong katabatic gusts.  I guess that the wind is rising up to the top of Table Mountain, cooling down and then dropping down the face of the mountain.  As the sun went down the gusts increased in severity and we recorded 46 knots.  Even in the marina, we were heeling over as the gusts hit us.

A strange cloud formation formed over the edge of Table Mountain, with the clouds rolling down the steep cliff.  I found this snippet: 

During the summer months, Table Mountain is best admired in all its magnificence against the blue backdrop of clear Cape skies. Ironically, it’s on such cloudless days that the mountain’s legendary white tablecloth is suddenly cast over the “table”, as if by God himself.

Albeit marvellous, Table Mountain’s “tablecloth” is nothing more than an orographic cloud formation (clouds that develop in response to the forced lifting of air by the earth’s topography).  As a south-easterly wind blowing up the mountain slopes meets colder air at higher altitude, condensation takes place and a thick mist soon coats the top-most regions of the mountain.

As the cloud cover pours over the side of the mountain, the process is reversed. Clouds encounter warmer air layers lower down, where the moisture evaporates, making the clouds disappear.  Despite its undeniable beauty, the tablecloth can be dangerous to unwary hikers.  The cloud often descends rapidly, obscuring visibility and posing a threat to hikers unfamiliar with the mountain.

10 January 2018   Cape Town, South Africa
It wasn’t a very pleasant night with katabatic gusts heeling us over and ropes creaking everywhere.  I got up at 03:00 to change one of the ropes, which was creaking right above our bedroom.  However, we survived.

Table Mountain from Alba

It’s been over 18 months since we had a medical check-up, so we went to the doctors.  We had an appointment at a Medi-care centre in Century City, which is a kind of mini hospital with doctors; some specialists and a pharmacy. 

They did various blood & urine tests and we had a consultation with a general practitioner.  It was all very easy and the consultation only cost £25 each (although all the tests cost £150 each.)  We’re going back in a few days to get the results of our blood tests, but everything else looks okay, except Glenys had a high blood pressure reading, so they’re going to check her again when we go back.

We had to miss breakfast because of the blood tests, so back at the yacht club, we treated ourselves to an excellent bacon and egg brunch.

In the afternoon, Glenys pulled out her sewing machine and did various Sunbrella repairs.  Meanwhile, I went out to buy some new petrol and then put the dinghy into the water for the first time since we left Mozambique in October.  We lowered our 15hp outboard onto the dinghy and I cleared the fuel pipes of the old fuel.  To my astonishment, the outboard started after only three pulls.

By two o’clock, it was blisteringly hot, so outside work stopped - a complete change to the cold windy weather yesterday.   We had a quiet night on-board.