Sunday, October 26, 2014

Cape Town, South Africa!

Martin and his crew made it safely to Cape Town on Thursday.  It was a fairly smooth and fast sail.  It was exciting to see the map of when AMARA rounded the Horn.
Rounding the Horn headed to Cape Town, S.A.
Once AMARA got to the bay, just outside of Cape Town, they were greeted by seals.
John being greeted by a friendly seal.

The harbor of Cape Town is absolutely beautiful although when they arrived to Cape Town they were welcomed by a thick fog.

The fog was so thick there for awhile that Martin said that they couldn't even see a boat length in front of them.
AMARA is tucked in the harbor down below.
The harbor in Cape Town.
Once they arrived, Martin got his first taste of Ethiopian food (one of my all time favorites).

I had planned to go out to South Africa to meet up with Martin, however, we decided that we would prefer Martin to be home sooner—meaning my coming out would delay the trip.  So we made a quick decision and cancelled my plans so that Martin can leave on Tuesday and head to Forteleza, Brazil (pending they get their Visa's to Brazil).   So instead of spending ten days in Cape Town, he is trying to cut it down to 4 days.  

Another change in plans is that Doug had to leave to go get his own boat down in Florida.  From there, he is headed down to the Bahamas. We were sad to see him go, but understand his desire to get on his own boat.  Good luck, Doug and safe sails!

Martin sent me a wonderful video that he took of the nightlife in Cape Town.  Enjoy!  I hope to update a little more while the guys are in Cape Town and before they take off to Brazil!  Cross you fingers that they get their Visa's soon!


Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Guest Speaker

While Martin was in Durban last week, he went to the LDS (Mormon) Self-Reliance Center where the church centers it's efforts in helping the poor and needy, as well as, helping members to find jobs.  Martin has always had an interest in this program and is always looking for opportunities to serve in the areas he is visiting... or just getting to see how the program is progressing in other parts of the world.

While he was there, he met a mormon bishop.  They got to talking and the bishop suggested that Martin stop by the church on Saturday.  There was going to be an activity for the youth of the stake (a group of mormon congregations that gather together is called a "Stake") and he should come to get to know the kids from that area.

Martin and I were talking on the phone that Saturday morning and he said, "Hey, do you think that I should go to the church this afternoon?  Looks like they are doing a youth conference, so I am not sure if I should even go (since it isn't an adult-focused meeting)."  We talked a little more on the phone and I said, "You know, you should go.  You might be missing church on Sunday (because they were taking off and heading to Cape Town) this may be the only church that you get this week.  So, we finished our conversation and Martin left for the Youth Conference.

When he arrived, he had a chance to meet a lot of the youth leaders and he was so impressed by how they had set up the program for the youth in that area.  The 100 plus youth were divided into different groups and each group was either, learning how to formal dance in the gym, while others were learning how to apply for jobs at the Self-Reliance center, (right next to the church) and the last group was learning how to utilize the internet to do missionary work.  All great youth specific activities that would benefit these kids.

However, somehow in the midst of all of this, Martin was asked to be the concluding speaker to the whole group when they all met back at the church.  Of course, Martin is a fabulous speaker and has done quite the circuit back here in the states to both adult and youth groups, so he was able to pull stories and lessons from his past experiences to teach these young kids about setting goals.  His topic to the youth was about climbing the mountains of life and how they can accomplish whatever they set their minds to doing, as long as they are moving forward with determination.  Something that comes very naturally to my goal-setting husband.

Of course, after the conference, Martin gave a few of the youth leaders (who gave him a ride home) a tour of AMARA.

I am so glad that Martin is always looking for opportunities to stay present and involved wherever he can, at this time.  He is getting a little anxious to get back home and have life be a little more normal, but really, he also loves being on the boat.  In the meantime, I am glad that he can share his talents with others while he is sailing.

In other news, they are almost to Cape Town.

This Just In! AMARA making incredible time heading toward Cape Town!

Martin just sent me this news flash!  They took off on Sunday and are making spectacular time heading to Cape Town. 

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"Reuters AP (Well, not really, but if Rueters knew, they would totally have posted this.)

Martin Frey reporting from off Cape St. Francis

The sailing yacht AMARA achieved a new 24 hour distance and speed record over the last 24 hours from Midnight to Midnight.  Distance traveled was 253.1 nautical miles (291 miles—That's fast!), making her average speed better than 10.5 knots!   These results were achieved with the assistance of the favorable Agulhas current and not likely to be repeated until AMARA sails up the Gulf Stream off the eastern coast of the USA.

Sometime tomorrow afternoon AMARA will also achieve another first with the rounding of the southern tip of Africa which will take her to a latitude of 35 degrees south, the furthest south that she has ever been."

AMARA should be reaching landfall on Friday.  Martin reports that Cape Town is less than 2 days away.  Yay!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Bunny Chow... Well, Not Literally

Last Saturday night, Martin, David, Doug and John went to a Blues Festival in Durban.  First stop... Bunny Chow

In Durban the people are very proud to be the only place in the world where you can get Bunny Chow.  Bunny Chow is a lentil and meat curry that is served in a bread bowl.  It is extremely popular and is inexpensive and often very spicy. 

Tradition dictates that the proper way to eat Bunny Chow is with just your fingers making for very messy hands. Given that that they are leaving Durban on Sunday, it was imperative that they all ate their Bunny Chow today.  Martin had his at lunch and here is the crew getting their Bunny Chow initiation Saturday night while they were enjoying the Durban Blues Festival. 

PS. No bunnies were been harmed in making Bunny Chow.

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Here are some photos of Charlie, the crowd pleaser, at the Blues festival.

I have another post coming shortly...

Monday, October 13, 2014

Cool New Video—Adventures On AMARA

Doug sent me this great video of him and the gang during their passage from Reunion Island to Durban.  It's quite entertaining as it shows the whales greeting them as they approached Durban. It also gives you an idea of how rough it can get on the high seas.  He was also able to capture some footage of them while they were in the gale that had winds upwards to 48 knots.  Never a dull moment on AMARA.

Enjoy!  (And thanks, Doug!)