Hello From Dulcinea in Capetown,

I, Dave, have changed worlds twice in the last few weeks, and it is taking me a while to get organized. On 4 March, from a Pacific Coastal Airways plane I watched a spectacular sunrise over a thick blanket of fresh snow on the Coast Ranges of British Columbia as Jan & I returned to Calgary from a last week end with baby Gemma in Port Hardy. The next day BA brought me to England for my first visit in a few years during which I enjoyed visiting my brother's family, walks in the wind & rain and visiting two National Trust homes while catching up with many friends.

6 days later it was back to the care of BA for the 11hr flight to S Africa. The latest James Bond movie rapidly put me to sleep and I seamlessly roled into a taxi that drove me and my 2 bags of boat parts back to Dulcinea in Capetown's fashionable Waterfront Marina.

She was dusty, but fine after nearly 3 months on her own. I had hoped the rigger would have completed a short list of necessary repairs, and maybe a frame would have been built to lift her out of the water, but no - she had sat on her own. Last December they were too busy looking after the World Arc boats. Now they are just too busy.

I wish I could say I had got more done since I landed here. Jan will be here first thing on Tuesday morning, and Dulcinea has still not been out of the water. My plans have circled, and I abandoned the ideas of lifting by crane, and of careming on a beach. There is no travel lift wide enough, so I need a frame to place on the rail cars of the Syncrolift where the commercial fishing boats lift out. There is a really interesting Portuguese fellow here called Manuel who said he would build the frame. I have lined up a diver who already cleared a ball of coral and weed off the propellers that must have been 2 ft across, and she will guide the boat onto the lift once I have a frame built. Manuel did much of the work on S Africa's America's Cup challenger, & now has just finished building a tiny little light catamaran for a Brazilian, Berto, who left yesterday to sail home. Berto's previous project had been to sail the Beagle Chanel on a Hobie Cat (camping on the beaches), and his next plan is to take his tiny cat from the Bearing Strait to Greenland via the NW Passage. My plans must seem mundane in comparison.

Some terrible things have happened to Dulcinea's plumbing while I have been away. Plumbing has always been one of my weaker skills.

Dulcinea has been at dock in the fashionable "Waterfront" area of Capetown. The boats are big and nearly all look expensive. The security guards patrol day & night, but Dulcinea has her own personal guard: There is continuous barking and roaring from a colony of sealions that pull out onto the floating docks. They are truculent beasts that forever argue (possibly over who gets to lean his head on the soft vinyl & foam fenders screwed to the dock to protect the boats). One sealion, which I call she being smaller than most, and possibly no heavier than I, separates herself from the colony and always lies by Dulcinea's stern. Usually I talk to her before stepping ashore and she eyes me with her head & neck at some impossible angle that makes me jealous of her flexibility, but on 2 or 3 occasions I have been forced to slip off the far hull armed with a spray-hose to fight my way to the dock after she has reared up and shown me her lack of dental care.

Tonight I aimed for Green Point for supper near the big new stadium, not realizing that Bafana Bafana is playing Central African Republic for a World Cup spot next year in Brazil. The crowd is big & noisy but friendly.

Looking forward to meeting Jan in 2 days, then David & Mary will join us to sail from Namibia to Brazil in May.

I have a new tracking device called "In Reach", which uses the Iridium Satelites. I will put a link to a new tracking map on the web page soon. It can also give emergency calls or send/receive SMS messages, but please don't send any texts through if email is a viable option.

Best wishes to all



Web: www.techco.ab.ca/dulcinea