Dulcinea sails fast and beautifully, and we felt she should be fairly easy to look after since,after all, there were 3 yards in Phuket Thailand that were all able to lift her, and another one 100 miles south in Langkawi.

After the unfortunate incident on the reef at Rodrigues Island, I thought we could dry out at low tide to check the bottom - no, the maximum tide there and in Mauritius is only a few centimeters. So I thought there would be lots of facilities in South Africa: East London cranes could not support the load while leaning 7 metres or so out over the edge of the dock. There is a railway slip at Port Elizabeth but the frame to lift her on the railway could not be built there. The slips in St Francis Bay and Granger Bay are too narrow for our 11 metre beam. The travel lift at Saldanha Bay is also too narrow. After approaching many people in Capetown I finally met Manuel Mendes who once built boats in Angola many years ago, was active in South Africa's America's Cup hopeful Team Shosholoza, was busy helping to prepare two adventurers who are now crossing the South Atlantic to Brazil in a 25ft light catamaran, and is a delightful person. Manuel said yes, took me to talk with the operators of the Syncrolift here in Capetown's docks, and instigated a cooperative effort that raised Dulcinea out of the water yesterday on some stacks of lumber cross-braced with rope and webbing. The stand certainly looks precarious but is sound. The people involved have been inspiring and delightful to deal with.

We have finally got a good look at the reef damage, identified a tiny crack in the outer skin with raised moisture content, dried it out and started the repair. I feel that the job will be done well and I have made some good friends at the same time.

From the Syncrolift Yard in Capetown South Africa

Dave, Jan & Dulcinea