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Sailng on Windwanderer.
1st Dec 2014
Still Monday 1st December 2014

Still Monday 1st December 2014

Well we have survived the first day here. Just.

We came into Durban harbour at around 10am yesterday morning, now this harbour is massive the biggest I have ever seen, so you think it would be a well organised harbour, 

We were in contact with port control over the radio the whole way in, they were relaying info the whole time, to watch out for this cargo ship that is coming out, which was a bit scary as we passed with not much room between us, to avoid going too far over this way and that we passed massive cargo ships manoeuvring around, ship tied to docks, tug boats, cruise liners, yachts, pleasure crafts, fishing vessels you name it they have it here.

We finally get down to where we see the marina, and that was it with Port Control, their job is to bring you in safe and then your on your own.
Well we almost pleaded with them to try and contact the marina as we are a foreign vessel coming in and a big vessel at that we had 20knts of wind and we need to check in.
Well there answer was just get up close to one of the other boats in the marina and ask them.

Oh man The Captain was livid are they crazy eventually we finally got in contact with the marina and they were sending a boat out to us and would help us get in.
We did slow 360° around the marina entrance dodging very shallow areas until this guy arrives, he tells us we need all the fenders and ropes on the starboard side and he has two men waiting at the dock to catch our lines.

We try to explain the usual we are a heavy boat, no bow thruster and in this wind it's almost impossible to get her to behave in tight areas, he said it would be fine, so holding our breaths we slowly make our way in and are confronted with a tiny space they want us to get into, oh man the pirate language was flowing thick and fast, we get up close and there is two of the skinniest guys you have ever seen waiting to catch the lines, as I throw the first one to him I yell and say we are a really heavy boat, he just smiles then try's to pull us in.
total chaos went down, he could not hold us the wind was blowing us onto the boat beside us, people running in all directions to grab ropes, at least three guys on the one rope pulling us in, guys fending us off the boat on the other side, The Captain desperately trying to steer us in the right direction.
But we made it, with shaking hands knees knocking, we finally drew a breath after adjusting the lines to a dock that looks like it may just fall apart at any moment we are here safe.

So the next thing was to go and check in, they told us to go up to the marina office, so off we go with all our necessary papers, it's a bit of a hike to get there as we are right on the end of the dock, we pass through a security gate that is manned so that's encouraging.

We have been told by many that Durban is very run down now, and it's not a very safe place to be, you do not walk the streets at night and can be mugged even in daylight so you have to be really carful.

But the people are so friendly and we have so far not felt unsafe at all, we get to the office and start all the paperwork immigration have to come to the boat, but they said we don't have to stay on the boat, and the best thing is we can stay here for up to 5 days free, where else in the world does that happen, they also have two yacht clubs that you can join free use all their facilities showers, toilets etc they have free wifi at the club and give you a token to come and go 24 seven.

We go to the club next as it's right next door and join as new members all free, as we are walking out when a guy comes up to us and introduces himself and offers us a free drink and a chat, so that was the beginning of our drinks, after having no alcohol for 16 days and nothing to eat for hours, and only around three hours sleep in the last twenty four hours let's just say we are cheap drunks...haha one drink and we were had it, we came back to the boat starving hungry had some lunch and both needed a nana nap.

I went down to our cabin The Captain stayed up in the cockpit so he could hear the immigration guy and we passed out for hours.

The Captain wakes me in a hell of a rush, we had made plans to go out for dinner with a German solo sailer that we meet in Mauritius and an American couple that we had meet in Cocos and again in Mauritius. At 6pm we were to meet up with them at the little cafe here well, it was now 6.30pm the shower and clean clothes I was going to do all went out the window, I was lucky to be able to brush my hair and we were off.

Lucky they had not eaten yet and being fellow sailers they knew we would of had a sleep, we had a really great night, swapping horror ocean crossing stories and boats and stuff.
We get our bill it cost us a total of $13.50 for two mains and 4 glasses of wine, fantastic.
We then went next door to the club, as the cafe was closing nothing stays open late here and went upstairs were the drinking continued.
We were only there an hour when the club closed and all staff left, except one guy, he comes over and we chatted with him for ages, he goes off and brings back a bottle of wine from behind the bar all for nothing and so it went.

And we have not layed eyes on the immigration guy yet apparently it was a she and she came out to the boat and said there was no one on board, we must of slept through it.

Well tomorrow is another day.

Next: Tuesday 2nd December 2014
Previous: Monday 1st December 2014

Diary Photos
1st Dec 2014  Image
Coming into port.

1st Dec 2014  Image
First proper view of South Africa

1st Dec 2014  Image
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