Friday, 11 December 2015

Port Elizabeth - Garden Route National Park

Hi everyone,
Yesterday we drove part of the "garden route" from Knysna back to Port Elizabeth.  We visited the Tsitsikamma section of the Garden Route National Park to see the mouth of the Storm River.

Our night in Knysna was good.  We enjoyed the waterfront area and the B&B we stayed at was very nice.  We found the town to be "totally touristy" which isn't really our thing.  It is certainly set in a lovely estuary environment.

The mouth of the Storm River is crossed by a pedestrian suspension bridge.  We walked from the visitor centre to the bridge.  Nice walk and a nice view.  The park is popular with kayakers and hikers.

View from above the bridge
The bridge from the west side
The gorge
The mouth
Bridge from the east
From the park we drove to St Francis Bay where we had a nice lunch overlooking the small marina.  There was an Amel ketch in the marina so it's possible to get reasonable sized boat in.  From there we drove home to Zen Again.  Our four day tour was fantastic.  We particularly enjoyed the inland areas we visited - big mountains, deep gorges, broad plains and "big sky".

Yesterday evening we met the crews of UK yacht Pipestrelle and Swedish yacht Anke-Sophie here at ABYC.  Both arrived while we were away and we are all are planning to move on over the weekend.  The weather isn't ideal but is certainly not looking bad.  We should be able to reach or broad reach most of the way to Simon's Town.  Might be a few hours on the wind but Zen Again enjoys that.  Continuing to watch the forecasts.

We spent all this morning cleaning the rig and deck of the boat.  The manganese dust was thickly coated on mast, standing rigging, running rigging and all over the deck.  I spent at least an hour up the mast scrubbing everything clean with a rag and a slow-running hose.  I don't think I've ever spent that long aloft before and I have plenty of aches and pains to show for it!

With the rig clean we set to work on the deck.  It took us a while to find something which would lift the greasy deposit off the deck, particularly the non-slip areas.  Eventually we found that rust remover works very well indeed.  Bring plenty if you plan to stay a while in PE!!!

At present the wind isn't easterly and there's no ship at the manganese ship loader.  Hopefully at least one of these will remain true until we leave!

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