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Dolphyn Diary #348: 30 April 2020

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FROM THE COMMODORE

The General Committee is meeting remotely this evening, to discuss a way forward for the club under the present lockdown regulations.

We will inform all Members as soon as possible. We have been giving a lot of thought about many aspects affecting the club.

Please be on the lookout for a detailed message next week.

Hope everyone is healthy and stays safe.

Till next time!
Rob Newman
Commodore

FBYC MANAGEMENT

Our FBYC management team is being very productive in successfully working from home, keeping a beady eye on finances and activity at the club.

We are chatting to Rob, Bart and Spilly frequently and assisting where we can.

Our financial year end is still a while away at end June and we are getting to the stage where we prepare for that in May and June.

Lots going on!

Kind regards,
Natasha Fish
General Manager

LIVE - ABOARDS IN LOCKDOWN

Sunset
General cleaning and FBYC care has fallen to us (bathrooms, bins
etc) and gardens are looking good! Watering the pot plants has been gleefully attended to by many and frequently, and rocket seeds grow and flourish currently in the empty boxes.
What have we live-aboards been doing? Pretty similar to people in their homes on shore, in many ways ... never have our lockers been so clean, outstanding repair-work has been attacked (where we had the necessary parts and fastenings / adhesives) and a lot of time has been spent in the galleys! Pets appear to be happy that their owners are always in attendance, and we get exercise where we can - the jetties allow us to stretch our legs, and it is not unknown for people to be doing burpees and star-jumps in the confines of their boats!

However, the difference comes in the fact that we have a different environment, and we are tending this for all.
Gardening at the YC
Spinnaker check on a perfect day (wish we could go sailing!)
  • The live-aboards have been keeping an eye on the boats (checking on mooring lines, “flappy bits”, fenders, padlocks, props on the hardstand)
  • Security is up to us - we do night patrols: never have the overlooking houses seen so many flashes of torches! The only interloper has been the otter snacking at Z jetty at 1 a.m....Problem issues are reported to Spilly ... eg electric fences, alarms, internet, gates, moorings, bar problems (oops: maybe we should not admit to the number of times we have told Spilly that our spirits are sinking and offered to keep an eye on security at the bar / "prop up the club turnover during lockdown".)
Geese at home
The geese think they are in heaven: they have daily guided patrols to the boats, whose kind residents always obligingly feed them, and there is no fear of boat traffic in the waterways except, occasionally, for NSRI (please take note, sailors: when you return - look out for the geese!). Some of them have tried to become live-aboards too!
NSRI - the only boat on the move
Redhill food packs collected by Anita
Redhill school children have lost their school feeding scheme, and we have joined the support network, providing them with sandwich packs three times a week (at least 30 packs each time, through Anita Bagshaw).
Redhill child receives beautifully decorated sandwich pack from FBYC
Heron
The heron looks out at its changed world and seems to be revelling in the lack of human noise and invasion.
Mojo had enough of lockdown
Mojo had enough of lockdown (came off swing mooring in strong weather) And others!
Pyjama shark
The little stripey dude hiding in the rocks is a pyjama shark (even nature is in lockdown laze and staying in their pjs all day)
Socially distanced lunch
We are taking social distancing seriously (Beach chair - braai in slipway)
Everyone wants a hug!

ORCA JUST OFFSHORE

Jumping Orca
I consider myself very fortunate to have the necessary media permits to cover events during the pandemic. I'd been looking for a good-news story; something other than roadblocks and face-masks. Having read of the Penguins walking the streets of Simon's Town, and Leopard in Pringle Bay; when I heard reports of Orca just offshore, I called Dave Hurwitz of the Simon's Town Boat Company to enquire if he had the necessary permits for me to charter his boat. I'm so pleased he replied in the affirmative!
Simon McDonnell
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Greeting from Dave and Vicki Staniforth


Our 2020 visit to South Africa came to a premature end when we returned to the UK just after Easter. Our original flights back at the end of April had been cancelled and the only alternative were UK government repatriation flights. It was an unusual and unique experience travelling along empty roads and through deserted airports in both countries, and in an aircraft wearing face masks. We arrived back safely and have now settled down to a slightly looser lockdown. A daily walk is allowed and, living on the urban edge of Wellington, Shropshire, the extensive local woodlands provides many different paths for us to socially distance!

Lockdown in Glencairn gave time to get to know our surroundings a lot better. Many hours were spent on the balcony overlooking the vlei, mountains and dunes, with False Bay and the lighthouse in the distance. The work that GEESE has done to establish and maintain the wetlands is now better understood and much appreciated. The community singing and light show across both sides of the valley brought the community together with the sounding of the bell of St. Andrews Church followed by renditions of We All Stand Together and the flashing of all manner of lights. My marine electronic distress flare was put to good use for the first time! The community stayed connected through the local WhatsApp groups and FaceBook pages to keep spirits up and work together to help others less fortunate in our neighbouring communities in Ocean View and Red Hill. We got to know many of our neighbours in Glencairn through the power of social media and we look forward to meeting them in person in future years.

The settled weather during the April full moon saw the calm waters of Glencairn Bay dancing lightly in the moon beam. During the day there were views across the bay to the Kogelberg. The breaking swells on the reefs of York and East Shoals could be clearly seen, a reminder of keeping a sharp lookout on our biannual trips to Gordon's Bay in the 70s and 80s - in the days before electronic navigation aids kept us safe! In those days Vicki sailed with her Dad on Flamenca Schottische and I skippered Buccaneer Shannon.

We did get to sail our Drascombe Longboat Pellicano together before lockdown, whenever the South Easter allowed! Had the privilege to introduce Drascombing to a local young sailer, Chris, who is in the advanced stages of Huntingdon’s Disease. His sailing opportunities are now limited as his health deteriorates, so he enjoyed our weekly outings immensely. Chris took the helm whilst we trimmed the sails. He was accompanied by partner Karen and, his carer Ida, a Malawian who had never been on a boat before. The Longboat had been just perfect for the task as we know from the role it plays at many RYA Sailability clubs in the UK. It was also an opportunity to go sailing with a childhood friend Steve Fry, whom I first met at FBYC in the early 70s. Steve is son of a past Commodore Eric, a founding member of our club and designer of FBYC burgee (just as well it was flying!). Lesley Rochat, the head of AfriOceans Conservation Alliance in Seaforth came for a Saturday sail. It was fascinating to find out more about the education and conservation work of her organisation, in which much time is spent in the water and diving beneath the waves. Lesley was quick to notice that the surface water along the Simon's Bay coast was very dirty and unclear - whether it was the result of the SouthEaster stirring up plankton or the result of a local sewerage overflow was difficult to tell.

Drascombes, a sailing boat with traditional lines and rig, wooden spars and red sails, do make for good photograph. FBYC member Simon McDonnell has regularly photographed our boat, and this has now extended to other local photographers when we found others posted on local Facebook pages. The best have been collated and will appear with the permission of the photographers in the next addition of the Drascombe Association News - a 44-page glossy magazine published 4 times a year. Look out for it on the FBYC coffee table when the club reopens.
Longboat Pellicano is safely tucked up in a marina berth until such time as it can be slipped and towed back to Langebaan. It is under the watchful eye of Richard and Barbara, who provide regular WhatsApp updates to lockdown life on the marina. The work they, and other maritime liveaboards, are doing in these unusual times cannot be underestimated - their knowledge and experience is to be treasured.

Our visit allowed us to escape a very wet (rather than cold) UK winter and this is still our intent for our retirement years. We are planning to return for the postponed visit to extended family in Mpumalanga and the Kruger National Park, and even more sailing. It will also allow us to take our longstanding FBYC friends (Penny S, Roger B and Paddy S) and others for a sail on Longboat Pellicano, which we didn't get around to doing.

My Drascombe Longboat Cruiser Kestrel is on my driveway and being readied for the relaxation of UK lockdown - dinghy cruising being ideal for ongoing social distancing that will be in place.

Stay safe and go well.
Dave and Vicki Staniforth
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