After a joyous and much-needed reunion with friends and family, I am reunited with my husband in South Africa! With his newly clean-shaven appearance, you’d hardly know that Dallas just rounded the Cape by himself!

He picked me up from the airport in Cape Town late on the night of the 30th, and we enjoyed a bit of luxury in a nice hotel near the waterfront for the next two nights. This was practical since we wanted to be in Cape Town proper for New Year’s (and the boat is in neighboring Simon’s Town), and it also allowed me to gradually reenter the adventurous but much more rugged lifestyle of the cruiser. A mere two weeks in Johnson County is enough to remind one of those little pleasantries like dishwashers, hot showers, and spacious homes along with greater comforts such as access to old friends and a mother’s hug! But with that said, I’m happy to be back aboard Pura Vida and eager to see what the remaining months of our circumnavigation will bring.

Cape Town is a beautiful city. The architecture seems to be British-colonial, and many buildings in the central district are white or pastel. The most striking features (besides its extremely diverse population) are geographical, as both beaches and mountains surround the city. In particular, Table Mountain appears as a prominent backdrop by day and by night, at which time its features are illuminated from powerful lights along its base. 

CTThe Company Gardens in Central Cape Town with Table Mountain behind

On the 31st, it was sunny and hot in CT, but due to a gale watch (not unusual here), the cableway ride up Table Mountain had been suspended, so we opted instead to spend the afternoon exploring the city by foot. We happened upon the National Gallery of Art, which was really amazing. Most of the exhibits were comprised of photographs taken somewhere in Africa, so you can imagine the kind of material that was involved – war, poverty, and tribal custom to name a few. From the gallery, we walked around Central CT and found a bite to eat in an al fresco cafe before heading back to the hotel to rest up for the late night festivities. Eventually we made our way over to the marina basin and joined several of our friends aboard S/V Itusca, the spacious and modern catamaran that our Brazilian friends are sailing around the world thanks to their sponsors. Around 11:30 we made our way over to a 188’ superyacht called Pangaea! Our friends aboard the superyacht Drumbeat managed to get us an invitation to the very exclusive party there, but I’m not sure that they were expecting a group of 14 young(ish) rabble-rousing cruisers! They allowed us to stay long enough to watch the midnight fireworks from the top deck before kindly asking us to leave. We weren’t quite ready for the party to stop, however, and walked around the waterfront area for a little while until one of our group befriended a small group of African ladies with a destination in mind. We followed them through the mayhem of Central CT to the Zulu Bar. En route we passed what appeared to be a one-sided fight in which a very wound up, heavy-set African women had left two large African men on the ground rubbing their heads and was attempting to pull herself away from the man restraining her to have a go at a third! All in all, it was a memorable but not TOO eventful evening, which is the way we like it these days.

HNY Who wouldn’t want this crew aboard?

pangaeaStill smiling after getting booted off of Pangaea

central CT The scene at the waterfront just after midnight

We got around slowly on New Year’s Day but eventually joined our American friend Nat from S/V Bahati along with his newest crew members from Maine for a trip in the cable car up to the top of Table Mountain. It was an ideal day for it – blue skies and not too much wind. As a result, we were not the only ones with the good idea to go up the mountain, and we had to wait in line for over an hour to board the cable car, but it was well worth it. The views were incredible, and the 5-minute cable car ride was quite an experience in itself. The car rotated 360 degrees, and toward the top of the mountain the speed with which we ascended, just a few feet from the steep rocky cliff face, was enough to make people squeal! Atop the mountain, we sat and enjoyed a beer and some good conversation with our friends overlooking the city and the sea. It is easy to see why the Table Mountain cableway is considered a must-see if in Cape Town.

lion's head Overlooking Lion’s Head. Behind and to the right is Robben Island, where Mandela was imprisoned for so many years

cable carI enjoyed our transportation up the mountain, but next time we’re planning to hike!

Today we returned to Simon’s Town and to Pura Vida. She’s looking good with her new trampolines and sun shades. It’s good to be home.