Leaving Africa

It was not until coming here that I understood people’s magnetic draw to this amazing continent. Seemed that people exaggerated their experiences because how could there be a place such as this. I only scraped the surface spending 7+ months from Madagascar to South Africa. This was broken up by my 6 week vacation to Chile/Antarctica.

Recieving the OCC Seamanship Award.

It will be hard to get excited about flora and fauna after Africa. In the last 7 months I’ve seen massive baobab trees, lemurs, whales, manta rays, elephants, lions, hippos, rhinos, Dassies, penguins, dung beetles, and countless other amazing and beautiful creatures. There is really no other place that I’ve felt the wonder and excitement as I have in the African bush.

Somehow it is still the people I have come across here that have been the highlight of Africa. The beautiful people in Madagascar that with some reservation invited me into their village, even though human trafficking from westerners on boats is a real problem that cost many of them their young women. A village in Mozambique along with fellow yachties from around 20 boats threw me a 10 year anniversary of my accident party.
In South Africa I experienced generosity I could have never imagined. I entered South Africa with a wrecked mainsail limping on a pegleg.. literally on my last prosthetic limb. I left South Africa with 2 new legs, new sails, new self tailing winches, repaired dodger, and a freshly serviced engine which was all either sponsored by the people or paid for by crowd funding. My mooring fees were also waved by Zululand yacht club, False bay yacht club, Hout bay, Royal Cape Yacht Club , and V & A Marina. By not needing to pay marina fees I was able to spend some money exploring this amazing place.

Speech at John Ross College

Leaving Africa felt like leaving Hawaii. Not only was there a new ocean to cross but I was leaving behind a sense of security and community. The sailing community in South Africa made my success their responsibility. It was also nice to be able to give something back by speaking to students on outreach programs and to John Ross college. St Helena and Ascension Island are next but a bit of my heart remains in Africa.

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