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Solwezi
Zambia

a photo record of our sailing and travel missions around the world - currently in africa.

blog

off the line

kate brand

As many of you know, we started the 'Melody' chapter of our life 4 years ago and we did it with another two awesome humans. Vivian and Daniel took on this dream with us, rather spontaneously, and without them we wouldn't be where we are today. 

We bought Melody together, we worked extremely hard to refit her and we all sacrificed a lot. We eventually left South Africa in September of 2012 and the four of us sailed across the Atlantic Ocean (without and autopilot!!??) to Brazil and then on to Tobago where, in December of that same year, Rufus and I left to work in Zambia.

We desperately needed to replenish our personal cash reserves and so Viv & Dan continued to sail the Caribbean for the duration of 2013. At the end of 2013 we bought out their 50% shares and became the proud full owners of S/V Melody!

Viv and Dan returned to SA to pursue their land based dreams of studies, for Viv, and a job in his field study and interest, for Daniel. They also made their love and their commitment official with a beautiful, intimate wedding earlier this year (take a look at some of the beautiful photos in their blog post). Happy day!

Our time together as a team was an epic adventure filled with serious highs and of course serious lows but, in the end, we wouldn't change it for anything. We learnt too much to tell in one sitting, and we are all better people for it.

They have done their farewell post on our team blog, www.offtheline.co.za, but they're continuing the updates on the twitter account so you can see what they are up to now - Viv is posting some beautiful shots of their SA explorations: @off_the_line

We wish them all the best for their new chapter and we're forever grateful for their part in our journey together. Big love to you both x

Fernando De Noronha - our first stop after the Atlantic crossing, off the coats of Brazil

Fernando De Noronha - our first stop after the Atlantic crossing, off the coats of Brazil

Fernando

Fernando

our very first coconuts! Fernando De Noronha

our very first coconuts! Fernando De Noronha

 

 

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celebrating crossing the equator!

celebrating crossing the equator!

Daniel

Daniel

Vivian

Vivian

Rufus

Rufus

Kate

Kate

our last beer together in Tobago, before Rufus and I left for Zambia

our last beer together in Tobago, before Rufus and I left for Zambia

 

grand anse

kate brand

Grand Anse is one of the best beaches we've visited in Grenada. we came upon it quite by accident while unintentionally walking half way across the island.

we were supposed to go grocery shopping at the 'big mall' and then join friends for dinner in Port Louis. we ended up walking most of the way from Prickly Bay, except for a 3min taxi ride, which we probably could have walked faster for the million times it stopped for passengers.

it was one of those "I wonder where that road leads to" or "I wonder what's around that next bend" and "it can't be THAT far to the next taxi stop?". well it can be THAT far to the next taxi stop and after a long sweaty day of walking our friends thankfully still allowed our smelly bodies onto their boat for, quite possibly, the best burgers we have had so far. ever. in our lives. (more on these awesome weirdos later - our friends, not the burgers).

 

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dragon bay

kate brand

it's been a while... my sincerest apologies. we've been in Trinidad, on the hard for well over a month and trust me, there is nothing more uninspiring than living in  a hot dusty boatyard where the water is so siff there's more oil and plastic than sealife and the mosquitos literally eat you alive 24/7.

having said that, we can sit and complain or we can make it nice for ourselves and we have decided to do the latter - it's all about your mindset! we've met some great new friends and we've been seriously productive boat wise - new additions, upgrades and repairs. we are feeling proud :)

before I start posting on Trinidad though, I want to cover our Grenada experience, which has been the best so far. the community is great and there is so much to do. the islanders are the friendliest we've met and there are many beautiful bays to visit.

our first overnight stay was in Dragon Bay, and where Rufus decided to whip out his fishing gear. Contrary to what he name promises, there were no dragons (sorry Game of Thrones fans) but there was an abundance of fish. although he didn't manage to catch one large enough to braai for dinner, he did have a LOT of bites on his chicken baited hook. the greedy little guys were just that, little, and so all of them were returned (very much alive and flapping) to their watery home.

even though we weren't successful on the food front we did discover that fish are very keen on fresh chicken and that served us well later on ;) 

 

contemplating deep things like 'should we braai or make ceviche'

contemplating deep things like 'should we braai or make ceviche'

whatcha lookin' at?

whatcha lookin' at?

our sophisticated fishing gear

our sophisticated fishing gear

catch...

catch...

and release.

and release.

but first, a selfie.

but first, a selfie.

refuelling the chicken guts

refuelling the chicken guts

another one to release

another one to release

smiley face

smiley face

Ruf wins the 'best smile' contest as far as I'm concerned

Ruf wins the 'best smile' contest as far as I'm concerned

tobago cays

kate brand

Tobago Cays is a small group of islands in the Grenadines, famous for its (mostly) untouched beauty and my favourite: turtles and manta rays! It is a protected marine park so there are no human residents. The cays are surrounded by beautiful reefs and the islands themselves are home to large tortoises and iguanas.

We stayed one night and swam with the turtles as soon as we arrived. It's a special experience and I wouldn't have thought it but those little guys have quite a lot of personality. Some of them are very relaxed and not phased by us weirdo looking humans, all googled and finned up. Others are more grumpy and don't like to be disturbed while they're having dinner (most of them were eating while we were there). The rest are kind of playful and you can swim with them as they cruise around their little bay.

Unfortunately the bay was quite rolley and it wasn't comfortable to stay very long. We anchored in a protected channel for the night and were greeted by a family of manta rays, around the stern of the boat, as we prepared to motor on to Union Island the next morning. I've seen larger rays before, off Grand Cayman island, but never babies like the ones in this group. Too cute for words. Unfortunately I left the camera below so no shots of the rays. Next time!

 

entering the Cays

entering the Cays

the water really is this colour and this clear

the water really is this colour and this clear

the locals are always ready to "help" and accept a cash "thank you" after

the locals are always ready to "help" and accept a cash "thank you" after

the Marine Park has strict rules about not getting too close to the turtles, even when they came towards us we moved away to maintain the right distance. can't say the same for the other disrespectful tourists. 

the Marine Park has strict rules about not getting too close to the turtles, even when they came towards us we moved away to maintain the right distance. can't say the same for the other disrespectful tourists. 

every couple needs and under water selfie ;)

every couple needs and under water selfie ;)

unfortunately the focus of this dive was cut out of the shot (we dont have a screen on our go pro yet) but I was pointing a giant bright red starfish, the biggest we've ever seen. 

unfortunately the focus of this dive was cut out of the shot (we dont have a screen on our go pro yet) but I was pointing a giant bright red starfish, the biggest we've ever seen. 

view no 1, from our anchorage for the night

view no 1, from our anchorage for the night

anchorage view no 2

anchorage view no 2

and one of my favorite views ;)

and one of my favorite views ;)

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night lights

kate brand

This post is a bit out of sequence (have a few more posts to do before we get to Trinidad) but I felt like putting these up now.

We did a night sail from Grenada (Prickly Bay) to Chaguaramas in Trinidad last week. We're here to do some maintenance and upgrades on the boat, in preparation for the Pacific leg of our trip. 

Night sailing can be quite boring, not much to see, and if you have an autopilot doing the work for you, not much to do other than look out for the odd boat/ship on the horizon.  

Just off of Trinidad's northern coast however, there is an oil field populated by huge oil rigs and at night they are quite spectacular with all their lights. We sailed quite close to this one and in my sleepy haze (it was 2am after all) I battled with the night settings on my camera. I obviously tried to get a clear focused shot but in the end, with all the rolling and heeling of the boat, most were out of focus. Ultimately my favorites are the more fuzzy ones, not the one I managed to get "right". This is the result... 

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