Just a Little Further

Moving Wind Wanderer

Our friends, Sandy & Vic on Wind Wanderer, were in a hurry. After a miserable trip from Cape Town to Luderitz during which lots of things broke (does this sound familiar?), they arrived late one night with only two days to spare before their flight back to Australia was due to leave. Talk about angst! They’re good friends and it wasn’t hard for us to offer some help. The biggest issue? Wind Wanderer (WW) was not on a permanent mooring and she’d need to be moved to one. Vic had everything sorted with Port Control before they left (or so he thought) and we just needed to move the boat to a new mooring as soon as possible.

unloading at the dinghy dock

Assured that all was handled, Sandy and Vic left for Windhoek and their flight back to Oz.

leaving for windhoek

Hmmm … but TIA (This Is Africa) and rarely does anything go according to plan … or on time. Before WW’s crew left, Port Control had identified a mooring not too far away, but prudence dictated it should be checked by a diver before moving WW and so a diver was scheduled … but not before they left. The mooring owner, however, changed his mind about WW using the mooring for an extended period. Port Control found another mooring and rescheduled the diver. When we checked with Port Control two days later, we found that the diver was actually checking the newly assigned mooring at that very moment. We dinghied out to the mooring in a hurry. There were three big problems with it: 1) It was located a long dink ride away from shore; 2) it was exposed to winds and fetch from all directions; and most importantly, 3) it was located much too close to a recently sunken boat. Yikes! This was not a good mooring.  The Port Control person with whom we had been dealing was out for a few days and  the current mooring owner needed WW to be moved soon to make room for his own boat. What to do?

sunken boat by mooring

We stopped to see our neighbor, Andy, on his trimaran and told him the tale of woe. He had a solution for us almost immediately. “Why don’t you use Paul’s mooring? It’s designated for a yacht and it’s not being used. It’s only a year or so old and it’s very sturdy.” We had just met Paul when we had dinner at Liz’s house two nights before. We dinghied out to check the mooring first and it looked ideal. It was a short distance from WW’s temporary mooring. We gave Paul a call. “No problem,” he said, “but you should have a diver check it out.” We contacted the divers again and got the new mooring scheduled for a check. They managed to get it done the same day and  David went out to the mooring to monitor the survey. All was good! Now to move the boat.

diver checks the mooring

We enlisted Andy to help us … a third hand is always welcome. Since the new mooring was so close, about 70m (225′) away, we attached one end of a long line (one of our Patagonia shorelines) to the new mooring and Andy and I handlined WW to the new mooring while David provided assistance with the dinghy. This 30-ton boat was easily maneuvered by two hands from one mooring to the other. Piece of cake!

stretching a tow line

We got her all double-tied to the new mooring which will be her home for the next couple of months. Her new neighbors, Nautilus II and Fukula, seem to be comfortable with her being there. All’s well that ends well.

wind wanderer on her new mooring

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