One thing about living on a sailboat and cruising full time, there are too many decisions to make. Too many plans to make and change and make and change again. Sometimes because life happens; sometimes on a whim. This time, it's because we need to take care of some necessary repairs to Nine of Cups. We'll be spending a good part of the winter months in southern Africa.
Ever since David determined that the chainplates were suspect and needed replacing, we've been making plans. In fact, every evening we make plans with the daily information we receive and quickly change them the following morning when new information comes to light. Will we do the work here in Cape Town or move someplace else? Will David do the work or will we have some of the work done? What's the cost? No, that's not right, you're missing something … now what's the cost? Does that include hardware and supplies? No? now what's the cost? The frustration grows as does the number of decisions to be made and the cost, but we're sorting it all out.
One question, of course, is where do we go after the work is done? It's nearly winter here in South Africa, but our visas are expiring once again, as is the Customs permit for Nine of Cups. We can't stay in South Africa and by the time we arrive in the States, hurricane season will be upon us. So … what are the options?
Well, we can spend some time along the Namibian coast (the next country up from South Africa on the west coast), then dawdle at St. Helena and Ascension and head to some place in the southern Carib, like Trinidad, for instance, which is out of the hurricane belt. We considered Brazil, but Americans visiting Brazil pay hefty fees for visas (reciprocity, I'm sure) and friends currently in Brazil are not enjoying the high costs nor the security issues nor the bureaucracy. Europe's always an option, especially with the Euro nearly at par with the US$. So … no decisions on that front yet.
There's no sense in making firm plans at the moment. There are too many what-ifs and not enough information to make informed decisions. And quite honestly, even if all the answers were in place … we'd probably change our minds anyway. Stay tuned. We'll keep you updated on the boat repair progress and let you know when it's time to head out. You know you're always welcome to come along for the ride … wherever we go … or stay.