13th December 2016 to 16th February 2017
We have spent over 2 very enjoyable months in Simon's Town and in that time we flew to the UK for a 3 week surprise trip to see Ash and our first Grandchild Isla 💗. Isla was born on the 14th of January, also my (Jacqui) mum Dorothy's birthday. Shared birthdays seem to be a family tradition on both sides of our families.☺
Over the last 10 weeks here we have had a lot to celebrate.
1. We Crossed the Indian Ocean ⛵
The Ocean Cruising Club (OCC, and we are members) organise a special day in Cape Town for all members and non members who crossed the Indian Ocean in 2016.
What a wonderful day, and a lovely way to celebrate “We Made It," that is, we crossed the Indian Ocean. The day was spent catching up with new and old cruising friends, in a stunning setting, whilst enjoying some of the great local wines and food.
|Wine Tasting at Constantia Glen Wine Estate|
In the morning we tasted 7 Premium Wines at “Constantia Glen Wine Estate”, then a long lunch way into the mid afternoon at the 330 year old winery, “Constantia Wine Estate”.
Lunch was outside on long bench tables, surrounded by ancient oak trees, reminiscent of a typical Italian village gathering, with sweeping views across the oldest wine producing vineyards in South Africa, and down the valley to the coastline of False Bay.
|Us after a few tastings 💜 vineyards in the background|
Later that month we explored by car both the Stellenbosch and Franschhoek Wine Regions.
The Stellenbosch Wine Route has over 150 wineries, and Franschhoek, Afrikaans for "French Corner", is one of the oldest towns in South Africa, known as the "food and wine capital" and famous for its beautiful scenery.
|Looking down over Franschhoek|
2. An Engagement
Gorgeous couple Tom and Susie from SV Adina announced their engagement and celebrated with their cruising friends by having a Pontoon Party at the Victoria and Alfred Marina (V and A). We could not be happier for this lovely couple who we have gotten to know crossing the Indian Ocean. 🍾
|Sue and Tom the happy couple|
|From L to R: Ants, Mike, Kevin, Divs, Tom, Don, Karen and Phyllis|
3. Christmas Eve and Christmas Day 🎄
We celebrated the "Cruisers Christmas" on Christmas Eve with the majority of our cruising friends at the Victoria and Albert Waterfront situated at the foot of Table Mountain, in the heart of Cape Town's working harbour.
|Jacqui and Divs Christmas Eve|
Christmas Day was organised by the lovely Sue (SV Camomile) for any foreign boats in Simon's Town, False Bay Marina. We started off the day with our traditional swim then celebrated Christmas with a Braai and delicious salads and desserts.
Secret Santa was kind to Kevin he was given 6 beers I was not so lucky, I received a bottle opener ie for ???????.
|12 egg Christmas Pavlova cooked in TINTINs new Oven, delicious|
|Jacqui and Sue relaxing and enjoying the day|
|Kevin thanking Santa Bill for his present|
4. New Years Eve
New Years Eve and Day was spent with the gorgeous Divs and Ants on their yacht Divanty, berthed at the V and A. We started celebrating early by enjoying delicious fresh oysters and a very cold bottle of white wine at the Oyster Bar, and toasting Happy New Year at 12 midnight Sydney time, ie 1500 SA time. Then off to our "Pontoon Party".
|New Years Eve entertainment|
After the midnight Fireworks, TINTIN, Chapter 2, Solstice, Camomile, Antares, Norsa we all went back to SV Divanty for more celebrating until 0430 am.
After an amazing Smoked Salmon Omelette and Champagne Breakfast we returned to TINTIN to prepare to leave Simons Town in the next week or so.
|Table Mountain in the background|
5. New Baby
We are now Grandparents, a scarey thought as this means we are getting older.
Ash and Matt are the very proud parents of a baby girl, Isla born on the 14th of January. We celebrated her arrival at the local pub, however could not party long as we were leaving Simon's Town with SV Camomile at 0200 hrs to head around to Cape Town.
|Very proud Grandad and Isla|
Well as things happen, we never made it due to gearbox problems. After fixing the gearbox, we decided it was a good time to fly to the UK and surprise Ash, see our new grandchild and catch up with Kevin's family. Everyone but Ash knew we were coming over.
We arrived on Ash's doorstep and was greeted by a beautiful rather surprised Ash holding a tiny absolutely gorgeous bundle called "Isla".
|Jacqui and Ash whilst the men watch the Rugby|
We had a lovely time, lots of cuddles, lots of walks in fog, rain and snow and delicious cream teas and cakes as it was freezing.
It was snowing in London as we took off from Heathrow ⛄.
We even made it to London town to see the show "Wicked".
|Matt, Ash, Isla, Kevin and 7month old Reggie|
|View across to Weymouth UK|
|Velma and Dom, Kevin's lovely parents who always make our stay so special 💗|
6. Valentines Day
Now back in sunny, warm but windy Simons Town we celebrated Valentine's Day at the popular Lighthouse Restaurant.
|Beautiful but always windy Simon's Town|
Both our birthdays and Wedding Aniversary are this Saturday and we are unsure where we shall be, hopefully tied up in Cape Town's V and A, but i doubt it.
|View across False Bay SA|