Allan and Lauren did the early morning walk thing but I decided to lie in today. However, Lauren, Earl and I were all on the beach with the kids by 7:30, to watch the Trans Agulhas departure. A large crowd was gathered to see them off. Lauren and the kids found a spot to park off and watch while Earl and I found good vantage points to take photographs. Just before the start all the competitors knelt down on the sand while prayers were said for their safety at sea.
The boats were all lined up and ready to leave by 8 o’clock.
There was a count down and then the whistle blew and one partner of each crew raced to join his mate and get the boat started.
Then there was a roar as they raced and bounced over the waves toward Cape Agulhas. It was all very exciting.
We then jumped back into the Fortuner and drove toward Agulhas. We did not see the boats but we did find one of them had flipped over and had righted himself. We found out later that he was one of the front runners and was bitterly disappointed to have to withdraw from the race.
After breakfast most of the family went to the rock pools to catch klippies again. I could swear that when I went to bed last night the beach had remained in its rightful place but this morning Lisa and I spent quite a bit of time chasing it out of the house again!
Earl and I then went to do some shopping. When I first came to Struisbaai in the early 80s there was but one very bad shop but now the town offers nearly every facility you need – there is a small mall, restaurants, a nursery, small clothing shops – beach-wear mainly – pharmacy, doctor and dentist. For most of the year it is still a fairly sleepy fishing village which wakes up over Easter and Christmas when the stressed out city slickers hit its shores. It is during these times that the locals really have to work overtime in their businesses and they do! The supermarket – OK Grocer – is amazing. They are open from 7 am to 7 pm and tonight being New Year’s eve they are open till 10! The queues in the place are extraordinary, yet you do not wait for more than five minutes before getting to the checkout where extremely efficient cashiers assist you. Service is excellent, the boss is friendly and accommodating and it is clear that his staff are well trained and happy to be working for him.
We have had many years of amazing weekends and holidays in this little town and now that we have grandchildren we are delighted to be able to share it with them too. I wonder, though, what they would have thought of the original place with its poky kitchen, tiny two bedrooms and lack of facilities. And yet when it was like that we managed to fit in friends and dogs and still have amazing fun. No – I don’t want the old Struisbaai back – but I love it that I have the memories.
The weather today has not been that great with the north westerly bringing overcast conditions, but after an afternoon of inactivity we decided to take the kids for a swim at 4 o’clock. I’m glad I took a chair and a cardigan because I did not go into the water! The ,kids, however, had the time of their lives. The waves looked pretty terrifying to me but they thought they were just plain fun!
New Year’s Eve and we watched a movie till 10 then went to bed! Happy New Year to all of you. May you have an adventurous and awesome 2013.