1, 2, 3… Testing


After less than a month of something passing for winter, we are welcoming spring the best possible way: testing our 6m semi-rigid Navegador. Navegador is a very reliable and playful boat. Thanks to design, lightness and motor performance, it can cross this bay with three times less fuel than any other boat. Most of them dock during long periods, while Navegador only docks because of weather or laziness conditions.


There’s a lesson we have to learn from all this long period without boat. Three years ago, when Navegador had an accident, we assumed the motor was completely doomed. So, we sat and waited for an opportunity to buy a new one. JP even offered parts of it to a friend. Assuming is a terrible thing…


Due to some pressure from the club, we sent the boat to a repair dock in Durban and after a couple of days we were informed that the motor was in perfect health. As a conclusion, we have just paid for service and the parts JP had alienated. The total repair cost represents 7 or 8 times less than our estimative. I couldn’t ask for a better way to start our 2009 beach season.


We have three tests planned: one short distance (Catembe), one middle distance (around the bay) and one “long” distance (Inhaca Island). The short distance test was absolutely successful. The motor roared softly, yet powerfully, as it should have.


Leaving behind the city humming and a white foamy path across the blue bay, to Catembe we sped. We were lucky to have picked the most perfect day, almost “mar espelho”. We had champagne on the beach and prawns at the nearby quiet, friendly restaurant. It was a bit stormy during the trip back to the club, but Navegador behaved till the end.


The only problems noticed were: 1) We have to improve the anchor system. 2) We have to get a light cover to protect the navigation instruments, since the original cover is too heavy and only useful for travelling proposes. 3) We have to repair the working trailer in order to ease the docking procedures. The travelling trailer is new, but the one where the boat sleeps is rusty and difficult to manage. 4) When hydraulically upped, the motor touches a seat bar. It could have badly crushed my hand, but, as most of the time I protect hands and feet on beaches and at sea, the thickness of a glove saved me for the worst. We have to do something about this.


Other than the boat, here are some exciting news from this corner of the universe:


– World Cup 2010 construction frenzy seems to have reached Maputo.


– Guard Albert is now a father of a healthy baby girl. That same day (August 4), one boy and 15 other girls were born at the same hospital, confirming Andy’s theory that men are on the verge of extinction or Chanda’s theory that people are eating the wrong food.


– Speaking of food, our house has been functioning as B&B for two crocodiles. Again. One of them, full of vim, jumped from the travelling container and, if it weren’t for my checking on them from time to time, he would be lost or smashed by a car. I caught the guy two steps away from our front gate. We are feeding them with liver and I have to say that these two guests are not very sociable. Soon they will join two other male crocs living up North. Andy swears this time he is sending a female too. The lucky girl will not know what competition is in the near future…


Keket celebrated six months in good spirit. She is growing pretty fast and learning basic lessons during our daily walks: no, come, stop, sit… With the right incentive (read biltong), I believe that I can teach my dogs to sing “This Paws Are Made for Walking”.