Wednesday, 25 March 2009
A rare picture (Robs) of Little Wing in Durban Harbour,packed in with many other cruising boats,note the national flag of Zimbabwe off the back of the boat and the yellow Q (quarentine) flag up in the crosstrees.Not too many yachts cruise from Zimbabwe.
Rob Johnston,doing what he did best,sailing and sleeping and both at the same time!
Rob and a friend to his right.
The marina was then in what is now the ABC waters.
Little Wing,on the original HBYC marina.
The world had a great guy in a man named Rob Johnson,its about time you all see who he was,I say 'was' as Rob passed away some years back due to cancer,he was only about 34 at the time? I recently found some film of his,we had a lot of his gear at one time,his VW Beetle and his boat Little Wing,this was when he took the Dix Designed Hout Bay 50 named 'Sunlore' on a delivery trip to St Maarten,finding the islands suited him Rob stayed on,we sold his car and his boat for him in his absence.
I later met up with Rob at Oyster Pond and stayed on Sunlore while doing a buying trip for exotic timber in the general area.
Rob was many things,a shofitter (his own company) a pilot,dinghy sailor,yachts man,including as a sail trainer for one of the better local companies in Cape Town,he had an adventure deluxe with his boat Little Wing,which he swopped a Fireball dingy for its unfinished hull and deck unit.Born in Rhodesia,which then became Zimbabwe,he decided to depart Zimbabwe and take his belongings with him,in this case Little Wing was a large part of what he owned,Rob loaded the large yacht up on a trailer and on his own departed for the Mozambique border,exports of large valuable items is not allowed unless you pay a hefty tax,arriving at the Zimbabwe/Mozambique border,he spun a yarn to the customs official that the boat was his 'fishing boat' he was off on his annual leave and would return in two weeks time,they took the story for truth and let him through!
Robs brother was working for the Shell Oil company in Maputo,he sorted out a rusty crane and when Rob arrived they managed to lower the boat into the harbour,Rob told me the cables were snapping strands as the boat was being lowered,continuing with the 'fishing' story to the local harbour officers,he raised the mast then got on board,sailed to a local island,sorted things out,then head off for Durban Harbour south of where he was.The voyage was solo,he then brought Little Wing down to Hout Bay,these are Robs pictures.
Go well Rob Johnson,(r.i.p)