Thursday, 19 January 2012

Gulliver of Knysna

Note: This tale had a happy ending thanks to those who serve Hout Bays Station 8 NSRI,they are still doing this on a daily basis,24/7 and 365 days of the year,my thanks to you all.

Gulliver of Knysna lived on to sail once more,I launched her again fifty one (51) weeks later and in our own Hout Bay Harbour,her new name is Ocean Cloud,she is in False Bay at FBYC last I saw.(december 2010)

With friends I took her to Salvador,Bahia, Brasil,thats Notty,Sam his daughter and a mutual friend of us all,John Holmes,that was a brilliant cruise,highly memorable and we still have the VHS tape to proove it.

Later and with my family aboard,we cruised north as far as Tobago,then on to Venezuela,finally leaving the boat in Trinidads TTYA for some eight months. After which Sam (simone) and Nigel, sailed back to Cape Town with the boat.

The decision to buy a wreck of a yacht on the rocks at Slangkop was a decision made on the spot, when I took a gamble I could save the boat if a crane could be found,it started with me paying for the boat where she lay,which was far out in the surf,then looking for my friend Ronnie,who ran a crane hire company,I found him at the 19th hole at Green Points Metropolitan Golf Club,with help from Ronnie finding Dennis Gentry and Tandem Rigging,the rest just happened but it was never easy.

Party time!

With a ladder set up it was great to be able to walk around Gullivers teak decks,it had been a long week but success was ours.

Now in Hout Bay and after the crane had off loaded Gulliver,the crew came too by our request,while we were working Jean my wife had prepared some party food and drinks as a way of saying thank you.

Left click any picture to view full screen size.

Loaded,its time to head home for Hout Bay and across Chapmans Peak Drive coastal road,that was an adventure all of its own,with cars coming from the city and our rig needing the full width of the road most of the time.

Gulliver goes skywards to be loaded on to a low bed trailer which had already been loaded with an Endurance 37 cradle I knew about in Cape Town harbour.

The crew,what a great bunch of guys,they worked around the clock to save what was now my boat.

Dennis Gentry,CEO of Tandem Rigging facing the camera.

The view of the scene from a road high up on the hill.

The first Endurance 37 we had built and owned,sailed back from Brasil, had been sold some months before this event took place,it was a very bad north wester, when one dark night, Gulliver of Knysna on passage from Knysna to Cape Town, got too close to the shore and was turned over by a breaking wave,the story of an amazing NSRI Station 8 rescue of the yachts four crew, is well documented in a story I wrote and had published in Duckworths Magazine (on line),the pictures are scanned from by now old prints and negs, were taken with a Canon FT 35mm camera and a 1.4 x 50mm lens
R McBride pics.

A few days after she went aground,we got a rough terrain crane large enough to haul her free of the rocks,then it was another but larger crane to load her with a boom long enough to lift her off the same rocks,it took the best part of a working week,Dennis from Tandem Rigging told me later,it was the only job he made any money on that year,I have say he and his crew who camped on site to work with the tides, sure earned their pay!The boat was by this stage a bare hull and deck unit,the boat had been stripped by Charles, who had bought her in the surf from the insurance company,I in turn bought the wreck from Charles.

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