Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Hout Bay Yacht Club wishes y'all a very Merry Christmas, Season's Greetings, Fair Winds and Fine Sailing for 2012! (and mind those roadblocks please . . .)

Christmas News from Rod and Mary!

Read it all here!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

New SA Sailing Portal - GybeSet

A great new sailing portal has been launched fetauring news on SA Sailing Events - see A link will be added in the "links" section of this website for future reference.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Thanks to Roy for this one.
Click on pick for large version.
Hout Bay Harbour Beach approx 20 years ago.
Can you spot Msr.&Msd. Batley, and Jean McBride?

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Hout Bay's Wild Side!

The South Easter is back with avengeance.
So are the sardines. So are the seagulls. Even the whales!
These were taken Saturday morning.
This guy (er gull) conveniently hovered in the photo.

These two just gatecrashed my photo to be honest.

By now I was onto it with fast film!

The large seagull I expected here just disappeared.
But it shows the wind anyway.

After taking a few windswept shots of the bay, I suddenly spotted the whale cow and calf right under my feet! Bottom left. Look like rocks, more agile though.

I waited a while to get this fluke shot. ha ha.

Not much sailing today.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Nasty accident during Wednesday night race . . .

Latest news is Peter is ok, stable and recovering in Constantiaberg Hospital. He has a large hole in his head, and a broken wrist, but is already talking and quite cheerful. Thank heavens!! 

STOP PRESS: We have heard Peter has a cracked vertebra as well (C6) - it will be fused early next week - no loss of mobility expected though. Best wishes from his friends at HBYC.

The messy red stuff on the deck is neither paint nor tomato sauce . . .

The weather before the race was variable, cold, windy and a bit rainy. There was a general move not to race and we were up in the club feeling relieved (or so I thought). Well blow me down if the whole bunch don't suddenly decide to start sailing in this miserable weather. Dutifully I rigged up too and next thing we had three boats on the water - Faraway, Nandi and Quest (the same three who hadn't learned a thing from the week before). The wind was South, but very variable and gusty - like a Northwester in a bad mood. Course was announced as a circle of the four marks (as no-one could really tell where windward was), and we were about to start the sequence when Nandi was seen lowering her main in a hurry. Suddenly we heard a frantic radio call from Nandi to say they had a serious medical emergency, one crew member knocked out cold and blood everywhere. They would appreciate help to get ambulance ASAP. Immediately we cancelled the race and I radioed through to Hout Bay Watchcon - answered by Stephen King - himself a volunteer paramedic.

Nandi meanwhile had doused the sails and was motoring swiftly back to dock - the patient (Peter) in the good care of Lynda (his wife) and Tiffany (both highly qualified nursing sisters) - while Nick and Ray brought the boat in - not without some difficulty in the fresh wind. This ended up with Ray in the water (trying to hold the boat). Faraway crew arrived then to assist further.

The ambulances (several!) - arrived seconds later, along with the EMS parameds, and the NSRI parameds. They took a good hour or so to stabilise poor Peter, and strap him into a light stretcher, in which he was speedily transported to Constantiaberg. As already mentioned - he seems ok besides the head-gash and broken wrist. CT-scans have not shown anything more so far.

The main point of this article is to remind sailors how easily accidents can happen, and how to best respond. This particular accident was the consequence of a dramatic involuntary jibe caused by a sudden gust from behind the sails. Peter was hit by the mainsheet and tackle somehow, not even the boom. He was completely unconcious for a few minutes . . .

- There comes a time on every boat when First Aid is quite important. Do you have the right bandages, kit and practitioners on board?  A blanket to cover the patient?
- The radio is an essential safety item in calling for help. Can several of the crew operate the radio effectively, do they know which channel to call, could they describe the emergency clearly and participate in the ongoing dialog? If out at sea, can they operate the base station radio? When was the last time you tested it?
- Emergency numbers on the boat? Watchcon, 911, etc?
- If the skipper or lead crew are incapacitated, can the others operate the boat satisfactorily to drop sails, start engine, take charge? Think MoB especially?
- Coming alongside shorthanded or with injured crew can be unusually tricky. Do you have a plan for this - eg a longish sheet or line that can be thrown just to hold the boat until the mooring lines are gathered? Have you considered taking a different open mooring which may be easier to navigate to - eg upwind, or closer to where the ambulance will arrive etc?
- Can your boat be towed in an emergency? line and towing point in place?
- Short-handing makes it all more critical.
Fortunately, in the circumstances of last night, Nandi coped admirably, with assistance from others. The nurses onboard were able to stabilise the patient, another crew-member sounded the alarm on the radio, and I was able to radio through Watchcon immediately using a Neighbourhood Watch radio I carry in Hout Bay. In Hout Bay, Watchcon remains a miracle of modern life - and the reponse was fantastic - all credit to Stephen King (duty controller) - who responded personally.
If you do have occasion to call for an ambulance, be prepared to state
  • Age (approx) and gender of the patient
  • Whether they have medical aid (this decides whether you get a Netcare ambo or a government ambo - be very clear on this distinction - re: costs and time to arrive!
  • The nature of the injuries and general condition
  • The exact location (this last piece is critical - ambulances often end up going to the "other" yacht club, or road or whatever). Be very specific - you get one chance at this.
  • A number where emergency services can call you back in case of delay or clarity on address
For Hout Bay emergencies, remember Watchcon number is 021-790-9333. They will help you through everything. Out of Hout Bay it gets a bit more complicated - CH16 to Cape Town radio, 082-911 etc.
Now is the time to think how you will handle an emergency on your boat!
Our very best wishes to Peter and Lynda - hope he recovers swiftly and is home soon.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Wednesday Night Sailing Results

Hout Bay up to its usual tricks today - 0-35kts+, 0-360 degrees. Three intrepid boats pitched, Faraway (skipper is a bit crazy usually, but with their new paint all round they were were going out come hell or high water), Nandi (what a spirited crew who never back off), and Quest of course (thats me). Savannah, usually very game for the fresh conditions, had her crew out of town unfortunately, as with a few of the others. Lots of splashing and grunting, a few hats lost, shoes in the water, salt in the hair, 8-9kts showing at times - it was all over after a single sausage from Dunes-Chappies. Pat said he found muscles huring he didn't even know he had, even a few Oysters he thinks. Me too. Nothing like a bit of fresh air to make an ordinary hamburger taste like the kings food.

Results under PHRF
1 Faraway (nice to see the regular crew back to christen the new paint!)
2 Nandi (totally under control and sailing very consistently)
3 Quest (the smallest boat with the biggest name!)

More next week!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Youth Sailing

Pic from Roy's trusty Canon G11
The boatyard is now complete, and phase one of the Lotto proposal has been completed right on time,  budget and scope. Credits to Jeremy Nel, and Alan Batley (Club Manager). The dinghies are parked under the covered storage, and the parts will be stored in the small shed. New security and lighting is also in place. Phase two will allow us to employ a trainer, a new fleet of dinghies, and  a new campaign for the L26 keelboats. Meanwhile, Sam, our "development sailing man", has made arrangements with local schools to get the existing dinghies on the water and active, beginning in December. The first stage is for the 8-12 age-group - it looks like an exciting programme!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Club Champs Postponed

Regrettably, the club champs scheduled for 19-20 November has been postponed due to a fair number of boats unavailable. We will try for a date in Jan or Feb.

More Boatyard!

Thanks to Roy for the latest pic of our Boatyard! The covered area is for dinghy storage for the Youth Sailing Dinghies and associated kit, plus the JML boat and trailers etc. This is the first stage as defined in an ambitious programme made possible by the Lotto funding, and HBYC is proud to be doing its part in making it all happen. Soon the walls will be painted, and the official Lotto signage will be put in place. I think I feel a party coming on soon!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Updated N-o-R for Club Racing

click here to see it all on the "Sailing Noticeboard"

More cruising news

Click here to read the latest from "The Road" now in Singapore and Malaysia

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wednesday Night Sailing results

1 Nandi (Dix 34, Nick Fairley)
2 Megafreight (S imonis 35, J Ocenasek)
3 Aquamaniac (Pacer 27 CR, J Roux)

Cool weather and a bit of a chop on the water, and a mild Westerly, enabled the fleet to manage a traingle and a sausage in the bay, followed by usual bar and galley fare. Another good mid-week break!

Its nice to see genuine competition for the podium from all boats, using pure club handicap ratings.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Opening Cruise 2011

 The "Blazer Bunch", awaiting the fleet!
Bless them all, the long and the short and the tall!

Despite grey skies, imminent rain, and a blustery Northwester, the summer season was opened in style! The Hout Bay Gunners (including our own other Jeremy (Hele)) put on a good show, firing four loud shots across the bay, as our President, Commodore and their wives took the salute from the fleet.

It was great to see boats of all shapes and sizes, Ferries, NSRI, a hobie cat, a R.I.B., and many yachts crossing the bay - nearly all flying some kind of bunting. Not to mention the marina workboat, piloted by Alan and Lawrence, one on the throttle, and one on the tiller! Great effort there!

All credits to Penny, Janet and Jeremy, Alan Batley, the Gunners, and the bar staff! Also our good old Commodore and President who do their bit very well each year, including driving their own boat! And of course all the sailors who made the effort to be out in the inclement weather. All enjoyed it.
A great party followed at the club - well into the wee hours!
See the full gallery here!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Cape Point

I have rounded Cape Point four times in the last few weeks. Its an amazing spectacle - like Hout Bay and Chapmanspeak, one never tires of it! Its also a good test of navigation - there are rocks, reefs and kelp to avoid. Not to mention some bouncy water . . . pick yer weather wisely!

Cape Point at 11:30 on 19 October 2011, viewed from a 44' Cat we were delivering.

Here we have Chris Sutton (in the red) in a rare moment where he wasn't bumping his poor bald head. Tojan Winterbach, normally an airline pilot, is at the wheel, trying to get used to  4 knots instead of 400 knots!

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Boatyard!

Great progress in our boatyard!
There is a great article in Roy's blog - read it here!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Latest Jibsheet!

Read it all here!   (PDF Version)

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Progress in the Boatyard

This was not a trivial crane moving the red boat.
 If the paving could take this it should be ok I think!

With red boat out of the way,
work is progressing on the storage areas and boatracks.

Friday, September 30, 2011

2011 Opening Cruise!

click to see full size version!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

More news from "The Road" now in Indonesia!

Read it all in HBYC Cruising World

Thanks to Roy for passing this on.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Playground!

Can there be many more impressive arenas to sail in?
Summer is back and Wednesday evening racing starts soon  . . .
Thanks again to Roy for this great pic.

Hout Bay Brickyard making progress!

Smartest Boatyard in town! Nearly done.
Just to match the smartest yacht club I think . . .
Thanks to Roy McBride for the pictures as always!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Boatyard!

Thanks to Roy McBride for the pic!
Work is going ahead at full steam to clear and pave the Boatyard. This is stage-1 in an exciting new project to upgrade the youth-sailing facilities, funded by the National Lotto. As usual, thanks to Jeremy!

Boatshow Weekend!

“Don’t Miss the Boat” Show!
Friday and Saturday 10h00 – 18h00, Sunday 10h00 – 17h00. Discounted price of R35 to holders of valid yacht club cards - remember to take your "up to date" card with you!

For further information visit

And don't forget its also Spring regatta this weekend!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Sea Gypsies

Per previous post - Steve and Renata - on Dixi Rollar - turned back from sea to Jacare on account of heavy weather. Now they decided to head for the Caribbean instead! What can I say - they'll meet half of Hout Bay there - the other half. . . . such is the life of Sea Gypsies . . . .

Dido had it spot on with these lyrics:
I've always thought
that I would love to live by the sea
To travel the world alone
and live more simply
I have no idea what's happened to that dream
Cos there's really nothing left here to stop me

See for the rest of those lyrics and dream on!

Friday, September 9, 2011

News from Dixi Rollar

Steve and Renata have turned back to Jacare after battling with severe weather. Read it here.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Sunday Sailing Results

Megafreight drifts in, 1st across the line on Sunday
Thanks to Roy McBride and his trusty Canon G11 for the pic!

Due to the light wind conditions we managed only one windward-leeward from Dunes to Chappies. However all boats finished, leaving time for a few drinks at the club!

Results on RCYC Club Handicap:
1. Nandi (Nick Fairley, DiDi 34)
2. Megafreight (J Ocenasek, Simonis 35)
3. Hot Ice (Peter Roeloffze, Modified Mount Gay 30)
4. Savannah (K Gemmell, Miura 31)

Friday, September 2, 2011

Letter from Dudley Dix

Hi Justin,

I had the Kiwis Nigel and Genie Watson in my crew on "Black Cat" for a few years. Nigel said he always had the opinion that if you could sail in Auckland then you could sail anywhere in the world. Then they moved to Cape Town and he realised that he was wrong. After that he said that if you could sail in Cape Town you could sail anywhere in the world.

You might remember Barry Viljoen from RCYC, owner of the maroon Farr 40 "Santana". He lives in Fort Lauderdale and laughed off their first few hurricanes as puny compared with Cape Town weather. Then Hurricane Wilma went over them in 2005 as Category 3. After that Barry said that he would not stick around for any future major hurricanes, he said it was very frightening.

I was staying with friends about 10 years ago, when a hurricane was forming in the Atlantic. Dehlia told me on the phone that Cape Point had recorded 100 knot gusts that day, which also happened the day that we took "Black Cat" from our Hout Bay home to RCYC. I told them about it and also about the Easterlies in Hout Bay and fighting boats on the marinas in pitch darkness when you can't even stand on the marina. They said that they now realised why I was fairly unimpressed by their talk of hurricanes. I told them that many of the wooden houses here would have blown down in Cape Town.

You can use my email on the HBYC website. I would let you use the material from my talks but they are not in a suitable format. They were talks backed up by graphic-rich PowerPoint presentations. My Friday dinner talk was about growing up as a surfer and sailor in Cape Town and how I was influenced by the geographic, climatic and political idiosyncrasies of South Africa. I tried to explain to them that the conditions that petrify circum-navigators are taken in stride by local sailors and are a lot less dangerous than pirates in the Indian Ocean. I don't think that I was successful with convincing them but they did enjoy my talk. I also gave this talk to the local branch of SNAME (Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers) a couple of years ago.

My Saturday talk was a brief primer on sailboat design and the implications of choices made about hull shape, rudder, keel, rig etc on the behaviour and performance of the resulting boat. I also did this one as a 4 hour lecture at one of the local yacht clubs earlier this year. It is based on a series of articles that I wrote years ago for SA Yachting. I have recently updated these articles and turned them into chapters for my book "Shaped by Water". I think the articles are probably too long for use on the HBYC website. I think that I must also write a chapter based on my Friday dinner talk; it will work well as an introduction to explain my origins in boat design.
Sunday was a panel discussion, answering questions from the floor. The panel was myself, designer John Simpson and two boatbuilders, Pete Silva and Brian Russell. Most of the questions related to rudders, engine installations etc.


P.S. Dudley will be in CT later this year and has promised to pop-in and visit us at the club. Maybe we can entice him to a Thursday Fireside Chat, and a bit of a sail?

Thursday, August 25, 2011

San Franscisco gears up for 2013 Americas Cup

Thanks to Eric Levin (an ex-colleague and good friend) - for this pic, taken yesterday in San Francisco. Lets hope the politics get sorted out in time!

Monday, August 22, 2011

News from Dixi Rollar

Hello everybody,hope things going fine. Well,almost 3 month when I send our last email. So,here another up date. We have met some yachtis all who have been in Cape Town: Ryan&Brenda Cilliers on 'Island Khaya',Alistair&Sue Easton on 'African Star' ( both couples from South African), John on 'Faraway' and Nick&Jill and they daughter Roxy on 'Mallymawk'. Officially we became a Godparents of a girl and a boy,so for someone didn't want kids I have 4: 2 step daughters and 2 godchildren,probably the best motherhood ever ! Hahahaha. We manage to put the boat on the river bank and scrape 1 1/2 year of growth of the bottom of the boat and antifoul her,all that happen in 2 days(see the photos below). We are waiting for the wind to turn in our favour,but look's like Steve's visa will expired before that happens,so we will have to motor sail almost a day to get away from the coast and beat against the wind and current before we can sail down. So,we will be set sail on the first weekend of September,that will be on the 3rd or 4th.Steve 's birthday will be on the Ocean(04/09). We put some adds on find a crew website,but no luck. My niece would come with us if wasn't for passport issue. So,just myself,Steve and God will set sail. Who didn't want that crew member,this last one is the most qualified! Hope to see some of you in Cape Town before Xmas! Love and Beijos Renata&Steve

Friday, August 12, 2011

Roger Orpen's son Chester joins the tallship "Stadt Amsterdam"

Life on a tallship is quite interesting, not to put too fine a point on it. For a young school-leaver it will be an amazing adventure, and I must say I envy the lad when comparing with the two years national service we had in the bad old days! 

Read about it in the HBYC Cruising World section.

Stadt Amsterdam under full sail

Monday, August 8, 2011

Jeanne Socrates, SV Nereida

For me, one of the nicest things about being part of a club like HBYC, situated at the foot of Africa, is the string of amazing people who visit us from time to time. The latest is Jeanne Socrates, a very brave woman and sailor, who is singlehanding her Najad 380 all over the world, in a quest to do a singlehanded non-stop circumnavigation. Jeanne gave a talk at the HBYC clubhouse last Thursday evening, telling us of her adventures, including a vicious knockdown off Cape Horn. In her brief time in Cape Town she has climbed every mountain, seen every beach, and even done some club sailing! Fit and fearless!!!

left-click for fullsize
Jeanne's home, SV Nereida, parked in the HBYC Marina

Of all the long-distance cruisers to come this way, I think this one must be the neatest, cleanest best-kept example of the lot. Note the handy cutter rig, and the ample powerstation on the gantry. Inside she is very well fitted and comfortable.

We wish Jeanne all the best for her future adventures! Read her blog and website at Her radio (ham) callsign is KC2IOV.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Christmas in July!

"Christmas in July" was undoubtedly one of the best parties at HBYC in recent years!

I simply don't have words to explain this one, but the pictures tell the story quite nicely!

This event was remarkable in that so many people were involved - all helping to make it happen - just the way a club should be! Never mind our Commodore and the First Lady - sporting legends have no bounds, or boundaries it seems! Never mind the rest of 'em too. You know who you are - Berend, Parker, Henk, Henry etc. Throw in a couple of wigs, hats and some fishnet stockings, mix with gluwein, and your camera will pay for itself in minutes!

In the true spirit of Christmas, a quick whip-around raised quite a few hundred rands for the bar staff, which el-Commodore graciously presented on behalf of the party! Thanks to all of them.

All credit to CEO Penny Geyser and the all-star cast of:

Father Christmas: Berend
Fairies: Robin and Henk
Choreography: Audrey
Gluwein Welcome Drink: Cheryl
Tuna Pate: Janet
Turkey: cooked by La Cuccina and carved by George
Hams: cooked by Henrie and also by Janet’s sister, Ann
Traditional Stuffing: Ann Dean
Crispy Stuffing and Gravy: Les Appleby
Cheese/broccolli Bake: Janet
Trifle: Penny
Mince Pies: Cheryl
With thanks to Anita, Cheryl and Les for the loan of the hot trays
Collection of Turkeys: Pat & Pat
Special Wines: Jurgen
Service: Verna, Wayne, Thelma, Yaolin, Barnet, and team!!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dow Racing in Mozambique

A beautiful morning dawned on the Mozambican North coast. It is 10 July and the race time is set to coincide with that of the HBYC winter series at 10h00. Rian (Turner) Peter (Roeloffze) is debating which fleet will be bigger. They concluded that the 10 one - or soon to be two man - Dows they have rounded up must be more than that which will be on the starting line in Hout Bay.

While much debating is taking place regarding the “charter fees” and prize money – which in the end was R 120 per boat – and the skippers briefing, the breeze built to a steady 12 knots which when considering the boats, is more like a hurricane! The crew was divided in two groups and two separated races was decided on. The course, reach to the weather mark, run down to the leeward bouy - which in fact is a huge catamaran, - a sausage back to the weather mark and after the last leeward rounding, reach/fetch back to the beach.

Starting orders was form the rescue boat, an aluminum dinghy aptly named “tinny” and all went well on the reach across to the weather mark and the run down the 500 or so meters to the bottom of the course. Unbeknown to us luxury yachties, these boats have a cunning inability to capsize and lose their sprit in heavy wind. Alas half the boats lost their crew attempting to round the leeward mark and the remainder ended up reaching away from the weather buoy. After several hundred meters further and a few jibe attempts, 4 out of the ten boats started the long way back to the weather mark. The Course was shortened and form the weather mark, the Dows reached back to shore with Rian firmly in the lead. He of course claims the result would still have been the same even if I was sailing and not manning the rescue boat!

The next lot of crew got ready and the second race was wisely altered (and shortened) to include reaches and fetches only. We set sail from the beach to the old weather mark, back to a slightly leeward mark on the beach and after another fetch and reach saw your humble author romping home well ahead of the next boat. Maybe some sailing knowledge of the crew did assist the winning skippers in the two races??

Prize giving was quite a grand affair. Beautiful homemade trophies from driftwood and indigenous shells , personally engraved with the skippers name and race data was handed over by our host and proprietor of Situ Lodge, Hans Wedderman. The biggest attraction of course was the big pot of prize money - 840 Meticas = R 210.00 and is the roughly a weekly salary for these fishermen. Not bad for a Sunday mornings fun.

One wonders how adventurous a sail in the stormy Cape seas would be on one of these boats!

Thanks to Peter Roeloffze and Rian Turner, for article and pics!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Christmas in July!! Sunday 31 July!

Did you see salty old goat with the flag. Look again. He's the guy in the lower half of the picture but you didn't see him did you?

Christmas in July is a great party! Well it was last year! Don't miss it! Sunday 31 July. Lunchtime.

Limited number of places left so please contact Penny Geyser on 0736 111 444 if you have not already bought your tickets!

Fireside Chat! Thursday 4 August 19:30

Jeanne Socrates (from Nereida) will be giving a talk and slide show on her recent 14-month solo circumnavigation, which included a second nonstop RTW attempt. Bring your friends to hear this amazing story. Special Galley menu for this night will include Wilma's homemade chicken or steak pie with chips and (optional!) gravy.

Hope to see you there !

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Windy Bay is back . . .

Some of us thought the wind of last summer exhausted the supply forever. Certainly the last two weeks have been totally windfree and awesome. Not this weekend. I took the unusual step of cancelling Sunday racing on the Saturday already - the forecast showed high South-Easters for 3 days. Its hard to trust the weather forecast when low-pressure cells are involved, but in this case there was a huge High Pressure just below Africa at 1028 Mb. No mistakes here. Hout Bay suffers the wind especially because of the acceleration near the mountains. At the Post Office a huge Bluegum (Australian Eucalyptis) had collapsed into the parking area. Covered the entire car park. The beach road was covered in sand - in fact I saw one car being towed out in the middle of the "tarred road". The pics below show the surface water being lifted 50m into the air, due to the Katabatic Winds coming down from Chapmanspeak. Sailors call the mouth of the bay "Thunder Alley" because it is really quite scary entering the bay under sail in these conditions. And today it was cold as well.

Takes 40+ knots to lift water off the surface like that.

White water all over the bay. If you look carefully, the small white streak below Victoria road is the NSRI RIB doing their Sunday morning exercises. It was quite bouncy for them even near the beach. Give that boat a Bells!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Quotes of the Sea

"Cruising has two pleasures. One is to go out to Wider Waters from a Sheltered Place. The other is to go into a Sheltered Place from Wider Waters"
Howard Bloomfield 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Cape Town Waterfront

The Waterfront was quite amazing this morning! To see it and loads of nice boats, I think you can click here!
left-click for a larger version

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

News from Sheer Tenacity!

Rod and Mary are still doing the dream in all those exotic locations, and driving me slowly crazy. Read their latest blogpost at
left-click for fullsize pic
Here they are with Jeremy and Yvonne - from SV Jervon, all looking rather well! Rod must have taken the pic.