Friday, February 4, 2011

Russian off again!

STOP PRESS
 Our Russian friends are leaving on Monday 7 Feb now. The leaving ceremony intended for Sunday will not be held. Apologies for the change - there has been much confusion one way and another. We wish them and their craft "Energy Diet" fair winds and calm seas for their next leg up the coast to Namibia!
Good turnout at HBYC for the press-conference with the Russians on Energy Diet.

Our friends the intrepid Russian voyagers are off again on Sunday - this time for Brazil via Namibia - in their amazing inflatable trimaran! They gave us an absolutely amazing talk last night at the yacht club - and showed some INCREDIBLE video footage of their approach to Hout Bay as they surfed over the reefs at outer-kom on their way in. This is sailing footage you will NEVER SEE AGAIN! I will try and post some when I get my hands on it. They tried to explain something about needing to stay inshore because the strong South Easter was blowing them away, but going over the Kommetjie Reefs and kelp in a raging South Easter with 5m breaking swells did seem a bit bold in the circumstances, not to put too fine a point on it. They flew clean over the kelp and simply surfed on! The cameraman had the presence of mind (if thats a suitable phrase) to film it - complete with rolling breakers coming up from behind and going over them. Extreme sportsmen by their own admission . . . I cant relay the whole thing here - suffice to say they wont be getting many paying guests as I see it.

I managed to catch a bit about them not being Gypsies, but crazy Russian travellers! The Captain disagreed - VERY crazy Russian travellers according to him. They aren't quite sure what has motivated their voyage - a combination of a Guiness World Record, lust for adventure, proving what inflatable monohulls can do - or a combination - they aren't sure. I think it might be the "Energy Diet" milkshakes they live on - don't know why anyone hasn't analysed those tubs of white powder properly . . . . However since they got here they'll carry on!


The one with the beard speaks English and is called "Jack", luckily

They are a really cheerful and nice bunch! Sang a lovely sea-shanty to us all at the end (not in English I think), and commended Chris Sutton and the club for all the hospitality. Special mention to our Craig McGiver of NSRI (and well known to us all), for jumping onto their boat out at the Kom and showing them in. They named him "best man in SA" which brought many cheers.  They say this gave them tremendous moral support.

Now - undaunted by this all - and after more makeshift repairs involving bits of string, wood, elastic bands and chewing gum (two of them have PhDs in Material Science) - they are leaving again - for Brazil - on Sunday.

We want to give them a good Hout Bay send-off as usual - and will get as many boats on the water to wish them on! Our Commodore has suggested a braai on the water and a bit of a raft-up - bring your boats, sausages, whistles, flags, guests, etc - and be there on Sunday at 10:30 onwards. Paddlers welcome, lilos, canoes, marina boats and dinghies also. The weather looks awesome!

Sunday morning - 10:30 - don't forget!