L O G B O O K - by Michelle Philp


TUE 21st DEC - Our presence alongside the navy dock attract’s a fair amount of attention, onlookers are quite taken with this yacht from the Fiji Islands and we spend most part of the morning answering questions about Tau’s history and explaining exactly where Fiji is located. Oh, and the inevitable question’s about rugby! South Africans are an affable people and have a great affinity for Australia and New Zealand and this feeling is generally extended to our island in the Pacific that we call home.

A very nice Irishman wanders over for a chat and introduces himself as Terence Murphy, a retired army colonel and a keen sailor, now living in Simons Town. We strike up a friendship and an invitation is extended to us to join him and his family in the ensuing days.

WED 22nd - With everyone in holiday mode and this the festive season, we amuse ourselves reading, lying on deck and watching the seals play in the water around us, catching up on correspondence and attending to minor maintenance work about the yacht.

THUR 23rd - Late afternoon the crew is picked up and whisked over to the Murphys beautiful home for cocktails where we meet the rest of the family - Terence’s bubbly French wife Brigitte, daughter Clare-Laure and her fiance John, second daughter Caroline and her fellow medical student friend Rose. We spend a fantastic evening in the company of this very interesting and charming family and are quite overwhelmed by their hospitality. There is no doubt that when we finally leave South African shores we will do so with very special memories of the wonderful people who have taken us into their homes and overwhelmed us with their kindness.

SAT 25th - Christmas Day! The galley is out of bounds as Lydia spends the entire morning cooking up a storm. It’s a hot day and we all sit down under the cool shade of the cockpit’s awning to a sumptuous lunch of roast turkey and vegetables, pudding and pie. Later in the afternoon we walk down to the bleached white sand of Boulders Beach (as the penguins do) and take a swim with them in the icy Atlantic Ocean. The beach is a hive of activity as picnickers and these flightless marine birds frolic together, it’s an amusing sight.

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