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American Spirit II - Day 336; We Move the Boat to Royal Cape Yacht Club; Monday, December 8, 2014

Up at 5:40 AM. I send an email to the World Cruising Club requesting a letter to use for our Visa applications for Brazil. We have to get a Visa for Brazil because Brazilians must get a Visa to enter the US, so Brazil demands the same stuff we require their citizens on entering the US. Members from the European Union are exempt. Its laborious and requires that I give them two passport photos; a copy of my driver's license; a copy of a bank statement; and that Joel and Jeanine both have letters from me, as Captain and Owner of the boat, stating that I am responsible for them financially and that they will be entering Brazil on a boat and leaving on a boat.

Our boat is scheduled to be hauled at 12:00 PM at the Royal Cape Yacht Club, so we leave our slip at 11:00 AM. Civetta II is getting hauled at 1:30 PM to have their bottom painted, also. We have to go thru the bascule and then a draw bridge to exit the marina harbor area. They open at 15 minutes and 45 minutes after the hour, but only if we call them. I call them as we leave our dock space and am told they will open at 11:15 AM. However, that doesn't happen. The swing bridge opens a minute or so late; but the bascule bridge opens 5 minutes late at 11:20 AM. We call them on the radio a few times and am told the bridge is opening, but it doesn't happen. Finally it does, but besides Civetta II and American Spirit II leaving, two large cabin cruisers are entering and another large catamaran is leaving. And the area under the bridges is only big enough for one boat to fit at a time. We contact the other boats and coordinate who goes in what order.

The Royal Cape Yacht Club is only 15-20 minutes away, and we pass a large oil derrick having some work done on it along the way. It is HUGE. Once at the RCYC we see that it is gigantic in size, with 550 boats in slips. Yikes! We proceed to the crane/haul out area and find out that a new boat is being commissioned and put into the water, and that our haul out will not be on time. The wind is starting to pick up as we wait, and that is important because at 20 knots the crane shuts down. The wind starts blowing at 15 knots. The wind creates a problem in holding our position waiting for the haul out area to clear, so to make matters easier we throw a loop onto a harbor police cleat and dock, which says 'no boats allowed,' and then wait until 2:50 PM when we can finally approach the dock. Because the newly commissioned cabin cruiser is still tied up to a dock in the haul out area, we have to squeeze by it without hitting it and a row of parked sail boats tied up in their slips. We clear the sail boats by inches, then tie up and are finally hauled. The crane used to haul us is old, because back home much newer lift devices are used which are quicker, easier and use much less labor. There are 6 marina workers doing our haul out. Other than trying to stretch and break our port backstay, all goes well. After we're hauled out, I call Civetta II and they come in and are hauled next. The haul out manager tells me that my boat weight, as determined by the crane, is 10,700 kilos, or 23,540 pounds. My boat empty weight is 18,200 pounds. So we have 5,340 pounds of fuel, water and supplies on board. That's a lot. No wonder we're so low in the water.

At 5:45 PM we take a taxi to our hotel, the Holiday Inn Express. Jeanine has gotten us and Civetta II each a room at the hotel, costing $91.00 per night. At 6:05 PM we're at the hotel.

We take a taxi to the marina at 7:00 PM to go to a going-away party at Avocet for Ollie and Meme from Saphir. Derry and Margaret from Avocet have hired 4 locals to play music on the dock. They saw them earlier in the day playing with a hat on the side walk for tips. Everyone from the ARC is there, except Boingo Alive and some people who've already headed home for Christmas.

We're back at the hotel around 10:00 PM. Joel goes right to bed and Jeanine and I watch the movie 'Mr. Brooks,' with Kevin Costner playing a serial killer. A very good movie. We're in bed by 11:30 PM. Jeanine and Joel are sharing a double bed, and I'm on the floor on a sofa bed. Perhaps the lumpiest and most uncomfortable bed I've ever slept on in my life. Such is the cruising life.

Brian Fox

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