A stressful pre-departure caused by some unwelcome news combined with the depressing thought of missing Teresa, Sam, and Ella made starting this trip hard. But, thanks to an English couple I met on safari I decided to channel my inner honey badger. Read on, and I’ll explain.
Before moving on to the news that stressed me out or a status update, the honey badger requires some explanation. Some time ago a YouTube video about honey badgers went viral. Not only is the animal itself awesome, but the narration of the video is fantastic. So please, for your own sake, check out the following video. Once you do you’ll see why I channeled my inner honey badger to press on in the face of adversity.
About three days after I sent money to the boat insurance broker to start the binding process and just a few before departure, he informed me that the insurer had changed its mind about insuring the boat for the Atlantic crossing. The insurer decided that it wanted me to add two more crew members with Atlantic crossing experience, which is simply not possible at this stage. Even if I could find two more crew, I don’t have anywhere to put them.
The process of seeking coverage from other insurers is underway. Fingers crossed.
The other crisis that emerged right before departure was the delay of the two pallets of supplies. In earlier blogs I mentioned the large amount of shopping, packing, and loading of pallets to be shipped to Cape Town. They include almost all the items one needs to have on a fully-equipped cruising boat including pots, pans, towels, sheets, safety gear, first aid kits, tools, etc.
The pallets were supposed to be on a ship a few days before my departure for South Africa. But then came the email explaining that due to cargo shipping delays, the pallets were not yet loaded on a ship. Worse yet, they weren’t going to make it on a ship in time for the crossing.
We were able to convert the shipping to air transport at a sphincter-puckering cost. Phew, crisis over — or so I thought. When I packed those pallets they were going by ship and Lithium-Ion batteries were okay. Air transport, however, does not allow Lithium-Ion batteries. So with only 24 hours until departure for South Africa I had to scramble to arrange for the removal of those batteries. Luckily, this project turned out to be achievable and the pallets are now in Cape Town waiting for Wild Rumpus to launch.
Delta/KLM Forgets My Luggage
My 22 hours of flying to Cape Town from San Francisco were actually about as pleasant as such a long flight could be. When my first plane landed in Amsterdam I easily walked to my second flight, which departed just one hour later. But, my luggage did not. All of my bags, each with a “priority” tag, were left sitting in Amsterdam.
I travel a lot for work and don’t get too bent out of shape when things happen. Usually, the airline representative is apologetic and gives me details on when I can expect my bag. KLM, Delta’s international partner, however, does not believe in customer service. They would not tell me when my bags would arrive, would not answer any phone number at the baggage office, or even respond to the other various forms of inquiry they suggest (text, messenger, etc). Nothing.
My bags were delayed three days, which meant I could not move onto the planned safari in Kruger National Park. I spent those three days hanging out in the V&A Waterfront. While a lovely spot, the combination of jet lag, angst about my bags, and my own stench tainted the experience.
When I finally arrived at Kruger National Park, it was raining and cold. Nevertheless, we spotted some cool animals on a rainy drive Day two of my safari we did a 5-mile hike through the park and spotted lions close enough to be concerning.
Rather than describing the safari, I’ll let my pictures show you how spectacular it was despite the bad weather. More updates to come.
Here she is walking passed our truck. She is as close as she appears in the video.