11am, Thursday 10th February: we sailed from Durban after 5 months, 5 days, 22 hours and 15 minutes. Not that I was counting. Time for Charles to shave his beard off:
Durban is a beautiful city, and we have all found ourselves very much at home there. We love the South Africans and their hospitality, especially that of our dear friends in Ballito, just outside Durban. We love KZN. We love ECR. And we love the Zulus. Photo below of the skyline of downtown Durban on the sail through the harbour...
...which is apparently the biggest commercial harbour in the Southern hemisphere with an average of over 20 ship movements a day...
(Richard, can you see which is the one you're to survey? I couldn't tell, there are so many)...
Anyway, what has been achieved in the 5 months, 5 days, 22 hours and 15 minutes, I hear you ask. Here goes:
Replacement of 6 old, noisy, unreliable and dirty generators with 4 super efficient, more economical and environmentally friendly brand new MAN generators;
Replacement of 2 old and unreliable air conditioning SABRO units with 2 shiny new and reliable Carrier units;
New engine room piping for cooling salt water, fire mains, heavy fuel, diesel fuel, fresh water, etc;
Replacement of engine controls in engine room and bridge;
7km of new cables between engines and bridge;
Modification of electrical switchboard;
New shelving in Deck 6 and Deck 2 food stores;
All lifeboats, life-rafts, and lifeboat davits serviced and all cables renewed;
All fire-fighting and SCUBA equipment repaired/serviced;
New Mercy Ships logo on funnel and along side;
Pool modified with installation of wave catchers;
More sprinklers installed in cargo hold;
Damaged windows replaced with new ones;
Main engines overhauled;
Tons and tons of provisions loaded;
All Land Rovers and Nissans repaired and serviced;
Elevator converted from manual to electronic, with fancy new controls, as modelled by Jesse:
Thank you for praying for us during this memorable but trying time during which God has been good to us all: it has been a time of refreshment and growth for some, and a time of hard work for others, especially our technical crew.
What's next: we sail for 3 days to Cape Town, where we hope to enjoy 24 hours of shore leave, then we've got a long sail to Sierra Leone, where we should arrive late February. And that's where God wants us!