Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Big Surprise at Book Club

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Most of our Book Club ladies are over 60 so it shouldn't be a surprise that some have had remarkable lives.  Probably all. We are quite a cultural mix, Jewish, Afrikaans, ex-pats from Zimbabwe and England, Dutch: but we are all South African. While waiting for the evening to begin I noticed our new member, an elderly Dutch lady sitting next to me, was paging through a hand-written journal whose pages were so yellowed I asked her about it. She told me she had started to makes notes when at age 55 and 60 respectively, she and her husband set off from Cape Town in their 12m yacht and went on a 16-year trip around the world.  She is a Master Yachtsman (woman?) and her husband is a Master Mariner. They spent 3 years building their boat and then they were off, working for four months out of each year to fund the experience.  She shared one amazing story: they hit very bad weather out of Cape Town for three solid days when they set off and when they woke up on the fourth day, they didn't know where they were having been blown badly off course; luckily, there was a large navy boat in sight. M radioed the boat and identified herself, her husband and their yacht. To her amazement, her son was on board, part of the crew and he was summoned to greet his parents. Later that afternoon, when he was eating with his crewmates he remarked that he had just said hello to his parents.  When asked whether he had Skyped or phoned, he replied, "No, I just waved from the top deck."  Returned to dry land, her husband being 76, M decided they must sell the boat. "What was its name?" I asked.  "BBS" she said.  "Beg, borrow or steal".


  1. That is a great story. And it really is a small world.

    1. This kind of story is really envigorating, gives me a new zest for life and a determination to enjoy everything that comes my way.

  2. Wow, what an adventure and coincidence!