Friday, April 30, 2010

Gone for the Holidays

I would love to say "Gone Fishing for 3 Weeks" but we're in fact going off to the Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park for about 10 days, starting on Monday. This is going to be our first decent holiday since moving to the Cape almost 18months ago (can't believe time has gone by so quickly).

Our trip includes a couple of loops into the Botswana side of the park, areas which have almost no infrastructure, so we'll be shitting in holes and showering from a plastic bag with holes in it for those parts of the trip. It should be interesting to say the least.

I've kitted out the bakkie with a second battery system, bought a new camping fridge/freezer, tent, and a whole bunch of other camping accessories.

As a result of the trip, I'll be posting even less than I have been for a while. I'll try and take a journal on the trip, though, so that I can bore the pants off you all again.

I'll be taking two cameras and a DVD camera as well, so lookout for the story and pics sometime into the future.

While I'm gone, take care, y'all...xx

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Boats, planes, heli's and swells...

I woke up this morning feeling my age and every sore joint in my body, after having spent 12hrs on a bouncing boat on the NSRI exercise at Hout Bay yesterday.

I was up at 03h00, off to the Kommetjie base to meet up with the guys and then to cruise around from Simonstown to HB in a Butt Cat, from about 04h30, courtesy of my StatCom who was going to use it as the Press Boat for the day and he needed crew. Let me tell you, gusts up to 40knots at Cape Point, head-on sea and driving spray, it was not pleasant. In fact, we broke a part of the boat called the Bow Flair on the nose which deflects water at the bow. A huge wave crashed into us and decided it didn't like the flair and tried to break it off.

The rest of that leg of the trip was relatively uneventful thanks to a following swell once we got around the Point, and the dawn made it all that more pleasant.

Hout Bay and the exercise was great. Calm seas, light winds and warm weather.

The exercise went off reasonably well involving the NSRI from bases between Kommetjie and Melkbos, SAAF helicopters, Metro and other medical agencies and a bunch of other folks. I got some great photos which I have uploaded a few here. Our boat was full of photographers snapping multiple shots of everything from heli's, to seals and even the NSRI logo on the back of my jacket. One doos from the Beeld got seasick and didn't even apologise when I fished his cap from the water after it got blown off when he went up to sit on the flying bridge...what a knob.

After the debriefing, my StatCom decided to take a few of the landlubbers out to Seal Island on a jolly and, not wanting to sit around doing bugger-all, I went with them. That is probably the last time I go there. I knew seals are smelly critters, but the stink from that island would peel chrome off a pole. Sheesh...

After dropping the folks back at HB, we decided to refuel and head back to Simonstown as the weather was still nice. Little did we know it was only nice on that side of the peninsula. As we got to Scarborough, the wind picked up again and the swell came in hard and fast, again kicking up spray so that we could hardly see out of the windows.

At Cape Point, we went through some swell that made the night before feel like ripples on a pond. Without clear visibility, I was watching through the starboard side screen for waves that would curl and break just before they got to us so that we could ease off on the throttles and let the swell move under us. If we hadn't done that, the swells were steep enough to surf and we could have ploughed the nose into a wave in front of us, probably causing us to submarine and potentially broaching us to the swell which wold have just flipped us over. We were taking no chances, especially as the StatCom had his 9yr old son on board.

Anyway, the last leg from inside the point to Simonstown went off pretty quick thanks to the following swell and we eventually tied up at just after 16h30. I enjoy the ocean and being on it, but I don't think I have ever been as happy to set foot on a floating quay...

After cleaning up, I still had to go back to the base and pick up the Mazda-rati and head home for a shower before friends came around for dinner.

Needless to say, I am sore all over this morning, having held on for dear life for most of the round trip, so....once again, apologies for not coming to have fun with you at Sparks Bay. I hope everyone had a great time and won some kewl prizes...and enjoyed a few cold ones with some new mates...

Speak to you all soon again, though perhaps not for the next three weeks as we are off in a week's time for a two week stay in the Kgalagadi Park on holiday...

Thursday, April 15, 2010

South Africa needs Malema

I was emailed this article this morning, by SWMSBO. At first I thought, yeah right, we need that fucker like we need another George W Bush. But then I thought about it over a sandwich and realised, on the one hand, that we actually do need him, for the reasons below, but on the other hand we need him to disappear into obscurity, like yesterday.

I have no idea who "Jono" is (other than being the author of the article), and I don't know where it was published. I just felt it should be read and deliberated by the masses...

by Jono - O
2010-03-24 07:26
Since the first time I heard Julius Malema preach hate I have harboured a deep seeded resentment toward him and his alienation tactics, hate speech, mindless babble and other forms of bigotry only fit for the 12th century. For the first time in 14 years I became a vocal critic of the ANC and what it has become.

I always gave them the benefit of the doubt until this little egotistical megalomaniac came along. Like many peace loving South Africans I was gobsmacked by the cheek of this man parading as the self proclaimed future leader of the ANC and the country with all the answers.

The sudden realisation that we actually need Malema ironically dawned on me on Human Rights Day. Malema is exactly what this country needs. He is the catalyst to the systematic implosion of the ANC. He will systematically weather down the little goodness the ANC has left. He is like a time bomb planted in the middle of Luthuli House.

Malema through all his juvenile ranting and sociopathic public tantrums, personal attacks and publicly played out vendettas is destroying the reputation of the ANC quicker than any opposition party could ever dream of doing. He is systematically diluting the credibility of the ANC with every silly word carved out of his "struggling" mind. He is making a mockery of all the ANC's hard fought freedoms, their laws, constitution, leaders, elders, alliance partners and all Mandela wanted for South Africa . Zuma eventually publically denounced rogue members attacking other politicians in the media and the very next day Malema verbally attacked the PAC and the Boer. This shows how much he cares about what our president says.

Malema is a rogue pathogen and the unfortunate host in this case is the ANC. By definition pathogens harm their hosts by producing toxins that promote infection and illness. Malema and his self serving prophecy are toxic to the ANC and making it sicker and weaker by the day.

The government seems unwilling or unable to stop him and with each passing day he sucks more blood out of the ANC and spits it at the feet of the true heroes of the struggle and its alliance partners. A struggle he speaks of like he was there. He was 13 in 1994. What could he possibly know about the struggle?

Isn't it ironic that at the peak of Malema 's hate speech and pointless rhetoric the opposition parties are talking aim and forming an alliance? It's as if they sense the rumblings of weakness and vulnerability in the ruling party. Never before has the ANC been dogged with so many controversies, from a presidential love child to vast corruption and illegal tenders.

As a tax payer I am disgusted at the opulent behaviour of the ANC and its members at the expense of the people of this country. The hypocrisy is preposterous and unbecoming of any government, let alone that of a poor third world country with huge socio-economic inequalities, spiralling crime levels, highest HIV infection rates on earth and mass corruption.

The hypocrisy of Malema also shows the depth of his understanding of the term Boer. The very same "Boers" that he wants to shoot are the farmers that farm the chickens that make the Nandos that he feeds on daily.

I hope others incensed by Malema can share in this sentiment. It took a lot of soul searching for me to unearth this understanding and with it peace of mind. So don't pack for Australia just yet, stick around a little longer and watch this beast go down in a blaze of glory. Malema has a job to do and we need to let him do it. In a couple of years he will be history. His thoughtless words and provocations will bring the ANC down, just like the struggle songs spurred the demise of white oppressive rule.

History is what it is. The future is now. Yes, we do need to remember the fundamental principles that liberated South Africa , but not so we hate and resent our oppressors but so we can learn and design our future through compassion, tolerance and positive community input and political leadership.

Malema is a racist, his words and actions make it so. We all know where racism got us in the first place. Songs about death, or killing members of our diverse society where everyone is offered the same protection by the constitution is wrong and unconstitutional.

So instead of trying to shut him up and fearing him, rather encourage him. Your emotions just like mine are wasted on "Mal Malema". The quicker he can destroy the ANC and its alliances the quicker a new government can fix this mess that is South Africa 2010. The word is out that South Africa 's first real all inclusive opposition party is in the wings. Good things await us, we all deserve it.