Zimbabwe, April & May 2012 - Lake Kariba - Sailing Regatta.

During our Zim 4x4 trip we discussed sailing on Lake Kariba with Dick, Sally and Mac. They suggested that we take part in the May Regatta, which sounded fun so we said yes! When we got back to Kuimba Shiri Gary and Elcine very kindly offered to lend us one of their yachts (they were also taking part in the regatta) however after some discussion we decided that we shouldn't go on our own but would join in with another crew.

We went to a meeting a few days before the start of the regatta and after chatting to a few people we agreed to meet with Helen and her 2 year old twins as she needed a crew because her husband, Robin, had said that he would skipper another yacht.

The large catamaran on the right was our 'home' for the week of the regatta.

The crew: Helen (skipper), Kevin, Felicity and the 2 year old twins, Peter and Edward (and me of course!)

Most of the yachts (there were monohulls, catamarans and trimarans) were taking part in the 6 days of racing however we were happy just to get from A to B. Some days we did attempt to 'race' but didn't take it seriously. On the whole the twins behaved very well and Felicity was good at keeping them amused so that Helen could concentrate on sailing. We all slept on board, Kevin and I slept outside on the main deck (usually under a mosquito net), Helen and the twins had one cabin and Felicity had the other one.

The start of the first day's racing at the regatta.

Every afternoon we'd have a swim/wash in the net at the back of the catamaran - safer than swimming in the Lake because of crocodiles.

There were about 25 yachts taking part and each evening we'd stay in a different sheltered bay along the shoreline of Lake Kariba.

In some places there were 50 year old mopane trees that were still standing and needed to be avoided - plus a careful watch for any just below the waterline.

Mac was the Regatta organiser and had a speedboat so that he could get from the startline to the finish. Kevin spent one day with him and has a great time.

It's easy to take good photos in such a beautiful location.

One day the rope holding the main sail to the top of the mast broke. We'd left after most of the other boats but, luckily, had thought to buy extra petrol as we'd nearly used up our supply, so were able to use the motor most of the day. In the afternoon Robin arrived in his boat after he'd finished racing, and shinned up the mast (attached to a rope held by Helen

We spent 1 night at Tiger Bay and Kevin and I slept in this chalet rather than on the boat. The accommodation was fine but, unfortunately, the meal that they gave us in the evening was awful.

1. Kuimba Shiri Bird Park.

2. Zim 4x4 trip. Mana Pools, Chewore, Mkanga and Mavuradonha.

3. The Eastern Highlands - Nyanga National Park, Vumba and Chimanimani National Park.

4. Gonarezhou National Park.

5 Great Zimbabwe and Lake Mutirikwi.

6. Lake Kariba sailing regatta.

Diary (Word '97 document).

On several days we sailed along the shoreline of the Matusadona National Park. We saw lots of hippos and on a couple of days some elephants.



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