Sunday, June 28, 2009

My South African friends and their Homebuilt Catamaran

I am always blessed to meet up with interesting people all the time. Several years ago (2004) one nice looking catamaran sailed in to Chukai and I happened to be at the car park next to the water front. I introduced myself to the sweating sailors as they stepped off their inflatable and that was the start of a long friendship with Jeanne and Don Pickers. Both of them are from South Africa.They were doing island hopping in the East Coast and they were on an extended holiday. I was invited to their Parley 38 catamaran which Don has built from plans. Now, Don is a professional farmer in South Africa and he has taken a few years of his spare time and spare money to build this magnificient sailing machine. There has been many magazine write ups about their building process and also their sailing adventures (Multihull International magazine). This guy Don is gifted in making things and I began a long process of picking his brain on boat building (The other guy whom I did a lot of brain digging on boat building is Robin Tan....more on him later). At first all these PVC foam, vacuum bagging,polyester resins etc seemed like Greek to me but thanks to a lot of stupid questions and attending University of Google I slowly began to understand more of it.Jeanne and Don's catamaran named KATRINE in Chukai.

I brought Don and Jeanne to my fruit farm to see if he could help me with the slow rate of growth of my trees.

Don as Jeanne puts it is the Man of man, always cheerful and forever in good mood. He has an eye for details and is very precise in his work. I almost cannot believe that his beautiful catamaran is home built! He knows alot about every thing and is not a specialist (A specialist is a person who knows alot about very little !). The little girl with the tongue sticking out is my daughter Alicia.

Jeanne is a very good writer. A lot of her articles had appeared in magazines and they are publishing a book about their adventures.
On one of the school holidays I took my family to Langkawi where they are based and stayed a night on their cat. We sailed to Pulau Singa the next day and had a picnic there. Don and Jeanne came out with some mouth watering dishes while we enjoyed ourselves. The young man under my arms is my son Alwin.Look at all the good food that we were served.

My wife Lily does not understand why I enjoy going to sea. To her, it is hot and uncomfortable.She needs all the extra towels to protect from the sun! Looks like a Bedeon Tribesman!A catamaran is one big playground where there is a place for everyone .

A seed has been sown into me. I keep dreaming about building a catamaran later!

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