Tuesday morning we got up early to watch us sail into Cape Town. We were supposed to be ashore at 8 AM. When we got within 8 miles of port the captain got a message that another ship was taking up half our berth. It was supposed to be gone by 6 AM but the people loading the ship stopped work to honor Winnie Mandela, who died the day before. The ship was parked in the wrong place, taking up two berths. Negotiations started with the Captain filling us in on a regular basis. The Captain, in his blog, said the port authorities were not overly cooperative and when they did move the cargo ship, “The Barrier” of all names, they were not too generous with space for Amsterdam, making docking more difficult than it should have been. So for three and a half hours we cruised around Table Bay, watching the changing lights and clouds on Table Mountain and Signal Hill.
We did not get ashore until close to 1 PM killing half a day. We had planned for a field trip rather than a relaxed holiday. As a result we didn’t get to see some of what we were hoping to see (like the top of Table Mountain.)
On the other end of our stay we were scheduled to leave at 5 PM but the South African customs officials insisted that we all be cleared back onto the ship by three so we lost time at that end as well, causing us to cut short a visit to the Nelson Mandela Gateway to Robben Island. In way of compensation we had a beautiful sail out.
Our time in Cape Town was intense. We are exhausted and happy. This is a beautiful, vibrant and exciting city.