As always my loving partner Lesley Rochat. Les, both of us know that without your support I would not have picked this project up again, I had already let Pelican lie for 2 years after I had given her up for a lost cause. And thank you for standing by me and encouraging me over the past 4-5 months while I have been largely absent, running off to the West Coast frequently to work on the boat, neglecting almost every other responsibility and priority. You have truly inspired and supported me to finish the job.
To my family, Dad, who shared my love and dreams for boats, especially in the last few years of his life. To my mum for her unswerving support, Crystal, Lily, Colin and Adet, you all helped me in various and different ways over the last 5 years to get the job done, loans, generators, fetching and carrying, shoulder to cry on, advice. Thank you.
Craig and Alison Milner, for your care, professionalism (even though it is not your job), attention to detail with the very difficult task of moving Pelican, as well as your continued support of everything I do, and for your friendship.
Gary and Alison Akal, your support of everything I do, your belief in me, you have helped to keep me going forward, been my sounding board, and generally helped me keep my pluck up when I was doubting I had the legs to carry on. Your friendship has been invaluable to me over the past three years.
Shane Breedt, you used to drive your old blue bakkie out of your way to help me, now you still do with your white one! The courses you hosted for me this past 4 months were instrumental in helping me get the job done. You are one of my true and loyal friends.
Sarah T. Carter, you were instrumental in my decision to tackle the Pelican 5 years ago, you encouraged me and helped fuel my dream with your infectious enthusiasm for boats and marine adventure. Over the first 2 years you also offered valuable advice and input into her design and layout.
Leon Stroebel and Jiani, your friendship, moral support, braai’s, whisky, advice and hours of chatting at your fireside, mostly with me “moedeloos” after another day slogging it out and problem solving in the sun, wind, rain and dust. Very often you were the first port of call when I needed relief from the elements.
Mike Olsen and Glory Anne, I am sure I had 2000 cups of rooibos tea with you! The fish braai’s and boat building discussions we had. And of course you taught me the one thing which I now teach to all my students on all of my courses. “When you’re in a hurry…take your time!”
To the Smit family, thank you firstly for selling me the skeleton of Pelican. Thank you for allowing me to keep her on your farm for the 5 years she stayed there. Thank you for keeping her safe for me all this time, especially during the two years that I just abandoned her. Thank you for providing me with electric power when I needed to work on her when I did not have my own generator. Thank you for all the advice and tractor tows and looking after her over the past two months that she was moored at the jetty.
Jan Gogga, Johan and Geraldine, thank you for the moer coffee and all the advice about outboard motors. Thanks Jan for giving me phone support when I have been in tight situations during sea trials.
Gary and Michelle Nagel, thanks for encouraging me to step away for a day when I was falling down, your moral support, fireside company and chats were both encouraging and helpful. Thanks Gary for stopping me from picking a big stick to beat myself, I was about to cut a huge hole in that hull which I have no doubt would have led to my boat sinking sooner than later.
Graeme Taylor from Seaport Supply store, thanks for all your advice and for sharpening your pencil for me, it really helped having a friend in the boat chandling business. You always gave me a great deal.
Thank you Manie Louw for selling me the trailer which eventually got the Pelican to Simonstown, I was sceptical, but in the end it was a great buy.
Louis Hattingh, while I was struggling to juggle boat building with keeping my courses going, you helped by sending me students at a time when I simply did not have the extra time resources to do any marketing, you helped me keep floating, as you have many times in the past.
To Bousie, hey dude, I have not been the best friend over the past two years, it has been hard with you moving to Paarl and me moving to Fish Hoek. But when I needed you with those wheel bearings you stepped into the breach and your advice no doubt helped my midnight run go off without a hitch.
Lou, Neil, Ysters, (Iron Mike), and the rest of the Lezmin crew, thanks for your efforts over the festive season to get the job done, you really did pimp my ride, with your bling and all!
To Doepies fish and chips shop in Veldrift, oh, how I wish I had bought shares in your shop in 2008! You guys rock, still my favourite fish and chips in the country.
To uncle Johnny and Ria for being a halfway house for me over the past few months, sometimes I would just arrive and collapse without even greeting you properly, you'd feed me, let m,e rest up and send me on my way, time and again. Thank you for your support.
Thank you Pam at the FBYC for guiding me through the process of becoming a member, and for being tolerant of me during a very difficult and turbulent time during the final stages of finishing and moving the Pelican to her new home.
And finally to one of the oldest friends that I have, Troy Minne, when I was absolutely at my wits end, at the end and with nobody left to turn to, you just sorted out the problem without so much as a moment’s hesitation. Thank you for getting me over the line.
I have tried to think of everybody that has contributed to help me with this project, if I have left anybody out, I ask your forgiveness.
Some of you made major contributions in many different forms, some only made me tea or gave me a cold drink at a critical time. What all of you did was made me realize the importance of the goodness and graciousness of people. It is completely humbling to sit here on the Pelican, a dream that I have had and let go of and picked up again and battled with, and think of the people that have helped me along this path.
It makes me think about the daily contribution people make in my life and how easy it is to not notice and take people for granted. I thank you all for your effort, love and support.
In the final analysis, materially speaking, I think this boat has definitely cost me more than what she is worth. But the boost and life lesson she has given me are priceless. Thankfully I have now learnt those lessons, would I do it again…Absolutely no chance!
Here are a few photos attached of the journey. There will be additional photos of her in Simonstown soon.