Remember White Dove – Pt 2

I’m writing this in our lounge overlooking the Vaal Dam  in the Free State about an hour from Johannesburg. As the afternoon draws to a close, thunder  is beginning to sound from an approaching Highveld  thunderstorm.   When the weather is in balance  we enjoy long sunny summer days with temperatures between around 27 and 34 degrees celsius. Then in the late afternoon the landscape becomes shaded with massive thunderheads rising up to 11 km into the sky.  The storms bring wild winds, torrential rain and hail, then as quickly as they arrived, they leave.

Behind they leave clean, scrubbed air and land with vivid colours and fresh smells.

There is another type of storm here though, not as common and more enduring. Occasionally (maybe once or twice in a summer season) we get three day Easterly wind and rain storms that whip up the dam and create dramatic waves (big for the dam – about 1,2m, very steep and choppy).  Lots of rain drenches the land.

It was an Easterly storm in 2010 that killed White Dove!

I received a call in October 2010 to say that she had broken off her swing mooring and washed ashore onto the rocks near our house. Because of the conditions it was impossible to get the crane to come and lift her off s she sat for three days, grinding herself to pieces.

Our beautiful yacht was destroyed, written off.


And then finally ashore



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