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Published: January 18th 2013
It was the following year after our trip to Madagascar. What we needed was another family holiday. By now the travel bug was nibbling away steadily at all of us. Where would we go? We just didn't seem to have the energy to do a usual trip through a foreign country, using bus, car or train, traipsing around sightseeing. At a destination with a beach of course! Does there seems to be a pattern here? Where to go?
Paul was keen to do the exact same trip to Madagascar and contacted Willem & Elize to quote us for another trip on Bossi, sailing around some of Madagascar again. But friends of ours had gone to Comoros earlier in the year and thoroughly enjoyed themselves,. They had spent a week at the Le Galawa hotel on Grande Comoros, swimming, snorkelling and having fun with all the water sports available at the hotel. After listening to all their stories and looking at photos our sons were enthralled with the idea of a holiday like that. The water sport life at the hotel appealed to them, but Paul was more keen to spend a week or two on a
Postcard of lava flow in 1977
yacht, getting away from it all, doing exactly what we did the last time – relax, unwind and do some exploring. Dressing up for dinner is not quite Paul's idea of a holiday. But our sons were still convinced a holiday in a hotel was better. By this time we had received a quote to go on Bossi. There was a bit of a dispute between Paul and our sons and eventually Paul gave in and said we could go to Comoros on one condition, Jacques, our eldest son, would have to let Willem know: ‘Thanks for the quote, but we have found another destination to go to.’
Jacques, fifteen at the time, phoned Willem who was in South Africa at that stage and gave him the news. Willem has a great sense of humour and teased Jacques, saying what a disappointment it was that we would not be having another holiday on board Bossi and it really would have been great for us to do a trip with them again, blah, blah, blah! He laid it on really thick! Afterwards Jacques felt quite bad having to decline Willem's offer. Compromise:
Not long after that, our
phone rang with Willem on the line. He had a proposition for us: how would we feel if he sailed to the Comoros and met us there and we could sail around some of the islands of Comoros and we could spend the last few nights at the Le Galawa hotel? This would be an opportunity for him to see if it would be viable to do charters from the Comoros as well. What could we say to this offer? We would have the best of both worlds. An opportunity to see a new country plus a bit more of the Comoros than most people would, do exactly the same as what we did in Madagascar AND keep our sons happy too! At the same time we could do our advanced open water dive course too, which was useful to have. What more could we want? Naturally we took Willem up on his offer.
Comoros here we come! And then disaster struck!
One week before our trip Paul was supposed to be running the Comrades marathon, a hard and gruelling race, just less than 100 km. Due to him tearing his calf muscle
Camping in April
a couple of months before that while camping and tearing it a second time as well because he was too hasty and started running too soon, he couldn't run that year. He still decided he wanted to support his friends, so off he went to Durban, while I stayed behind in Johannesburg with our sons, while they were writing exams. That year I thought I would have nothing to worry about. How wrong I was! Shortly after the race was complete, he phoned me and told me he had broken his wrist. My first response was shock - how on earth did he do that, seeing that he wasn't even running! He told me had tripped over a barbed wired, lying in the long grass and fallen off a bridge about 7 meters high! Thankfully he hadn't broken anything else that we were aware of, although years later we gathered that he had damaged his back at that time too. Much to Paul's dismay, a cast was put on his arm at a hospital in Durban, the doctor telling him that's the end of his diving holiday. This did not please Paul at all. On Monday, back in Johannesburg, he
No diving with this cast!
was off to our doctor, had an operation to put a pin in his wrist and he was set to go! He still needed to support his wrist, so we bought two removable wrist braces - one to keep dry and one that could get wet. I bought some water tight plasters to keep his wound dry and he was geared to go. We were all relieved that we didn’t have to cancel our holiday and I was grateful my husband was still alive, after falling so far!
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