I arrived yesterday morning and dept. head Chris Harris kindly picked me up from the airport and checked me in at the All Africa house. I got to explore campus a bit and watch some pretty good rugby on the fields. Better than NERFU guys, but I guess that shouldn't surprise me!
I slept through the afternoon, then Chris and his wife Chandra picked me up for a dinner party at John & Lynn Moss's house. John is a chemistry professor but other than that seems to be a wild man. Rock climbing and mountaineering are his other pursuits. Lynn is a tour guide locally and they are both hilarious characters. In attendence were some serious sail voyaging luminaries, including Skip Novak (of high-latitude craft Pelagic) and another gentlemen whose singlehanded voyage in an all-carbon ship from Cape Town to New Zealand was derailed by a broken tendon in his forearm. I'm hoping to go down to the docks with John and view the ships next weekend. John showed his rock climbing trip up Table Mountain with Nobel Laureate in chemistry Bob Grubbs, who was there visiting from Pasadena with his wife, both were very nice. John also showed his trips to various granite mountains in Namibia, all of which seem to be spalled pointy domes like the Sugarloaf. Chris showed his recent exploration into the Chinese Himalayan foreland. It seems these guys really know how to take advantage of their conference travel.
Everyone seems very friendly here. I especially enjoyed trying to explain to a curious South African how to differentiate between Americans and Canadians. I hope I told her to ask a Canadian, because Americans usually can't tell.
This morning I rose early and saw the tail end of the sunrise with whisps of fog trailing across the Cape Flats and between the peaks of the cederberg mountains. I wish I could get my computer on the network so I could show it to you. Maybe tomorrow.