The Wayfinder Build: Part 11 – The Home Stretch

In addition to giving you an update on the boat’s progress, I thought I’d show you what my typical day is like here in St. Francis Bay, South Africa.


It starts when I wake up to this. It’s the view from my bed at Sands Resort in St. Francis Bay. The service here is remarkable. Hot water bottles in the bed at night, a wonderful staff, and a view to die for.


The first thing I do every morning is my Five Tibetans. My favorite spot is down on this landing, with the waves crashing beneath me and the sun rising right between the railings. Glorious.


This is the spread that awaits me upstairs for breakfast. Yogurt, fruit, cheese, lemon water, and some meats. Delicious. They cook a hot breakfast to order as well, but I’ve never had room.


Alistair is the magician making WAYFINDER’S hull so pretty. He also did the custom paintjob on the paddleboards.

This is one of the paddleboards he painted for me. When the surf lies down, I can walk it right out of my room, down the steps, and into the sea.


I was so impressed with the care Alistair puts into every piece of tape and every coat of paint. This is a true artist who just does commercial work to pay the bills. When he isn’t airbrushing a motorcycle tank, he’s hitting the surf. The guy is amazing.


The finished product. Logo designed by my cover artist, M.S. Corley.


The unveiling of the Mark 2 designation.


The finished logo. LOVE it!


The trampolines going on!


And they’re on! So comfy. Love these tramps.


The mast arrived from Cape Town. The yard built the special rig used to haul the masts the seven hours down the road. There was a scare on the way back this time. A drive heading the opposite direction in a rig fell asleep and swerved into the other lane. The van hauling the mast and genset had to pass on the wrong side of the road! (Which, for most people reading this, was, in fact, the right side of the road!)


The genset going in.


The electrical work is so damn tidy. I love it.


We spent a lot of our day today working on this new davit system. Which had better work, dammit!


Here’s the slip where they’ll launch the boat in a couple weeks.


After I leave the yard, I head to the harbor to have dinner at my friend Mauro’s restaurant. This is a view from his flat. That’s a TAG 60 in the background. WAYFINDER will go into the slip just to the right of it. That’ll be my home in a couple weeks.


Mauro is a scammer. You go to his restaurant, and he makes you cook! Last time, he made me cook my own pizza. This time, it’s Belgian waffles. This was my first time cooking with a scale and doing it in grams. I loved how that worked. I’m hooked.


For sunset, my favorite spot is Cape St. Francis. I can spend hours here.

The view the other direction. Check out the beacon!


A better shot of the lighthouse at the cape.

The end of an amazing day.


Then I wake up. And it’s another beautiful day in South Africa. Time to go to the boat yard and see how the boat is coming along!

15 responses to “The Wayfinder Build: Part 11 – The Home Stretch”

  1. Wow.

    I’m a writer, and I can honestly say, “I’m jealous of Hugh Howey.” Little would most people know my jealousy has nothing (okay, very little) to do with your authorial success. Your boat is a DREAM.

    Someday I really do hope to be where you are.

    BTW, that tidy electrical work would have convinced me of their superiority even if the rest of their custom work hadn’t!

  2. Amazing. Amazing photos, amazing stories, amazing ideas. Living on a boat (especially on such a boat) is an awesome idea. I regret I didn’t come up with that first. Now it wouldn’t be quite original:).
    I love to read your work and from now on I also love to see the way you live.

  3. This is absolutely beautiful. I’m extremely happy for you. Thank you for sharing your experiences with us.

  4. Just… wow. Though I have to say, if I did my Tibetans on that walkway, I’d spin right off the bugger!

  5. Soon your morning 5 tibetans will be replaced by 6. 5 + the buzz of waking up afloat.
    Good winds and good luck to you and WAYFINDER

  6. Looks amazing, Hugh! And I’m seriously jealous. Can’t wait to see the Wayfinder in the water.

  7. “May the wind always be at your back and the sun upon your face.
    And may the wings of destiny carry you aloft to dance with the stars.”
    Blow (2001)

    Thanks for providing a place for me to dance with the stars. <3

  8. Your boat’s artwork is the best I’ve ever seen. Alistair is an artist.

  9. Heck with the boat Hugh – just live at the resort!

  10. Dammit, Hugh, you’re making me jealous! Those photographs of Cape St. Francis brought back so many memories . . . I guess they prove you can take the man out of Africa, but you can’t take Africa (or parts of it, anyway) out of the man.

  11. Floretta Brumley Avatar
    Floretta Brumley

    Thank you for sharing this. As “we” went through your day with you, I could really feel the contentment. You have done what so many of us want but never do–you have jumped off the “tilt-twirl” of hurry up and try to get it all done life, that rules us everyday. Someday, you may have to climb back on the craziness of it all. But for now, you are breathing every moment all the way to the tips of your toes. An amazing feat. But of it all, I love the beginning and end photos the best. I’m such a nature nut and they are simply incredible!

  12. Phyllis Humphrey Avatar
    Phyllis Humphrey

    This is not about Wayfinder, which, I agree, is fabulous and makes me jealous. but the news today was about the Hugo Awards last weekend, and, since you are a SF writer, I want to know your thoughts on that kerfuffle.

  13. Hey Hugh, I am a fan of your writing and your boat. I am also one of the countless wannabe’s trying to break out. How well I remember when you broke out and onto the scene. You were and are an inspiration to keep on keeping on.

    Question, just curiosity more than anything, will Amber and Bella be accompanying you on WAYFINDER’S Madlin voyage?

  14. Beautiful photos & post, Hugh! So exciting to share in your adventure

  15. In RF engineering and high frquency telecommuynications spectrum analyzers and network analyzers are used.

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