The mussel farm has been shut down since Wednesday last week due to excessively high levels of PSP toxins, (Paraletic shellfish poisoning) this happens just about every year and we now have to get three consecutive clear sample results before we can re-open.
We keep busy doing re-roping work; taking young ropes out of the water and running them over the grid tables to separate the very small settled mussels and then re-binding the larger sized mussels back onto the ropes and hanging them back in the water. This gives us a very good quality rope after another few months. Also we have a lot of oyster sorting to carry out so there is no shortage of work, only income!
As with last year I get the opportunity to rush the samples down to Capetown, I choose to go on the bike rather than in the company vehicle because (a); it's more fun and (b); it's far quicker once I hit the town traffic. The trip that normally takes two and a half hours in the pick-up only takes one and a half on the bike and of course any excuse to do something different during the week is a bonus.
I set off just after 0700 but unfortunately there was a very heavy fog and by the time I got to the intersection with the main road, the R27, the visibility was down to about 50 metres! Crossing onto the main road was like playing Russian roulette because there is an amazingly high number of fools who drive with either no lights or with only park lights even in the worst conditions. By the time I got to the Engen One-stop I had been doing 60kmh in an almost complete white-out and I decided that it was just too dangerous, there was no way I could ride all the way to Capetown like that, I pulled in and sat in the Wimpey restaurant and after a couple of cups of coffee the sun had started to do its work. By the time I was halfway to town the fog had cleared and the rest of the trip became a pleasure, even the traffic was not a problem and I had the sample at the lab by 0920, plenty of time to get the test done.
On the way home I stopped in at the Viper lounge and had a toasted sandwich and another cup of coffee and then it was back on the road for the ride back to Saldanha, by then the weather was perfect, the fog had completely cleared and I enjoyed a relaxed cruise. A very nice change to the normal routine.
I was able to give my new front tyre a run in as well, the last one, a Michelin gave me just over 17,000kms which I think is very good but by the time I changed it it was pretty worn and was actually affecting the handling. I replaced it with a Bridgestone Battlax BT021 so I will see what this one gives me, it certainly makes the bike feel better!
Tomorrow I will be packing the bike for the rally on Friday, Frank and I will hopefully leave by 1100 and it is only about two and a half hours to the site so we should have camp set up by mid afternoon, the weather forcast is favourable so it should be a good one!
Of course I will tell you all about it.