The Leopard 42 was built by Robertson and Caine in South Africa and our boat is a 2004. She arrived with the name “Dream Girls” and a quick internet searched convinced us that we would need to rename her. Naming boats for us usually happens on a whim; the last time when we were drinking Scrumpy Jack in a pub in Oxford. We agonized and debated late into the night with your mother vetoing some awesome names, but we finally settled on Rafiki which means “friend” in Swahili, a nod to the boat’s heritage. Coincidentally, it is also the baboon on the Lion King which is perhaps more appropriate.
She came well equipped, however, many of her systems needed maintenance or replacing so we spent the winter working on her in Stuart with the invaluable help of Ralph Baker and his team. There we installed solar panels, AIS, WiFi booster, a washing machine (so much for KISS), new batteries, a new auto helm, new radios, new canvas enclosure and serviced the two engines, generator, and outboard.
During this time we also met some wonderful friends in the marina who shared stories, wine, dinners and fellowship which made the delays and breakdowns palatable. Hopefully we will meet many of them during our trip in the islands.
Your mother provisioned (and I fretted as the waterline disappeared), we route planned, fuelled, watered and on the 15th of March we left Stuart and started south to Miami to make the crossing to Bimini.