Sailing around the World ( presently in Durban, South Africa )

A Lady
Stephen Hyde
Tue 16 Nov 2010 07:45
MONDAY  15th  NOVEMBER   2010
The night was dark, with a glow from the shore away in the distance, The glow being the lights of all the little towns and resorts along
 the coast which was about 10 miles away to the west.
The wind settled down, blowing from the North, and steadily increased during the night ,  By dawn at 04.00hrs, the wind was
in excess of 30 knots, so we had up our staysail and had 2 reefs in the mainsail.  The sea's had moderated by now,
and we were having a pleasent sail...  also there was no sign of the leak in the port saloon window. so hopefully, we have this sealed properly.
04.51 hrs,  The blazing sun creeped up over the eastern horizon,  This is always a magical moment, looking at the solar system
working its thing.   However, it soon dissapeared behind a big bank of cloud. and the weather began to deteriorate again, but we are less than
 25 miles from Durban, 
" Tzigane "   " Eowyn"  & " Thor V1 " were still beside us as we approached our destination, We radioed ahead to    -  Durban Port Control -
and informed them of our arrival and permission to enter Port.  thats all 4 of us and the authorities were very pleasent and helpfull.
We subsequently made contact with " Point YC " and were directed to our berths on the Marina,   the marina is a very
definatly in the need of some refurbishment. if not a total replacment.
We were berthed alongside " Stealaway "  , a cat. that we last met in Mauritius. They helped us with our lines and it was great to see them
again.  They encountered some seriously bad weather on route to here and had a large amount of damage to their structure ..
08.30hrs  Once we were settled in, Aileen cooked a big breakfast and this was duly swallowed down in a shot.
Neil and Aileen went to the club and got all the paperwork out of the way , while skipper made a list of things that needed attention,
The main items on the list were :-  Fwd deck light, spreader lights, ( None of these were now working )  .... the A.I.S.   the anchor
switches up at the Bow, ( as Fr. Terry would say  , "you mean up at the front end " ) The tricolour,  we have a 25 / 50 w - 24v L.E.D. bulb up there
on the top of the mast, and its range is very limited. so we will put back a 25w -  24v standard bulb , so we can be seen again from a distance.
thats like 6 miles at least.
10.30hrs  We wandered up to town , well the nearest part of town and called on Tony Herrick,, Tony has written all the books on cruising the coast
of Africa, plus one covering the trip from Cape Town to Brazil, We purchased some of these books, and he explained how the weather works down
here on this part of the coast,   Facinating stuff,    Of course this guy has sailed around the World a few times over the years. so
he knows a thing or two about the sea.
There is a big race from Cape town to Brazil every 2 years, and would be like the A.R.C.  a very big event, and its on again this year , starting
next January, about the same time as we leave there for brazil.......
Its fantastic to see and meet all these sailors, and skipper is stunned by the amount of long distance sailing done all over the world
by people of every age, 
From the 20 year olds doing the "Mini Transit" single handed race, from - La Rochelle - in France to  Brazil , in their 21' sailboats ( 6.5 m )
to the old jossers like ourselves, permenantly at sea,    mentally and physically......... sailing in every direction,
Its definatly a desease.
We have made contact with Robin Clapham , thats Kevin Dwyers first cousin who lives in Cape Town, It will be interesting to meet him
when we arrive there, as we heard so much about him from Kevin while he sailed with us for 2 months at the start of the event..
Later , Skipper met the electrician / electrical man, and he quickly sorted out the tricolour, the A.I.S. the Fwd deck light and the
spreader lights,  ( Cross tree lights , )  we also met the rigger , who will sort out the spinniker halward ( Fr Terry,,  the rope for hauling up 
the spinniker )    So , all in all, things seem to be working out quickly, and we hope to move onto
either " East London " or  " Port Elizebeth " in 2 days time .....Wednesday.    It looks like we may get a 3 day weather window,
"Weather window"    is a period of time where the weather is suitable to make a passage, or at least will not be so unsuitable as to be dangerous.
We all put on out best clothes, well you know on a boat, jeans and shoes,
  Skipper and Neil strolled up to the Yacht Club and had a couple of beers  , there we met people who have been to Ireland
and we had a great laugh,  before Aileen joined us and off we went by taxi to the " Revolving restaurant"  this was located on the top of the highest building in Durban,  The views were spectacular and much better than the food,
We also found the waiters very cheeky. and demanded a tip. this is very unusual, as tip's are not common in S.A.  
22.00hrs , we got a taxi back to the marina, and had an early night,  as we basically had little or no sleep last night.
thats all for now,
Signed  :-  Stephen Hyde,  ( Skipper )