To East London, South Africa
Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Wed 11 Dec 2019 23:57
33:01.421 S 27:53.801 E
To East London, South Africa
Yesterday was a bit too lumpy to be taking pictures with a fair amount of heavy rain. The bigger of the two squalls brought a couple of gusts to 38 knots and Beez Neez had one second at fourteen knots – a new record for her. tis morning at first light we approached East London.
Looking at the skyline, a biggish city.
A mile out we asked the Port Authority for permission to enter. You are supposed to have a reason to hand but as half the pack was already in the nice lady just said “Yes”. The left breakwater is a very long one with the right hand one offset for maximum port protection.
We passed the right breakwater at five thirty in very fine rain.
Nauti Nauti had left their AIS on which was really useful to see the marina/anchorage.
A clock tower above boatyards, Italeni – a sixty-two metre hopper dredger resting against a dock. Buffalo Harbour was named Port Rex by the British who arrived in 1836 and was used in 1836 as a supply depot during the 7th Cape Frontier War. A prison was built in 1837 when the port was annexed to Cape Colony and was renamed The Port of East London. The area grew after German settlers arrived during the 1850s. Town status conferred in 1873 and East London became a city in 1914.
Ooo a floating dry dock being refitted.
We passed two working girls and then Nauti Nauti came into view, Peggy West beyond with Serafina on the right. We tried anchoring behind Serafina but we ended up too close to the wall, meanwhile Storm Petrel had followed us in and picked up a buoy on a mooring trot. We tucked in behind picking up the rear buoy first but it turned out to be a bit too short. By the time we got sorted Eliana was coming in behind with Alexendra minutes after. It took a while for everyone to be tied at equal distances, time for a cup of tea and a sleep after breakfast. The rain came down and it was actually cold enough to put the quilt in the cover – first time since New Zealand. No fancy to inflate Baby Beez, so a slack day was had.
Our three hundred and forty-five and a half mile journey from Richards Bay to East London took forty eight hours so we averaged a whopping seven point two knots an hour (Beez fastest journey), engine on low for most of it just to keep us steady. SO why did we have to pull in instead of pressing on....
Weather Beez Neez and her crew like and weather not to mess with that is due in a couple of days. The thing is Port Elizabeth is the next available port – another one hundred and thirty miles away. Next, Mossel Bay another one hundred and eighty miles further and Cape Town a further two hundred and fifty miles. If we take a raw average of five knots an hour we have to cover the next trip with time to get settled in. We could have pushed on to Port Elizabeth but it is not the place to be when the wind turns purple making East London the sensible call. With the ‘herd’ here it might be fun just as soon as it stops raining........
ALL IN ALL INDIAN OCEAN – DONE – YAY
BOISTEROUS BUT SAFE