Reunion to Richards Bay Day 8 - Squaring up to the Agulhas c urrent

Martin and Elizabeth Bevan
Fri 11 Nov 2016 23:10

Position                    28:47.57 S 032:04.98 E

Date                          2310 (UTC+2) Friday 11 November 2016

Distance run             in 25hrs 202nm over the ground, 186nm through the water

Passage total            1,402nm over the ground, 1,296nm through the water

Passage time            7 days 13 hours

Arrived                     Richards Bay, South Africa

Route distance         1,395nm as originally planned


This has taken a little time to write and is somewhat after the event for which I apologise but life since arrival has been busy with trips, events and time away indispersed with boat maintenance.


The daylight hours seemed very similar to yesterday, motor sailing to keep ahead of the imminent change in weather from awkward to dangerous we arrived at the Agulhas Current at dusk which meant that we had a rolly few hours in the darkness as we crabbed across the current southwards towards Richards Bay.  Some momentary excitement was caused by hitting what must have been a whirlpool; certainly whatever it was spun the boat through 120 degrees, the prop cavitated and the autopilot in confusion gave up the unequal struggle.  Fortunately I was standing at the helm at the time and was able to switch to manual and restore order and there was nothing close to, to hit.


We passed the Richards Bay breakwater at 0024, which became 2224 local time in South Africa.  After 15 minutes milling around we were met by a launch from the Zulu Land Yacht Club with the World ARC Rally manager, Victor, and Club members on board, which led us down the narrow channel to the marina where we edged into an inside berth. The following morning in daylight I was not sure how I managed that manoeuvre without hitting anything – put it down to adrenaline and a bit of practice.  It was wonderful to be made so welcome and to be secure.


Africa is out there somewhere