Éowyn is in the Zululand Yacht
Club, Richards Bay, South Africa in position 28:47.506S 032:04.966E
The East coast of South Africa
is one of the most dangerous and difficult to navigate in the world! This is
caused by the combination of the South going Aghulas current up to 6 knots and
barometric conditions which often produce a strong South Westerly wind. This
combination can create mountainous seas and it is important to approach the
coast when the wind is North East to avoid these problems.
Our last night was spent with
a NE gale but we were relatively comfortable. The Hydrovane did a magnificent
job steering us in these conditions. we had to use it because there was a loud
creaking from the main rudder and I did not want to put it under strain until I
had seen and felt the bearings.
However at 0140 on the 9th,
when the gale had subsided and the seas were relatively calm, we were hit by a
single rogue wave which knocked us over to about 70 degrees from the vertical.
Mike was on watch and was dazed and might even have been knocked out for a
couple of minutes. The yacht was a mess below but no serious damage was
sustained. after that we sailed very cautiously but there was no reoccurrence.
Five miles away from use, Chessie, with Eline on watch was turned through 180
degrees by the same wave.
We arrived in style in
Richards bay with a Police escort to the yacht club where a very welcome bottle
of bubbly was presented by the commodore of the Zululand Yacht Club. The
facilities here are excellent and our hosts made us feel that this was our home.
Thank you Zululand!!
Police Escort to the Zululand Yacht Club
Mike & Andrei Enjoy the Conversation and the
There was the usual WARC party
where we were treated to a display of Zulu dancing and encouraged to join in the
sh*t spitting competition (don't ask!)
Oisin Wins the Spitting Competition
Once we had got established
and some much needed sleep, we made some minor repairs and booked a safari to
the Umfolozi game reserve. a great day was had by all, with sightings of
elephant, rhino, giraffe, warthog, baboons etc
Our departure from here is
totally dictated by weather windows. we hope to leave for Durban today,the 14th
and then to Port Elizabeth on Wednesday, helped Southwards by the Aghulas
current. Our aim is to arrive in Cape Town by the 23rd so we can be hauled out
for some work before flying back to the UK on the 3rd