Barry and Margaret Wilmshurst
Sun 28 Oct 2012 19:36
We tied up in Richards Bay at 0720 local time on Sunday October 28. We had crossed the Indian Ocean. With three varied and interesting stop-overs, mainly fine weather and a few challenges it was overall a very rewarding experience.
On the whole the weather was good. We had a day of strong winds as we left the Sunda Strait, an unpleasant night leaving Rodriguez and two days of strong winds SE of Madagascar. During those two days morale was fragile because we were having to suffer rather while beating slowly south instead of rushing west towards our goal. We had been routed that way so that we didn’t arrive at the dreaded Agulhas current simultaneously with a southerly gale. Apart from that all went well. Even the forecast Big Blow on the last day did not really materialize; we had gusts of 30 knots, not 40 as threatened by some. At the last we motored serenely across the current in an ever-slackening breeze under a full moon. A great last night. From reading the accounts of other cruisers it appears we may have been fortunate.
Jim has done really well for us. He is a good seaman, a resourceful fixer and, best of all, very enjoyable company. We wish him and his boat Puff many happy voyages.
Commanders’ Weather Corp. our forecasters and routers also gave satisfaction. We shall turn to them again next year when we head up the Atlantic.
Now we are administratively frustrated. Our yellow flag is flying but there are no officials around to clear us. We are tied up outside a big, British, traditional gaff-rigged cutter, just astern of Quantum Leap who have been waiting four days already and still have not been cleared in. It’s Sunday today but tomorrow we really hope for some action. It is very crowded here; there will be little room to squeeze in all the boats we know are coming behind us. It could be interesting.
Our plans are fluid but right now we think we might be here for a couple of weeks before moving on to Durban. We shall make our way slowly towards Capetown in January while taking some time out to see something of this beautiful country and a few big animals. We plan to leave mid-January or February and sail north up the middle of the Atlantic towards the Canary Islands.
Even after a mountain of celebratory bacon and eggs the mate has discovered that at last she is down to the weight that has been her target for the last 20 years. But, she says, was is really necessary to suffer so much for this?
And finally: we have reached longitude 28° East whereas Kemer in Turkey, whence we set out in May 2006 full of hope and trepidation, is at 31° East so I suppose you could say......? No, no, quite right. It is of no significance whatsoever.