Final Call S A
final destination and potentially the most dangerous area we would be sailing
through, after 8 months we finally filled our departure form in Helle Ville
I do hope that is going to keep you
reading at least until you get to the pictures.
entry for most of the cruising boats because whichever area of the
all tracks back into the Atlantic lead via
A very welcoming port it is to. All the boats arriving have tales to tell of the areas they have been visiting
So it was great to spend a few evenings chatting away at the chilly evening brai`s [Bar BQ] we had all been
the tropics and the SA spring evenings required trousers shoes and jumpers.
great attraction it was close to a good
Will managed to get himself off into the wild trekking for a few days, the rest of us just did a one day tour.
The major factor whilst sailing around the coast was the combination of current and wind, The Agulas current runs at up to 5 knots in a SW direction and if as happens about every 4 days you get a wind blowing
the SW of any strength the seas created can be very large. So whilst in
Frustrating given the fact that if we had
continued we would have made it to
To East London a distance of 350 miles missing out Durban altogether, The 5 day forecast gave me the
Impression that their would be adequate time to complete this section. But as is the Norm things never quite
out exactly as planned. No pun intended. As we got up to
our destination so we pulled into
the weather sorted itself out. During our stay in
At every stop across the Pacific, just in case you had let his heroic deeds slip your mind. When I was roused
To take a look above in the cockpit, it was obvious immediately that a major thunder storm was fast approaching and before I had time to go back into the boat and close hatches down things began to kick off.
a few moments I was standing at the wheel with the engine running fast, steering
into wind the anchor still into the mud of
Up with a towel all was back to normal on Penguin the computer had survived because the wind had blown
The rain straight into the boat and the computer was at the Nav desk at the side with Colins half written mail still waiting to be finished.
So after our little enforced wait we
where given the green light from Fred the local weather expert and all round
saviour for cruisers. We where keen to get a move on, and with good winds and
fast current we had a chance to break the 200 mile barrier for 24 hrs noon to
noon. On the trip from
From East London we had a short hop of 145 miles to Port Elizabeth were once again we waited to get the all clear for what we hoped we be the final charge to cover the last 450 miles around the capes and into Cape Town.
A weather window as they are known appeared and we made a start on the trip on the 4th of dec but within
setting off we were warned that things would get grim within the next 12 hrs for
a brief period and that we would be sensible to pull into a sheltered bay and
wait for a SW blow to go through we would then get a period of winds from the
East which would keep the seas a little flatter. So once again we took the
advice offered and pulled in to wait for things to sort themselves out. And so finally on the 5th dec
we set of once again to get to Cape
Town, This time the forecast was for SE winds they just might be a little
stronger than we would ask for but they where coming from the perfect direction.
At 0530 on the 7th we rounded
we had made it safely. It was by this time about 2200hrs the wind had been blowing hard through the Gorges down onto us on the sea and as we entered the harbour we had about 45knots blowing straight on to
our bow, we hope that their would be some protection inside the harbour from the winds but no, as we approached the Cape Town Yacht Club up at the end of the Harbour the winds seemed t be worse not better
their was no chance that I would be able to manoeuvre Penguin onto a marina mooring. So I radioed to the Port controller to tell him of our plight and he kindly gave us permission to use any vacant dock in the port
as a temporary refuge overnight. The problem being that they where for ships to dock on not sailing yachts
we could hardly reach from the deck up to them. At last we choose a dock close to where an oil rig was being
refurbished, this being a 24 hr a day operation
there was a number of workmen around who volunteered to catch or lines and make
them on to the dock cleats whilst we settled Penguin against an enormous black
rubber tyre. So finally at around
on the 7th dec Penguin was moored
snugly to a dock .Job done at last a couple of days to relax and savour being in