Cape Town to St Helena

Sun 2 Mar 2008 22:03

So how to square this circle, I am in Cape Town South Africa, surrounded by amazing places, the best

Game parks in the World, Great Vineyards the beautiful botanical Gardens, Table Mountain, Cape Hope,

But parked at the Cape Yacht Club is a 20 year old sailing yacht that has just completed 14000 miles from

Auckland and previous to that another 14000 miles from UK to NZ. We had a period of about 3weeks before

Niamh`s visa for SA ran out and every moment of that time would be needed to get Penguin in something like good shape to get back to UK for the end of June. I also had the good fortune to be introduced to Alfred

A local Guy who was willing to come and work with me on Penguin for the princely sum of 15 euro a day,

Very good value even more so as he worked extremely hard during his 8 hrs. His first job was to help me with the Antifouling but seeing what a  hard worker he was I soon had him stripping out the deck caulking

Which I then had to recaulk and in a period of 4 days we had managed to redo the whole boat, a real bonus.

So needless to say The game Parks  wineries ect ect will just have to wait until the next time I visit should

I get the opportunity again. On the 15 February the date Niamh Visa ran out Penguin Was Up and ready.

Antifoul, rig, watermaker, alternator, sails done, Owning a boat is the same as having a black hole in your pocket time and money disappear into it never to be seen again, But the rewards from this effort is living through some amazing experiences, so mus`nt grumble.


 It so happened that on the 15 of febuary the Royal Cape Yacht Club where holding a two day racing regatta

Along the coast to Suldanah Bay and a pursuit Race in the Bay. It seemed only fitting that if 70 boats where

Racing up the coast then Penguin must surely be one of them. And so it was at 8.30 on the 15th Penguin

Crossed the RCYC start line at the end of the dock wall, We had Myself Niamh and Andre a local from SA who was keen to sail with us to Salvador to get some offshore experience on board. For the first couple of

Hours their was enough wind to keep us moving but by about midday that faded away and we decided to

Motor up the coast. At about 3 the wind filled in and we had 4hours of sailing with the new Spinnaker amongst South Africa finest.  


Our competition whilst the wind had faded, Penguin racing Penguin’s

So our chance of being amongst the prizes was slim as no doubt their would be one or two die hards who would not give up and would complete the race whatever. On the Saturday their was a persuit race around the bay our start was at 10.26 with a group of 4other boats. The wind was blowing about 25knots which made for

Some great racing and by the time we finished at about 3oclock we had 35knots of breeze in the bay, so it was all very exciting by then. As we were sailing 3 up there was no way we could hope to fly the spinnaker

Around the can`s inside a bay, because the wind was so strong Penguin was sailing at full hull speed anyway

So we did not lose out to much on the runs. So here’s our result we crossed the finish with the 80ft Warrior

Just in front of us we were about 12th boat to finish and ended up 1st in our class for that race. Not at all bad

Since we where fully loaded with fuel, water, food for 5weeks and all boat spares, I don`t think Ivan would

Approve of Penguin`s racing trim. Niamh and Andre had worked themselves to the bone trimming sails all

Day whilst I had the easy job of pointing the boat in the right direction, so I must commend them for their

Herculean efforts. On the Sunday whilst the rest of the boats where faced with the prospect of 70 miles to

Windward in 25 knots we had the pleasure of setting off to Luderitz  Namibia 470 miles north with the wind

Directly behind us. We wanted to see something of the desert landscape as it comes right up to the coast line.


We also got the chance to do a little tour around in the desert and visited the ghost town an old Diamond mining centre. Our stay in Namibia was short but surely a place not to be missed out on. We now had 1330

Miles to get us to a volcanic rock in the middle of the South Atlantic, by all accounts this would also be pleasant downwind sailing all the way. The highlight of this leg would be sailing along side a pod of Pilot

Whales whilst they surfed the waves, we also had our spinnaker flying and at one stage I thought I was going

To run over a group of them which were just in front of the bow. The trip to St Helena took us 8days so once

Again we have the pleasure of getting to spend a bit of time exploring the Island as opposed to spending day’s and day’s needlessly floating about in the ocean, but I am sure their that their will be a lot of you who think that one day at sea is needlessly wasting ones time on the ocean. We could see Land from a distance of

30 miles as the cliffs and mountains rise steeply from the sea. Our arrival time was 1400 hrs on saturday 1st

march we where hoping that we had found the only lump of Rock in the Atlantic that would be showing

6 Nations Rugby on telly but sadly all our efforts to arrive for the afternoons matches where wasted their

was a rest weekend and nothing was going on. On checking the internet we found the important date and fixture, England would be playing Ireland on the 15march so we had now another target, Salvador before then so Penguin will have to do some Flying. Not to mention Andre Flight back to Cape Town which is also booked for the 18th. Here are a few photos to keep you going.