South Africa to Bali - Departure

Digiboat's "Product Testing"
Simon Blundell
Sun 17 Nov 2013 18:09

35:35.53S 021:51.48E

1714z 17/11

Lucian, Robbo and Ryan enjoying the local Yacht Club in Simon's Town while we wait for better departure conditions!

After the day and night of storms while at anchor in Simons Town, we woke the next morning to mostly light breeze and light drizzle. So some quick last minute sorties in town then pulled anchor and headed across the bay towards Cape Agulhas. Agulhas is actually the southern most point of Africa, not Cape of Good Hope. And Cape of Good Hope was re-branded in its infancy from its original name of Cape of Storms. Well Storm Cape was much more apt for our first 12 hours out from the anchorage. The wind remained SE so we motored out into 20-30kn head winds and very confused seas as the 2 oceans' swells and local storm waves didn't agree with each other.

At Anchor off Simons Town

Quite violent motion and continuous rain for many hours as we headed S-SE finding as comfortable a motoring angle as possible while making ground to the S, even so a couple of our more seasoned sailors fed the fish until we got a slight angle to pull out the staysail and motorsail with a significantly improved, though still uncomfortable, motion.

Just after midnight we'd made enough ground to the S to bear off with plenty of clearance off Agulhas to get a workable sailing angle to the E, so with staysail and 2 reefs in the main we slogged E in 20-30kn. Early in the morning the wind dropped about 5kn and swung further S as forecast, all sails came out and close hauled throughout the day as the skies cleared and seas sorted themselves out we charged along at 8-10kn in perfect sailing conditions.

We have a very experienced crew aboard for this leg - Robbo and Ryan couldn't find anything better to do this month so have stayed on, Lucian has joined as the 1st Mate after several years aboard superyachts (including Athena) in the Med and elsewhere, Kay and Rod from Pittwater - Kay apparently has a few miles under her expanding belt but seems a bit rusty everywhere except the Galley, and Robert a sailing mate of the owners who lives between Holland and his preferred "house" on the cliff edge north of Patong Bay in Phuket.

A day and a half out now and through the storm followed by a perfect day's sailing has allowed everyone to get their sea legs and catch up on sleep. - Well except me and Robbo as we spent all night in the bilge pumping several thousand litres of water out of the mid section. We figure its the same leak-through-the-deck problem we had at the start of the Atlantic leg. Heavy rain for two days and big seas over the bow gave it a slight brackish taste, although between Robbo's military experiences and my preference for tasting engine room bilge water I'm not sure if we're the best to judge normal(ish) water taste.

All things considered, we've made good early progress as we follow our Great Circle route to nowhere in particular ...