The Alba Chronicles
Neville Howarth
Thu 12 Oct 2017 07:05



21°42S 035°25E


We’re anchored in Bazaruto, Mozambique (21°42.56S 035°25.86E), waiting for a weather window to head south towards Richards Bay, which is still 500 miles away.  Here's what we did yesterday.


11 October 2017   Bazaruto North, Mozambique

At 02:00, the wind veered around to the south and picked up to 25-30 knots, blew hard for a few hours and then settled down to 20-25 knots.  As forecast, the wind was SSW and soon a swell was hooking around Ponta Gengare bringing in 2 foot waves from the south-west.   This made it a bouncy, noisy night with the waves slapping on the side of the hull.


We’ve heard that there were 70+ knot winds in Durban and 50 knot winds in Richards Bay yesterday, which caused damage and flooding in the heavy rains.  Six people died in Durban.  Yachts have been damaged in Durban, but Richards Bay escaped damage (although the yacht club bar was closed last night.)  This weather is not to be taken lightly.


The forecast for today is for the wind to drop overnight and become East 5-10 knots tomorrow.  Our plan is to move 10 miles south to Benguerra tomorrow before the next set of strong southerlies arrives late tomorrow night.  These winds look to be more SE, so we should be good at Benguerra.


Yesterday, it looked like we had a 4 day weather window on Saturday 14th, but that has now closed up with SE20-25 hitting Maputo on the afternoon of Monday 16th.  These systems are very closely packed, so I think that we might have to do short hops to Inhambane - Maputo - Richards Bay.


It would be good to try for Maputo on the 14th.  We would have to leave at 9:00 (high tide is at 11:00).  That would put us out into SE10 for 8 hours, but we can cope with that if we know that it will turn East and then NE.  That then gives us 56 hours until the SE 20 hits Maputo, which is 330 miles away - we’d have to average 6.0 knots.   This is a very tight plan, but we'll see how the weather develops - with luck the southerlies will be delayed…


Apart from a brief route planning session on “Continuum”, we spent the rest of the day on board - Glenys did a few chores and some more research on places to visit in South Africa, while I edited photos and played the guitar.