The First Section
02 June 2010
We departed Durban at 15:00 local time after Graham Walker, a fellow delivery skipper, very kindly drove me to the port authority building to do our clearance. After clearing the channel, we slowly nudged our way offshore, through the counter current that runs up the coast, to the continental shelf where we picked up the main Agulhas Current that runs strongly down the east coast of South Africa. It took just over 5 hours to pick it up with our speed changing from 4.5 knots to just over 7 knots within a matter of minutes. No wind so one of the iron spinnakers assisted pushing us southwest.
On Tuesday we were off the Transkei coast and lost the current for a good 12 hours - basically I came a little too close to the coast so we again nudged Ultima Life to about 18 nautical miles off the coast and picked up the current again. It is now Wednesday morning as I write this blog entry and at first light this morning we had the port city of East London on our starboard beam.
Every day we monitor the weather broadcast by Cape Town Radio on the VHF and I also do a couple of downloads via the Winlink email system. At the moment there is a cold front approaching the Cape. So, we are making for the Algoa Bay Yacht Club in Port Elizabeth, where we will wait for the front to pass. I will then also be able to do a better analysis of the weather for the next few days and see if we can make Cape Town in one section or if we have to do another stop. We should make Port Elizabeth in the early hours of Thursday morning.
Otherwise our trip is quite boring with just a lot of shipping thrown in to give it a little bit of interest. I will post another update from Port Elizabeth in a day or so. Regards from Willem, Dylan and myself, John.