10/10/2010, Cape Town
Since delivering Ultima Life to Cape Town, she has been used buy the owner and his family on a regular basis. I, on the other hand have been pottering around at home and doing some boat work for owners at the various marinas in and around Cape Town. My last project was to assist the Australian owner of the new Leopard 46 "Scolamanzi" prepare his boat for the first big sail - crossing the Atlantic from Cape Town to Chaguaramas, Trinidad. Scolamanzi is really a fantastic boat and now well fitted and equipped. She is due to depart Cape Town at the end of this month (October).
At the same time as Scolamanzi departs, I should be departing on the same route with Ultima Life - Cape Town to St Helena to Chaguaramas.
As I write this blog entry, Ultima Life is being used by the factory as a "show boat" on the Cape Town International Boat Show in the V&A Waterfront Marina, which ends later today. From next week I will start to get her prepared for the delivery and slowly provision her for a 4-up crew. At the moment I have to still find a fourth person to help on the delivery, which I should have sorted out by the end of next week.
So, that is what is happening in this part of the world at the moment. More updates closer to the departure date of 1 November.
21/06/2010, Cape Town
Port Elizabeth is not my favourite port to stop in - it is dirty and we arrived to find that there had been a big storm in February, which had destroyed most of the marina. Due to this we tied up against a few fishing boats that are used for squid fishing. In the long run this was not too bad as you then do not have to pay for mooring fees. The yacht club was operating well and a new caterer has been appointed since my last visit about a year ago. They offer a much better service and it was great to be able to relax on the deck with a beer and some decent food.
We waited out the front that eventually passed on the Tuesday afternoon and through the night. At 08:30 on Wednesday we took our lines off the fishing boat and called port control to get permission to depart, which was granted with no delays. Then out to a very bumpy sea for a few hours until we were able to start heading west after rounding Cape Recife. We now also had the wind and swell on the port quarter, making conditions a lot smoother.
It was a pleasant sail at first, then some motor-sailing as the wind slowly died, followed with a lot of motoring again. I knew that a large front was again heading in from the south Atlantic and we monitored its progress each morning and evening. It appeared to slow down a bit and as we approached the most southern tip of Africa, Cape Agulhas, I decided to try and beat the front to Cape Town - a good decision as the front was big and we did manage to get into Cape Town just after 07:00 on Saturday morning.
So, Ultima Life is now in the V&A Waterfront, in front of the Cape Grace Hotel. The owner is still to decide when and where he wants the boat eventually taken. In the mean time it will be used for local sailing with family and friends.
Until the next delivery - John
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.
I am currently in Durban, South Africa, aboard a 53 foot catamaran called Ultima Life. I have been here since Wednesday 26 May, with my First Mate, Willem Greeff and crew member, Dylan Le Roux, getting the boat ready for delivery from Durban to Cape Town, a trip of about 850 nautical miles. When we get to Cape Town, the boat will be prepped for a further delivery to a destination the owners are still to decide - most likely to the Mediterranean.
We should have all in order later this morning (Monday, 31 May 2010) and depart Durban as there is a pretty good "weather window" for the next few days. Let's hope the weather stays favourable so that we can, at least, get down to Port Elizabeth.
More as we progress - regards Willem, Dylan and myself, John.
17/04/2010, Cape Town
It is sad to say that I am no longer going to undertake the delivery to Belize. This is due to personal reasons and I have decided to take a bit of a break from deliveries and will be "pottering around" at home in Cape Town. However, I will be out sailing again later in the year and will then start the blog again.