We finally departed Cape Town on the morning of August 6 - a few weeks later than we had hoped. Our first twenty four hours was not the most pleasant as we had massive swells and freezing weather. All of us were not feeling too good but that has now mostly past with only Neels still feeling a bit "off".
Our first leg is to the island of St Helena, a distance of approximately 1700 nautical miles. Due to the fronts moving across the South Atlantic at this time of the year, we are sailing the first section up the South African west coast, as far as the Orange River mouth from where we will then lay a course directly for St Helena.
Although we are quite loaded with provisions, diesel and water, the boat is handling it's self quite well. The wind (16 knots) is from the south west as is the swell (3 to 4 metres). We are sailing with the genoa only and are doing quite well, averaging over 5.7 knots - not too bad considering our size and weight.
I will do a more updated blog entry in a few days when everybody is acclimatised to the motion. Regards from Hardy, Andries, Neels and myself, John.
26/07/2009, Cape Town, South Africa
It has been an interesting few weeks since the launch of Leopard A4001 - with some frustrations thrown in for luck! The boat was moved to the "M" berth at Royal Cape Yacht Club where Robertson & Caine have their workforce and there has been a flurry of activity to complete the alterations and changes TUI Marine has requested.
To slow down the process we have had the professional photographers on board on two occasions to do their shoots for brochures and advertising and have had the boat out in Table Bay for test sails and more photographs. Each time this happened, we had to strip off the markers placed all over the boat to indicate faults - and then put them back afterwards.
On the crew side, Hardie (1st Mate), Andries and Neels (crew), are all waiting for the boat to be signed off and move aboard. We have done all our provisioning and now only need to prep the boat for the delivery, get the provisions on board and purchase the last minute perishable stores, before going through the clearing out procedure and departing.
I have been told that final sign-off is on Monday 27 - let's hope that it is!
Looking at the weather, there is a cold front moving across the South Atlantic which should reach Cape Town about mid-week, bringing unfavourable winds and seas with the associated rain. Hopefully this will pass quickly but, unfortunately, there is another huge frontal system following it, which will introduce NW winds and large seas, making it very difficult to get away from the Cape. We may sail up to Saldanha Bay during the lull and depart for St Helena Island from there as the front swipes the Cape - we will have to judge what to do closer to the time.
Well, hope the above updates everybody. The above picture is of our proposed route but may change as we progress north. John
My previous delivery to the Seychelles was not a good one for myself - I developed a severe chest cold and a high fever just after we departed Port Elizabeth, which lasted for two weeks. I must admit that I did loose quite a bit of weight as well but am now back "up and running" again.
The main thing is that we arrive safely in Mahe and spent a week in the hot and humid conditions cleaning the boat and seeing a bit of the island before flying back home to Cape Town.
The trip was also the last one that Luke will be my 1st Mate. No, we have not had a "fall-out" - Luke is now a highly qualified skipper after passing his examinations at the beginning of the year and now will be delivering boats as Master - well done to him!
Right, now lets look into the future a bit - on Monday June 29 my next boat was launched in the Elliott Basin in Cape Town harbour. It is hull #1 of the new Leopard 38 sailing catamarans and I will be delivering her to Annapolis for the next boat show. There will be four persons on board for the 7200 odd nautical mile delivery, which should take about seven weeks to complete. The handover of the boat from the factory to TUI Marine is scheduled for Monday July 13 and we should be ready to depart about a week after that.
In the mean time, I am taking a weeks break up in the mountains near the town of Clanwilliam, about three hours drive north of Cape Town. I will update the blog once I return - John.
12/06/2009, Port Victoria, Mahe Island
The two catamarans arrived safely at Mahe Island, Seychelles.
Moorings A1095 skippered by John Titterton and his crew and Moorings 40128 skippered by Miles Webb and his crew arrived around midday in Port Victoria on 12.06.2009.
John telephoned Deon in Cape Town at 13:10Z and reported that they arrived safely and that everyone is well. They will stay in Port Victoria for a week and arrive in Cape Town on Friday 19.06.2009.
I wish to thank the following persons for their time and effort:
Richard Donaldson-Alves who liaised with the Coalition Navy on the sailors' safety, reported the daily positions to the Navy and obtained position specific weather reports for the predicted positions of the two boats.
Alistair Campbell ZS5MU, his wife Davina and Graham Griggs ZS2ABK of the SA Maritime Mobile Net who were ready every day to receive HF radio traffic from John.
Paul Allen ZS1PJA who made the initial satellite phone contact with John to establish a reliable communications link with the two boats, following the loss of onboard email facilities.
Thank you for sailing with John and his crew.
12.06.2009 at 12:00
04d 53m E 055d 44m S
Course 325d True
About 20 nm from Port Victoria or about 3 hours to the finish line.
All well on board.
John and Crew