Voyages of Petite Ourse

25 February 2017
31 December 2016
13 December 2016
30 November 2016 | Inhaca Island, Mozambique
26 November 2016 | Inhaca Island, Mozambique
14 November 2016 | Bazaruto Island, Mozambique
31 October 2016
17 October 2016 | Dzaoudi
02 October 2016
31 August 2016
31 July 2016 | 200 miles from Victoria, Mahe
20 May 2016
11 April 2016 | Maldives
24 March 2016 | Maldives
19 March 2016 | 50 Miles from Uligan
15 March 2016
12 March 2016 | Offshore Southeast Sri Lanka
09 March 2016 | Trincomalee Harbour

Finally Cape Town

25 February 2017

We finally arrived in Cape Town on Wednesday February 24th. The last hop was from Mossel Bay and took just over 2 days with the usual spate of 30 knot winds and near calms. In addition we had heavy fog off the Cape the morning we arrived. Seals were plentiful in the offshore waters and now in the V&A Waterfront Marina. The Waterfront development is vibrant with its mixture of shops, museums, aquarium, hotels, restaurants, and marine industry. We are off to visit Table Mountain tomorrow.

Durban January 21 - February 9

12 February 2017
We stayed 17 days in Durban at the marina in the city centre and in the middle of one of South Africa's biggest ports. Durban Marina runs the mooring slips for the two yacht clubs - Point Yacht Club and Royal Natal Yacht Club. The personnel running Durban marina were very friendly and helpful giving us recommendations of where to visit and shop. We joined both yacht clubs as temporary members. Each club has a restaurant and bar. At the Point club's 125th anniversary celebration we tasted our first bunny chow - essentially a hollowed piece of bread to form a bowl with a curry filling it. Originally this meal was for workers so that bowls were not needed.

Our berth was at the end of a 300 metres long finger so we got walks in by just going to the yacht clubs or marina office a couple times each day. On every day we were there, fisherman occupied a spot on the breakwater opposite our berth from dawn until dusk. On weekends they even brought a tent and stayed overnight.

Durban is the second largest city in South Africa with the largest Indian population outside India. There are a variety of markets and plazas and a stunning beach called the Golden Mile. The Golden Mile is anchored at one end by a Marine World including an outstanding aquarium. On the other end is a casino. In between, there are a myriad of hotels and restaurants. The Golden Mile beach walk and it many facilities was built for a recent football World Cup. To the west of the city is the Valley of a 1000 Hills where we took the Umgeni Steam Railway trip from Kloof Station to Inchanga Station. The working steam engine was built in 1939.

We left for East London, 260 nautical miles from Durban, on February 9th.

Richards Bay Holiday Season

31 December 2016
We celebrated Christmas with a conventional turkey meal and Australian wine. The Tuzi Gazi marina/waterfront complex is a centre of activity during the holiday period. New Years eve promises no sleep on Petite Ourse tonight according to the local boaters.

We have visited two nearby game reserves - Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve and iSimangaliso Wetland Park. At the game reserve we saw giraffe, water buffalo, zebra, kudu, antelope, black rhino and white rhino. In the wetland park, the major attraction was hippos, crocodiles and birds.

We had the opportunity to go out with one of the harbour tugboats to escort and berth a cargo ship in the port at dusk. These tugs have immense 5000 hp dual diesel engines and finger-tip steering. It took about 2 hours to escort and then berth the cargo ship.

We are hoping to visit Kruger park early in the New Year and hopefully see some lions and elephants. Then we will start passaging to Cape Town in coastal weather window stages.

Richards Bay, South Africa

13 December 2016
We finally arrived in Richards Bay on December 8th after more than 30 days since we left Mayotte on November 5th. The 200 miles passage from Inhaca to Richards Bay was without incident of high winds. We squeaked past a front which died just north of Richards Bay. We did speed along at 8 plus knots in some places in the Agulhas Current. We have berthed at the Tuzi Gazi Marina and will probably stay here or the Zululand Yacht Club until the New Year while visiting the game reserves and parks nearby. The price of wine and meat is amazingly cheap.

More Weather Fronts

30 November 2016 | Inhaca Island, Mozambique
We are still in the Inhaca Island anchorage. The interval between fronts has been too short to attempt to sail to Richards Bay. Last night we had a severe pre-frontal squall with winds peaking in the range of 60 to 70 knots. In the middle of the storm we had a 180 degree wind shift from north to south. One boat dragged at that point and one boat lost its dinghy. We are thankful that we have a well stocked larder since we have not been off the boat since November 5th. Our fresh fruit is down to bananas. We thought these bananas would never ripen but a month later after we bought them in Mayotte they are being gratefully consumed.

Currently we see the next front approaching. South Africans say we are getting more unsettled weather than normal.

Another Weather Anchorage

26 November 2016 | Inhaca Island, Mozambique
After a 3 1/2 day passage from Bazaruto we arrived at Inhaca on November 24th. We are anchored on the west side of Inhaca Island for protection from strong SE winds and to await the next weather window. The first front has almost past through and a second weaker one will arrive within 2 days. Long range forecasts indicate we may have to wait a week here before there are suitable winds to go south 200 miles to Richards Bay, South Africa. There is a flotilla of cruising sailboats waiting here, 9 at last count including us. With the strong southerly winds, conditions are not comfortable in the anchorage,with the tidal current pushing the boat abeam to the waves with some breaking on the side. This also occurs with the strong northerly winds that precede the southerly front. In between the fronts, it becomes a bit more calm in the anchorage. The capital city of Mozambique, Maputo, is only 20 miles to the west and with good visibility we can see the highrises along with a queue of anchored cargo ships and one cruise ship. The island of Inhaca has several resorts on it and a small town.
Vessel Name: Petite Ourse
Vessel Make/Model: Valiant 40
Hailing Port: Toronto
Crew: Richard Kolomeychuk, Dominique Aucouturier
Extra: Started in Toronto, Canada July 2009
Petite Ourse's Photos - Main
1 Photo | 1 Sub-Album
Created 2 February 2017
The passage from Mayotte to Richards Bay, South Africa was about 1200 nautical miles but took 33 days as we sought refuge anchorage in two Mozambique locations at Bazaruto Island and Inhaca Island (both of these islands are national parks)
40 Photos
Created 8 January 2017
1 Photo | 1 Sub-Album
Created 31 October 2016
August 3 - October 3, 2016.
3 Sub-Albums
Created 2 October 2016
March 25 - July 23
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February 25 - March 10
1 Photo | 6 Sub-Albums
Created 9 August 2016
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Created 21 June 2016
September 30 - November 22, 2015
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Created 14 May 2016
1 Photo | 4 Sub-Albums
Created 31 December 2014
12 Photos
Created 9 December 2014
1 Photo | 5 Sub-Albums
Created 10 August 2014
1 Photo | 7 Sub-Albums
Created 30 May 2014
1 Photo | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 19 September 2013
August 17-21, 2013
5 Photos
Created 19 September 2013
1 Photo | 3 Sub-Albums
Created 30 July 2013
32 Photos
Created 16 July 2013
38 Photos
Created 23 June 2013
1 Photo | 12 Sub-Albums
Created 20 July 2012
Ocean passage from Galapagos to Marquesas
35 Photos
Created 18 July 2012
18 Photos
Created 7 May 2012
1 Photo | 4 Sub-Albums
Created 7 May 2012