We arrived in Durban after a very uneventful day sail from Richard's Bay. There was no room at the Durban Marina so we anchored just outside of the marina. We were somewhat disappointed in having to anchor because we had packed our dinghy away into our lazarette thinking we would not need it again until Brazil. When we first arrived we thought we would be leaving again in about a day as it looked like there was another weather window which would get us to our next destination of East London. Well, that did not exactly work out as we spent the next week in Durban waiting for an appropriate weather window.
Mark ended up spending the better part of our time in Durban researching weather on line. He became so knowledgeable about the day to day changes that we started having weather briefings on our boat with many of the other people in the fleet. On the day we decided to leave, many of the boats went back and forth about whether they should stay or they should go. We also went back and forth multiple times. In the end, we decided to leave with seven other boats in the fleet while four boats decided to wait for the next weather window.
While waiting out the bad weather in Durban, we ended up on anchor one night in 50 knot winds. We were grateful that we weren't out at sea but regardless it made for a rather sleepless night. Britt and Shadow went on land exploring while Mark and I stayed with the boat. We did anchor watch and were quite anxious that we would drag. There were quite a few of us in the anchorage and we all watched out for each other during the long night. Mark and I figured that this was about our third episode on anchor in gale force or stronger conditions. The sailing and mooring conditions that we have experienced on this trip are remarkable. We did not imagine that we would have experienced some of the situations we have encountered. I wonder if we would have been so eager to do this trip if we knew all of this before we started.
While in Durban we celebrated Thanksgiving. There was no turkey to be had but Mark did have ostrich out at the restaurant on Thanksgiving Day. We went to uShaka Marine World in Durban for Thanksgiving Day with a whole group of people from s/v Spirit of Alcides and s/v Southern Cross. The aquarium was huge and quite impressive. We went to a shark feeding, penguin feeding and a dolphin show. At the dolphin show, I was picked out of the crowd to have a close encounter with one of the dolphins named Frodo. I rubbed her belly and was able to feel her heartbeat. I rubbed her neck and then gave her three kisses. It was an incredible experience.
Our last night in Durban, we went to the Roma Revolving Restaurant in downtown Durban. It is one of 31 revolving restaurants in the world. We had drinks with s/v Matilda, s/v Peat Smoke and s/v Southern Cross at the Sky View Bar above the restaurant. The views from the bar and the restaurant were amazing. We ate dinner with s/v Southern Cross and Mark asked the maître d' who took our order for something really different. He recommended the springbok to Mark which is a medium-sized brown and white gazelle of southwestern Africa. It stands about 28 to 35 in high. Springbok males weigh between 71 and 110 lbs and the females between 55 and 77 lbs. It is extremely fast and can reach speeds of 62 mph and can leap 13 feet into the air and jump a horizontal distance of up to 50 feet. Mark thought it was quite good but now that I read all about them I am less enthusiastic about Mark eating it.
We are leaving Durban on Tuesday November 27th and hope to get as far as we can towards Cape Town. We will see how that goes.