Time Bandit

Whiling away Covid lockdowns cruising slowly towards South Africa for November ‘21.

26 November 2021 | V&A Marina Cape Town
13 November 2021
05 November 2021
28 October 2021
23 October 2021
17 October 2021
27 September 2021
18 September 2021
09 September 2021 | Peely Wally Pins Oot For A Walk.
24 August 2021
14 August 2021
02 August 2021
26 July 2021 | Covid safe, full body condom by Gucci
17 July 2021
09 July 2021 | Celebrating our permission to stay
03 July 2021 | Can’t get between a girl and her GS1200
26 June 2021
26 June 2021

Wallace & Grommit in South Africa

29 October 2021
We made it to Richard's Bay. South Arica! Who'd have thought. We were eighteen miles out of port at 02:30 and put the brakes on as it was black as pitch - fitting really as Richards Bay is a giant coal terminal, possibly the world's largest. If the queue of ships anchored outside is anything to go by, there's still plenty demand to keep burning the stuff and shove another few million tons of carbon into the atmosphere. Will we ever learn?

(An aside …… you may be aware there's a critical climate change conference in Glasgow soon. World leaders and their entourages are flying in; (that's really going to help) to once again make all the right noises. And do not enough. Anyway, the organisers bought up a fleet of Tesla electric cars to ferry the dignitaries the seventy miles or so from Gleneagles hotel in to Glasgow each day. Great idea. No gas guzzling limos. Non polluting, electric vehicles instead. Except, there's only one Tesla charging point in Gleneagles. Ooops. Just as well they were able to rent a whole bunch of diesel generators to charge the things overnight. You couldn't make it up.

Back to the story: having enjoyed sunny days and moonlight and stars all the way south, it was strange to have cloudy skies. However, we could see a few stars - Venus, Scorpio, Orion's Belt and I'm sure I saw Mustapha, but still not enough light to see the front of the boat.

About a hundred years ago I practiced a night entry to a local Clyde harbour. Simple enough, just identify, then line up the two red leading lights and proceed cautiously. It was quite a tight entrance with rocks all around but the leading lights were clear and easy to follow ……. right up until one of them drove away!

Since then, I've largely been happier to follow the dictum of never enter an unknown port or anchorage at night, especially busy commercial ports, and least of all where the instructions are to “tie up against the concrete wall outside the Dros Restaurant”, which would no doubt be shut and unlit.

Sunrise was only two hours away so, we just wobbled around out there getting wheeched along by the Agulhas current (we're doing a lot of wheeching these days).

Timed to perfection, slowed to five or six knots we were right outside the harbour as the sun poked over the horizon. I even got in an hours kip.

The whole trip had kind of crept up on us. Plan A had been to make a couple of leisurely, weather timed stops on the way down. “Ohh. Let's mosey across to Isle de Fogo. It's only about four hundred miles. Maybe two or three days. We can have a break, a rest and maybe a walk ashore. Then, we'll tick off the next four hundred down to Bazaruto.”

A great plan. Right up until the wind, for once, stayed favourable. “It would be a shame to miss this wind just to see an ABA, (another bloody atoll.) The same thing happened at Bazaruto and again at Inhambane. We sailed pretty much the equivalent of half the Atlantic in one go - by accident, albeit a favourable one. Just as well we stocked up on muesli and Nutella. One thousand, two hundred and eighty miles down and sixteen to go at a disappointingly slow average of just under eight knots, caused by drifting / motoring for the first two days. Max wind speed, twenty seven knots, max boat speed, twenty one and half knots. Hee hee! Or indeed, “wheech”.

All of this action took us south of the Tropic of Capricorn yesterday and down to twenty eight degrees latitude south and a decidedly chilly twenty degrees Celsius.

Similar to Wallace and Grommit, it's time for the long trousers.

Welcome to South Africa.
Comments
Vessel Name: Time Bandit
Vessel Make/Model: Outremer 51
Hailing Port: Largs, Scotland
Crew: Anne and Stuart Letton
About: ex dinghy and keelboat racers now tooled up with a super sleek cat and still cruising around aimlessly, destination Nirvana...
Extra: May’21. Now in Seychelles, either ‘till October when we head for South Africa or maybe we do an early side trip to Tanzania. Who knows.
Home Page: http://www.sailblogs.com/member/timebandit/profile
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