Flying Into Cape Town
26 November 2021 | V&A Marina Cape Town
Jeez. Ocean sailing. Who’d do it? John, the South African delivery skipper we met in Rebak all these years ago……..or was it just eleven months, said it amused him to watch cruisers take all kind of weather beatings trying to get around the bottom of South Africa just so they could be in Cape Town for Christmas.
“The trick”, John said, “is just wait until January to run round from Richard’s Bay to Cape Town. Much nicer.”
But who are we to listen to experience when there’s this nebulous date in the calendar, a city we’re told you’re a lot less likely to get mugged in and of course, our in-built urge to, “press on.” (Not to mention a BMW F800 waiting on us)
And so, there we were thrashing along in the dark in thirty to thirty five knots, three reefs in the main and genoa pulling manfully, trying to win back the ground to weather we lost earlier in the day due to re-routing around inconveniently placed Traffic Separation Schemes and even more inconveniently placed tankers. We could have threaded our way through the two mile wide gap between the shallows of Six Mile and Twelve mile banks off Cape Agulhas…… but as we’re from out-of-town and there’s no word to the wise in the pilot books, discretion was to the fore and we favoured sea room over possibly getting a bit drookit from big foaming breakers washing along the deck.
Cape Agulhas is where our adventure of the last year comes to an end. It’s not the Pacific. That’s for sure. We’ve enjoyed and suffered in equal measure warm, balmy seas drifting along in a zephyr and thirty five knot, wild, wet and windy squalls. At Cape Agulhas the Indian Ocean ends and the South Atlantic starts. The good news is, we’ve two pairs of cruising friends who both bought new boats in Cape Town and both sailed them to Europe. Johann says his toothpaste tube stood on its cap and stayed upright the whole length of the South Atlantic. We’ll see!
We could do with some quiet weather as it got a bit breezy under Table Mountain. Flat water, relatively and a steady forty to forty five knots, gusting an eyebrow raising fifty four as the katabatic winds plummeted down the mountain lifting spume clouds and speed records.
We were flying. Have a look……..