Around Cape Agulhas
Well they made it, but it was tense for a time. For those not following the story, my wife and I are heading around the South African coast. In Mossel Bay, which is 120 miles from Cape Agulhas the southernmost point in Africa and one of the world's great capes, I seriously injured my hand. I have returned to Canada for extensive treatment on my hand and we needed to move Ainia around the Cape because the harbour at Mossel Bay is just not good enough to leave the boat. The answer was that June would have to take the boat to False Bay near Cape Town. She recruited friends from an American boat named Serannity for crew and were off while I was winging my way north.
The first 225 miles went fine. They motored for seven hours or so and then had a really nice sail with SE winds in the 15 to 20 knots. The last five miles were shall we say, 'interesting'. The harbour is quite small with the docks close together and it became apparent that the could not enter the harbour as the winds increased to 30 and then 40 and then more knots. At the yacht club they recorded 56 knots. They tried to pick up a mooring near the entrance but the pendant seemed to short. They then anchored in 40 feet of water with 40+ knots. The Manson caught finally but they were in contact by radio with the yacht club and the local rescue station who did not want them out there since the conditions were not going to get better and might get worse. The rescue crew came out with their boat and several crew and helped get Ainia into a dock. All in all an exciting time (don't know how long it all took).
The local people were great - we have found South Africans to be very helpful and interested in visitors
These weather conditions are not uncommon here. SE winds are focussed through False Bay with high land to the north and south. These winds continue over the land and back onto the sea near Cape Town - shown by the famous tablecloth clouds spilling down Table Mountain.
Most importantly, June did a terrific job. She has only been sailing for about five years and has tended to defer to me too much in the past. But she really stepped up and did a great job and was even asking a question about how to bleed an injector since the engine needed to be bled several times after a repair in Mossel Bay.
Back in the water in Grenada - with new main and #2 and cockpit canvas (Santa came early). Will spend the winter and early spring in the Caribbean and then head to Bermuda and the northeast US. Still trying to decide if we will bring the boat to Canada, either in 2015 or 2016.