Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
Join Date: May 2006
Thanked 118 Times in 106 Posts
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Re: Looks like we are going sailing tomorrow
Next step down the coast and not a good one. We left Port Elizabeth with what was described as 'not a great window, but a window nonetheless'. Sort of like going on a blind date with someone who has been desired as having a great personality. We were supposed to have 8 to 10 hours of west winds in the 10 to 15 range but it turned out to be 24 hours of 15 to 20 (her personality was not great either). Our orginal plan was to go to Knysna which is a gorgeous spot but an only be entered in ideal conditions ie one hour before high tide and only when there are no large swells which break across the narrow entrance. We had timed our trip for this tidal stage and it became apparent that we were not going to make it, so we headed into Plettenberg Bay which is well protected from westerlies. When we reversed the engine to set the anchor we got a godawful howl and when we shot down the engine we found that the raw water pump was leaking like a sieve. So we became a real sailboat and picked up the anchor and sailed off for the real harbour which is Mossel Bay which was about 60 miles away. This epic journey lasted 25 hours with most of that in winds to about 10 knos close to on the nose and with 3 metre swells, currents and wind waves. The last part of the trip was fine sailing, much of it with the asymmetric up. But then the winds went up and as we were lowering the sail, the halyard broke and we had a long purse seine beside us. Do you know when one these babies falls in the water, the sniffer inverts and the whole thing ends up being about 100 feet long. Once we got that wet mess back on deck, we contacted Mossel Bay port control about getting a tow into the harbour since it is not large and had no idea where we going inside. They said there policy was not to do tows at night and that we had to anchor outside the harbour for the night. We managed this just in front of a small mooring field and the mighty Manson grapped first time and held us brilliantly with 20+ knot winds and good-sized, but not good swells all night. It is amazing how well you can sleep when you are tired enough. Anyway, we got towed in this morning by a small tug and are glad we did not try to sail in at night. The wharf walls are quite high and lined with big heavy equipment tires. It is hard enough to climb onto the dock when the boat is tied up, jumping up with a line from a boat (40,000 pounds) docking under sail would be pretty impressive, even for my wife who is very athletic. In any case, we are here and the new pump is at Westerbeke in the US (I hope!) since there apparently is not one in Africa and the one that went was already my spare.
An addition, once you get past Port Elizabeth the impact of the Agulhas Current is less since it starts to spread out and weaken. It also gets further offshore so it is not convenient to use.
Might be in Mossel Bay for a time and it is not a bad place to get stuck. On Sunday we are doing a cage dive with great white sharks - our three sons are going to be very jealous.
Finishing our major refit. Our trip to Newfoundland is off because it is too late. Hoping to go to the North Channel instead.
Last edited by killarney_sailor; 01-02-2013 at 03:10 PM.