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  #1  
Old 12-20-2012
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Looks like we are going sailing tomorrow

For those who want to go off on extended cruise, possibly a circumnavigation. Here is an example of the situation you may find yourself in. As some of you may know, we are working our way down the coast of South Africa getting ready to head into the Atlantic in January. We have been in Durban for 11 days after not planning to stop here at all. We were planning to go from Richards Bay to East London (about 350 miles = two days with the current) but the forecast changed and we were not going to be able to make it to EL before a strong southwester came. These southwesters dominated sailing life here because when they flow into the Agulhas Current you can get dangerous conditions (waves can be 70 feet). Picture a northeaster going into the Gulf Stream except moreso since the current is much bigger and faster.

We are in a southwester now but it should stop over night and then we are gone. The next SW is predicted for some time Sunday morning so we should have 48 hours +/- for around 260 miles. I have checked the current chart and laid out a series of waypoints that will keep us in the current. Some areas are showing a current of 4 knots so we should be able to go pretty fast. Coming from Richards Bay we averaged 10 knots for four hours and went over 12 at times. Winds are supposed to be in the 15 to 30 knot range over the next couple of days from east to northeast which is good. Waves should rise to the three meter range so will be a bit bumpy and tiring I imagine. The only problem with this section of the coast is that there is absolutely nowhere to go if conditions deteriorate. The coast is basically straight and lined with beaches. It is one of the bad sections that give rounding South Africa its reputation. Will tell everyone how it went.
Faster, chef2sail and mdi like this.
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Old 12-20-2012
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Re: Looks like we are going sailing tomorrow

Best of luck... looks/sounds like a good opportunity and weather window.
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Old 12-20-2012
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Re: Looks like we are going sailing tomorrow

Fair winds and following seas.
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Old 12-20-2012
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Re: Looks like we are going sailing tomorrow

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Originally Posted by Slayer View Post
Fair winds and following seas.
Thats about the only time you go sailing down here.
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Old 12-20-2012
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Re: Looks like we are going sailing tomorrow

Sounds exciting!!!!
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Old 12-20-2012
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Re: Looks like we are going sailing tomorrow

And nine feet of water under your keel...
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Old 12-20-2012
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Re: Looks like we are going sailing tomorrow

Keep us posted KS, hope all goes according to plan.
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Old 12-20-2012
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Re: Looks like we are going sailing tomorrow

Safe passage
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Old 12-21-2012
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Looks like we are going sailing tomorrow

Ever occur to you that getting on the outside of the Agulhas current and continental shelf u don't have to worry abt freak waves and coastal lows or commercial traffic?
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Old 12-21-2012
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Re: Looks like we are going sailing tomorrow

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Originally Posted by Bob142 View Post
And nine feet of water under your keel...
Actually its more like 180 feet. The Aguhlas current kicks in about there and you want to ride that down south. If the SW change comes in ealier then its sticking closer to the coast than 180 feet depth.

All a little tricky, but better than Somalia.

Character building stuff, so have a great trip!
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