Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
Join Date: May 2006
Thanked 122 Times in 110 Posts
Rep Power: 11
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.
After the refit we have decided to sell Ainia. We want something smaller that would be could for the light summer winds of Lake Ontario, although we plan to spend at least a couple of winters in the Caribbean before heading north.