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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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Discussion Starter #1
I know a blog should be kept up regularly, regularly could mean every few months. ;)

Anyway ... If anyone would like to read some observations about crossing the IO, or see some (ok, many) neat animal pictures - go to onAinia.blogspot.com.

Btw, we have a good weather window, ie no gales from any direction, so will be starting the process of getting to Cape Town. Our possible destinations are Durban (80 nm), East London (330ish) and Port Elizabeth (450ish). We will head out until we pick up the Agulhas Current. We should gain at least 2 knots from it, bit could get as much as 5 - which would not be a bad thing. Goal is to be in Cape Town before Christmas.
 

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Good luck...I have been following you religously. The Angulus current is the one place I have great trepedation about, Have a safe vouyage and see you on the other side

Dave
 

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Sorry haven't had the time to read your blog but I assume that you're in Richards Bay - nice place and friendly yacht club ( I'm also guessing you're at the yacht club and not Tuzi Gazi).

And I'm also sure that you'll make full use of local knowledge regarding the Agulhus Stream and the suitable weather windows to head down the coast.

I grew up in Durban and did most of my coastal sailing up and down the coast between East London, Durban and Maputo and could (but won't)tell you some serious horror stories about getting it wrong.

I'm not trying to sound scary because it is easy to get the weather window right and then it's a sleigh ride heading south but you really need to get some quality local knowledge about staying on the inner fringes of the current, using a thermometer to find that edge and heading inshore promptly if a "westerly buster" is forecast.

I envy you the trip, we did it many times and it's a beautiful coastline but it is quite inhospitable with no bolt-holes at all.

Enjoy.
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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Discussion Starter #4
We are at the yacht club and the weather window looks exceptionally good with winds from SE becoming NE in the 14 to 25 knot range, nothing from SW or W for the next 6 days so we will get out there and see how it goes. We made our landfall at Cape St Lucia and had a marvellous sail down the coast for 5 hours or so. Hope for more of the same. The current seems quite close to shore these days so we should get it sooner leaving RB.
 

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I really enjoyed reading your blog and the photos are fantastic. An amazing journey. Thanks for sharing.
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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Discussion Starter #6
Well we did get very far. Went out this morning for four hours. After the 35 knot squall right at the harbour entrance we found SW winds between 15 and 25 with nasty, short choppy winds. Forecast was light southerlies becoming SE. Looks like we can go to Durban tomorrow with good NE, but can't go to East London because of SW developing. Nothing from NE before next Wednesday so we may get a chance to 'enjoy' Durban for some time.

Boy the weather and forecasts change here rapidly.
 

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Bristol 45.5 - AiniA
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Discussion Starter #8
Made it to Durban last night. Originally intended to go to East London which is another 250 or so miles but the SWester was going to arrive before we got there by about 70 miles so came into Durban harbour about 0200 from well out in the Agulhas Current. We averaged about 10 knots for several hours and were doing more than 12 at times. Just before we got to the harbour entrance we got hit by the 2nd worst thunderstorm I have ever experienced. Nasty. South Africa has a ridiculous system where you have to check in and out of every port including customs and immigration. Also the offices are not open Sat or Sun and 'no one works on Friday in SA' so we have to go in and check in and immediately check out since there is a window from Sunday that may be good for 5-6 days.
 
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