Current and counter current
After a first attempt to leave Cape Town which had to be cancelled because of a not working network switch, the restart took place on Monday around 11.00 UTC. The Raymarine problem was fixed, btw it was the same I had already in Spain, a switch was slightly oxidized was producing a complete fail out of all components.
However after rounding the Cape of good hope and crossing the False Bay the wind was building. Forecast was 25 knots (which remembers me on a post with the title “fuc**** forecasts”) – we ended up with a max. true wind speed of 55 knots which is force 9 , almost 10. My goodness !! 3’th reef in the main way to much sails up. No way, it’s one of the coolest tasks of a sailing boat to take down the main in a force 9 gale, stepping to the mast and try to bring this sail down, in the middle of huge waves and breaking seas. However- finally it was down – driving with seven knots boat speed without sails is always a cool experience…the bow waves spraying forward, a strange view and makes you think about the forces of the nature….
That was the “hello” from the Indian Ocean. At least the technique was working flawless. After 4 hours of fighting the worst was over and the first night continued with endless sail changes. What a start.
From now on the fight with the currents started. The Agulhas current (or Mozambique current) is an east west current which flows with up to 5 knots along the South African shoreline.
The local rule says “ keep as close to the shore that you can smell what the guys having on her braais” – which means stay on the 20 meter deep contour line. This is amazing close to the shore. You see the breaking waves and it’s the worst for a single handed sailor. How to sleep? Anyhow, I managed it to kiss a sand bank and from then on I decided to stay between the 50 and 100 meter deep line. Which costs 1 to 1.5 knot boat speed.
In the meantime the wind is light, which is almost more difficult then strong winds. Right now we approaching Port Elizabeth and the plan is to top up the tanks and then proceed in direction Richards Bay.
Hello from 34.05.482 S / 25.24.408 E9.35 UTC August 3, 2017