Only after 30 or so miles the Agulhas current picked us up and we raced under full sails and the engine, making 8-9 knots. Still following the isobaths.
April 25th; the whole day we’ve been making 10-15 knots from the NE tailwind. The sun... tailwind, and our speed under with the engine, sails and current is over 10 knots.
At 21:30 we passed East London’s starboard beam. We fell on the 235 degree course toward Port Elizabeth, 170 miles away.
At 16:00 on April 26th we passed Port Elizabeth’s starboard beam. Not bad... in a little more than two days we made about half of the way around the southern tip of Africa. We have 400-450 more miles to go, the hardest ones in my opinion. Will the Cape us go through?
April 27th. This is the third night that I’m steering in a jacket, cap and jersey, as it’s cold and damp. As the sun sets, there is so much condensate that the boat is wet just like after rain. The W headwind didn’t change direction or force today. At least it’s only 10-15 knots.
April 28th. At 15:45 we passed the Cape of Agulhas’ starboard beam. This is the southernmost tip of Africa, dividing the Indian and Atlantic oceans by the 20 degree meridian. We’ve entered the Atlantic having said goodbye to the Indian. We started to turn toward the Cape of Good Hope 90 miles away, at 280-290 degrees. 120 miles to Cape Town. The SW headwind increased to 25 knots and began to retreat, just like the passing ships had warned.
29th April. At 01:00 we discovered the Cape Point lighthouse, right on the tip of Good Hope. Hello to the hardest, unpredictable and cunning cape in the world! Thank you for letting us go through with ideal conditions. I hope very much that when I do my rowing project and will be, literally and figuratively speaking, closer to you, that you will recognize me and will let me go through the same way without any significant problems. Deal? And don’t worry about the broken rib and shattered leg; I’m just gonna treat you with more respect because of that.
We’re sailing under 8-10 knots with a third of the genoa up. Even though the tailwind is 35-40 knots, it’s all just pure old fun. At 03:00 we passed Cape of Good Hope’s starboard beam. We’ve made it! We’ve finally met! Now we just have to get to Cape Town and have a good, stiff drink to the occasion.
At 11:30 we docked at Elliot Basin Marina in Cape Town. Hello Cape Town! Nice to meet you. A total of four and a half days around the Cape of Good Hope? Now that’s a real gift!
The boat was raised ashore for a quick check-up and repairs and remained there – we discovered damages that were better off treated right away, especially since the insurance company paid for them. God knows when the boat will be ready to be delivered to Florida, knowing the pace of work in RSA… my impressions of South Africa include: the sea, and I even visited the jail for a day because of the agent’s fooling, impermissible behaviour with the authorities. But that’s a different story.
But right now I’ve come back home and am continuing my search for sponsors for my rowing project, my new world record.
Don’t we have a Richard Branson who cares about the country’s prestige? Time, which is so short, will tell – whose project will this be?
+ VIDEO (soon)