Sailing Around The Cape of Good Hope- Day 6 & 7


09:00 It’s 260 NM from Mossel Bay to Cape Town.  The forecast is very light over the next two days and we decide to go for it.  Better to have it light then against us.   After some quick calculations we figure if we average 5.4 knots for the passage we can cover the distance in 48 hours, putting is in at 9 AM Sunday morning. Sounds perfect!

09:30 We’ve cleared the bay and are headed out to sea.  There is about 5 knots of wind and a small swell running. Motor sailing with genoa furled and main and mizzen out.

10:30 Wind builds to 8 knots out of the South.  Just enough to set sail so we unfurl genoa, and turn off the engine.  Oh nice peaceful quiet…..

15:00 We’ve been sailing for a few hours.  Lots of Penguins and Dolphins around.  So very cool to see penguins!  Our speed is slow though, averaging only 4 knots.  We decide to motor sail to keep our speed up, we don’t want to arrive in Cape Town too late.  And if we have a good average now perhaps we’ll have better winds for the last part of the trip past Cape Agulhas and can sail then.  Furl in the Genoa, leave out the main and mizzen and set for 6 knots of boat speed.

00:00 Watch time!  Still motoring along under clear skies.  Almost zero breeze now.  There is a pod of dolphins following us and I could hear them while I was sleeping.  Now on watch outside I can hear them jumping in the waves just off our port side.  Too cool!

09:00 I’m awoken from a deep sleep by Brady and Karin shaking me.  What the hell is going on?  Karin is holding the camera, Brady a bottle of our finest Whiskey onboard.  Both have massive grins.  “We just crossed Agulhas bro!  We are now in the Atlantic Ocean!  Here take a shot to celebrate and appease Neptune!”  Yup, sounds about right.  I take a nice pull off the bottle and feel the warmth spread from my tongue, down my throat and into my belly.  The effect is immediate.  It’s moments like these that really make me stop to consider the interesting conditions we live in.  Awoken by a strange band of sailors that then pour whiskey down your throat in bed because you are now in a different ocean…  Brilliant!  I smile, put my head back down, and am asleep in minutes.

12:00 I sleep until watch time which is noon and it’s oh so nice!  The sun is shining, the skies are blue and we’re sailing!  Sometime during Brady’s watch the wind returned just enough.  We’re averaging right around 6 knots and the conditions are perfect.  Right on course and right on schedule.

14:00 We have 100 miles to go!  It’s now 2PM, if we want to arrive at 9AM on Sunday we have 19 hours from now.  100/19= 5.2 knots.  Give or take if we maintain 5.2 knots we’re right on schedule.  Right now we’re making about 6 knots under sail.  Better to go fast now, we can always arrive a little early and wait or shorten sail after rounding Cape Point and slow down.

24:00 We have exactly 0 knots of wind. Zilch.  Nada.  Nothing!  Motor sailing with main and mizzen out, genoa furled making 6 knots.  Not much going on except I can hear seals playing around in the darkness.  It’s super cold now- 14c!  6 hours so go, ETA for Cape Town is 07:00.

01:00  We have officially rounded the Cape of Good Hope!!!   We can see the Cape Point lighthouse flashing about 7NM off our beam.  The water is like glass and the Cape of Storms has allowed us to round her in flat waters.  Much better, I think within the next 24 hours it will be blowing 40 knots here!

06:00 The amazing, beautiful city of Cape Town is now in view and we’re greeted with the most incredible view!  The sun is just peaking over Table Mountain and it’s a hell of a way for Brady to start his 30th birthday!  We all sit up in the chilly early morning and count our blessings for having such an awesome passage.

07:00 “Cape Town Port Control, Cape Town Port Control, this is the sailing yacht Delos.  We are in bound to the harbor for the V&A marina.  Requesting permission to enter the harbor.”  Time to hail port control on channel 14.  They respond immediately “ Welcome to Cape Town Delos! What was your last port of call?”  “Our last port of call was Durban.”  They respond again “Thank you Delos.  Permission to enter harbor granted.”  Sweet!  We are cleared to enter now we just have to negotiate the bridges and we’re there.

07:03 “Bascule Bridge, Bascule Bridge this is the sailing yacht Delos entering the V&A.  Can you open the bridge for us.”  Silence…  Nothing…  A few minutes go by.  I call again.  Nothing.  Silence.  Oh crap.  Then Brady says “Hey bro, try calling swing bridge.”  I try that and they answer immediately.  Funny how they would answer to one and not the other.  Not like there are a lot of bridges here….  5 minutes later the swing bridge swings open, the bascule bridge rises up and we pass underneath both doing about 5 knots.

07:15 Delos is now safely berthed in her spot, anchored in the calm and peace of the V & A marina!  Another 800 miles and change has safely passed under her keel.  Time for hot showers, bloody mary’s, and eggs benedict.  And to kick off Brady’s birthday with a bang ?
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