Cape of Good Hope – By Märta


It’s time to make a turn. A turn for good hope.

Once again I am back as “The Sailing Mum” on Delos and have the fantastic opportunity to be a part of her great crew. This time we are going to sail around the Cape of Good Hope. How crazy is that?! Few places have the same mystical vibe to it. I feel that this is a place where everything is and has been set on edge. In Swedish we have the word “lagom”, which is sort of in between everything, not too good not too bad.  A middle ground.  That is not Cape of Good Hope. Here it’s either black or white. There are so many wonderful and awful things that have happened here.

I’m sitting in the cockpit of Delos. Its half past two in the morning. For me this time is so special. I love to be on watch in the middle of the night. Even though I’m not an experienced sailor I don’t feel scared or unsure, only humbled and blessed, and a bit on edge. But I have been on night watch before and Karin has gone thru all the instruments and things I need to watch out for and I know what to do. The night is calm. Only a few cargo ships and they all show up with their data on the AIS. None of the fishing-boat-crazyness that we had in Malaysia last year.

Last evening was very special. We passed the southernmost tip of Africa, Cape Agulhas. How amazing is that!? I am on Delos sailing with Africa on my right, sorry starboard, and Antarctica on my stern. This also means that I sail from one ocean to another, from the Indian Ocean into the Atlantic Ocean. So many firsts for me. First time in Africa for starters. And then, just when we leave the Indian Ocean, we get the most amazing sunset with the sun setting in the Atlantic Ocean. Oh yes!

Brian, Karin and Brady had made a thorough check of the weather before we left St Francis Bay. These waters are known for their scary weather changes and I am glad the Delos crew is so skilled and safe in the way they sail. We waited for the wind to turn to easterly, and had hopes for some nice downwind sailing. It got calmer than expected though, and we ended up motor sailing most of the way. Which is quite okay, considering what weather can be like here just next door to the roaring forties.

When I start my watch at one o’clock there was some wind, but it almost completely died out during my first hour. The water is so calm it almost feels spooky. Delos plows her way over the ocean floor. The sky is as black as the water and shows a million billion trillion stars more clearly than I have ever seen them before. I understand why it’s called the Milky Way, something that you rarely see with lights all around. After checking the radar one more time I sit on the side of the cockpit taking it all in … And that is when they show up, right beside me. Dolphins! One, two, no many more! Wow!

It doesn’t get any greater than this. To sit on night watch and have Delos accompanied by dolphins. It is as if they want to make sure that I’m okay. They greet me and guide me on my way when I cross their ocean. I’m a guest in their world were they know everything and I really don’t know shit. I feel so big and so small at the same time. The bio luminescence makes the water shimmer when the dolphins break the surface and leaves bright tracks under water when they swim away. Magical.

At three I see the lighthouse on Cape of Good Hope for the first time. Cape of Good Hope … Hope for what? Just the lighthouse is a symbol of hope. A light in the dark that will lead you in the right direction and keep you safe. I’m thinking about the early explorers from Portugal, Holland or China that rounded the Cape in tough conditions without a light to guide them. What was their hope? Tea from India, new land, free religions? And the native people, that got their way of life changed forever, what did they hope for? Well, now we know that something’s turned out good and something’s turned out very bad before changing to hope in this special and beautiful country.

The Cape is also a place where you change direction. You make a turn and doing so you have a chose in what direction to go. And as this is Cape of Good Hope it is the perfect place to make a turn for the best. So let’s do it, make a turn that will send a message of good hope. There is so much craziness going on in the world, has always been and will always be. But so very very very much more is wonderful, awesome and beautiful in so many ways. That is where I want to turn. This will be my New Year’s wish.

I make a turn at Cape of Good Hope and I make it a turn for good hope to all.

In Swedish the word Hope is “Hopp”. And Hopp has two meanings, Hope and Jump. So I will start the year with a jump for hope!

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