Saturday, 23 January 2016

Rounding The Cape Of Good Hope; The Cape Of Storms


On Monday, we finally rounded the Cape Of Good Hope. Named the "Cape Of Storms" by the Portuguese explorer Bartolomeu Dias, who rounded it in the year 1488, it remains an important milestone in a sailor's travels.

Ley, Having A Bad Hair Day At The Cape
Our rounding was simple enough, with little wind and lumpy seas. We'd seized on a rare "no wind" weather window, following almost three weeks of plus 30 and 40 knot winds.

So we motor sailed from Simon's Town to Cape Town, covering about 80 nautical miles and entering the Atlantic Ocean with sunshine and a cup of coffee in our hand. Excellent!

Just one day earlier we had visited the Cape by road, riding the funicular railway to the lighthouse station in the late afternoon.

Venturing out onto the parapet of the cliff face, we literally had to hold on to the rocks to stand up to the wind blast.  Damn this place is windy!

On our sailing passage the following day, whales, seals and penguins were our companions.  However the biggest surprise was the water temperature; 13 degrees centigrade at the Cape and barely half a degree warmer here in the marina at Royal Cape Yacht Club.  Damn this water is cold!

Cape Town & Table Mountain Approach

It was a beautiful day to round the cape.  We are now safely berthed in the marina in Cape Town and continuing with our maintenance and repairs.  We'll certainly be hiring a professional diver to clean the hull; I don't have a wetsuit thick enough to work in water this cold.  For the first time since we departed Melbourne over 10 years ago we have condensation forming on the inside of the hull, from the waterline down. I take beer from the storage locker and find that it's already cold enough to drink... well, almost cold enough.

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