Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Simon's Town, South Africa - Blowing Your Sox Off

50 Knots On A Moored Sailboat Is Not Much Fun
Folks warned me that Cape Town was windy in the summer, but I really didn't expect this much wind. Sitting here in the marina at Simon's Town, we watch the wind speed as a form of entertainment - what will it hit today?

For the past five days its been blowing around 40 knots average, and for several days much higher.  Local mountains create katabatic gusts that swirl through the marina.

Yesterday, friends watched a waterfall being blown uphill, just above the town.  Yikes. We go forward to check the dock lines frequently, but over 45 knots that means holding on to the life lines - in the marina! Some boats are diving and bucking as if they are at sea.

Tonight we sat in the cockpit for an hour having sundown drinks and saw wind over 50 knots several times in the gusts, with the average for the hour being 45 knots. Just nearby, aboard the catamaran Emerald Sea, they measured 65 knots. This wouldn't be so bad if it was just for a day, or even two days, but it is expected to blow like this for another week.

Crystal Blues is riding to five (count 'em) spring lines, three starboard bow lines and numerous others. Chafe is constant - we added woven chafe protection to the bow lines yesterday, it was full of holes by the morning.  Tonight I added Spectra sheathing to two bow lines, we'll see if that survives. Vigilance is everything here.

Finally, here is a first for us - in the big gusts, the wind blows the fenders up through the lifelines and onto the deck. Give us a break! Locals are totally adapted to these "breezes", after all they get 100 days per year of gale force wind, here in Simon's Town. The locals also call this wind the Cape Town Doctor - we do love Cape Town, just not the doctor's medicine!

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