It took exactly three days for us to get from Port Elizabeth to the anchorage just outside the False Bay Yacht Club. Most of the time the wind was E-ESE-SE but a bit variable in strength; the last 12 hours it was just ornery. Winds were sustained mid 40's with higher gusts, and I was very happy we had put that double reef in the mainsail; we had long since furled the headsail. I would have been even more happy if the mainsail had been doused and the storm jib was flying, but with winds so high, and seas running about three meters, turning from a very broad reach so that the main would come down was not a good approach. The boom was way out, the boat was surfing along at 8.5-9.5 knots and, thank God, the autopilot worked flawlessly. Surprisingly, the high winds lasted about 1.5 hours, before falling to a much more acceptable 25-30 knots. It was all good. The sunrise was beautiful and we made the anchorage in daylight (wind still mid 20's). After a few hours we received our berth assignment from the False Bay Yacht Club and motored into the marina. Fortunately for us, Dave (sv Leu Cat) was there to help with our lines or it would have been a mess with the winds doing their best to swing us into the neighboring boat. We now have doubled-up all our mooring lines, have visited the Yacht Club and Marina offices, and have met up with Cor & Olga (sv Future). Randy & Jenny (sv Mystic) have stopped by to welcome us; they're anchored nearby in the bay. Btw, we've now officially crossed the Indian Ocean, as Cape Agulhas is the southern most cape of Africa and this area is where the Indian and Atlantic Oceans meet. A school of playful dolphins, and another of seals, welcomed us as we were abeam of the Cape Agulhas light; how cool is that?!
Pic: Doesn't M look happy?
Pic: Safely tied to the end of a very long, rickety pier; it's a long walk to the YC and showers.
Pic: We can watch the crew teams practice on the Buffalo River from our mooring.
Pic: M & M putting up the storm staysail on the inner forestay. This was our weather most of the trip. Thank goodness the wind was from behind. We maintained 8 knots speed under bare poles for awhile, when we had a batten come loose trying to put a third reef in the main. We kept the main down for the remainder of the trip. We can see why they've given the name 'wild coast' to this stretch.
Pic: A landmark coming into Durban; the Moses Mabhida Stadium.
Pic: Matt playing a ball game with the crews from Gromit and Eros.