Jan 8 - Saldanha Bay
The wind started blowing the night before our planned departure. So much for advance planning. Fortunately, by morning it had layed down, although the seas still looked rough in the bay outside Simon's Town. You have to go about 12 miles from the marina or anchorage, usually directly to windward, to reach Cape Point, which then enables one to turn and round the Cape Of Good Hope, a milestone for all sailors. By 0930, the wind was down to about 15 knots, but it was obvious the seas had calmed down quite a bit. The decision was made, and we were so fortunate to have many of our friends cast off our dock lines; getting into, and out of, the Yacht Club moorings can be a challenge. Unfortunately, shortly after that we discovered we weren't getting enough power to push us thru the head winds and small chop. Our speed was a depressing 1-2 knots; something was seriously wrong. Propeller clean - check; all fluids changed and topped off - check; engine revs OK and putting out amps - check....it took us most of the afternoon going an average speed of 1.5 knots to finally get around Cape Point - how depressing is that? I had decided not to turn around and return to Simon's Town; our destination promised provisions, parts and mechanics; we decided to go for it and evaluate our problems there. The weather was actually quite right; 15-20 knots of wind on the aft quarter; the evening was really beautiful, but cold. The Benguela Current is found in these parts, and we donned warm clothes and foul weather gear to stay warm. By about 0300 in the morning, the wind died, and yes, we motored. There were a few ships around, but no problems, and getting to Saldanha Bay was straight forward. We anchored in 22' sand/mud, and took the dinghy into the Saldanha Bay Yacht Club, where we were warmly greeted by Ivy,the Club Manager. Foreign visitors get 10 days free access to the facilities here, and provisioning is a short walk away. We briefly were introduced to the mechanic we'll be dealing with, so now we're getting organized. More info as it becomes available.
Pic: Cape of Good Hope to starboard!