Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Cape Town Departure

Hi everyone,
We departed Cape Town at 1315 today towards St Helena, 1700nm away. Our current position is 33 36S 18 07E, sailing at 6.5 knots on a course of 330M under full main and single-furled yankee. The wind is about 15 knots from the SW. Marvellous sailing!

We arose this morning to find the RCYC shrouded in fog. We took a taxi to the V&A Marina to pay our bill there and by the time we got back the marina was clear of fog but there was still plenty in the harbour. So we had a very nice breakfast at the club and got the boat ready for sea in slow time.

We were very lucky - the harbour was clear of fog as we departed. As we motor-sailed north the breeze rapidly died away and Cape Town alternately appeared and disappeared as fog banks went by. Eventually we had to motor for about an hour into a very weak NW wind - right on the nose. As we passed Robben Island on our starboard side a W wind gradually filled in and we were able to shutdown the motor. Huzzah!

We cleared out in Cape Town on Sunday and it proved to be very straight-forward. The RCYC clearances lady works on Sundays and she provided the letter we needed. We then took a taxi along to Harbour Master, Immigration and Customs offices (in that order). Weekends are good since the Harbour Master's office in town is closed and so one uses the office in the port - right next door to customs & immigration.

We departed South Africa exactly three months after arriving. We enjoyed our time here immensely but it is time to move on. From St Helena we plan to sail to Ascension and then on to the Windward Islands in the Caribbean. We characterised our Indian Ocean crossing as "eating the elephant". Perhaps our South Atlantic Ocean crossing might be thought of as "punching the rum". We're looking forward to our first Caribeean rum punch.

Trust all's well where you are.

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