January 13 and 14, 2021
No wind. Flat sea. Motoring. Sunny. Warm. Few boats. No birds. You got the picture?
Around lunchtime today (14th) we got some wind, right on the nose!
All good onboard, we managed to barbeque yesterday, yummie…
January 11 and 12, 2021
I shouldn´t complain, I know how it is in Sweden, but… the nights are very cold! I am used to this nice tropical heat and out here in the southern Atlantic we have the breeze from Antarctica! Brrrr…
We spotted an Albatross! It circled around the boat for 20 minutes, probably looking for fish.
We have S 17-19 knots wind and descent waves. Yesterday we managed to sail 171 nm in 24h! Our record is 180 nm, which we did one day from Galapagos to Marquesas in 2018.
Our hometown Fjällbacka is at 11* E, we just passed 11*E, so… in one way you can say we are circumnavigators?! We have made a spiral around the globe, now we just have to take us back to 58*N! We consider ourselvs as circumnavigators first when we crosses our own outgoing track, that will happen in Barbados.
The wind died down during night, S 12 knots, cloudy but good visibility.
From noon SSE 7 knots, we keep our speed up with the gennaker.
Day 1/9.1.2021: First 8 hours very little wind and fog, but from there a nice SSW 15-19 knots.
Day 2/10.1.2021: The wind turned slightly against S. Choppy sea with white caps. S 18-23 knots.
All good onboard,we are making good progress, 6.5-8.0 knots speed over ground.
Everything is sorted and we are ready to go! We are heading for Jacaré in Brazil, approx 3300 nm and it will probably take us 20-30 days. Fridge and freezer have never been this full, we have food for at least 45 days onboard, and hopefully we get a fish now and then.
You can follow our trip on our blog. I always post every second or third day during passage, but our sat phone has been acting up do don’t get worried if you don’t hear anything.
We do like everyone else is doing, we try to avoid contact with other people but… it’s very difficult to be here and not go up on Table mountain, not visit Cape of Good Hope or drive around this beautiful area, so I have to admit: we have done all those things, with face-masks and lots of sanitizer! Unfortunatly the country went into lockdown with curfew and alcohol restrictions just the day before we rented a car. Our plan was to go back to the vineyards and by more wine but… they were not allowed to sell us any :-(.
We have started to prepare ourselves for next ”leg”. When you look at the map you can see it’s a really long distance to the Carribean from here, 4000-5500 nm depending on where you want to land. We just got the news that St Helena is closed for us. It’s about 1700 nm from Cape Town and should have been a perfect stop on our way. We have heard so much about the Island and we were really looking forward to hike and visit Napoleons house/prison. Now you are only allowed to stop and rest and will not be allowed ashore. So… what options do we have? Who knows what follows? I think we have been very patient and waited and waited for borders to open, and now they start closing again! Decision is made and we will leave here and prepare ourselves for a very long sail probably make a pit-stop in Brazil or/plus French Guyana, before Carribean but… who knows what happens during approx. 40 days at sea?
The wind was in our favor and we decided to leave East London and try to catch the Aghulas current. And we did! We were once again flying until we reached Port Elisabeth were the current disappeared and wind changed. We have heard horror stories about the marina in Port Elisabeth and was very reluctant to stop there. One of our friends stopped at Port Elisabeth to escape wind and waves, what happened instead was that the surge and swell in the marina was so bad so he lost one of his cleats!
The plan was to stop at the next bay that is called St Francis (about 40 nm from PE) but when we arrived there we decided to continue as the wind direction slightly changed. So instead of having a nice goodnight sleep at anchor it turned out to be a struggle against the wind.
To sail past both Cape Aghulas and Cape of Good Hope of the southern tip of South Africa was a great feeling. Back in the Atlantic and almost home!? Well.. maybe not almost home. The wind was still on the nose and we were tacking our way forward with big help from our engine. Just outside Cape Town we met a big pod of whales and a lot of seals and maybe, we don’t know sea lions!
In Cape Town you can choose from two marinas, V&A (situated in the middle of everything) or Royal Cape Yacht Club. We choosed the later because we didn’t realise that this marina was that far from the center. The good thing is that this marina is much cheaper and so is Uber! You have too look at the bright side!
We are having a great time in Cape Town with surroundings. The famous Table mountain can be seen from everywere in town and its caracteristic plateau gets a ”table cloth of clouds” now and then. We went up with the cable car on a clear day and got a stunning view over town!
When in East London we got a tip from Ryno (the guy that runs the bar among other things) about a great wine tour company: La Rochelle Tours. We phoned them and off we went with our great guide Aylmer. Three different wine farms were visited and too much wine was drunk! We visited Leopards Leap Wines and Anthonij Rupert Wines in Franschoek and on the way back to Cape Town stopped in Stellenbosch at L’Avenir Estate. The wines here are both good and cheap. 14 bottles of fine wine are now stored in our bilge and more will come!
After a few days with rehabilitation up in the mountains with fresh air, resting and wonderful views, Johan got back his strenght rapidly. When back on the boat we arranged a local guy called Mandala to clean our hull and prop. After a month without moving a lot of things start to grow and that slows down the boat. In Reunion a small coral reef had started to grow on our prop so it was completely stuck until Johan put on diving gear and released the prop from all the corals.
We got a narrow weather window and decided to leave Durban and start make our way to Cape Town with stops along the way. A few miles out we found the famous Aghulas current, and wow, we were flying! With 3-4 knots current it was not unusual to see speeds of 9-10 knots for hours. The sea was pretty rough, but nothing that wasn’t expected.
Our wind speedmeter didn’t work so as soon as we were secured properly in East London I climbed the mast to figure out what was the problem. When up there I discover that a fishing line was tangled in it!? How on Gods earth did that happen? Maybe a bird?
We have had some problems to empty our holding tank. The fuse blows immediatly. We discovered that the tank was full so the problem needed to be solved ASAP! We assume there is a block at the out pump, and we can’t reach it. What to do? Rebuild the sewage system! So that was what we did, not pleasant at all! Now we pump direct out in the sea and not via tank. But… what shall we do with a full tank that we can’t empty? We will try to find a pump-out-station, but I’m not sure if there is any before we reach Sweden?
This morning we got problems with the toilet pump system again. Oh no! When we open it up we discovered a small fish in there! No wonder it didn’t work! It must have been sucked in when we flushed. Release the fish, put everything together again and now it is working, puuh. I’m angry with myself that I didn’t think of taking a photo.
It blows like hell at the moment so we are glad to be safe outside Buffalo river yacht club, East London. Here we will wait for next window to hop to Port Elisabeth 150 nm or direct to Cape Town if weather allows.