Journey to South Africa – Part 2

Wednesday October 27, Day 5 – Total nautical miles traveled 655, 173 nautical miles traveled in the past 24 hours. A high pressure system is crossing the bottom of Africa is bringing strong winds up the Mozambique Channel, the water between Madagascar and Africa.

The big wind has arrived! Forecasted wind from the high pressure system is 25-35 knots. I’m sure that’s what we have (we were unable to get a replacement part for the broken wind indicator in Reunion Island). Sails are both triple reefed, cruising 8-10 knots with 2 knot of adverse current, 12-14 ft waves. We bore away 30 degrees from rhumb line to alleviate boat heal. Not a pleasant sail. It was a horrible 18 hour sail!

In preparation for this wind, Monday I made a cold tuna pasta salad in anticipation we were not cooking, that’s what we had for dinner. When the seas are rough I basically refuse to cook. Plus I think it’s too dangerous to have an open flame when there is this much movement of the boat.

Thursday October 28, Day 6 – Total nautical miles traveled 853, 198 nautical miles traveled in the past 24 hours.

Welcome to the fun house! That’s what this ride feels like. Pick up the fun house toss it around while squirting a fire hose at it. Speed over ground 8-9 knots, sails are more than triple reefed, the waves are still 9-12 feet, glad I don’t know what the wind speed number really is! By 8pm, the high pressure system had past along with the high winds.

New time zone GMT+2 12:15 pm in Richards Bay, South Africa, 6:16am in Philadelphia, Thursday.

Friday October 29, Day 7 – Total nautical miles traveled 1030, 177 nautical miles traveled in the past 24 hours.

Pleasant day with warm sunshine. Winds are 10-15, the “left over” big waves have subsided leaving rolling waves at longer intervals.

The nights have been quite cool, temperatures in the high 60’s. We’ve been wearing long pants, sweatshirts and socks with boots!

Chili for dinner, topped with an aged British Cheddar Cheese to warm us up!

Saturday October 30, Day 8 – Total nautical miles traveled 1191, 161 nautical miles traveled in the past 24 hours. Wind 15-20 knots, cruising speed around 8 knots.

As predicted, at 6pm the wind shifted from northeast to southeast. The main and staysail are in tight, for motor sailing, the breeze is light and at our nose. The wind is forecasted to go south. At this point, we are 137 miles from the destination.

Sunday October 31, Day 9 – 🎃 🦓🦒🐘🦏🐅🦛Day 9 – Total nautical miles traveled 1354, 163 nautical miles traveled in the past 24 hours.

We successfully crossed the Agulhas current flowing 2 knots where we were. A waypoint was set north of our destination while crossing it, to avoid drifting too far south and have to sail north against it.

Agulhas current is a warm water current that runs south along the east coast of southern Africa, and is the Western Boundary Current of the South Indian Ocean. It is narrow about 60 miles wide, and fast moving averaging 0.5- 2 knots per hour can reach as high as 5 knots per hour. It is one of the largest western Boundary Currents in the world.

Arrived at the “wall”, International Quay at Tuzi Gazi 4:30 pm. Confined to the boat till after a negative COVID test. There are two other boats on the wall and a submerged sailboat. Total trip time 8 days, 8 hours, 1411 nautical miles traveled from Reunion Island.

Richards Bay started out as a small fishing village located in the KwaZuku-Natal province. Named for Admiral Sir F. W. Richards, a commander of a Britian Naval Division. Formally known as Mhlathuze lagoon he renamed it after himself. The bay was used as a temporary harbor during the Anglo Boer War of 1879, opposition to British rule was a cause of the war.

Richards Bay has the largest export coal terminal in the world. 65 million tons are exported every year from the KwaZuku-Natal province.

KwaZuku-Natal is close to several World Heritage sites and Big 5 game parks. The Big 5 are Elephant, Rhinoceros, Leopard, Lion and African Buffalo because they the most dangerous and considered an accomplishment by trophy hunters to bring them home.

South Africa became an independent nation in 1961.

16 thoughts on “Journey to South Africa – Part 2

  1. Oh good lord. It sounds like a very scary leg of the journey. What a relief to get past that wind !


  2. Wow you had quite the passage. Kudos to you. Glad all is well and you are safe. Enjoy your passage comments and wonderful history on your stops. Enjoy . Jack and Judy


  3. So glad you made it with out too much trauma or drama.

    I would love to hear more about the sunken sailboat at the wall.


    1. Me too! The sunken sailboat is a ferrocement boat that sunk about two weeks ago. Apparently the boat was abandoned by its owner who have been unable to be located.


  4. Oh may, a little scary…I would be petrified with the high winds and waves! Happy you arrived safely!


  5. Quite the passage. We didn’t have 30 knot winds on the Chesapeake !!!
    Didn’t you want some fresh Calamari ??
    I read your Predict comments with the Blog. Interesting about the Bugs.
    Stay Safe.


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