Adventures in Sailing

Durban to East London

Our first trip departed Durban, South Africa on route to Cape Town, South Africa. I was a little slow turning on the tracking so we lost the first bit of the route.

We left pour mooring at Bluff Yacht Club at 5:45pm (16 Dec 2016). There was little to now wind the first night and we ended up turning the motors on low just so we were making progress.

On 17 Dec 2016 around 2pm the Up-haul snapped in 7 knots of wind and the main sail (2 reefs) came crashing down. It appears that there had been some chaffing and the weight of the sail caused it to snap. Will replace with a stronger rope in Port Elizabeth. We took a few minutes to assess our situation and decided to continue on with just the Genoa.

By the morning of 18 Dec 2016 the winds had picked up to 20-25 knots and we had reduced the Genoa. As the day went on the wind rose to 28-33 knots and we had the Genoa down to 2 meters. The boat was very stable and there was no concern. However, we were 40 km offshore and had to start making our way back towards the port which meant going 45 degrees to the waves (3 meters). We put the engines on low and that provided us with more stability and better direction.

As we entered into the port of East London we radioed for permission to enter a couple times of channel 9 and 16. There was no response. We later found out that they use channel 12. At any rate we continued in and found a place to anchor near the closed yacht club.

Today (20 Dec 2016) we will be departing East London for Port Elizabeth.  It should be a 20 hour sail and we have a weather window of about 36 hours before the wind changes direction and storms move in.  We will be using the engines if we need to hurry up, but it appears we have lots of time.

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