Knysna to Simon\’s Town, Around Cape Aghulhas – End Book Two…..
16 February – 17 February, 2013 As the \”Heads\” had such a bad nautical reputation and our next weather window would be blustery, we again planned our exit cautiously. This time, prepared from Cousin Gill that the \”heads\” had a web cam, we sent out a blog to several of our close followers to watch at 7:30 a.m as we\’d be leaving the heads for Simon\’s Town. Indeed, I was able to send out a quick email just before we departed and several people (including Gill and David), sent us screen shots from there computers and telephones of \”Beach House\” departing the heads. That was cool!
The exit was no worry as we again left at high slack water. The swell was up to 3 meters (9-10 feet). The winds were not up yet, but we expected a very breezy passage with winds up to 30+ knot gusts from astern. After a few hours of motoring, the Southeasterly began to increase. We had a nice look at Wilderness and Mossel Bay in the distance and by dark, the winds were a blowin\’….! The \”breeze\” was a constant 25 knots with many gusts into the low/mid 30\’s. The swell was a constant 3 meters and the odd 4 meter (12-13 door) swell would go by. The big deal here was all the ship traffic.
Once we were in the vicinity of Cape Agulhas, we had constant \”heavy metal\” (big ship) traffic. I was a bit surprised when I hailed one \”thousand footer\” and the deck officer came back with a lovely feminine voice! Not unheard of, but unusual. I asked if she saw us as she was overtaking us from astern very quickly and coming right at us. She said she did and would alter course to starboard (her right), to leave us on her port (left side). This indeed she did, but if it had been daytime, I could have asked her if she had any \”Grey Poupon\” she was so close. Complicating matters was the other \”thousand footer\” on our port side who was fortunately a bit further away. It did indeed feel like a freeway out there and on Alexandra\’s watch, she felt one ship was too close and woke me to decide what to do. Thank You Alexandra!
No drama\’s or trauma\’s were had, but the big sea and wind kept a blowin\’. We made excellent time and passed Cape Agulhas, (The Southern most tip of the African Continent) at around 0500 on 17 February. I said a prayer for Cindy as we rounded. She and I always sang \”Lighthouse\” by James Taylor (which I of course played on the IPOD). If you\’ve never heard the song, give it a listen. It said a lot about who we were and what we were doing; dreaming safe at home in Marina del Rey…..
Now another of the Earth\’s three great oceans behind us. The Pacific, The Indian and now the Atlantic before us……
Once around the Cape, we were able to head more northwesterly toward Simon\’s Town. Simon\’s Town is a small old British Navy town only 30 minutes by car but an entire day\’s sail away from Cape Town. We gybed at first light and on starboard tack, headed fast for the barn. We knew it would take most of the day to get there, but at least the big ships were starting to head around Cape Point and the Cape of Good Hope (more famous than Agulhas). We sailed till we entered False Bay and a bit past the very wide entrance where we began to see lots of Sea Lions. The water temperature had dropped over 7 degrees F (4 degees C) since our rounding of Agulhas. Agulhas is where the Agulhas Current (warm) meets the Benguela Current (cold) which runs north along the West African Coast. All the marine life would now change. False Bay is home to the \”Flying White Sharks\”. This is a most unusual place as the Great White Sharks accelerate from below lazy/sleeping Sea Lions and literally fly out of the water attacking their prey. We did not witness this, but it is well documented if you google \”Flying White Sharks of False Bay\”. Lots of still photos and YOU TUBE Videos about it.
As we arrived, the winds were blowing 35 knots. Fortunately, as we came around the corner into the marina, it dropped to 13 knots! What a difference. We were met by quite a docking committee of cruisers who were expecting us thanks to an email sent by Dave and Kathie of \”Sunflower\” (whose boat was also there, but they were touring the countryside). We quickly found out that False Bay Yacht Club was another \”surg-o-rama\” marina. In fact, it would be the worst ever; destroying at least two dock lines.
False Bay is where we\’ll do some touring and have our planned crew change. Alexandra will be flying back to the UK for work and other sailing adventures. Nikki will be re-arriving in South Africa soon where she was attending sad family business…. This was in effect, the end of \”Book Two\” of the planned trilogy of Scott and Cindy. Book One was the Pacific Ocean. Book Two the Indian Ocean. Book Three begins soon, the Atlantic before us. Lastly, the Epilogue and journeys end…….
KIT Scott and Alexandra (Next – touring Simon\’s Town and Cape Town)……