Voyage to SA – part 7

**Satphone update**

DAY 13: MONDAY 10th November 2014

The GRIB file shows how quickly southern lows can blow up the coast of South Africa. The 'barbs' show 30knots between Richards Bay to Inhaca, but calm to the north east.

The GRIB file shows how quickly southern lows can blow up the coast of South Africa. The ‘barbs’ show 30knots between Richards Bay to Inhaca, but calm to the north east.

While my big sister celebrates yet another 21st birthday on the west coast of Australia (happy birthday Di!), we’re on anchor at Inhaca Island near Maputo, Mozambique. Our anemometer indicated up to 35knots blowing relentlessly from the south. This lasted all day and night, finally easing in the early morning. The current running in and out against this wind causes waves and rough conditions in the shoal area where we’re anchored. It’s preferable to being out there though. We are quite a distance from land with plenty of water around us.

Peri Peri and SAMNET both reported that the southerly would ease to to SSE, then ENE by Tuesday afternoon. With 200nm to reach port we’d have to get a move on early or leave in the afternoon to reach Richards Bay on Thursday morning. The next low to roll through is forecast for this Saturday

Almost two weeks at sea and although you’d suppose we’d have enough rest while sailing, the sleep deficit is amazing once you stop. Throughout the day we napped, ate, tidied up, ate a little more, then by 6pm we were bedded and fast asleep. I’d stay that way until 4am the next morning!

DAY 14: TUESDAY 11th November 2014

Four in the morning and the sun hadn’t popped up, yet its impending rise behind the clouds produces an early morning glow, enough to see the lay of the land, so to speak. Like the day before, the sky is low and grey and the air is cool and heavy with moisture. The fabric and woodwork inside feels damp and slightly greasy from the salt air. Such a change from the tropical conditions of a couple of weeks ago. Enveloped in a cloud we can’t see the ships at anchor at the port of Maputo a couple of miles to the west, but we see their lights at night. The discouraging 20 knot wind from the southwest, or 220degrees, is not ideal. Our bearing to Richards Bay is 185degrees therefore we need at least 135degrees, or sou’east, to make headway. We have to wait a while longer for a favourable wind direction.

This morning we heard the updated weather forecast on Peri Peri and a more encouraging SE shifting to NNE is due this afternoon. Near to us, the ‘Andrea Helena’, called to advise us that it best to wait a while longer into the day before leaving to let the swell subside. Anchored further away from us and more to the east, they told us of gusts up to 60knots overnight! It provides obably did but we were both fast asleep and didn’t hear a thing. I think the bad weather is nearer the coast, as while we had 30+knots yesterday, Coruisk was motoring 100 or so miles east of us in calmer conditions.

Peri Peri said that the current’s flow at present is around 2knots and the width is up to 200nm. The area north of Durban is not known for freak waves, but conditions can be rough nonetheless. Below Durban the current can flow up to 6knots, producing those abnormally and dangerously high waves I mentioned a couple of posts ago.

So another day waiting for the best weather to continue this lengthy voyage. Keeping busy after my satisfying sleep, I spent time uploading recent photos and movies onto my laptop, continued reading a book, and baked some bread, the oven warming up the cabin, while Wayne studied the Lonely Planet guide to South Africa and fiddled with some electronics. We then had a feed of hot crusty bread, smothered in dripping butter and Vegemite (Wayne) and peanut butter (me)!

With my chunk of fresh bread and melted peanut butter, I sat back to continue with my current book. I’m reading ‘A Peace to End All Peace’ by David Fromkin. This well researched book looks at the extraordinary politics, the mistakes, misunderstandings, untruths, and eventual peace treaties of the First World War, and the subsequent creation of the Middle East as we now know it. Appropriate reading for this Remembrance Day, but in 100 years, how far have we progressed I wonder? Lest we forget. DAY 15: WEDNESDAY 12th November 2014

At 2200 last night the wind was from 175degrees so we decided to go to sleep and wait till morning. At 0300 I was up and checked the wind angle – 60degrees, ENE, yay! I poked Wayne awake and he told me to go back to sleep until the sun was up, but it was like Christmas morning for me and I was wide awake and rearing to go. He acquiesced and by 0300 we had hot coffees and we’re on our way south. With 20knots on the beam and the southerly current, we are expecting a swift trip.

My next post WILL BE from Richards Bay in a day or so. Thanks for coming along the voyage…until then…

Current position: 26*02 S 33*02 E
Crew condition: damp, well rested and on our way!
Miles to Richards Bay: 174nm direct
ETA: 13 November

About blueheelerhr39

Sailing the world aboard Blue Heeler
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