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Sunday, January 29, 2012

January 29, 2012-Sailing to Namibia

We sailed out of Cape Town on Wednesday, anchored at Dassen Island for the night, and in the morning we set sail again for Namibia.

For two days we had wind, more than enough at times, and the sailing was good.

On the third day the wind lost its strength and we slowed. By the next morning it was light and fitful.

We sailed offshore in search for more pressure but found none. We jibed back towards the beach, maybe a land breeze would be there, but no, it was calmer yet.

As I waited in the predawn I smelled the Namib Desert and heard the roar of the surf not far away. I thought of the fear that sound would bring to the wind sailors of the past but it did not bother me, we have our engine.

At sunrise dozens of seals greeted me and welcomed us to Namibia and arching out of the water and plopping back in. Some Porpoises came too and tried our bow wave but found it wanting; we were wallowing.

As they turned away I shrugged and started the engine. It was only nine more miles to Luderitz and I'd wanted to sail the whole way but on some days it is not meant to be.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Luderitz, Namibia

PS: We anchored in Luderitz at 10:00AM Sunday January 29. We'll be here a few days; we have a couple of repairs to make and maybe a bit of sightseeing, then we will be off to Walvis Bay, the next port.

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Thursday, January 26, 2012

January 26, 2012-The Sailing is Glorious

The sailing is glorious today, crisp cool SE breeze behind us blowing 18 knots, cloudless sky, brilliant sunshine, sea birds wheeling overhead, we've seen whales, dolphins, seals, you name it, and we're going in the eights; it can't get any better but I set a couple of lines; maybe we'll get a fish too.

The wind is building, were talking about reefing and I have little doubt we'll need to do that in a while, but with all hands that will be easy.

Last night we anchored at Dassen Island in the company of several fishing boats and had a good night. Got some Internet the morning and finished all our South African Business so there is no need to make a stop at Saldanha Bay.
We're off to Namibia.

Fred & Judy (and Randy & Laura), SV Wings, On Passage

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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

January 25, 2012-Departing Cape Town

wingssail images-fredrick roswold
Blue Peter at the Yard

Today we set sail from Cape Town bound for Namibia.

We are checked out, the boat is provisioned, tanks are filled, the weather looks good, the crew is eager to go, and we are just now having breakfast.

We cast off the lines at 09:00.

Fred & Judy, (and Randy and Laura) SV Wings, Cape Town

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Monday, January 23, 2012

January 23, 2012-Crew Arrive in Cape Town

On Friday night Randy and Laura, our crew for the Atlantic crossing, arrived in Cape Town.

wingssail images-fredrick roswold
"Oh Laura, I'm so glad to see you."

Big hugs all around and then down to the boat to get Randy & Laura settled in.

The next day we headed off on a flury of sightseeing: Simon's Town, Cape Town waterfront, Cape of Good Hope, Stellenbosch Wine Country, a private game park, and even an ostridge farm.

Cape of Good Hope

More Lions

We've also completed the final sailing readiness: took on fuel, water, cooking gas, heaps of food and other supplies, completed the safety checks, and even sold the car. We are fully prepared to go to sea. In a couple of days we'll untie from the docks at the Royal Cape Yacht Club and then...we're sailing!

There will be some more stops in Africa, including Namibia, and after that we'll sail to Saint Helena, a small island in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, maybe also Ascension Island, then we make for Brazil.

We expect to be in Brazil by mid-March.

We'll keep you posted.

Click here to see images of our trip to the Cape of Good Hope and the wine tasting trip.

Click here to see images from the game park and the ostridge farm.

Fred & Judy (and Randy and Laura), SV Wings, Cape Town

Saturday, January 07, 2012

January 8, 2012-Table Mountain Down Draft

Wave of Cold Air Breaks over Table Mountain

On an otherwise nice day a Tsunami of cold air suddenly crashes over Table Mountain and pours down into Cape Town.

Sea gulls take shelter on the lee of our transom.

An afternoon Sou’Easter is coming and the masts soon catch the blast and the yachts begin a mad dance like they’re all on ecstasy and they’ll be up all night while we huddle in our cabin and listen to the howl.

It is just another normal summer day in Cape Town: sunny and warm at lunchtime when we washed the car in the parking lot. Then we saw the white cloud form over the mountain and the wind turned to the south and we wondered if there was any punch in it but Jim Burwick said if it turns black it’ll blow 40 knots and while we thought that was just talk, some sailor braggadocio meant to scare us Cape Town newbies, it did turn black and it blew like hell and by 21:00 it was over 38kts and the gusts were getting stronger.

So he was right.

But cape sailors shrug it off; they’re strong down here, have to be, boats were coming and going all day.

Not us; we check the dock lines and stay put.

Table Mountain is a rock in the stream for air blowing from either direction. In a SE wind it bangs into the Twelve Apostles and flies over the top before crashing down into Cape Town. A few days ago however we found ourselves on the West side, over by the Twelve Apostles, and on that day a NW wind blew and the cloud came over in the opposite direction and came down onto us on the coast highway by Clifton. In the late afternoon sun it was gorgeous and when it got cool we just climbed into the car and switched on the heater.

Like a few other places in the world, Auckland, Hobart, and Patagonia, for example, when you are on a point of land sticking down into the Southern Ocean, the air masses will take their measure of you, they really do, and we are reminded of what insignificant specs on this planet we really are.

But we could be at sea in this stuff. That would be worse.

Click here to see more Cape Town photos.

Click here to see some boat work photos (Rope splicing and Stove Repair)

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Cape Town


It's the next night. The neighbor's wind generator sounds like it is self destructing, the howl is louder than ever, the instruments say over 49 knots of wind, and Wings is jumping around at the dock like a bronco on a short leash.

This is in the marina?

We wonder if this is a normal thing for Cape Town; the locals don't seem to be taking any notice. Maybe this is typical. If so, we're impressed.

Today's Highest Gust

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Sunday, January 01, 2012

January 1, 2012-A New Year in Africa

wingssail images-fredrick roswold
Did this stork bring the new year?

It was a midnight kiss, lots of fireworks which we could hear but not see, and the sound of big ships horns blasting that brought in the new year aboard Wings. We didn't go out, maybe too pooped from the boat projects we'd been working on all day, but we had a good celebration anyhow.

Last year has been great and we are expecting another one just as great.

In a few weeks we will set out to explore the SW African coastline as far north as Namibia, where we are looking forward to a trip ashore to see the Namib desert, then we'll angle off to cross the Atlantic Ocean to Brazil with stops at St Helena and maybe Ascension Island on the way. It will be a big trip but we are up for it. Randy and Laura are coming with us and they should arrive in about 10 days. We are looking forward to seeing them and sailing with them too.

Here in Cape Town we have very glad to be in our snug marina berth at Royal Cape Yacht Club because it has been blowing nearly every day, often over 35kts and a few times over 40 in the marina. Outside I have no idea but we glad we were not out there sailing. However, we've been watching the local boats go out and we've decided that if they can do it we can too. At least we could go downwind in this stuff, and farther north it should get lighter.

(Sometimes the local boats which go out can't come back in it's blowing so hard. They have to tie off the end of the dock and wait for a lull before trying to get back into their berths. This place blows!)

wingssail images-fredrick roswoldSimonstown

It has been blowing just as hard south of here in False Bay at Simonstown where most of the cruisers go. We visited Jim and Carol on Nepenthe there and not only was it windy but the boats were jumping around in a way which brought back memories of other ports in South Africa we've been to where you have to hold on even down below to keep from falling over.

A side trip we took included Hout Bay and the bird park there World of Birds.

wingssail images-fredrick roswoldHello Big Bird

You can see more of the photos from World of Birds here.

We have a few more boat projects and lots of exploring to do before we leave Cape Town, and we'll keep you up to date with all of it.

For more shots from Simonstown, Hout Bay and the Twelve Apostles, click here.

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Cape Town

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