Wed 23rd Jan 2008
The weather was not looking good for rounding Cape Agulhas yesterday & today. I had thought I would be moving on this morning (Wed) if not Tuesday night with the weather forecast I had, but the wind Tues was unexpectedly strong from the WSW and stayed that way today also - so it was a good thing I didn't leave too soon. Around 8pm, the wind suddenly dropped, so hopefully, it is about to go S/SE meaning I can leave soon & make passage around C. Agulhas & on to Simonstown overnight. It's absolutely calm now, as I write this.
I'm all ready to leave, having been busy most of a beautiful sunny day on checking engine, lines, refuelling etc. after a lovely dive this morning with Electro Dive who picked me up from boat. My last dive was on the Gt Barrier Reef out of Cairns. Saw lots of beautiful soft corals, basket stars on lovely Gorgonian fans, orange wall sponges & the only butterfly fish (a double sash) to live this far south. The water temp was only 21C & felt very cold despite a 5/7mm wetsuit! As I rose up, I passed through a large shoal of bright silver bonita - I just hoped no Great Whites were nearby!!
Yesterday, I visited the Bartolomeu Dias museum complex & enjoyed the caravel replica & exhibits. Boat on display was built in Portugal & sailed here in 1988 to mark 500th anniversary of the original landing here. I hadn't appreciated the significance of Mossel Bay & the maritime history hereabouts until I got here. Fascinating, enormous, 500 yr old 'Post Tree'! I'd got a lift in with 'Taniwani' (a much larger Najad) who are anchored near me - they left R. Bay last Friday also.
There is lots of flowering aloe & other pretty flowers everywhere & the view from 'Nereida' of the Mossel Bay area, a large bay backed by high green hills/mountains is very pleasant.
I spoke to the rigger in Cape Town - all the Selden parts have arrived safely & he is ready to start re-rigging on Mon or Tues, whichever suits, depending how soon I'm berthed at the Royal Cape Y.C. who expect me on Sat or Sun - it's looking like Sunday at earliest, I think, since I'll be stopping at Simonstown a couple of nights - several boats I know are there & would be nice to meet up with them again before I move on. 'Trudel' are here also.... they enjoyed their stops coming down the Mozambique Channel (after they finally made Chagos in v. light winds from Cocos Keeling) - that definitely sounds like somewhere to sail next time around!
Well, I'll have some food and raise the anchor to leave in flat calm - hope the rounding of Cape Agulhas, over 100 miles away & my furthest point S on this circumnavigation, goes well - it has a reputation for being very windy!!