South Africa to Caribbean – Day 1
Posted by yachtcamomile
After leaving Simonstown on Sunday 15th January at 2.30am we successfully motored around to the V&A marina in Cape town. The reconditioned fuel pump worked well and the new solar panels regulator was also performing but more importantly not interfering with the replaced VHF radio. All was good for leaving South Africa as our visa’s were running out on 23rd January.
My first job was to clear the backlog of washing in their washing machine which had a hot water fill, every one knows I love a hot water washing machine. As it was ‘too windy’ to go to the RCYC to check out Josh of the V&A persuaded them to let us check out from the V&A but first we had to wait for the letter. Finally arriving via Josh at 4pm it was too late to check out that day. The next morning we obtained a letter from the V&A to confirm all monies had been paid and set off for the control tower in the port to obtain the third letter we needed to take to customs to check out. The control tower is only open for letters from 12 to 3.30pm and after our second visit we got it. (Our 3 letters had different dates but customs didn’t seem to mind) we walked back into the port to, first immigration, where numerous forms were filled in and our passports stamped, then finally customs. That took 5 hours altogether and I can honestly say apart from Indonesia South Africa has been the worse for paperwork.
Tuesday was also Sara of Norsa’s birthday and I made her a cake. We spent a wonderful evening celebrating with Solstice and Gaia too.
Wednesday morning we climbed the Lion’s head next to table mountain, chains and all. The last 200ft was quite difficult but what a fantastic view! We’d started early and got back down at 10.30 3 1/2 hours round trip. I was in need of a coffee!
The rest of the afternoon was spent shopping for last minute provisions, fruit and veg and a bit more wine. It was early to bed because we both felt absolutely exhausted after our walk.
Thursday morning we were ready to go, our 48 hours after our check out was up and we couldn’t delay any more. It was with mixed feelings we left at 10.15. We want to get going but we’ve enjoyed south Africa and haven’t done everything we would have liked to do so hopefully we’ll come back one day – but on a plane.
Within an hour the sails were up and we were enjoying a great sail. The main thing we noticed was that it was cold. The water temperature was only 15 degrees and despite it being their summer and the sun being out the wind had a chill to it.
It had been decided we would do a couple of day sails to start with to get used to the motion of being at sea again after spending weeks in marinas along this coast and motoring between them when the wind dropped to save being beaten up by the weather. Our first stop was Dassen island and we anchored at 33 24.78S
along with a dozen fishing boats and millions of birds. The island was a bird reserve and fairly flat but with the anchorage on the north side it was very protected from the southerly winds. We had travelled 41 miles, a good start to our journey.