Day 56, Year 6 Unbelievable Wind
Date: Sunday, December 19, 2010
Weather: Sunny and Beautiful, but WINDY
Location: Simon’s Town, Western Cape, South Africa

I always thought Chicago was supposed to be the windy city, but this place certainly has Chicago beat on that one. On a beautiful sunny day, the winds roar relentlessly through here at 35 knots. It shakes and rattles everything on deck and has the ability to loosen snap shackles and shake Dorade vents loose. Right now Mark is out on deck try to catch our main sail halyard that somehow unshackled so that the line is flying in the wind. It is flying behind us but our fear is that it is going to get wrapped around our wind generator. The wind generator is off but anything will turn in these winds. We are told to expect this on most every day. I’m sure we will adjust, but gale force winds while on a dock are just no fun. The lines and fenders are taking a real beating, but so far they are doing their job. I’m just glad we are not out at sea in this raging wind.

Our friends Bruce, Nadine, and Tristen from Hout Bay (between here and Cape Town) arrived this morning at 10:30 and we had a lovely time reconnecting. They called early to tell us they were coming, so we delayed our walk to Boulder Beach to see the penguins until Tuesday. When they arrived, we went to a seaside cafĂ© for second breakfast and caught up on the happenings since we were together in Madagascar. Bruce’s office is at the up-scale V&A waterfront in Cape Town and he will be there tomorrow, so we have decided to hop on the early morning train to Cape Town and meet him there. He will then take us on what he calls the “one-hour yacht services tour” to show us where to find things we need in Cape Town. We will also check-in with the authorities in Cape Town and do a little sight-seeing. We hope to be back here by early evening. Odulphus is hosting a meeting of all the cruisers we came in here with from Mossel Bay to plan our Christmas celebration. We all got together at the yacht club tonight to meet Sam from the South African Maritime Mobile Net. He is one of our heroes that comes on the HAM radio here everyday at 1:30 pm to report the weather conditions while we are at sea. It was great to meet him. Graham from Port Elizabeth has been giving us the weather since Madagascar and Sam took over once we were along South African coast. We will hear Sam until we get far off the South African coast and then Graham will be with us across the Atlantic. We are just so grateful for these dedicated HAM radio operators who voluntarily provide us with the weather information.

So it’s off to Cape Town in the morning. We can’t wait to see this city that sits under the formidable Table Mountain. We’ll report on that adventure tomorrow night.

101219 Day 56 South Africa– Happy Hour with Sam from MMN