Day 85, Year 6 Maybe Tomorrow
Date: Monday, January 17, 2011
Weather: Sunny and WINDY, Back to SE 30-35+ Knots
Location: Simon’s Town, Western Cape, South Africa

The wind came back full strength today which was not what was forecasted. There is a short period of low winds forecasted for tomorrow morning early, and if that turns out to be correct Windbird will be will leaving South Africa as soon as the winds allow. The book we ordered from Amazon with the Christmas gift certificate we got from our daughter and her family came today. Yeah! The book is supposed to be the definitive book on fishing, The Cruiser’s Handbook of Fishing, and we’re hoping it will help us catch dinner more than a few nights in the next few months. So there is nothing else to hold us here except the wind. When it is windy here which is most of the time this year, it funnels straight up False Bay making it almost impossible to fight the headwinds to get out. If we don’t get out tomorrow or Wednesday morning, it looks like it will be another week. So here’s hoping.

So whether tomorrow morning or Wednesday morning or possibly later, the upcoming passage is a long one. From the Cape of Good Hope, South Africa, to Cape Cod in the US of A it is just about 8,500 nautical miles. If were to go non-stop that would take us 1,700 hours or 71 days. But we are going to stop to have some fun along the way, so it will take us around 3,936 hours or 164 days-5+ months. It is impossible to really estimate exactly how long a passage like this will take and to anticipate how many days we will stop in different places. But the following schedule gives you some idea of our plan:

South Africa to St. Helena @ 1,735 nm-14.5 days (Jan 18 to Feb 1)
Stay in St. Helena-5 days (Feb 2 to Feb 6)
St. Helena to Ascension Island @ 705 nm-6 days (Feb 7 to Feb 13)
Stay in Ascension-5 days (Feb 14 to Feb 18)
Ascension to Grenada @ 3,000 nm-25 days (Feb 19 to Mar 16)
Grenada to St. Martin @ 500 nm–30 days/stops (Mar 17 to Apr 15)
Stay in St. Martin-3 days (Apr 16 to Apr 18)
St. Martin to Vieques, Puerto Rico @ 140nm-(Apr 19 to Apr 20)
Stay in Vieques-16 days (Apr 20 to May 6)
Puerto Rico to Florida @1,015nm-9 days (May 7 to May 15)
Stay in Florida-10 days (May 16 to May 25)
Florida to the Carolinas @ 475 nm-9 days/stops (May 26 to June 3)
Stay in the Carolinas-14 days (June 4 to June 18)
Carolinas to the Chesapeake @ 460 nm-4 days (June 19 to June 22)
Stay in the Chesapeake-4 days (June 23 to June 26)
Chesapeake to Cape Cod @ 450 nm-4 days (June 27 to June 30)

OR SOMETHING LIKE THIS! We have a couple of hard-wired dates when we know we have to be in certain places. We will meet Mark’s family in Grenada around the 18th of March and we meet our children in Vieques on April 22nd. It will be interesting to see how closely we follow the schedule. All of this planning has been done based on traveling an average of 5 knots. If there is no wind, things will take a bit long. So it will also be interesting to see what kind of speed we can really make.

We had a great sushi lunch in town today and then walked out to Boulders Beach to say farewell to our African penguin friends. Then at Happy Hour, we met with Steve and Truce of Key of D who will be leaving for St. Helena on Wednesday, Pieter and Carla of Odulphus, and Piet Hein and Tory. Piet Hein cleaned out his car today and found that Mark had dropped his extra camera battery in the car on Sunday. This is specialized battery that costs more than $100, so Piet Hein graciously offered to drive it out to the Yacht Club. We feel bad that they had to drive all the way out here, but I’m sure both he and Tory enjoyed the company of other yachties. We all said our farewells which were especially hard for us since there is no longer the chance that we will see them in the next anchorage. Now we are back on Windbird and are getting wind speed readings of 50 knots. Sure hope this calms down in a few hours.

We talked to my sister Patsy and her husband Joe this evening via Skype video talking about coming home and then we talked to our good friends Bruce, Nadine, and Tristen from Hout Bay saying our farewells. We will be forever grateful for their wonderful South African hospitality and somehow feel that we will see them again. We are anxious to leave but parting is really difficult.

110117 Day 85 South Africa–False Bay Yacht Club Snipits