The Cape (And The Town)

We left Knysna late one afternoon with a high tide, a small swell, and little wind. The weather prediction was for the wind to pick up overnight, but it really didn’t so we ended up motoring most of the night. We had a short window to get around the Cape of Good Hope before the wind came back strong and we didn’t want to miss it by sitting around drifting. By the next morning we had finally started sailing and making some pretty good time. Not enough to get us to Cape Agulhas (the real southern tip of Africa) in daylight but enough that we should make Cape Town by the next day. That did mean that we got to the Cape of Good Hope in the morning hours. It was a bit hazy, so the photos aren’t too great, but we had a nice rounding with 15-20 knots of wind from astern. The wind picked up as we moved up the west coast of Africa until it was blowing 30 and gusting 40 as we approached Hout Bay and Cape Town, but at least we made it around the pointy bit in nice conditions.

Simon and Donald Standing on the Actual Cape (not the one with the tourists and the sign) a Few Days After the Rounding

When we got into Cape Town harbor the wind was gusting into the 40s and we couldn’t decide where we wanted to stay. The options were the Royal Cape Yacht Club (which is windier) or the V&A Marina (which requires passing through a couple of bridges and puts you in the middle of the noisy tourist section of town). We ended up selecting the RCYC but there was no way we could get into our assigned spot with the conditions at the time. It was the weekend, so we just tied up to the guest dock/immigration dock for the night. That was a straight-in upwind approach. The next morning we took advantage of a short calm to move into our assigned spot. It’s only a 30-foot slip, and we’re 50 feet, so we stick out a bit. Our neighbors aren’t too thrilled (but very friendly nonetheless).

Rental cars are pretty cheap in South Africa, so we got one for a week to allow us to get around and do some touring with Simon. The first chore was running around trying to find someone to repair at least one of our alternators. That ended up being a futile task but it got us close to Stellenbosch so we spent the afternoon in wine country.

We also took a day to drive down to the cape from the land side. We deliberately picked a day with little wind so we could enjoy ourselves rather than getting blasted as we did the last time we visited by land. Of course there were busloads of people that made the same choice. Still fun, and great to see from the land side.

The Sign – Where All the Tourists Go – This Is NOT The Cape
The Actual Cape
Surfing at the Cape – Simon Was Thrilled
Standing Watch
Simon’s Own Town
Urban Wildlife – Not Camera Shy
Dapper Dan

We also spent a day going out to Robben Island. Erika and I did this last time we were here, but Simon had never been. It’s a very moving and somewhat disturbing experience. Amazing what we can do to each other.

Simon and Erika on the Island – We Get to Go Home at Night
Our Tour Guide – A Former Prisoner
Mandela’s Cell (Toward The End Of His Imprisonment Here)
Reconciliation Stones – Lime Quarry – Robben Island

We also did the obligatory trip up Table Mountain. We took the easy route and used the cable cars both way.

The Easy Way
On Top of Table Mountain
A Nice View
Can You Spot the Wildlife – Camouflage at Work?

Aside from all the tourist stuff we spent a bunch of time running around Cape Town to provision and get spares and other parts. We’re off in the next couple of days to cross the Atlantic. While there are a few small places along the way it’s likely we’ll be two months before we find much in the way of supplies, one of the longest periods we’ve had between supply points. Unfortunately we couldn’t talk Simon into going with us, we had to drop him at the airport so he could make his way home (it took us 6 months to get from his home in Brisbane to Cape Town, it will take him 36 hours to go the other way).

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