Posted by: catamarantwooceans | January 23, 2014

Sailing from Cape Town to Namibia

19.1.14 – Sunday – We did the departure procedure on Friday, the V.A.T customs check on Saturday; in the afternoon our ladies and Menachem flew home. It was time to go on with the voyage. First destination – Luderitz in Namibia, 480 miles from Cape Town. We estimated a daily distance of 150 miles would be realistic and so left the RCYC at 0800 planning to arrive Wednesday before noon.

It was a cold morning and both of us had to dress up.

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Dany in full regalia

The wind was forecasted to be around 20 knots from the south southwest; the moment the effect of the terrain around Cape Town subsided it stabilized and “Two Oceans” started flying along. The plotter showed an ETA of 2200 on Tuesday. Is it O.K to enter Luderitz at night?

During dinner we had a pre-celebratory glass of wine for my birthday tomorrow. I went to rest a bit before my 2200 watch but was awakened ten minutes ahead of time by what I felt to be wild ride and high wind. Yes! 27 knots true says we need to reef the main; once we did that and Dany went to his cabin I saw that he left me a nice letter on the table, wishing me all the best on the occasion. With him as a friend and sailing buddy, certainly one of my wishes was realized!

20.1.14 – Monday – By midnight the wind backed and abated to 15 knots. I waited until Dany came to relieve me on watch and together we jibed the poled out jib and opened the main fully. Three hours later the wind was 10 and our speed less than 5 SOG. No worry about a night arrival now.

At 0500 I came back to the cockpit; it was still easy, slow going. Just before sunrise I put the fishing line out. As the day progressed the wind grew stronger and our speed went up to 7 knots. We had our lunch of salad and home made Hummus – that’s chickpeas and sesame paste combined with lemon juice and olive oil – eaten with pita bread we found in the Pick n’ Pay supermarket.I was dozing in my cabin when Dany shouted:”Fish!”. I was out in seconds, furled the jib to slow us down, while Dany reeled in a nice yellowtail. “It’s for your birthday” he said.

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Poor Menachem, he had his birthday on board too and got no fish!

Once the fish was on board, Poseidon let the wind loose. The sea state surprised us; with 22-28 knots winds we expected big waves but  the surface was quite flat with only some breaking wavelets, a fact that helped the boat sail very fast continuously. Some swells did show up and then “Two Oceans”, with the twin folding props and the clean bottom, would go down them at terrific speed.

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                           A new record

The depth, of course, is just a momentary echo caught by the instrument.

We had a fish dinner and Dany started his 2200 watch (we were doing 3.5 hour watches). a wind shift or a wave or both, threw the boat into an unintentional jibe. The main was held by a preventer rope but the big roach slammed to the wrong side, stopping the boat and turning her beam to the wind. Quick engine operation put things in order and then we reduced the main to second reef.

21.1.14 – Tuesday – Dany woke me up for my shift at 0130; the wind was fluctuating between 15 and 33 knots and we were flying along at high speed assuring Luderitz arrival during the night. I put the main in third reef, we’ll see how it goes in the morning.

Sailing wing and wing with the main on starboard we could  go only 25 degrees to the left of track, so after breakfast, both of us in the cockpit, we jibed the main to port and the jib to starboard and could sail directly to the desired waypoint. After lunch the conditions were good for fishing. “Get me a fish, Dany, but let it be a small one” I said. Three hours later I decided to reel the lure back and saw we had a fish at the end of the line. “I didn’t mean THAT small!” but it’s a meal for two, so into the freezer it went.

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A small Snoek

Beginning in the afternoon we played continuously with sail configurations to adjust our speed so as not to arrive at night. The first watch was mine; as I came to the cockpit after a dose in my cabin at 2200, I found Dany standing at the wheel enjoying our fast ride. “We’ll get there before sunrise” he said happily. Not if I can do something about it! Sails to third reef and speed down to 5 –6 knots returned the boat back to schedule.

22.1.14 – Wednesday – Dany had the watch from 0130 to 0500 and then I took over. wind was down to 10-12 knots and I opened the sails fully. I could see that thick fog has formed and as daylight came the visibility was less than 100 meters. I had contact with port control and we slowly sailed in with buoys and ships appearing suddenly out of the murk.

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We found a mooring ball and tied up. The time was 1000.

Luderitz was much the same as it was during my 2010 visit with Zulu and Miri (you can read about it in the January 2010 posts). Desert all around, old style German architecture and a busy fishing harbour.

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This time we had visas and the entry procedure was quick and easy. Diaz Café was in the same place and we had our lunch there. On the way back to the boat we both had a long overdue haircut. Note the special hairbrush the barber is holding!

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We’re not going to stay here long, just enough for Dany to visit Kolmanscop, do a few jobs on the boat and then we’ll be off to Walvis bay, 240 miles to the north.

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Responses

  1. So it was my bad luck after all. Enjoy the fish.
    Happy birthday Miki
    Miss you guys.
    Menachem

  2. A belated Happy Birthday for the 20th January, Miki. Hope you enjoyed the yellowtail – it looked a good one – and that you enjoyed the Namibian beer as much as I used to. Fair winds and favourable following seas in the next leg of your wonderful adventure. Regards to you and Dani, from Shlomit and Tony.

  3. Hi Cat two oceans crew,

    That house you posted of Luderitz old German architecture belongs to my parents, I grew up in it all my life.

    Thanks for making my day.

    Regards,
    Charl Marais


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