Tuesday here in Cape Town was crazy windy. Actually, it’s been crazy windy for a couple of days. Sunday was nice enough, but Monday and today had the wind blasting us with both barrels. Yesterday, Tim Eades and I were working on Bodacious Dream at the same time we were experiencing gusts over 40 knots … with sustained winds in the 30’s all around the harbor.
Today, I had to climb to the top of the mast to make some repairs to the wind wands and so Tim, Steve (an instrument guy) and I tried to avoid the worst of the winds by starting early. So there I was at 7:30 am at the top of the mast where for a couple of hours I worked on the mast sensors while rocking back and forth in 45-knot winds! We heard that other boats clocked winds as high as 62 knots! Wild! It was quite a game of patience and nerves handling tools and small parts and screws. Unfortunately, when I got done with the work we had planned, we came upon another problem, which means I will have to go back up the mast tomorrow. I cringe to even look at the weather forecast!
Cape Town is renowned for its winds this time of year as the weather systems compress the winds that push around Cape Point and move on up the Western Coast of South Africa.
I’ve added some photos taken along the coast as I made a trip to see the actual Cape of Good Hope. Along the way, we happened upon a pair of wild ostriches and their young down by the sea.
We also came across some wild baboons. As I learned, baboons are quite smart, and have caused quite a few problems in the neighborhoods around the area. At the same time, the animal control and various management services have to work hard to keep the animals safe and independent.
And, of course, there were penguins as well. But I’ll have more to say on them later.
In the meantime, for the past week or so, work has been progressing on the boat as I make the necessary modifications and repairs so that this next leg proceeds even more efficiently and enjoyably than the last. Some of the repairs we’ve made have been to the mast instruments, hydro generator mount, spray shields and engine. Boats are always in use and so require regular maintenance to keep them working properly.
Salt, the main difference in the water of the ocean compared to the fresh water of the Great Lakes where I grew up sailing, causes all sorts of corrosion and it’s a constant battle to stay ahead of those effects. It really takes some careful thinking to try and anticipate where it’s going to cause the next problem. Zippers are a particularly persistent problem. You wouldn’t think so, but the metal part of a zipper condensates and attracts the salt, and since zippers sometimes don’t get much use, the salt cakes up in the mechanism and freezes the zipper in place – so coat pockets, bags and such are always giving me problems!
So, as of today, we’re in pretty good shape with Bodacious Dream. The action list is down to a few minor items, and some shopping for fresh foods. Tim has been a tremendous help, not only with man-hours, but with his many suggestions and reminders as well. He’s heading home tomorrow as I begin looking for a weather window that will allow me a clean getaway from Cape Town. As of today, we’re hoping for some time Friday, Saturday or else, Monday morning for that chance. I’ll be keeping you posted … but soon enough we’ll be off, and commencing the 7000-mile voyage to Wellington, NZ.
So, it looks like I’ll be spending Christmas at sea again this year, as I did last year when I approaching the end of my Trans-Atlantic crossing from Portugal. Once again, I’ll be looking up into the night sky hoping for a glimpse of Santa as I take my traditional midnight walk … even if once gain, it’s just a couple loops around the boat!
So, stay tuned, the next leg is soon to start!
– Dave and Bodacious Dream