Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dow Racing in Mozambique

A beautiful morning dawned on the Mozambican North coast. It is 10 July and the race time is set to coincide with that of the HBYC winter series at 10h00. Rian (Turner) Peter (Roeloffze) is debating which fleet will be bigger. They concluded that the 10 one - or soon to be two man - Dows they have rounded up must be more than that which will be on the starting line in Hout Bay.

While much debating is taking place regarding the “charter fees” and prize money – which in the end was R 120 per boat – and the skippers briefing, the breeze built to a steady 12 knots which when considering the boats, is more like a hurricane! The crew was divided in two groups and two separated races was decided on. The course, reach to the weather mark, run down to the leeward bouy - which in fact is a huge catamaran, - a sausage back to the weather mark and after the last leeward rounding, reach/fetch back to the beach.

Starting orders was form the rescue boat, an aluminum dinghy aptly named “tinny” and all went well on the reach across to the weather mark and the run down the 500 or so meters to the bottom of the course. Unbeknown to us luxury yachties, these boats have a cunning inability to capsize and lose their sprit in heavy wind. Alas half the boats lost their crew attempting to round the leeward mark and the remainder ended up reaching away from the weather buoy. After several hundred meters further and a few jibe attempts, 4 out of the ten boats started the long way back to the weather mark. The Course was shortened and form the weather mark, the Dows reached back to shore with Rian firmly in the lead. He of course claims the result would still have been the same even if I was sailing and not manning the rescue boat!

The next lot of crew got ready and the second race was wisely altered (and shortened) to include reaches and fetches only. We set sail from the beach to the old weather mark, back to a slightly leeward mark on the beach and after another fetch and reach saw your humble author romping home well ahead of the next boat. Maybe some sailing knowledge of the crew did assist the winning skippers in the two races??

Prize giving was quite a grand affair. Beautiful homemade trophies from driftwood and indigenous shells , personally engraved with the skippers name and race data was handed over by our host and proprietor of Situ Lodge, Hans Wedderman. The biggest attraction of course was the big pot of prize money - 840 Meticas = R 210.00 and is the roughly a weekly salary for these fishermen. Not bad for a Sunday mornings fun.

One wonders how adventurous a sail in the stormy Cape seas would be on one of these boats!

Thanks to Peter Roeloffze and Rian Turner, for article and pics!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Christmas in July!! Sunday 31 July!

Did you see salty old goat with the flag. Look again. He's the guy in the lower half of the picture but you didn't see him did you?

Christmas in July is a great party! Well it was last year! Don't miss it! Sunday 31 July. Lunchtime.

Limited number of places left so please contact Penny Geyser on 0736 111 444 if you have not already bought your tickets!

Fireside Chat! Thursday 4 August 19:30

Jeanne Socrates (from Nereida) will be giving a talk and slide show on her recent 14-month solo circumnavigation, which included a second nonstop RTW attempt. Bring your friends to hear this amazing story. Special Galley menu for this night will include Wilma's homemade chicken or steak pie with chips and (optional!) gravy.

Hope to see you there !

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Windy Bay is back . . .

Some of us thought the wind of last summer exhausted the supply forever. Certainly the last two weeks have been totally windfree and awesome. Not this weekend. I took the unusual step of cancelling Sunday racing on the Saturday already - the forecast showed high South-Easters for 3 days. Its hard to trust the weather forecast when low-pressure cells are involved, but in this case there was a huge High Pressure just below Africa at 1028 Mb. No mistakes here. Hout Bay suffers the wind especially because of the acceleration near the mountains. At the Post Office a huge Bluegum (Australian Eucalyptis) had collapsed into the parking area. Covered the entire car park. The beach road was covered in sand - in fact I saw one car being towed out in the middle of the "tarred road". The pics below show the surface water being lifted 50m into the air, due to the Katabatic Winds coming down from Chapmanspeak. Sailors call the mouth of the bay "Thunder Alley" because it is really quite scary entering the bay under sail in these conditions. And today it was cold as well.

Takes 40+ knots to lift water off the surface like that.

White water all over the bay. If you look carefully, the small white streak below Victoria road is the NSRI RIB doing their Sunday morning exercises. It was quite bouncy for them even near the beach. Give that boat a Bells!

Friday, July 22, 2011

Quotes of the Sea

"Cruising has two pleasures. One is to go out to Wider Waters from a Sheltered Place. The other is to go into a Sheltered Place from Wider Waters"
Howard Bloomfield 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Cape Town Waterfront

The Waterfront was quite amazing this morning! To see it and loads of nice boats, I think you can click here!
left-click for a larger version

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

News from Sheer Tenacity!

Rod and Mary are still doing the dream in all those exotic locations, and driving me slowly crazy. Read their latest blogpost at http://svsheertenacity.blogspot.com/.
left-click for fullsize pic
Here they are with Jeremy and Yvonne - from SV Jervon, all looking rather well! Rod must have taken the pic.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

New Stuff listed in the Online Boat Jumble

Sailing charts, loads of boat spares from a Roberts 45, and mooring #74.

See it all here!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Wow what a day in Hout Bay!

Normally the post is called Sunday Sailing results! But this was "The perfect day"! Light steady breeze, and the sea as flat as a pond! Some of the cruisers had elected to stay the night out in the bay - in fact the last three nights in some cases - so we used one of them as a race mark as well. The harbour was crawling with tourists, icecreams, seagulls and a few fishermen. And traffic . . .

 Faraway, Aquamaniac wafted in within seconds of each other at the finish, after trading places themselves and Megafreight for the entire race.
View onboard Quest, showcasing the fierce conditions . . .
1 Megafreight
2 Aquamaniac
3 Nandi
4 Quest
5 Faraway

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Scenes of HBYC!

Of all the things that happen in front of HBYC, we have had Motorbike Brigades, Dutch Supporters and now a collection of Impisti! Thats a new term for people who like Hillman Imps!
These guys happened to be doing a photoshoot of Roy's car as he wandered back to it. I would bet they are European tourists as these cars weren't that well know here, but in fact are amazing vehicles - this one is a 1967 Singer Chamois. Designed by ex-racing drivers Tim Fry and Mike Parks (F1 - Ferrari), they are astonishingly powerful little cars, with loads of technology for their time. As it happens Roy is rebuilding a race version of one of these - its quite something to see - all about it on www.ckdboats.blogspot.com

Monday, July 4, 2011

Sunday Slides in Simonstown

The 82' Gaff Schooner "Coracle", a replica of the "America" wich first won the America's Cup, shows her stuff in Simon's Bay on Sunday morning! This vessel is made of a compsite including Bamboo and GRP.
Further up the hill in Simonstown, just beind the station in fact, is "Astra" - a beautiful Tumlaren restored a few years back by Roy McBride. Here she sits on a trailer evidently having a scrub etc.

Friday, July 1, 2011

News from Cruisers

Interesting news received from our cruisers:
I am sure they would all like some news back us too . . .!