Thursday, March 18, 2010

Greetings from Cape Town

I suppose the only way I can start this post is by apologizing to all the readers for going missing for the past 20 days! Blame it for being busy, lazy and an erratic internet connection!

Time seems to be flying by in sunny Cape Town with repairs to Mhadei and a bit of R & R keeping us busy. Most of the repairs fall in the “desirable” rather than “essential” category which means I could have sailed back home without undertaking them but decided to get them done here due to better availability of spares and skills. Hopefully in the times to come the necessary spares and skills for Yacht repairs will become readily available in India. Also since we bought the Mast and Rigging from Cape Town it made sense to get the same serviced at Cape Town. With Ratnakar, the boat builder, dropping by for 10 days we managed to get most of the small repair jobs out of the way. Presently awaiting the replacements for furler foils from France, routine repairs to the sails by the local North Sails loft and fitting of the generator post servicing. Planning to sail out on 29 Mar so as to reach Mumbai around 16 May. Another reason for the longish stay at Cape Town is to avoid the Cyclone season in the Southern Indian Ocean which usually lasts till end Apr. Starting in end Mar would ensure that we enter the trade wind zone, where the tropical cyclones mostly occur, by end Apr. It will also mean crossing the Equator around early May with a hope that the Doldrums will be in a disturbed state due to the onset of the SW monsoons. If the Monsoons set in slightly earlier than usual, last year they were really late, we can have a fast downwind ride all the way home!

Though this is my third visit to Cape Town, I am still in awe with the spectacular beauty of the City and the surroundings. The high point of the R & R was a walk up the Table Mountain which made me regain my land legs quickly! I think anyone who is reasonably fit and has a day to spare in the City should give it a try!

In addition to the Seals in the harbour we also have some more interesting for company in the form of Phoenicia, a replica of a Phoenician Sail boat trying to recreate the first circumnavigation of Africa by the Phoenicians in 600 BC. You can read about the project on their web site

Ending this post with some photos as usual.

Entering Cape Town

From Chapman's Peak Drive

Cape of Good Hope

Lion's Head, Signal Hill & Robben Island

The Cape Peninsula

Mhadei & Phoenicia