Madagascar to South Africa Day 9 – Testing the stress levels


Sunday 16 October 2016

Saturday morning we were racing along rather nicely. On a good day the fishing lines go into the water; Tom thinks it a good party trick for Susie to wake up to find a fish waiting for her. This time Susie woke to some thumping noise on deck, came up and in her own words “I come up to find you wrestling a big Yellowfin tuna on the deck!” We landed two good sized Yellowfin tuna fish. According to Susie once filleted and cut up they made up sixteen meals for the two of us.

As the day went on the winds and sea steadily built and we were averaging around 6.8kts so well in excess of our target, our target being to beat the southerly due in Maputo about 5pm Sunday. We then got an email saying the southerly was due about midday Sunday so that put fear into us and we started pushing harder. Dead downwind we were spiralling down waves, not comfortable but that was the least of our concerns.

Things didn’t get any easier when we received the South African Coastal Waters weather forecast saying it was due Sunday morning. Anxiety levels kept going up. Into the night the winds unexpectedly started to drop. We wracked our brains to get the most out of the boat, playing with the sails. To add to our woes Princess Electric Furler of Genoa decided to stop working again after all our work on her in Inhambame. So we took turns sitting on the bow of the boat manually furling the sail away. At one point the wind dropped right off and we feared that it was the switching of the winds meaning the southerly was imminent and we were still 25 miles away from the anchorage; fortunately it wasn’t.

We motored and crawled in to Maputo at first light using satellite images and GPS to home in on our anchorage which would protect us from north winds. To top it all the anchor did not like the sandbank we were trying to anchor on. We moved and are now sitting patiently waiting for any signs of the wind switching to the south. When that happens we will move to our anchorage under the Maputo lighthouse to sit out those strong southerly winds due tonight.

As they say, all is well on board; we are working hard at this, a tough day but we are going for it. And last but not least Happy Birthday to Susie’s mum, Ros – we hope you have a wonderful day and look forward to seeing you soon!

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One response to “Madagascar to South Africa Day 9 – Testing the stress levels

  1. Sue from Haku II says:

    Yes, the biggest but best lie in sailing: “All well on board!”
    Somehow it still makes me feel better. Even when the furler’s stuck, there’s a double wrap round a winch and a crew member is being seasick, it reminds me that, actually, we don’t need rescue! Well done making landfall safely … and well stocked with meals and gifts.