We should arrive in Richard's Bay tomorrow. The trip across the channel has gone really well until the last two nights. They have been just awful, about sunset the clouds start to gather and then they get black . The lightning and thunder start next, I just hate lightning when we are on the boat. Last night, we had pulled the genoa in and only had out the triple reefed main. We had been in the storm for over an hour when all of a sudden it started to howl. The wind was gusting up to 45 knots and the main back winded and I couldn't get the boat around to get back on course. Barry got up out of bed and we managed to gybe the main and sail in the right direction. We eventually got the main down and Barry told me to secure the halyard, as I crab walked up the deck with my harness and life jacket on the wind was gusting again to over 40 knots. I figure
Barry was trying to get rid of me for good that time, it wouldn't even have needed a knife in the back, he could just have reported me washed overboard, lost at sea, my body washed up on some deserted beach….oh well you get the picture! We laid ahull for awhile, for you landlubbers , the tiller was hard over and we just drifted with the current and the wind.
We knew that South Africa was no picnic, sailing wise,. There is a huge current that runs south along the coast and if there are SW winds it can get really ugly. We weren't prepared for the thunder storms, it is getting on to late spring here and we thought the weather would be moderating. Apparently summer here is the rainy season and the weather can be rainy and foggy all summer. There are still over a 1000 miles to Cape Town so we will have a chance to experience more of South Africa's notorious sailing conditions.
I wanted to tell you about some of the meals we had onboard as we were crossing. In our last port in Madagascar, some fisherman came to the boat and we bought 3 meals of prawns. There we were shucking the prawns, throwing the shells overboard and having a lovely tomato based dish with onions, garlic and Chinese cabbage over rice, a cabbage and carrot salad for our greens and for dessert we had ripe mangoes that we slurped with enjoyment. The next day we had a tuna sandwich on fresh bread I had baked that morning with yogurt (I had made) for dessert. We definitely weren't suffering. I am looking forward to eating our first South African meal ashore. I am salivating just thinking about it. At the moment we have no juice on board, no vegetables other than a few small potatoes and no fresh fruit. We had to eat all our meat at once because the fridge gave out on us and it all defrosted. We are definitely making landfall today during daylight hours. I AM NOT SPENDING ANOTHER NIGHT AT SEA WITH ALL THIS LIGHTNING AROUND!!
There are now 18 boats that we know of converging on Richard's Bay so the stories will be flying and the hugs will be heartfelt after crossing this difficult piece of water