We spent more than five months in Cape Town, buying and preparing Eidos to sail, it has been much more demanding than expected. It is done now and we can finally start cruising. There is still work to do as always on boats but we are on the move and it feels really great.
Onboard for the passage from Cape Town to Walvis Bay with me and Marcella there are also Michael from NZ (he is cruising around the world on a very nice motor yacht – now in the Caribbean waiting for the next cruising season), Jodi and Terence from South Africa (they have been working on super yacht for many years) and Luuk from the Netherlands (a surf coach that is travelling around Africa).
The last two days before leaving have been hectic, my phone flies out of my pocket into the water – a clear sign I do not need to be always online anymore, the pump of the water maker does not want to work, the impeller of the generator with only 3.5 hours of use is in pieces, riggers are still replacing parts on board, we are still buying last spare parts, packing food everywhere for the passage, etc. But when it is time to leave all looks fine. Special thanks to Michael and Luuk that really worked hard with us for the preparation.
We leave around 8am of September the 2nd under the rain, with not much wind and relatively flat sea.
After half day we see that down here it is not like the trade wind passages we were used to in our previous cruising experience. The forecast was not that accurate, we had to tack upwind in short waves and motor in no wind; not much reaching/downwind sailing we normally did in the tropics. It was cold during the night and we were not lucky with the fishing.
However the night sky, sunrises and sunsets were amazing, as you can only see in ocean passages.
The passage from Cape Town to Luderitz was overall slow and with more motor than expected, I was pleased with the boat sailing performance upwind and not having any major issue.
I realised that after 15 years from our last living onboard experience I am quite rusty with the routine of sailing, there is so much to do and keep under control: weather forecast, route planning, clear in/out, watch shifts, safety procedures, find safe anchorages, pick buoys, maintenance work, manage energy, manage water, etc. A lot of work and until it becomes part of our new life it needs a lot of focus. I quote a comment of our friends of Paw Time “Now the fun starts and the learning curve goes upwards”, absolutely what I feel. It is great to have Michael onboard with his current cruising experience.
We arrive in Luderitz on the 5t around 4pm anchoring in 25kn of wind. We have some challenges anchoring and it adds few lines to my to-do list in order to improve our anchoring process. Then the time finally slows down, after immigration and customs we have a cold beer at the yacht club, a nice dinner in a German style restaurant and finally a flat night at anchor.
On the 6th we move to a buoy, we spend some time in places with wifi and plan some land tours. Luuk goes out kayaking in really freezing waters, I have a short run, others go for a walk, a quiet day in a very quiet town.
Thanks to Jodi, Terence, Michael and Luuk for the help during this first passage. Great team!