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16 December 2010

The Doctor

All is well aboard Wild Tigris in the V&A Marina in Cape Town. Although there have been a few testing days and nights, adjusting lines and fenders in the relentless Cape Town Doctor (strong SE breeze), I am convinced that we have the most sheltered marina in the City. Our friends over in the Royal Cape YC record steady 40-50kt breeze while we sit in 20kts gusting to 35kts. However, the Royal Cape is child’s play compared with Hout Bay, where most of the World ARC fleet are clinging on for dear life!


I went down to greet Chessie and Brown-Eyed Girl who were due to arrive last Saturday evening. On arrival at Hout Bay, I was glad I decided to bring a warm fleece but sorry I forgot my PFD and survival suit! The seen that I walked into made Perfect Storm look like A Wonderful Life! There was a steady 50kts, Chessie had just been towed in by two rescue boats after loosing steerage and were docked in such a fashion that onboard motion felt like sailing on a hard beat into choppy seas.


Next was Brown-eyed Girl who although did not need or ask for a tow, were only too glad to accept the offer. They had a beautiful sail from Port Elizabeth to within 5Nm of Hout Bay and were suddenly confronted with building head winds. They fought for hours to make a couple of miles progress, damaging several sails in the process. They tied on to the N mole where Wild Tigris was scheduled to be. The process took approx. 45mins with the breeze now touching 60kts and spray crashing over the mole with the ferocity of several fire hoses loaded with ball bearings! Once tied up, the boat heeled at about 20 degrees due to windage of the rigs. A huge thanks and lots of respect is due to the South African Search and Rescue.