Nawaks - « We Survived the Wild Coast » !

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Who: Anne-Sophie & Loïc, Océane (10), Eléonore (7)
Where: East London, South Africa
Multihull: Outremer 45 (first generation)
Facebook: @Nawaks.Outremer.45
To get from Richards Bay to East London, we had to wait for a weather window long enough to cover the 335 miles. We had to fill in a lot of forms and get permission from the port authorities to set sail. All movements here are subject to authorization and are monitored by the port of departure and arrival. There’s no room for improvisation! We took advantage of a window of calm weather to cover two-thirds of the route, carried along by the Agulhas Current, with a sea that varied greatly (high or short, like sand dunes in the desert): we had the choice of a wide range of models! Whales and dolphins were also part of the show, of course, before the wind gradually returned downwind at over thirty knots, and we had just enough time to reach shelter before the southerly wind returned. That’s how it is here: it’s all or nothing. We’ve earned our ‘I survived the Wild Coast’ T-shirt! In any case, it’s impossible to sail with a southerly wind, because it’s up against the Agulhas Current, which runs at 3 to 6 knots to the south. This creates treacherous sea conditions that make sailing out of the question.
Once we arrived at the East London Yacht Club, after 36 hours of sailing, we were extremely well received: no less than six people were waiting for us on the pontoon to take our mooring lines, while the wood fire was already being prepared for the evening braai. In just five minutes, we were already ashore and in very good company. What’s more, the girls immediately found a friend. We were just two boats passing through: we spent three days in the sun, in the heat during the day and the coolness at night in the comfort of the club with braai every evening. The next day, a new window of opportunity opened up for us to reach Knysna, 280 miles away, with 30 to 40 knots on the program. It was time to say goodbye to our new acquaintances, and to leave a note in the visitors’ book, which has been filled out by visiting sailors since 1987. Many thanks to the Buffalo River Yacht Club for their warm welcome!

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