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Old 03-03-2011, 05:20 PM   #1
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The Cape of Good Hope (Cape Town) is a wonderful alternative to the Red Sea (Gulf of Aden) route, particularly during this period of intense piracy activity off Somalia. Many cruisers taking the Cape route end up staying a year in South Africa (and some much longer) to enjoy the beautiful, diverse countryside, wonderful hospitality, game parks and, the GREAT wines of the Cape.

The Indian Ocean on the World Cruising Wiki - HERE
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Old 03-03-2011, 09:28 PM   #2
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Having lived in Cape Town for 25 years I want to add this caveat:

The old Cape of Storms was called exactly that for a good reason. Only a smart governor,

kinda like your yester-year chamber of commerce and tourist bureau, decided Cape of

Good Hope would sound so much better to immigrants. At the time it was a tough job luring

good help to a distant and wild country anyway.

Oceans: The cold Antarctic Benguella current going N past the Cape meets up with the much

warmer Agulhas current, coming S from Madagascar. Couple these currents to the quite

fierce SE wind and you have a wild mixing bowl around Cape Town. Conditions can change

from mild to wild in a heartbeat but at other times it can be absolutely calm and blissful.

The coast E to Durban has few ports and sheltering inlets, so cruisers often need to time a

good weather window. You still need to round Cape Agulhas, which geographically is even

further S than Cape Town. Somehow the moniker "tip of Africa" got stuck with Cape Town, but

quite frankly, at Agulhas there is not much going on apart from some curious sea-gulls.

On your way to Durban you might encounter some rogue monster waves, where currents

and continental shelf meet the Indian ocean. Some big boats have simply disappeared.

Now wipe your tears and stop blubbering. I do encourage you to go by all means. S.A. is

and can be a wonderful place. Hamba gahshle ( if I wrote it correctly ) is the local "go in

peace" greeting the Africans use, but it sure doesn't hurt to be aware, savvy and to carry a

big stick.

The Cape Peninsula has very scenic drives, fantastic beaches and some viticulture apart

from the old dutch regular culture and some architecture. The game parks are great too.

Crime and the inept and corrupt government are the biggest problems, but don't get me

started on our shining US model either.

Do enjoy your time there, it is well worth the effort. What is more, your visit there may help to

turn things around toward a better future.

Ivo.
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Old 03-03-2011, 09:51 PM   #3
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Sailing the SA coast must be done at the right time of the year (see the Cruising Wiki for details) and when your timing is right (along with good SA weather forecasting) it is often a very pleasant sail. Remember, S African sailors are sailing this coast all the time.

Follow the described directions and the possibility of so-called "rogue" waves are a non-issue.

Be sensible about crime ashore, as you would be anywhere else in the world.

I live quite happily near Durban in South Africa.

Cape_Town2.jpg

Cape Town - The fairest Cape of all.
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Old 03-03-2011, 10:46 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lighthouse View Post

Sailing the SA coast must be done at the right time of the year (see the Cruising Wiki for details) and when your timing is right (along with good SA weather forecasting) it is often a very pleasant sail. Remember, S African sailors are sailing this coast all the time.

Follow the described directions and the possibility of so-called "rogue" waves are a non-issue.

Be sensible about crime ashore, as you would be anywhere else in the world.

I live quite happily near Durban in South Africa.

Attachment 1695

Cape Town - The fairest Cape of all.
G'day 'our very own - 'bright shinning light'. How's u-gawn-mate? I notice, with much interest - your new activity. Senior, highly talented & resourceful - CEO of 'Yachting tourism - South Africa'. Sure hope others take note. Sounds much safer than 'playing with pirates'. Congratulations on doing such a great job. It would be nice if the 'authorities' paid you for all your resourceful promotion, which is a pleasure I'm sure. When I get "all my ducks in a row" I'll be sure to visit at least for long enough to 'fire up the barbie', bring a cold slab so we all can 'chew the fat' (have a chat) & have a 'corroboree' of sorts with fellow cruising yachties - probably with some bloke called Bob as the honoured guest/host at the head of the table. For me - I'll just have to find some place that is warm enough & safe to anchor & enjoy 'you mob'. Ciao bloke, james
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Old 03-03-2011, 11:44 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lighthouse View Post

Sailing the SA coast must be done at the right time of the year (see the Cruising Wiki for details) and when your timing is right (along with good SA weather forecasting) it is often a very pleasant sail. Remember, S African sailors are sailing this coast all the time.

Follow the described directions and the possibility of so-called "rogue" waves are a non-issue.

Be sensible about crime ashore, as you would be anywhere else in the world.

I live quite happily near Durban in South Africa.

Attachment 1695

Cape Town - The fairest Cape of all.
Neat Cape Town picture, Lighthouse.

With enough magnification you'd be able to see my old house even.

It is in line with the 'nek' or dip between Devil's peak on the left and Table mountain, just below the

three matching high rises notably jutting into the green tree-line along Devil's Peak.

Those three high-rises stick out even on this small image and we Capetonians called them the "Three Ugly Sisters"

But some made even worse names.... like the T.......x towers.

Hou die blink kant bo!

( for the non-cognoscenti that is Afrikaans for 'keep the shiny side up' )

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Old 03-04-2011, 06:48 AM   #6
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Durban - HERE

Durban-harbour.jpg
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Old 03-05-2011, 05:37 AM   #7
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Durbs has its charms but give me CT anyday!

Nice photo of "The Tavern of the Seas". With a little zoming I can see my old office at Foretrust building and, if the quality were better, I could spot my old home in Gardens.

I can warmly recommend cruisers to visit either CT or Durbs, but preforably both, of these places and why not add Knysna too?

There are many other interesting places to visit: Richards Bay; East London and Port Elizabeth are not in the same league as Durban or Cape Town but they too have their charms; Simonstown with its naval history and charming Victorian buildings; Saldanha and the West Coast National Park MPA. Lying between Cape Point and Cape Town there is also the wonderful Hout Bay; a natural harbour well worth visiting.

The SA coast, especially the Wild Coast of the Transkei, has a bit of bad press in cruising circles because of a lack of ports of refuge but it is worth remembering that more vessels have probably been lost when trying to make port in bad weather than through ensuring they have sufficient searoom and riding out the storm at sea.

If you do round the Cape of Good Hope and proceed northwards, even though it will make the journey longer, try to visit Namibia too. There are only two ports to consider there; Luderitz and Walvis Bay. Of the two, Luderitz is the more charming but also the more remote but, having said that, you are in easy striking distance of the fabulous Fish River Canyon and only a very short distance from the deserted mining town of Kolmanskop. Visit Kolmanskop - it is a step back into history!

The town of Walvis Bay may not be so interesting but it is another good natural harbour. On entering the lagoon after passing the fishing and commercial ports you will find a very welcoming yacht club hidden at the edge of the town. The lagoon host millions of migrant flamingos. You are also close to the fascinating town of Swakopmund from which the Skeleton Coast with its famous ship wrecks stretches northwards to the Kunene river and the border with Angola.

Honestly, I fail to understand why anyone would choose the Suez canal route over the Cape. Having lived and worked in both areas and whilst I do admit to there being a few points of interest in the Gulf of Aden and Red Sea, I do know that there is no finer or more interesting area in the world than southern Africa.

Aye // Stephen
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Old 03-05-2011, 12:26 PM   #8
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A well written report from a cruiser who recently sailed the Cape of Good Hope Route. Compulsory reading!

Full article - HERE
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