On Sunday the 24.01. we were finally able to leave the windy place in Simons Town and sail around the Cape of Good Hope. Sadly it was the middle of the night and except of the lighthouse we were not able to see anything of the famous Cape. At least seven other boats which have been waiting for weeks also used then good winds to leave False Bay that night.
The timing was perfect, just at the Cape the wind shifted to the south again as predicted and we were able to sail along the coast towards Cape Town. But the forecast told us that the wind would turn again towards the north in just about 24 hours so we decided to stop at Robben Island, the only sheltered anchorage with the upcoming wind.
Actually Robben Island is a restricted area and anchoring is prohibited because of the historic importance of the island. Here in the former maximum security prison a lot of political prisoners were held, like Nelson Mandela. Now it is a World Heritage Site where every day a lot of people come to see the museum and former prison on the island. Since it is also sheltered against northerly winds it is the only possibility for us to wait for the change of the wind direction. We have the information that if you call the Robben Island harbor master you can get a permission to anchor there. After a lot of calls, which nobody answers, we decide to drop our anchor and wait for somebody to show up. The next morning a strong RIB arrives with official looking people on board and tells us that anchoring is prohibited. After explaining our situation they let us stay until a change of winds. Some of the ferry boats which bring tourists to and from the island do not seem to be happy that we are anchoring there. They honk their horn, drive directly towards us and try to make their wake as big as possible. Strange people, since we are not in the way of anybody and our two boats Felix and Pakia tea make the picture for the tourists even nicer ;-)
Next to the many fur seals which are chilling at the surface, we find some young humpback whales (Megaptera novaeangliae) which seem to stay around Robben Island during the summer months. They make for spectacular viewing while feeding around our boat and filtering plancton organisms out of the water. Already early in the morning we can hear their loud breathing noises and then have nice breakfast TV. All this in front of the beautiful Table Mountain - we enjoy being at anchor again.
After three days the wind changes and we can finally start our long way across the Atlantic Ocean. The weather is sunny, the waves move with us and the wind is exactly right for our Pakia tea. In the meantime we are on the open ocean since 6 days, have already sailed almost 1.000 nautical miles and are in the UTC-time zone. The water temperature is finally in the twenties again and climbs every day. The life on board and the night watches are going perfectly and we hope that it will continue this way until we make our first stop at Ascension.