We left Richards Bay at dawn on Wednesday. We had a good run and passed Durban by 2:30 PM. A little later, the winds got lighter and we lost the Aghulas current advantage. During the night we only made about 7.5 knots average as we hunted for the current.
Thursday during the day we made our way down the SE coast towards East London. But, late in the afternoon the winds started coming from the SW. The weather forecasts had predicted some SW winds, but they were stronger and earlier than expected. We found the current which was good news/bad news. With the contrary winds the seas got really choppy. We started hugging the coast and were tacking our way up wind, and the current was helping us make better headway than we would normally. But, the ride was getting rough in the early evening.
Karen was having some issues with the motion, so we elected to hove to (turn into the wind and let the sails “park” the boat). We were still in the current, so we were making 2-3 knots average in the right direction. We did this all night until first light.
The winds are still strong from the SW, but we are doing ok. We expect to be in lighter winds before we pass East London in a few hours. We just hope we don’t lose the current while we’re riding along the justly named “Wild Coast” of South Africa.
Here’s the map of our position as of dawn Friday morning: