With another southerly buster – just one of many over the past weeks – on its way, at this stage this means our only hope of making our way round the Cape is to ‘bunny hop’ from port to port.

Like Richards Bay, at night Durban is one of those harbours lit by an array of eye confusing lights in a myriad of colours. Also having an entrance that, when the conditions are ‘right,’ can be quite hairy a daylight entry into the harbour was planned.

With the winds a good speed and the Agoulas Current there to assist, the 85nm sail that would normally take Gratis 17 hours to complete, was predicted to last between 10 and 14.

Gratis readied, a final cooling swim and the wind at last from the required north east sector, 6pm saw the engine roar to life. A last goodbye to our neighbours who live upon the catamaran Seashores, mooring limes released and Big G edged away, open sea bound.


As the water at the bay’s entrance provided us with a ride that rivaled a bucking bronco our one excitement for the trip was the spinnaker halyard escaping its new storage hook to a ride of its own. A quick trip outside, armed with pole in hand, like in playing a game of tag, the halyard led me on a merry dance, before at last it was hooked. Safely secured once more, the Genoa poled out, as the red orb of the setting sun sank behind the gentle hills, we settled in for what was a pleasant night’s sail.

The wind playing its usual trick and dying to nil, in this case 3 hours before our arrival, Gratis motored through the maze of anchored ships before at last coming to a gentle stop within the marina: 14 hours – not bad!

A visit from immigration, a few hours of blissful sleep in the heat of the humid day, a refreshing swim followed by a night of refreshing rest.

The southerly buster arrived with its usual gusto in the early hours, so now we impatiently await the new window that will lead us further south……