Richards Bay to Durban (including Safari!)

Monday November 11th, Durban, South Africa.
Oh my but this is a grey, soggy, miserable day. On a scale of 1 – 10 of Irishness (where that's not a good thing) this is a 10. Karl has even broken out the Guinness slippers. On the other hand, on a scale of 1 – 10 of good first impressions Durban scores a 9.9 (0.1 deducted for the Irish weather). 
Seeking shelter at the yacht club.
We arrived here yesterday after a “quick overnight hop” down from Richards Bay. Now, I can't say that the trip was unpleasant in any way it's just that there was nothing pleasant about it at all. Overcast skies, not much wind at first, wind from not quite the right direction all the time, had to put the pole out, then had to gybe and take the pole back in (I'm too old to be working the foredeck, sliding around on a wet deck getting soaked in spray) and then the wind picks up just as we're trying to get into port [Karl says: Also chased by a lightning storm and then woken up to dodge another].…

Réunion to South Africa

Réunion to South Africa. (Featuring Karl's second mahi mahi)

Tuesday 29th October, 250 miles southwest of Madagascar, 9th wedding anniversary.
Well this is an interesting way to spend an anniversary. Definitely not covered in the vows. Today is grey and windy, the first time we've had 25-30 knots of wind since the east coast of Queensland, so we've cosied up in the cockpit after lunch with fruitcake, a wee drop of rum and Nirvana Unplugged (it matches the weather somehow). Not bad at all.

We left Réunion a week ago after a reasonably protracted period of trying to decide when to leave. This leg is a bit tricky weather-wise and picking the right departure opportunity is important. Weather in this neck of the woods is no longer under the influence of the wonderfully consistent and predictable trade winds we've had so far. Down south one low pressure system after another come marching through, West to East, bringing varying degrees of nastiness to the South African coasta…

Ile de la Réunion (a.k.a. France)

Monday 14th October. The laundry. Le Port, Réunion.
Alas “The laundry” isn't the latest hipster microbrewery, it's the place for washing clothes, which is my task for the morning. So I stuffed my backpack and bike panniers full of grotty clothing and cycled over to the other section of the marina to the laverie. I get to watch the miracle of a machine doing magic with water and soap so it's actually a bit of a treat.
Here we are in Europe! Politically at least, if not geographically. Ever heard of Réunion? Nope. Me neither before this trip which is a shame because it's a real little gem. It's basically one big volcano (maybe technically two) and it's part of France, like really part of France, not just an overseas territory or protectorate or former colony. Just full-on France (Outre Mer). Which means it's pretty civilised, has great roads, everyone drives Citroens and Peugeots and Renaults, everything closes for a couple of hours in the middle of the day s…