Durban to Cape Town via Port Elizabeth (with roundings of Cape Agulhas and Cape of Good Hope)

Tuesday 11th February, Cape Town, South Africa.
Woke to a beautiful, calm sunny morning here in Cape Town with a lovely view of Table Mountain behind the marina. A little different from last night's dark, windy and honestly pretty hairy arrival. We were lulled into breaking our (not particularly hard and fast if you remember Darwin) rule about not coming into strange places in the dark by an ETA that was enticingly close to sunset and a more tempting prospect than bobbing around aimlessly off the coast for ten hours waiting for sunrise. And, as Karl noted, it was a full moon – practically daylight! And a lovely Canadian couple we knew from Durban had called to say they'd be waiting at the dock to take our lines. What could possibly go wrong? Well, The Universe decided to dim the lights and turn up the wind to 25-30 knots at the exact moment we entered the big, maze-like Cape Town port. Blindly (literally) following the GPS from one basin to the next, me on the bow peering int…

Farewell Durban

Well the boat is fully packed with months worth of food, the diesel and water tanks are full, the laundry's done, the chartplotter has been loaded with exciting new charts, everything's been oiled and polished to within an inch of its life and now we're just waiting for a weather window to leave. And saying goodbye to all our favourite spots in Durbs.

We've watched all the other “internationals” set off for Cape Town and beyond and now there's just us and one other boat left – and even they attempted to leave already but turned back when faced with some nasty squalls and thunderstorms. We're really feeling like locals at this stage. And the whole vibe of Durban has changed after Christmas. It turns out that December really was a major pre-Christmas blow out and not at all what Durban is usually like. The esplanade is quiet, just a few runners and walkers. There's no broken glass. No families on holiday. Hardly any boat tours full of enthusiastic singers an…

Christmas in Durban (plus tourism to Lesotho and Western Cape)

Counting down to Christmas in Durban. Decorations have appeared (far too early as always) and work Christmas parties are in full swing. School holidays have started and the hoards are descending on the beach. Meanwhile we've been settling into Durban life, working on the boat and have had ourselves a little holiday in the Western Cape and a day trip to the Kingdom of Lesotho.
Durban is properly The Big Smoke for the first time since Brissie. Population of about 5 million, the second busiest port in Africa, a marina sandwiched between the CBD and the port with a long stretch of coastline (with esplanade and surf breaks) about a kilometre away. 

In a lot of ways it's just like Brisbane: relatively small, subtropical city with beaches close by. Locals say about twenty or thirty years ago it was just like Brisbane but there's been a lot of changes in South Africa since then and Durban certainly has a completely different vibe now. Downtown Durban is a bit run-down, busy, crow…