Monday, December 17, 2012

Knysna (pronounced nice-na)

Another lovely passage, East London to Knysna. Took the predicted 3 days. I thought I was going to make it in two at one point but was becalmed for the better part of a day. I did find more current and Twister set a new speed record: 10.7 knots (with sustained speeds of 10.2 knots), resulting in another 160 mile day (the first day).
Evening Sky Southwest of East London

Cape Gannets
The wildlife gave the feeling of the Southern Ocean:  Cape Gannets became numerous, a humpback whale swam nearby, a group of seals (sea lions? they had ears) curiously inspected Twister as we were becalmed south of the appropriately named Cape Seal, and the occasional Jackass Penguin popped up.

Knysna Heads
Becalmed ca 40 miles to the Knysna Heads I unsailorly decided to motor to try to catch the last hour of incoming tide (going through the entrance to the Knysna Lagoon, The Knysna Heads, requires near slack tide to avoid the strong tidal stream) the next morning. Fortunately I had neglected the starting battery and couldn't get the engine going (tried raising the decompression levers and assisting with the hand crank but to no avail) so I was forced to wait for wind which arrived gradually the next morning. Had a lovely sleep that night (I was out of the major traffic lanes at that point) and a nice sail to Knysna the next day. I put up the assymetrical spinnaker (hereafter, A-sail)--the biggest sail I have--to give Twister a little boost and make sure we arrived near the end of the afternoon incoming tide and enjoyed the beautiful scenery as I got closer to the rugged coast. The Knysna Heads are truly spectacular I wish I had taken more photos but was occupied with keeping Twister in the middle of the passage (not one to be attempted in big swell). Once inside the lagoon, the water was flat and I sailed amongst the powerboats towing kids on inner tubes and the faux-paddle wheel sightseeing boats, up to the dinghy dock at the Knysna Yacht Club where my new friends Mike, John, Grant, and Leon (whom Bridget and I met when we arrived East London. They had sailed from East London to Knysna the day before) caught my dock lines (after a couple of failed attempts at sailing up to the dock, one where I tossed them a line without properly securing it to Twister, so the whole thing went in the water). They kindly handed me a cold beer before I even stepped off the boat. So, definitely a good first impression of Knysna.

I've added a few more photos to the South Africa album (hopefully it's accessible now)

1 comment:

  1. Hey Lars!
    Great to hear Brig got out there, and that you are safe and sound on another continent. Enjoy the surf, the company, and knowing we all miss the hell out of you. Safe travels, mate.