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Sailng on Windwanderer.
No Photos 8th Aug 2015
Saturday 8th August 2015

Saturday 8th August 2015

Well hello Ludertiz Namibia, we made it only just.

I'm putting our whole trip in one blog post, as I could not write daily out there, which I will explain soon.
This had to be the most stressful trip so far, although not as long as some of our trips, but man it was a shocker.

We cleared out of Cape Town, South Africa on tuesday late in the afternoon, the clear out did not go well, as we knew it wouldn't, because we had over stayed, we knew we would have trouble at immigration, but armed with all our papers we set off in a local taxi, hoping that they may see reason and not give us too much strife.

Well the guy we talked to was a total jerk, and would not even listen to why we overstayed.
He scanned our passports and I watched a warning flash up on the computer screen.
He goes and grabs another guy and then it started, they gave us a five year ban, we are classed as undesirable people and then asked when are you leaving we told him first thing in the morning he just shakes his head, I'm standing there thinking, they are not going to let us leave, I had a plan worked out that I would grab our passports, grab The Captain and we would do a runner, after all we had a taxi waiting for us...haha
Luckily we were ok but man they were not happy.

So Wednesday morning comes, which was my boys birthday, a big Happy birthday to you Tim, wow my baby is 23 now I sure am feeling old.

There were big seas out there but hardly no wind so we decided to wait till around 11am to cast off, we were on the end of a very long jetty, and in fine form I might add, The Captain got us turned around and heading in the right direction, the only hassle we had was from another yacht a very fancy one at that, trying to overtake us and went off at us  about not looking behind.
For a start they were the overtaking vessel, which has to give way, and we would have loved to see them doing a back and fill in a small space in a 30 ton boat. yeap you even get road rage on the water...haha

So off we set, we had to wait for a tanker to come in than we were allowed to leave the port.
The first day and night was lovely, although we had to motor as there was just no wind at all, and yes the seas were still big but the waves were widely spaced, So not bad at all.
We had a fantastic show of Dolphins when hundreds went past, I have a little video clip of them, it was just magic.
The night was calm and all was well in our little world, the engine was running smoothly after all the work that was done on it and for once everything was working fine.
That was until the next day, when all hell broke loose.
Now it would be easier to say what was working on the boat...haha the list of not working was a mile long.

It started with the wind monitor we started getting minus readings, which is not really that much of a drama, hell we came across the pacific with no wind speed at all.
Than the AIS system stopped working, when the computer went funny. Now this one I was stressed about cause there was a lot of shipping going on and I just hate not been able to see the ships properly and where they are and knowing they can't see us to the last minute.
But we had radar so that was ok I guess, than The Captain goes and checks the batteries, and we are not generating any power, the Alternator is not working, now this is major, as you know we churn through the power at an alarming rate when sailing, all the nav gear, lights, auto pilot and such all need power.

So our back up power is the generator, we go and start that and it just keeps shutting down saying low oil pressure.
The Captain spend many hours with his head in manuals, and floor boards up, bits of tools and such flying all over the place, all I saw for hours was his arse in the air, trying everything to get one or the other working.

Nothing we did would get them back working, by this time the sun was up and the solar panels would hopefully take over and at least give us enough charge to last through the night, not gonna happen, the back solar panel had broken wires, we noticed this when we took the lining down in our cabin, in Simonstown to fix a leak and had just temporary put the lining back up, as we thought we would fix it later.
So out in the middle of a very big rolling ocean The Captain then spend hours getting the lining back down and reconnecting the solar panel.

Murphy's law at its finest, the next two days was nothing but fog, we need sunshine for them to work.
We had to turn off the fridges and freezer which resulted in having to throw out almost all the food that defrosted as we had no way of keeping it cool.

Our water level was getting low and we could not use the water maker, as it uses too much battery power.

I could not charge my ipad or the computer, so no entertainment while on watch, we could not use sailmail, so no letting the family know we were ok, talk about basic sailing, when you are used to all these things it hits hard, man I could not even do my hair and us girls always know how we feel on a bad hair day, I had three straight...not good.

Then the last 36 hours went downhill fast, the seas picked up to a angry horrible ocean, it was wild and very very rough.
We were actually surfing these massive waves, and doing 10knots sometimes 11 over these it was a hairy ride I tell you.

The only things we had running was the chart plotter, radar, the nav lights at night and the auto pilot, Then the auto pilot stopped working, oh man we felt like we had killed a thousand Chinaman.
I took the first watch of hand steering while The Captain got a few hours sleep, but it just got way too much for me, she is such a heavy boat and in big seas, it's hard to keep control of her, many times we were headed back to Cape Town...haha
Serious you take your eyes off it for a second and bam your doing 360°'s in the middle of the ocean in wild seas waves crashing everywhere things flying all over the place, man it's horrible.
So for the last 36 hours the poor Captain had to hand steer, we upped the reves and were flying as we so wanted to get to Namibia in daylight, going this fast is scary I tell you, it just adds to all the stress, and to make it worse we were just not going to make it in daylight no matter what we did, we were hoping not to have another night, as we were worried we would lose the chart plotter as well.
We than decided to use the house batteries, this is a big no no in boating, as these are only used solely for starting the Engine, but we figured if we could just get a little more power into the main batteries and use them for not long it would be ok.

Big mistake, for some reason everything went crazy the radar switched off we had ships near by the chart plotter stop working the only thing that stayed on was the nav lights we were close to land, and the worst thing was they drained the power even more.

We quickly turned the house batteries off and everything started working again, we were coming up to the port entry in pitch black and just hoping all would stay on till we got there.

I was navigating and hoping like hell I was getting it right, as The Captain could not see the chart so well from the wheel, we had land, islands rocks all in our way, there was just no room for error, and to make matters worse I soon realised that The Captain is not female he can not do two things at once..haha even if he talked to me for a second he would lose concentration and we would be heading straight for land, he was stressing me out like you would not believe, in all fairness he was so tired with lack of sleep and fighting this mother of a ship through big seas, was really taking it's toll.

We radioed port control and let them know we were coming in, and also David and Marcie from Nine of Cups, who were giving us encouragement, and waiting at the mooring to help us tie up.

We had to navigate about 2nm in through islands rocks boats and trying to make out the flashing beacons from the shore lights.
I was crying by this stage it's was just so hard if I got it wrong we would of ended up on the rocks in a few seconds. But we made it, after a bit of a struggle we got tied up to the mooring, Marcie and David were great and I don't think we could of made it here to the mooring without them.

We both had a stiff drink, decided a little house in the country, was a far better option than this madness, and went to bed were we slept the sleep of the dead.

Well tomorrow is another day.

Ps.....I have a lot of blog post to catch up, so watch this space.



Next: Thursday 29th October 2015 back in Luderitz.
Previous: Monday 20th July 2015



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