Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011
At 1100 the pilot came to the Picton Castle alongside West Quay in the inner Alfred Basin to take us back out to sea. We had spent three weeks here at Cape Town, surrounded by lovely wooden fishing boats, ships coming off the synchrolift and right next to the very posh hotel the Cape Grace. With our powerful Danish main engine rumbling over, through a few twists and turns we backed the ship away from the old granite wharfs, swinging bridges giving way, crowds watching, former crew waving we made our way to the bunker dock to take on fuel and off again.
Just now we are under way from Cape Town in very light winds under power – the famous, infamous Robben Island is on port. We have done safety drills for all hands, much training and orientation for our new crew- we have most of the supplies for the rest of the voyage and Cape Town is vanishing in the haze astern.
The new hands have all been assigned a ‘buddy’ among the experienced crew to show them the ropes and have someone to easily refer to and get guidance from – one of the many advantages of a sail training voyage of this duration is that so many of our ‘students’ have more sea-time and even more training than some young licensed professionals and they certainly know the ship and our procedures quite well. Cape Town and South Africa was simply amazing for us, as rich or truly a richer experience we cannot imagine. Hard to leave Cape Town but it must be done. We are bound for Namibia…
*Many thanks to Cape Town photographer Maurice Taylor for the beautiful photos of getting underway.