The fourth and final RYA Yachtmaster Offshore programme for 2021 is wrapping up this December. We have 8 sailors doing their exams on Benguela and Cape Storm, currently heading up to Saldanha Bay.
It’s been a fantastic programme with a great crew. What an experience sailing up and down the infamous South African coastline to Durban and back. It’s an incredibly challenging mileage trip with weather conditions, current and sea state to consider and manage. But, that’s what it’s all about: learning to sail in the toughest conditions and turning out competent, confident skippers. South African sailors will all tell you – if you can sail here, you can sail anywhere.
Both Benguela and Cape Storm did the trip, which allowed for the a bit of competition between the boats. Comparing galley output (Jan the clear winner in this regard), boat speeds and who caught the most/biggest fish. Final tally for fishing – Benguela for the win.
The wild coast and warm Benguela current means plenty of “wildlife” sightings along the way: the crew spotted whale, sunfish, seals, flying fish and dolphins.
Pilotage is an important skill and this route allows for interesting and varied coastal port visits. They popped in at St Frances, Port Elizabeth, East London and of course Durban.
Special thanks to Luke Nienaber and his family for hosting a lovely dinner for the crew. What a fantastic way to end 2021. We are looking forward to seeing you all out on the water!