Sailing in Table Bay – Cape Town

The South Easter is blowing a gale here today, about 35 knots, and the forecast is much the
the same for the next couple of days.
Most of my friends know I would like to buy a boat in Europe, and often ask why I dont
just get a boat here.
Well – this is the first reason!

Yes – Cape Town is a wonderful place, with loads of sunshine and sandy beaches, but the South Easter is a part of the summer weather pattern, and blows frequently. And during the winter months we get the occassional North West gale setting up an 8 metre swell.
Which from a boating perspective means that the idyllic cruising days are a touch few and far between.
The other day we did have one of those days, (steady 15 knot westerly), and I went sailing on a friends yacht, from Royal Cape Yacht Club, and out into Table Bay. (see picture – magnificent view of Table Mountain, Lion’s Head and Devil’s Peak).
It was a most enjoyable sail – we sailed out into the bay towards Robben Island for about an hour, turned round and came back in!
Which leads me to the second reason –
There isn’t really anywhere to go in a small boat, without embarking upon a major sea voyage.
For example – distances to the closest harbour, marina or yacht club: Hout Bay – 20 nm, Simonstown – 58 nm, Gordon’s Bay – 65 nm and Saldhana Bay – 63 nm.
Any of these is a good few hours motoring or sailing, and the chances are that either there or back you are going to be battling the ubiquitous South Easter.
Dont get me wrong – I love living in Cape Town, but I will leave the boating to the die-hard yachtsmen who enjoy racing and get cold and wet for pleasure!
For some interesting snippets on Cape Town, visit Green Point Greenie.

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