By Brian Hancock
Explorer rocked up in Cape Town with a beautiful spinnaker flying and blue skies above, and of course that amazing mountain as always putting on a spectacular display to welcome them to the Mother City. Captain Coconut (aka Mark Sinclair) and his crew looked as fresh as if they had just been on an afternoon sail around Robben Island in Table Bay and stopped in to visit Nelson Mandela, except that he’s no longer in prison there. Well done to you all after 55 days on the merry blue ocean.
Explorer will have to stay a minimum of four days in port but the good news is (and it’s all good news by the way) they will be there to welcome our friends on Godspeed who, at last check on the YB Tracker were just over 500 miles out doing a very respectable 6.5 knots with a decent wind up the chuff (nautical term). The road ahead looks quite good except for some light winds as they get closer to Cape Town and before they get to see that stunningly beautiful mountain and enjoy a nice ice cold cream soda. Oh yes I loved those as a kid but I don’t even know if they still make them. Go for it Godspeed, you have got this as well as the long road that lies ahead.
Meanwhile for the rest of the McIntyre Ocean Globe fleet it’s all business. There will be no loitering with baboons at Cape Point or sunning of private parts at Sandy Bay; instead it’s time to put on the game face and prepare for the 2nd leg of this grand adventure which starts tomorrow, Sunday November 5 at 14:00 local time. It looks like the start might be quite ‘reasonable’ meaning that the boats are not going to get dusted (another nautical term… on their first night at sea, although the weather around Cape Town can be tricky. Preparation is key.
Funny story. I did part of the ’89/90 Whitbread on the (first and by happenstance) last Soviet Union entry Fazisi. Long story which I will come to in a different update, but we were an hour from the start in Southampton when we realised that we had no toilet paper on board. Or matches and we had a gas stove. There was a mad scramble, the RIB driver was put into emergency mode and we got both toilet paper and matches just moments before the start gun fired. So, to all the crews in the OGR, check your toilet paper and matches supplies before you throw the dock lines ashore, and enjoy your last night on South African soil.