ALL PHOTOS LATITUDE / RICHARD
Spread; Sharn, the manager of Soper's Hole Boat Yard, uses the wireless controls on the Sea-Lift to haul the Leopard 45 'ti Profligate'. Fix a reef-damaged keel in three days? "No problem, we do it all the time." Inset left; The cat rolling on land. Inset right; A worker attacks the damaged keel.
ing deadline, and thus had to bang on a keyboard all day and half the night, and couldn't use the boat anyway. 2) 'ti had been so busy for the last bunch of months that there hadn't been time for her annual haulout. 3) The weather was crap for at least the next week for heading across the Anegada Passage to St. Barth. Our only fear was that the haulout would drag on and on and on, as they do. Sharn, the young manager at Soper's Hole Boatyard, told us not to worry as they repair or replace catamaran keels all the time. "We can have the keel repaired in three days," he said." What?! "But we'll need another day to paint the bottom, replace the cutlass bearings and do the other an-
nual stuff." If the yard could do all that in four days, we asked him if they could take one more day and change the boot and cove stripes from Moorings red and blue to a custom torquoise and yellow, and get rid of the striping on the side of the cabin. And they did! We were flabbergasted. It turns out that in the charter center of the universe, nobody has time for boats to be out of service, so the yards have to get work done work quickly. About the third week of February, two good friends of Latitude, Greg King of the Long Beach-based 65-ft schooner Coco Kai, and Kirk McGeorge of the
Virgin Islands-based Hylas 49 Gallivanter, were about to start their 6,000mile voyages from Cape Town up to the Caribbean, with a couple of stops along the way. Sailing down the east coast of South Africa is always a dicey proposition. McGeorge, who is sailing to the Virgin Islands to reunite with his wife and son, filed two reports: "Feb. 11: It was a battle, but we arrived in Port Elizabeth last Saturday after an 89-hour, 470-mile passage Kirk McGeorge, with from Durban. We dinner â€” and more. caught two fish and enjoyed about 12 hours of favorable sailing conditions. The rest was difficult. But nothing broke and nobody got hurt. Most of our chores are done, so we're relaxing and doing a little safari in anticipation of our next leg around the Cape of Good Hope and onward to Cape Town." "Feb. 16: Greetings from Cape Town! We arrived yesterday after a nice and uneventful 480-mile passage from Port Elizabeth under pure sailing conditions, which I'm told is a rare thing in these parts. We got in just in time to avoid the 53-knot winds that roared through last night." Greg King, who must have crossed paths with McGeorge at Cape Town, had the following two reports: "Feb 7: Arrived at Port Elizabeth after a 24-hour, 400-mile run from Durban. I saw a top speed of 14.7 knots. Coco Kai doesn't go that fast. Thank you, Aghulas For circumnavigators, Cape Town marks the end of the rough sailing in the Indian Ocean and the beginning of nice sailing in the Atlantic.
The March 2014 issue of the West's premier sailing and marine magazine.