Thursday, September 16, 2010

Mossel Baai

We have been stuck here for five days by the weather, but finally, we don't mind at all. I would even say that we like it.
This is a charming little town, touristic but also fishing harbor. It is very clean and nice looking, lots of building having their front covered with sand stones. Lots of restaurants, shops are well stocked. From the boat, the downtown area is less than a quarter mile away, including a small shopping mall with a supermarket. Extremely convenient.
At the marina, we have electricity and if we wanted, we could fill up our tanks with water. We won't do it as we have enough to reach Capetown and we are told that water is a scarce commodity here.
There is also a museum, part aquarium, part maritime museum, quite interesting and which helped us understand better the portuguese influence here. In the museum, there is a replica of the caravel on which Bartolomeu Dias came to South Africa in 1488. Amazing to look at the charts available at the time and to think of the courage and the maritime skills of those explorers.
It is a pity that there is so much security, so highly visible everywhere. There are probably very good reasons for it, but it does not help the image of the place. To go from my boat to the bar of the Yacht Club, there are four gates, all with different systems (key, magnetic badge, security guard, intercom system) that certainly does not incite you to visit the club for a drink.
The bay is very active, with quite a few whales, we are told on their way to antartica. There are also dolphins and sea lions, some of them right into the harbor.
The harbor itself is very much alive, with an intense activity from the fishing industry. Although it is quite well protected, the swell still manages to get in and alongside the pontoons the continuous movements of the boats are hard on the mooring lines.
This is, I hope, our last port in what is still technically speaking the Indian Ocean. Tomorrow night, we will go around Cape Agulhas and enter the South Atlantic Ocean.

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