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Cape Town Diaries

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by Ryan » Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:23 am

Hey Dave

Jen is working full time so no travel for us, Jen is getting pretty good though. I'm still recovering from the chest bash so have been mowing the lawn mostly, and coaching Jen.
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by Ryan » Mon Feb 05, 2018 2:42 am

A quick update from Cape Town

On Saturday there was a good forecast for Cape Point, about 50km 1.5 hours away so we headed there. Unfortunately it was not so good, Jen slogged out on the 96 a few times but there was not quite enough wind.
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Slogging out at Platboom bay Cape Point. There were a few Kiters out.

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One of our friends at Cape Point. Keep your doors and windows closed otherwise they'll steal all your food.

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On the way back to Blouberg we passed Kite Beach, as always living up to its name.

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By the time we got back there was decent wind right in front of our place but small waves.

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Big Bay is cross on so Jen is trying to figure out the optimal sail body angles to maximise speed.

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We're also working on getting her jumps higher, still a way to go, more sheeting in is needed.

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Yesterday we went to Haakgat beach, 5 minutes north of us. This is a cross / cross off spot. Much fun was had. So much easier to sail cross off after getting used to cross on. We heard some pros saying that this spot was like Hookipa without the rocks. Sometimes in can be lake flat in Big Bay but decently sized here.

Map:
[googlemap]<iframe src="https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/embed?mid=1uQZdYTiGD8ZweLqQh2ti_P_RtVPCWNQn" width="640" height="480"></iframe>[/googlemap]


A map of the spots visited so far (In case the Maps links don't work, Alton how do I embed an Iframe from Google My Maps?). https://www.google.com/maps/d/u/0/edit?hl=en&hl=en&mid=1uQZdYTiGD8ZweLqQh2ti_P_RtVPCWNQn&ll=-34.027153436810984%2C18.441003236423512&z=10
Ryan
 
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by Michael » Tue Feb 06, 2018 10:36 am

Ryan wrote:A quick update from Cape Town
Thanks for the update Ryan. What an incredible place, those pictures are stunning. Haakgat beach looks sweet!
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by C36 » Tue Feb 06, 2018 12:34 pm

Ryan wrote:A quick update from Cape Town

Michael wrote:Thanks for the update Ryan. What an incredible place, those pictures are stunning. Haakgat beach looks sweet!

+1 :D
Incredible to get a sense of all the options there! It all looks like a lot of fun! 8-)
The map was super helpful - great to be able to zoom into the different spots and ponder side-on at Big Bay versus side/side-off at Haakgat. :D
Hope your chest heals up soon and is quickly forgotten.
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by Ryan » Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:30 am

Thanks Dave and Michael. Yes, I hope I'm back to normal soon. I never realized how many things the chest is connected to, and I'm terrified of sneezing. We've had a few days of no wind but good surf.

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This is what Big Bay looks like in with no wind.
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by arg » Thu Feb 08, 2018 11:16 am

Don't know if it will happen, but if you get bored one day, I would like to read about your experiences in getting set up in Cape Town - getting there, local transportation, rent, and what exactly are you drinking for rehydration as I keep reading about how there is no water in Cape Town, etc.
Keep the photos coming!
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by Ryan » Sun Feb 11, 2018 12:59 pm

Great day today at Scarborough. It wasn't blowing anywhere else at mid day. Big Bay nothing, Witsands not much, Cape Point we think not much but somehow Scarborough was working. We think the wind funnels over the peninsula. We sailed with Kevin Mac... from Southern California, he's here for a month, he made a 75l board look like a 90l.

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The rigging area and beach, if you look closely everyone was catching the wave that was breaking far out.

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Me on a wave at the end of the day after the wind was 4.0/4.2 and I was still on 4.7. This is the most cross off I have every sailed, it felt very wierd at first, especially getting out over the shore break. After a few waves I started to get the hang of it. The problem here is that the critical section of the wave is over a thick kelp bed, we saw one person going over the handle bars hitting it. I went over some kelp but was fine. The chest is still sore but is improving.


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A typical Cape Town cheap car rental.

getting set up in Cape Town


Cars are around $25 to $35 per day for a cheap option. For windsurfing or surfing it's almost essential to have a car. Cape Town is all about wind / wave chasing. The good spots can shift 30 to 50km day to day. You'd be missing out on a lot if you just stayed at one spot and did not drive. Uber works well here and is affordable, as is public transit but trips take much longer and don't go to the surf spots.

Rent for medium term is around $1000 for us per month for a one bedroom on Big Bay beach, this was a very good deal. A lot of other places we found were double that but if you stayed away from the beach maybe $500-$1000 per month, local deals can be found on the local Craigslist equivalent, Gumtree.co.za anything on AirBandB is expensive. It is a bit of a dilemma choosing where to stay. On the beach in the North, in the South say in Scarborough, somewhere in between. All have their advantages. We think there is a higher probability of wind in the North, Sunset Beach/ Big Bay etc.
I'll carry on this later in a subsequent post.
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by C36 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:32 pm

:shock: :D WOW! The shot of you sailing the walling waves at Scarborough looks unreal (looks like five clean lines all being held open by the side-off wind and nobody else in sight). That looks nothing like the Scarborough I know (Ontario). ;) Glad to hear the kelp bed didn't give you any trouble and that your ribs are healing. 8-)
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by Michael » Thu Feb 15, 2018 10:24 pm

Image

Ryan wrote:Me on a wave at the end of the day after the wind was 4.0/4.2 and I was still on 4.7. This is the most cross off I have every sailed, it felt very wierd at first, especially getting out over the shore break. After a few waves I started to get the hang of it. The problem here is that the critical section of the wave is over a thick kelp bed, we saw one person going over the handle bars hitting it. I went over some kelp but was fine. The chest is still sore but is improving.


Like Dave said, that's an amazing shot. Lots of envy here, as winter seems to have kicked in again and we have no wind. Glad you're feeling better, watch out for that kelp though.
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by Ryan » Thu Feb 22, 2018 3:44 am

Thanks everyone for following the Cape Town conditions, hopefully this will inspire some to visit.
After a few days of lake like conditions at Big Bay Blouberg, some swell rolled in. Prime Big Bay conditions.

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The beach.

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Looking out, I counted 40 boards out at one point.

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A bunch of pros showed up on one of the days and I finally ran into Ben Profit (Mr Windsurfing TV), I didn't fan boy him but asked him what sail he was going out on.

On the water crises. Cape Town has had low winter rain falls for three years in a row and water is set to run out in July unless it rains properly. Rain usually starts in May or June so we might get lucky.
If water is shut off people will have to queue for water at a number of pick up points.

Water has been shut off for farmers already so many of them will not be making much money this year.
People have been asked to use less than 50 l per person per day. We have been trying our best and thought we'd be under but after a month we were at around 60l each. A shower is around 10 to 15 l if you rinse turn off, wash, then rinse off. A toilet flush is around 15 l. Don't flush for number 2. A load of laundry is probably 60 to 70l. Washing dishes around 10 l per wash. It all adds up quickly.

The politicians have not done much to mitigate the situation after years of being warned. Possible solutions are desalination, a few pilot plants are being built but operation will be very expensive since the water needs to be pumped up where currently all dams are above the town and water does not require pumping.
The city is also drilling into Aquifiers where there is apparently a huge store of water. Pipelines from 1000km north are also being planned.

Many people are solving the situation themselves by installing rainwater capture systems themselves at their houses. Water runs off the roof into tanks which is then piped into the house. There is enough rain in some areas for 3000-5000l per month off a medium sized houses roof.
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