Jacqueline & Michel HENNEBERT's log book

Direct to the 18th of march 2007


Date of report : 20th of december 2006
from Port Louis (Mauritius) to Simons Town

French version

Simons Town, December 20th, 2006

Since a few days we are in Simons Town where Callibistris is berthed at the marina of the False Bay Yacht Club in South Africa. Simons Town is a marvellous small village on the eastern face of Cape of Good Hope and we are very well there despite the nearly continuous strong wind. Our big neighbour is the South African Navy but apart from a few fire training, the marina is clean of any pollution and fur seals play around the boats. Before being in this little paradise, last September we flew back to Mauritius and boarded Callibistris in Bassin Caudan in Port Louis. She was well looking and happy to see us back. We sailed to Back River in the south West of the island. It is a beautiful anchorage, wild and well protected and we enjoyed very much being there. But we have to go back to Port Louis to collect generator spare parts on October 2nd but what a surprise when near the entrance we ask for permission to enter and then are told that the harbour is closed, but as we just dropped our anchor off the entrance channel, a speed boat come to tell us we can enter but then we wont be able to leave before the following morning. We berth to the customs quay, repair the generator and in the morning sail to Grand Baie in the Northwest corner of the island where we anchor off the Yacht Club. (Take care with Cmap, as for Port Louis and Black River one have to enter into the GPS the offset given by the chart, for Grand Baie offset has to bee deleted). Welcome there is great and even very windy, anchorage is well sheltered and safe. The bay is very touristy, too much according to our taste. Callibistris is going to stay there until October 17th, waiting for Jacqueline back to Paris and François her brother who joins us to sail to South Africa. Two days to let François have a tour of the island, and then back to Port Louis for checking out and a last drink on board with our Mauritian family and friends and on Wednesday the 18th we leave towards La Reunion where at dawn we found a good berth in the marina at Le Port. Arnaud, who leave there come to see us, and drive us for a short tour before to leave us at a car rental. We can then drive around and on Friday afternoon check in at a gite in order very early morning to start a beautiful walk around the active volcano. It’s a 5 hours walk that end by the claiming of a 500 steps into the rock. When we left, clouds were already starting to cover and hide the top. Sunday the 22nd, after clearing customs, we set sails to Durban, and very soon the wind died in the lee of the island. Next day, François catch a nice 15 kg red tuna fish so that we won’t fish anymore. From Monday 1pm to Wednesday 2 pm we sail with the spinnaker on in 10 knots wind and our speed in very low, below 5 knots, also Callibistris bottom is very dirty. Then wind catches up but remains quite reasonable, and this passage, which should have been quite hard, has been a fairly easy one. We then decide to head to Richard Bay instead of Durban in order to be closer to the wild life parks and visit them with François before he fly back to Paris. So, on the 31st, 9 days and 1387 miles after leaving, we berth in Tuzi Gazi marina, and during three days from Thursday to Saturday we can with St Lucia as a base, with a boat on the river see the hippos and the many birds and then drive into the Great St Lucia Wetland Park, and then the big Hluhluwe-Infolozi Park where wild life is so plentiful. It is surprising in a road bend to find ourselves facing a big elephant. Of all the animals, the beauty price is going to the giraffes when they gallop along. Just lions wont show up. On Sunday François fly back, and the following Wednesday, as the marina is very far from anything, we leave to Durban, where after a 10 hours sail, the welcome of both Point Yacht Club and Royal Natal Yacht Club are very nice. The first one sees us quite more, as having met so many nice members around the weekly Thursday braaia (barbecue). Marina is downtown, everything is easy, even so the marina in very dirty. Leaving Durban is difficult, we feel well there, and going down the coast can be difficult with the strong Agulhas south west current, which can reach 5 knots when it faces a strong southwesterly wind, which happens twice a week. Local sailors advise you that you need a 3 days weather window to depart Durban, and this never happen. On November 24th, we celebrate on board Jacqueline’s 65th birthday, being eight for an excellent and very friendly diner. Following Tuesday, Mandla snorkel to clean our hull and do a very good job, so as we see a 24 hours weather window opening, we leave at 2am Wednesday morning, heading to East London. During the following night we slow down as much as we can to enter with the daylight Buffalo river and at 4 on Thursday we berth alongside charter boats at Lantimer’s landing. Wind freshens and turns southwest by noon; luck or very accurate weather forecast? East London is just a good shelter, and next day as soon as wind drops, we leave with little wind and a strong counter current, ( thanks to the advise of one East London’s sailor who gave us the best route, and put us in) so that we had to sail a long detour to get out of it. Next day at 8am we are in Port Elisabeth at Algoa Bay Yacht Club where with a great pleasure we see three club members showing us which berth to go alongside and picking up our lines. Welcome is very warm, but unfortunately when wind shift to the east, all the marina is on the lee of the bulk (coal?) of nearby quay and all the boat becomes black. There is no big interest in the small town of Port Elisabeth except a walk on the beautiful beach, a lunch at the Rockafé and on the way back visiting the market. Tuesday December 5th we leave Port Elisabeth and next day with a strong swell entering the harbour we go along a very short berth, at Mossel Bay. Mossel Bay is a very charming small village but we will have to leave before a new swell built up. So Wednesday morning after refueling we resume our westward route. During Wednesday night we sailed off Cape Agulhas, the most southern cape of Africa and also the one which is the limit between Indian Ocean and Atlantic Ocean, so that we are back in this Alantic Ocean nearly 7 years after we left it in January 2000 when passing Cape Horn, but we are back on its east, and it is written that during our trip we will have missed the crossing of the Alantic Ocean. On Saturday morning, sailing downwind, we see ahead of us the profile of the Cape of Good Hope, but it is only in January when leaving South Africa that we shall pass it. Presently we turn North West and leaving it on port, with a strong south east wind, we are on our way to the good shelter of Simons Town. It is blowing too hard to enter the marina, and a very kind member of FBYC come to see us and show us a very good mooring to stand by waiting for the wind to drop down. Early morning Saturday we can join our berth. We are very happy to get this berth, thanks to Joel Marc on board Savannah as since May we were talking to Roger and Haidi, so many thanks to them. Simons Town is on the east edge of Cape of Good Hope, 20 km north of Cape Point. It is a beautiful small village, with nice beaches, good surf not far north and water is still at 19°. The west facing of the cape is wilder, water is only 8°, but surf is superb there. We are 30 km south of Cape Town by train. Up to now we have run 75000 miles, and our future program, still 6700 nm to run, is to sail to Ste Hélène early February, then to Azores before to head back to Noirmoutier in May, ending a marvelous ten years around the world tour. A large piece of our life is finishing. As from now Callibistris is for sale, let people know it around. She is in perfect condition, but she does not understand very well why the venture with us is finished. We hope she will find a new Captain an a new crew who can love her as much as we did and take care of her as well for visiting new seas and new horizons.

Again Merry Christmas and Very Happy New Year

Amitiés à tous
Jacqueline & Michel


Date of report : 18th of march 2007
from Simons Town to Cape Verde Archipelago

French version

Note of the Editor: the Islands of the Green Cape (Ilhas do cabo Verde), independent of Portugal since July 5th, 1975, are a group of islands of Western Africa, formed by fourteen islands, representing a complete area of 4033 km², with a population of 420 979 inhabitants (2006) for the ten main, the others being deserted. They were discovered in 1460 by Cadamosto.
They are located in about 750 kilometres on the West from the Green Cape. They are separated in two groups which they name Islands of the wind (Ilhas de Barlavento) and Islands under the wind (Ilhas de Sotovento): the first includes the islands of Santo Antão, São Vicente, Santa Luzia, São Nicolão, and islets were named Ilheu Branco and Ilheu Razo; second is composed of Islands do Sal, Bõavista, Maio, São Thiago and Fogo, with Ilheos Seccos and small island of Brava.
The climate of the Cape Verde Archipelago is hot. They suffer there such a lot, sometimes of dryness (in origin, in the second half of the XXth century, of a strong emigration), sometimes of torrential rains, calamitous for crop. The natural fecundity of the soil is big and the situation of the Islands, on the way of all ships going from Europe to the Good Hope Cap or towards South America, is quite favourable.

We arrived early last week in Mindelo, Isla Sao Vicente in Cape Verde Archipelago. This stop was not planned but we enjoy it.

Since our last mail in December, we spend all January in Simon’s Town in False Bay, north of Good Hope Cape and a few miles south of Cape Town, South Africa.
Our time there was very nice. Also we saw Matthieu, oldest Michel’s son and Christelle joining us for Christmas and New Year, and with them we discovered this beautiful area, Good Hope peninsula, the wine yard valleys, the good restaurants of some wineries, and through a long visit the very typical towns of Stellenbosh and Franschhoek. 
We already told you that the welcome of the False Bay Yacht Club was beautiful and it remained the same until we left. Thank to all members and staff.

On February 5th, we left our friends of Simon’s Town, and as we left wind was right to take us to Good Hope Cape and sail around it, our fourth Great South Cape, and then head southwest towards Ste Helene Island. On the 7th and 8th, wind shift northwesterly forcing us to head north but as compensation we fish a very yellow tail, a very good fish indeed. On the 8th, wind freshen to 35-40 knots but following day it backs to south west at 25-30 knots allowing us to head again towards our route. The week-end is still windy, 20-25 knots, but the second week is far calmer and even for two days we were with the spinnaker on, before to arrive on Friday the 16th, after 1761 miles, in James Bay, in front of Jamestown, Ste Helene Island.
A large part of Ste Helene life is based on the memory of its most famous host, as out of some culture, like a few tons of coffee sold in small bags against a fortune; but the 4000 inhabitants are very nice. Of course we visited the two Napoleon’s residences of Briars and Longwood and had a look at his temporary gravesite.
The island is beautiful and offers superb landscapes. The active village was built in a very narrow valley alongside one road, which starts at a strong sea wall sheltering the head of the bay from the high incoming swell. To come onshore from the visiting boat, there is a ferry, small wooden fishing boat, which disembarks passengers onto the most sheltered point, just when the swell is toping with the help of strong ropes hanging above the point.
Housing is mostly built on the high plateaux, the most important being just above Jamestown, and for the courageous ones, a staircase, digged in the rock, 699 one foot high steps, joins the two places, it is the Jacob’s Ladder.
On Thursday, February 22nd, we leave this nice Island towards Azores. Light wind, very hot, and we sail spinnaker on for three days. The second day we catched a small dorado, or mahi-mahi, and it will be our last catch as later on with more wind our only bites were with huge fish which broke six times our 120lbs lines on reel. Then we installed a strong fishing line but we had no more bite.
We went through the equator line at 5pm on Saturday, March 3rd, 4th time for Callibistris, and the doldrums, between 3° and 4° N on Monday the 5th with good wind. We then made the decision to stop in Sao Vicente Island (Capo Verde), but wind does not cooperate. We have to tack with little wind at first, then with stronger wind with a hard choppy sea. When we test the engine on a motor tack, it appears that the oil pressure sensor is blocked to the maximum. We then had quite a few mail with François, Jacqueline’s brother, and after two days talk with Perkins, it appears we should not have any problem running the engine for our arrival into Sao Vicente Channel where current run strongly as well as catabatic gusts from the north east. Everything goes well and on Tuesday, March 13th we are in Mindelo (2499 miles since Ste Helene) and find a berth on the single existing float.
We prefer to wait for a new sensor send from France, even if there is no risk for the engine. And we are happy to stay here, island is much nicer and people friendlier we had imagine, and like this we should arrive in Azores after the equinox spring tides.
A few days for a rest which is welcome before to start our last leg towards Europe, 1250 miles, but with a chance of many tacks in a rough sea. So it is from Punta Delgada in Sao Miguel Island, Azores that we should send you our last but one log.

Amitiés à tous
Jacqueline and Michel Hennebert

Date of report : 10th of april 2007
from Ponta Delgada, Azores

French version

While in Mindelo, Sao Vicente Island in Cape Verde, we went for a two days visit in Santo Antonio Island. Less than one hour ferry to Porto Novo on the east coast and from there, we were driven on the superb, fascinating and impressive road through the volcano craters. Road on the north coast between Ponta do Sol and Paul is also beautiful and at the exit of Paul magnificent valley we found a very nice bed and breakfast and in front of it a good (and the only one) restaurant. On Friday we received our spare part and next day, Saturday March 24 at 11 a.m. we sailed out. For four hours we motored into the channel between Sao Vicente and Santo Antonio where the wind funnels and give a very nasty and short wave so that at 4 p.m. we started, with two reefs on the main and our Solent jib, our longest tack. Wind blows an average of 30 knots but our heading is close to our route. As from Thursday, wind shifts to east, and we can head north, wind on the beam, on our direct route towards Ponta Delgada, Sao Miguel Island in Azores. Even with less wind our speed is higher and after a 20 hours period of complete calm on Friday night (motoring at night make things easier but take care of the freighter, we crossed three of them between Cape Verde and Azores), wind came back at 30 knots and with the full moon, at 3 a.m. on Monday April 2nd, we secured at the reception quay of the Ponta Delgada marina. 1254 miles sailed, not including the 102 miles of current we had to lengthen our route. We were very happy to arrive as our route was easier than foreseen and Friday March 30th saw Callibistris reaching the 80.000 miles sailed since her departure from Noirmoutier nearly ten years ago. We shall stay in this nice island until we leave towards Noirmoutier, early May, to close a ten-year circumnavigation.

Amitiés à tous,
Jacqueline and Michel



20th of december 2006
18th of march 2007
10th of april 2007

© Hennebert