The eastern coastline of South Africa is widely known around the mariner community as being a particularly challenging one to sail. With the strong Agulhas Current flowing from north to south paired with the precarious wind patterns from all directions, this stretch of sea is notoriously named “the Wild Coast” for a good reason.
To minimize the likelihood of trouble at sea, our leaders aboard the traditional Polynesian voyaging canoe, Hōkūle‘a, on her round-the-world voyage pay extra close attention to the weather, ensuring that we only sail when the wind is favorable. As a result, there are often long stretches of time where we must wait patiently in port for the weather to shift. This, however, does not mean that we wait idly. Instead, the time spent on land always seems to be more busy than the time at sea. Here are several key aspects of a successful time spent in port during this voyage: