Borobudur ship sets sail for East London

Dec 4, 2003
Author: P&S

The Borobudur sailing ship left Durban for East London this morning (Thursday, 4 November), sailing into a light breeze and what was hoped will remain a kind weather window. Read the latest email from the ship, already well on her way down the KwaZulu Natal South Coast – next stop East London.

To stay in touch go to the official website of this fascinating and brave expedition –


Finally a good weather window appears to have opened up and we left Durban shortly after 1100 hours GMT. At the moment it is a bright beautiful day with light southerly easterly winds which should blow from the north east as the evening approaches. We are heading out about 10 to 15 miles off the coast to pick up the Agulhas current which should add around 3 knots to our speed.

We have 240 miles to clear of what is known as the Wild coast…one of the most dangerous stretches of water in the world as there are no places to hide for sail ships. And should a south westerly gale come up, abnormal waves of 20 meters are not unknown. The sea becomes like a “washing machine” and being in it in a small wooden boat is not recommended!

We have two days to make it before the next south westerly “buster”, as the gales are known, is forecast for Saturday afternoon. At Joko’s suggestion, we said a few prayers for the safety of the Crew and Ship as we all gathered on the on the deck of the ship before we set sail.

Our stay in Durban was helped by the support and friendship of the Royal Natal Yacht Club to whom we are very grateful. Ditto the National Sea Rescue Institute who helped us arrive! Alan Campbell is going to take a well earned break after 4.5 months of excellent service on board the Borobudur Ship. Thank you Alan for your magnificent contribution. Ross Berkman is taking over from Alan as Master.

We hope to reach at least East London and possibly Port Elizabeth during the next few days as we head towards Cape Town. It promises to be one of the key phases of the expedition.

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