This Easter Friday there was a real storm in Hout Bay. A vicious Easterly wind came up in the morning and by the late afternoon it was a gale of about 60 knots. Later that evening it was blowing above 70 knots. About 0300 Saturday morning, the wind suddenly dropped, as it usually does. This finally allowed us to get some sleep and we woke up late on Saturday morning to a dead calm.
HBYC Storm
HBYC Marina during the storm. The large alluminium yacht in the centre is Tanihwa (pic taken about 1900)

The Easterly is feared in Hout Bay. Whilst its was very windy across the whole South Western Cape due to the South Atlantic High pressure moving South East of Cape Point, the Easterly is locally much stronger in Hout Bay, due to the location of the mountains around the bay. In addition the Hout Bay harbour mouth opens directly to the East, so a large chop also enters into the harbour in an Easterly gale.
Bressay Spray
Spray breaks over the North Mole

These conditions usually only occur about three times a year, but they can cause devastation in the harbour. Amongst the damage in the past have been the HBYC marina coming apart (as occurred in 2005), and boats coming loose and then banging into the marina resulting in them being holed. On Friday luckily only one boat – Sacred Spirit, a Leopard 42 cat – was slightly damaged, by banging into a marina finger.

Luckily Nolwandle’s mooring on the marina is close to the North Mole and is well protected from the harbour entrance.
Nolwandle in storm
Nolwandle straining at her mooring during the storm

Advertisements