“Talking Sailing” from my archives. The Agulhas Current

Lots of confused water, waves and trouble lurking! A scene from the 1984 Vasco da Gama Race from aboard Assegai.
pic by Richard Crockett

by Richard Crockett

Ever since doing my very first Vasco da Gama ocean race from Durban to East London in 1977 I have been fascinated by the Agulhas Current. And having competed in the 1984 Vasco da Gama Race, I have experienced it at its most angry too!

The random nature of the current, it’s brute force and the speed at which it flows are individually fascinating subjects.

For yachties traversing the Agulhas Current there are several “rules of thumb” one should remember and practice.

For most it’s simply all about the advantage one can gain when sailing south should one find the core of the current. Anything up to five knots, and on occasions a few additional ones too, give one a good free push down the coast.

Instead of giving my thoughts, I am today sharing several feature articles written by authorities on the subject. I had forgotten I had these until unearthing them and scanned them in to my archives a few days ago.

While these articles are old, they give very good scientific data about the current. So remember that today, with satellite technology and much more, the studies may be more illuminating. If you have a thirst for more knowledge on this fascinating subject, then search online for more.

READ THESE ARTICLES:
Abnormal Waves on the South East Coast of South Africa:  Abnormal Waves on the South East Coast of South Africa by J K Mallory – S&A – 004443 – OCR

A Guide for Yachtsman Sailing Between Durban and Cape Town:  A Guide for Yachtsmen Sailing between Durban & Cape Town – by Chris Bonnet – 004444 – S&A – OCR

Giant Wave – Anomalous Seas of the Agulhas Current:  Giant Wave Anomalour Seas of the Agulhas Current – Eckart H Schumann – S&A – 004445 – OCR

A Review of Present Concepts on Natal Coastal Circulation:  A Review of Present Concepts on Natal Coast Circulation – S&A – 004446 – OCR

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