We left Reunion as planned after refuelling at 9am. All of us heading south to be able to use the winds caused by an expected low to sail west. Got involved in a contrary current that had us motoring to get out of it and using more fuel than expected. We finally got out of that only to run in to very unexpected high winds and huge seas! The forecast was for 20 knots and we had gusts up to 42! Wouldn't you love to have a job where up to 40% variation on prediction up or down is acceptable and when you get it hopelessly wrong you still have a job the next day? We've all decided not to come back as dolphins and birds but weather forecasters! Anyway during all this at 5.30 am with both sails on reef 2 a huge freak wave hit us on the port side as we were just coming up out of a trough....there was a huge crack sound and everything not nailed down in the saloon ended up on the floor, Pete's model helicopter flew off it's velcro and hit Huw in the temple. Luckily because of the weather we were all up on watch or standby. Oscar got a terrible shock and went a bit cold and funny so we wrapped him all up and got him in a bedspread to come right. Huw took over the helm with an icepack and pain killers while Pete and I discovered the main cabin bulkhead was completely broken! Vertically and horizontally! We spent the next 4 hours bracing the breaks with ply and screws to make it safe. Luckily no leaks but the cabinets, floor and ceiling panels are out of alignment. The weather remained bad for another 24 hours and the boat survived OK so we were confident of getting to Richard's Bay in one piece. The next day broke calm, sunny and no wind - can you believe it. We then had to hurry up and beat another weather system to get past the Aghullus Current just off the South African coast. Refuelling from jerry cans at sea is not easy, fun or clean. We calculated the distance and diesel down to the last drop and made it OK. We did fly our repaired gennaker which went beautifully and furled really well. Richards Bay is on of South Africa's biggest and busiest ports - there was quite a bit of shipping to avoid on the way past Madagascar. The wave also tore one of the trampolines from the hull!
We are now at the Zulu Land Yacht Club (how's that for a name) which is a bit basic but has all the necessary repairers and chandlery. Our insurance company has been brilliant and had a surveyor there the next day for us. It looks like we will be here a bit longer than planned, maybe 10 days. Yesterday we went on a safari to the Hluhluwe Imfolozi Game Park (try pronouncing that), it was all day and we saw all the animals - lions (at a distance) rhinos just off the track, giraffe and elephant actually on the track plus warthogs, impala, wildebeest etc. Very good. there was a picnic lunch and one of the BBQs had been sat on by an elephant and was all crooked. The animals certainly don't seem to be worried by the vehicles and people but they are definitely wild and not tame. Three elephants got on three sides of our truck at one point and that was a bit scary especially when the biggest one started to flap it's ears!.