Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Durban: Fernando Pessoa and me; departure

        If you google ‘Pessoa statue Durban’ surprisingly you will get me.  I took one of the photographs that appear at the top of the page and if you scroll down you will find my journal entry of October 1, 2008, headed, ‘Fernando Pessoa is still being ignored.’
        Now, thanks to my friend, Chris, you have both of the great writers together.
       Two years ago Fernando Pessoa was, briefly, remembered in Durban when his statue was defaced in an anti-colonial movement.  Charitably one might say this was ill-advised.  More accurately that it was stupid.  I doubt the vandals had ever read a poem Pessoa wrote or even knew who he was.  Portugal had colonies, but South Africa was not one of them, and Pessoa was a child when he lived here while his stepfather was the Portuguese consul.
        The paint has been removed.  
        Were I Pessoa I would have worn it with pride as a symbol not of my shame, but of those who splashed it on me.
         I expect that today Fernando was again ignored by all who passed him, except for Chris and me.


        The wind has been blowing 20 knots all day, gusting 25.  This front should blow through tonight, and if when I wake tomorrow the wind projections are not much changed, I will clear with the officials for a Friday morning departure.  The forecast is not for the seventy-two hours of wind on or aft of the beam I want, but it does not appear that I’m going to get what I want this year.  
        We can expect to encounter 20+ knot headwinds on Sunday that, hopefully, will last only twelve hours.  I will heave to, lie ahull, or head slowly out to sea until they pass.  Do not be alarmed if GANNET’s Yellowbrick positions  show no progress or even go backwards.  
       We will probably face another twelve hours of headwinds on Tuesday.  It is my intention to ride them out as well.
        I plan to clear Durban for St. Helena and not stop along the way unless I have to.
       The distance is about 2500 nautical miles and should take about three weeks, depending on how often I have to heave to or lie ahull.
        Being tied to the dock is not getting it done.