AS I write these notes, Nautica is edging its way a mile or so off the hilly South African coast between Durban and Port Elizabeth.
The sea is officially described as ‘very rough’, and the swell soars along at more than 20 feet.
The constant pitching and periodic sudden shudders have been enough to subdue most passengers. But at seven o’clock in the morning, with the sun still quite low, the scene is one of spectacular beauty.
We motor along under an almost cloudless sky, close enough to shore to observe the continuous string of towns and villages in a landscape that is green and treeless. Regular bursts of spray arc away from the ship’s bow, each shower offering a transient rainbow.
Makes it bloody hard to type, though; fingers bouncing off keys.
Coming into Durban's narrow channel two days ago, in seas almost as hostile as those this morning, the pilot was helicoptered to the ship and rappelled to the upper deck in a remarkable act of flying and seamanship.