From Brazil to French Guiana; our longest passage yet

After leaving the Cabanga Yacht Club in Recife, Brazil, we had some of the fastest days of sailing we have ever had. We were pushed along the north coast of Brazil by a combination of winds and currents going in the same direction as us, and after 5 days of sailing we were celebrating being halfway to French Guiana. We, of course, were already looking forward to arriving five days later. By then, we were passing the delta of the Amazon River, and soon the winds became weaker, current seemed to be confused, and our speed dropped considerably. Bye, bye early arrival.

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Esben takes out a reef in the main to speed up a bit

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Preparing for seasickness and passage

When meeting other sailors, we’re often asked if we never get seasick. We have done quite a few longer passages since we left the Canaries, and people assume that we must be hardcore sailors. But in reality, Runa and Esben suffer horribly from seasickness during the first couple of days of sailing. When it’s really bad, Esben throws up every 15 minutes. Mattis and I don’t get it as badly as the others, but we also do get seasick sometimes. So seasickness is something we have to take into consideration when preparing for a passage.

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A rough sail from Salvador to Recife

We arrived back in the anchorage by Itaparica just before sunset, but as we went to turn off the engine, the handle came off. So quickly, before the light completely disappeared, Esben had to open the hatch to the motor, stick his head down in the darkness, and figure out where the line that cut off the diesel supply was located on the engine. After a quick look around, he found the right one, and silence fell over the anchorage. Continue reading

Lazy days in Recife

We ended up staying in Recife for almost two weeks. The boat was cleaned up after the Atlantic crossing, and a big load of laundry was sent off to be cleaned. One of the workmen in Cabanga’s boatyard came and offered his services – he managed to get a rigging peace we needed, and his wife did laundry, for a fair price. So that was handy for us.

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We arrived in South America!

From Fernando de Noronha, it was a “short” 350NM sail to our next stop, Recife, a big city on the main land. The currents run quiet strongly along the south American coast; south of Recife the currents go southward, and north of Recife, they go north, meaning we had the currents against us on our little trip. So we stayed out far from the coast, and slowly made our way south. The weather still behaved, and the four days the trip lasted went by as a continuation of the Atlantic crossing; we had the routines in, the kids knew when they were fed and when we would read out loud for them, we caught a couple of fish. We didn’t go fast, but at least we had a bit of wind and could go by sail the whole way. And then we were in Recife. Continue reading