Blue Pearl - South Atlantic Ocean

We are about 700nm southeast from the island of St. Helena, the one of
Napoleon fame, and 1050 nm northwest from Cape Town where we left a week
ago for the South Atlantic Ocean passage. We expect to arrive in St.
Helena on Monday (1/21) , stay there for 5 days and then depart for
Salvador in Brazil. A total journey from Cape Town to Salvador of
3700nm. In the process we will cross the 0 degree longitude to find
ourselves back in the western hemisphere. The sail so far has been
pleasant and uneventful. The best part is that we are well ahead of the
fleet so we have done something right.

On board are the Captain, long term crew member Brita and new crew
member Jack. It is a real pleasure to have Jack back on board. He had
been with us for the Pacific Ocean crossing about a year ago.
Unfortunately Laurie has had to fly home because of potential
complications with the yellow fever vaccine which is required for entry
into Brazil. There has been an outbreak of the disease there with high
probability of catching it without being vaccinated. She already had a
round trip ticket to Boston , so she went back, will pursue the
vaccination there and hopefully rejoin us in Brazil.

South Africa has been a highlight of the rally for both Laurie and me.
We were here two years ago and our return visit exceeded our
expectations. It is a beautiful country. We did much too much to
describe here in detail. We started with a safari at the Tswalu private
reserve in the green Kalahari desert , just south of the Botswana
border, a unique experience. We then spent three nights each in the town
of Stellenbosch in the winelands, at the Mosaic private sanctuary on
Walker Bay, at the Morukuru beach lodge in the Hope national reserve and
at the Manna Bay hotel in the foothills of table mountain. Every stay
was a highlight, we enjoyed the environment, the people, the food , the
opportunity to relax and the guides who showed us around and explained
the flora and fauna of the area. We met a wonderful young couple, Meyer
and Louise, who started a not for profit , called Mosaic, about ten
years ago focusing on the well being of foster children and foster
families in the black South African communities. A very impressive
story. And finally, we discovered the Bosman winery where we enjoyed a
private tour of the vineyards and properties owned by our namesake
Bosman family.

Many pictures and other details of these various different activities
are posted on face book.

So after a very lengthy break we are on the water again. We continue to
go west. When we started the rally west was away from home, now west is
the direction back home, and it feels like going home, certainly to the
captain. We will be in Brazil for about 4 weeks and are planning some
nice land travel there and after that we set sail again but then it will
be on the way to St. Lucia where we started this whole endeavor about 13
months ago.

Captain Ruud.

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