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10/11/2014

Helen - Start day - 13

Yesterday we had an excellent lunch at the marina bar, using up the loyalty points gained through many dedicated hours of hard work in the summer. By 3 o'clock we had checked out of the marina and headed out to sea.For me there is only one piece of music to play when heading out to sea from a Portuguese port. It's the theme tune from the film 1492, "Conquest of Paradise" by Vangelis. Stirring music and you entertain any locals who are watching your departure!Once out to sea we went to put the sails up only to encounter our first small challenge. The top sail batten had somehow got a 180 degree twist in it which meant that the sail would not unfurl. An hour or so later we had the main down, removed the offending batten, put the sail back up again and then the wind died. It's a boat!Once. read more...


20/02/2020

Sweet Dream - Thursday February 20, 2020

Morning was boat chores, afternoon we spent strolling through the market in the old town Pelourinho. We stumbled onto cafe de Lua, where two talented gentleman were making guitars sing amazing Brazilian tunes, and their voices were harmonising like Simon and Garfunkel. We had a coke and a beer, sat in the shade and enjoyed the sweet music. This is my absolute favourite part of Brazil....simple street music of guitars and singing. It is unlike any music I’ve ever experienced, and even though we don’t understand a word they are singing, it is so beautiful to listen to, the language of the music transcends the lyrics.image0.. read more...


Sweet Dream - Thursday February 20, 2020
Sweet Dream - Thursday February 20, 2020
20/02/2020

Sweet Dream - Tuesday Feb 18, 2020

Today we worked on the boat in the morning, then took a taxi to the big Salvador shopping mall and escaped the midday heat in the cool air conditioned, civilised mall. This place is a whole universe away from the marina. A really nice escape. And! We found the knife store and indulged in three new knives for the galley wench and a set of four steak knives. A very unique and useful souvenir! We also found the Bom Preco grocery market and grabbed a few more fresh veggies and some yogurt to tide us over to Cabedelo.image0.. read more...


Sweet Dream - Tuesday Feb 18, 2020
Sweet Dream - Tuesday Feb 18, 2020
20/02/2020

Sweet Dream - Wednesday February 19, 2020

Today we arranged the check out with our agent. Captain changed oil, trans fluid, put clean filters in everything, and generally went over both engines. I cleaned about 3/4 of the galley, organised for our next leg of the journey, and we barbecued a nice piece of cow, ate it with potatoe and okra salads and turned in early.image0.. read more...


Sweet Dream - Wednesday February 19, 2020
Sweet Dream - Wednesday February 19, 2020
20/02/2020

Sweet Dream - Monday February 17, 2020

Last decadent breakfast at the Windsor hotel, last bit of WiFi, then off to the airport. A much nicer trip this time with a good driver in a really nice vw polo. We had time to spare, no running to catch the flight, a lovely smooth trip back to Salvador. Ouch! Back to the incredible heat! We dropped our stuff on the boat, turned on fans and hopped a taxi to the nearest grocery store, picked up some fresh veggies and chicken to grill, then back to the boat. We unpacked, Captain grilled us a mess of fresh veggies which we paired with some hot buttered rice. It was nice to sleep in our own bed again, just so astonishingly hot even at night. image0.. read more...


Sweet Dream - Monday February 17, 2020
Sweet Dream - Monday February 17, 2020
17/02/2020

Sweet Dream - Sunday February 16, 2020

Heavenly vacation continued. Breakfast, WiFi, day at the beach. Walk to Leblon, supper al fresco on a tree lined street. Walked back along Ipanema beach. It was carnival pre- funk party time!So much fun! Music, dancing, soccer being played in volleyball courts, bands jamming in the sand, such a diverse cross section of locals, tourists, and visitors all smiling and enjoying the wonderful soft evening light. Glitter sparkled, feathers waved, tutus danced on by. Big clouds boiled over the Christo statue as he his his face from the decadence, and we wandered on our way back to the hotel stopping to listen to small bands, big music, and drum tunes. The street was lined with food vendors, but we were so stuffed from our beef meal in Leblon we had no room to sample anything. About two hours. read more...


Sweet Dream - Sunday February 16, 2020
Sweet Dream - Sunday February 16, 2020
17/02/2020

Sweet Dream - Saturday February 15, 2020

A perfect day in paradise...pool, beach, WiFi that actually works! More beach. The only real world wake up call was Lars deciding to “body surf” the waves where the red no swim zone flag was waving, and got tumbled onto the sand on the beach on his face on the way in. Ouch! Other than that it was a fabulous day. We went to our room, tidied ourselves up a bit, and being tired from all our fresh air and sunshine, and valentine stair climbing(we would walk up the 18 yep, eighteen, flights of stairs, andstop for a kiss on every landing.) we opted for supper at the hotel. Wow! An excellent choice. Steak, potatoes, Caesar salad, bread, the ubiquitous manioc mountain, nice Chilean red wine , and creme brûlée. Windsor Leme is an outstanding hotel for a great getaway!image0.. read more...


Sweet Dream - Saturday February 15, 2020
Sweet Dream - Saturday February 15, 2020
Deo Juvante - Deo Juvante: When left with no wind in the doldrums - Stop your engines and take a leap into the ocean! #pacificocean
Deo Juvante - Deo Juvante: When left with no wind in the doldrums - Stop your engines and take a leap into the ocean! #pacificocean
Deo Juvante - Deo juvante: Crew gets certified as Deo Juvante crosses the equator! #fromnorthtosouth #pacific
Deo Juvante - Deo juvante: Crew gets certified as Deo Juvante crosses the equator! #fromnorthtosouth #pacific
18/02/2020

Next Step - 16th Feb 2020

Overnight the wind stayed with us but no sign of any other boats around on the AIS. The fishing lines went in the water again, here's hoping that we catch something! During the night the Watt&Sea hydrogenator kicked up due to a fitting failure, this had to be sorted in the morning to ensure that we maintained charge in the batteries. We still have enough wind to sail rather than motor which is a relief for all. Occasionally, during the day it has gone a bit light but we have still managed to maintain an average speed of around 6 knots. For lunch we had wraps and salad and the afternoon was spent reading and preparing for our visit to the Galapagos. We had a red footed Booby join us for a while on the forward rail. Unfortunately, the fish still seem to be avoiding our lures..! For. read more...


18/02/2020

Next Step - Equator Crossing

Overnight the wind increased a bit and we had some fantastic sailing. Another Booby hitchhiked a lift on the boat. We also had a number of small dead squid on the deck in the morning, not really quite sure how they got there. At 0928 we crossed the Equator…an equator crossing virgin is known as a polywog! King Neptune and Mrs Neptune aka Jeremy and Nicole dressed appropriately in toga, crown, snorkel and trident, performed the necessary rituals for the two equator virgins Bromley and myself. Including reading out our crimes, offering something that Neptune liked which in our case was red lipped cheeky fish which involved having our lips, cheeks and forehead painted with lipstick and a burnished cork followed by a precious gift of food and drink offered to King Neptune. Bromley and I then. read more...


18/02/2020

Sapphire II of London - Arrival at Galapagos

We safely arrived at the Galapagos and anchored in the dark. The last 24 hours have been amazing - boobies fighting for a space to sit at our bow, Manta rays in the water and a pod of pilot whales in the water right next to the boat. This morning we woke to sea lions on our neighbour's boat (we have defended our stern with fenders to prevent a similar invasion as they are particularly smelly) and a school of 3 whales which swam under the boat and Charlie was convinced were orcas. We've successfully passed a rigorous inspection by 8 inspectors and are now off to terra firma.. read more...


16/02/2020

Sapphire II of London - Nearing the Equator and the Galapagos

We had one day in the doldrums with no wind at all but the wind has now picked up beautifully and we are making good speed to both the Equator and the Galapagos. We have some resident boobies who join us at night and sit on the front of the boat who we have named Rose and Jack. We've seen dolphins and pilot whales. Despite our best efforts e have yet to catch a fish.We have to eat all our fresh food before the Galapagos so lovely ham and salad for lunch and stir fry prawns for dinner.. read more...


16/02/2020

Next Step - 15th Feb 2020

Overnight the wind had strengthened so Jeremy, much to everyone's relief, turned off the engine and we were under sail again. As the morning went on, we were able to maintain a speed of around 6 to 7 knots which was great. We are now only 2 degrees and 37 minutes north of the equator and getting closer to the Galapagos. The fishing lines are back in the water but we are still not catching any fish..! So without a fish we had cheese and ham wraps for lunch again. In the afternoon the wind got up a bit and our speed increased to 7.5+ knots, the sea was still quite smooth which made for fantastic sailing. As we are not able to take eggs into the Galapagos Jeremy made very nice sausage and mushroom omelette for our supper. Before we went into the night watches we put one reef in the mainsail. read more...


Ariel - Sailing under code zero in light winds
Ariel - Sailing under code zero in light winds
Ariel - Mahi Mahi for dinner tonight
Ariel - Mahi Mahi for dinner tonight
15/02/2020

Next Step - 14th Feb 2020

Valentines Day woke to the sound of the engine still running. We did attempt to sail a couple of times but the wind did not stay with us. For most of the morning and the afternoon the wind did not get up enough to sail. A couple of times it looked like it was going to rain with some fairly dark clouds coming over, but we always managed to miss the showers. We also took the opportunity to try and fish, the fish seemed to be absent but unfortunately the Gannets liked the lure and kept diving for it so in the end we gave up fishing for the day. Nicole made a very nice mince and pasta dish for supper and we settled in for another night of motoring.. read more...


Sally - Good morning from the middle of the Atlantic
Sally - Good morning from the middle of the Atlantic
15/02/2020

Sweet Dream - Friday February 14, 2020

Rio! Aka heaven! We made our escape from the heat, dirt, crime, and giant cucarachas of Salvador at 02:00 in the morning. Arrived at the airportalive, after a crazy fast taxi ride in mostly empty streets. We shared the car with John and Josie, from Coco de Mere. They were off to explore the Amazon while we headed to Rio. At the ticket counter we were informed our tickets had been cancelled. But, not to worry...they could put us on an EARLIER flight for less money...in the upgraded comfort class. Ok yes please! 2 hours and 10 minutes later we touched down in Rio. This taxi ride was even more exciting than the one the night before! Swerving, dodging buses, flying along at 100 kph in a 60 kph zone...we were deposited unscathed to our luxurious hotel Windsor Leme right in the beach at Coco. read more...


Sweet Dream - Friday February 14, 2020
Sweet Dream - Friday February 14, 2020
15/02/2020

Sweet Dream - Thursday February 13, 2020

Finalised flights to Rio. Tidied up inside of boat. image1.. read more...


Sweet Dream - Thursday February 13, 2020
Sweet Dream - Thursday February 13, 2020
15/02/2020

Sweet Dream - Tuesday January 14, 2020

Like a bumblebee defying gravityWe fly horizontally Not in the sky, but across the seaimage1.. read more...


Sweet Dream - Tuesday January 14, 2020
Sweet Dream - Tuesday January 14, 2020
15/02/2020

Sweet Dream - Thursday January 16, 2020

Morning brought the first rain of our passage.Sunrise was a long time coming, the sky stayed dark way longer than it has been, then suddenly the downpour hit. The barometer had dropped yesterday afternoon from 1020 to 1010 and the wind had been building all night. We tucked a reef in at every shift change. The apparent wind was showing 26 when we were flying straight downwind at ten knots just before the rain hit. After a good hour of boat wash the morning light showed up and the wind laid down and backed to the south south east. For some unknown reason the brand new chartplotter decided it wasn’t going to give us wind or current information anymore (in addition to not showing radar) ugh! Captain and I took turns reading the manual and troubleshooting, but after all day, neither of us. read more...


Sweet Dream - Thursday January 16, 2020
Sweet Dream - Thursday January 16, 2020
15/02/2020

Sweet Dream - Saturday January 18, 2020

The dawn came late and brought more squalls. This is the third morning in a row for squalls. The waves are really getting spectacular after a few days of wind never dropping below twenty knots. They are quite widely spaced swells, so not too uncomfortable except the occasional cross swell from the beam that tries to leap up into the cockpit and sets us rocking and rolling. Oh yes, I remember...no matter where you are going in the Atlantic, you rock and roll. It’s still way better than the Indian Ocean. Lars made contact with the fleet at both nets today. Very impressive, as we are over 400 miles apart! The first wave that left Cape Town on Jan 8 is two days ahead of us, and the bulk of the Walvisbay group is 400 miles behind. We could hear bits of the front runners, and actually talk. read more...


Sweet Dream - Saturday January 18, 2020
Sweet Dream - Saturday January 18, 2020
15/02/2020

Sweet Dream - Sunday January 19, 2020

All night long the wind crept behind us moving to the east. By morning we could no longer keep up any pretence of following the rhumb line, so at 08:00 we commenced switching the wing on wing rig to the other side to keep the primary wind in the main sail. First we furled the mainsail completely in, then pulled the boom to center, moved the traveller over to the port side, undid the preventer line from the starboard side, rerouted the preventer line along the port side, secured it, and rolled the main out, easing the sheet and simultaneously tightening the preventer until it was in the downwind position. With the main all the way out we discovered that there was a rip in the sail where the stitching had been “ reinforced”. What a bummer! We put on the engine in idle, furled the Genoa,. read more...


Sweet Dream - Sunday January 19, 2020
Sweet Dream - Sunday January 19, 2020
15/02/2020

Sweet Dream - Monday January 20, 2020

All night the wind slackened until by 09:00 we were obliged to put on the engine to maintain forward progress. Now we have a new problem; the alternator isn’t charging. After our 151 nautical mile noon to noon run we turned it off and Captain climbed into the engine room and went to work to diagnose the problem. After tightening everything up, nothing immediately obvious popped up as the cause of not charging. We have a spare alternator, but would prefer to switch it out at anchor rather than while rocking and rolling in the ocean. We sailed slowly, slowly all afternoon. During my afternoon siesta time it felt like we were just floating on the clouds. Because the wind had been slacking for 24 hours now, the waves had calmed down to a mere whisper. At 15:00 Captain had had enough of the. read more...


Sweet Dream - Monday January 20, 2020
Sweet Dream - Monday January 20, 2020
15/02/2020

Sweet Dream - Wednesday January 29, 2020

Its been another idyllic day on the ocean. Just enough wind to sail the wing on wing rig, partly cloudy skies all day to keep things cool, nary a squall in sight. Captain is happy, he has reconnected with the fleet via ssb radio twice today and is looking forward to the nine a.m. broadcast tomorrow.The only disappointing factor in today is that we drug two lures all day with not even a bite. But we had lovely crunchy fresh veggies for our chef salad supper topped with cheddar cheese and cold smoked chicken. We aren’t going hungry despite the lack of fish. Lars put on the gen set this evening to make water, so we got inspired to run the bread machine that Helmut had given us as well. Captain had made bread from a mix on Christmas Day that was delicious, but this time we used my challah. read more...


Sweet Dream - Wednesday January 29, 2020
Sweet Dream - Wednesday January 29, 2020
15/02/2020

Sweet Dream - Thursday January 30, 2020

 Jan 30 South Atlantic.....reflections on a perfect sailing night....Simon and Garfunkel can have their “Sounds of Silence.” I love the sounds of sailing. The burble and murmur of water against the hull, the swish swish of small wavelets coming off the boat herself, and the occasional long slow hiss and boom of an approaching wave all joined together with the creak creak, groan and click of the rigging as the craft speeds along. Then the whuffle swoosh of the sails themselves as they fill and back with the wind in the side to side rocking on the relentless swell.The sounds of sailing in perfect conditions are the sweetest music an ear can hear. The sea converses with the boat in an endless, eternal conversation of contentment and familiarity. No discord tonight, no competition, no. read more...


15/02/2020

Sweet Dream - Saturday January 11, 2020

South Atlantic Ocean....here we go! Morning started with the seals chuckling, the seagulls chattering as they dove for fish, and the mournful song of the fog bouys. Despite the radar not working we loosed the lines at 10:00 and scooted out through the bridges into the fog. We motorsailed with the main up into the wind. Seals frolicked around the boat, alternatively waving their flippers at us or poking their heads up to watch us go by. As we passed Robben island, that dreary bleak edifice where Nelson Mandela spent 18 years honing the leadership skills that would bring the end of Apartheid to South Africa, huge flocksof cormorants skimmed along in front of our bow. Interspersed between the hundreds of cormorants were a few cape gannets; their effortless soaring a strange contrast to the. read more...


Sweet Dream - Saturday January 11, 2020
Sweet Dream - Saturday January 11, 2020
15/02/2020

Sweet Dream - Sunday January 12, 2020

What a day! After the lull during the wee hours, the wind backed behind us, and when Lars got up at 07:00 the first order of business was to get the Genoa out on the pole. We rolled away the plastic spray sides, prepped the lines and Captain went forward to set up the pole. I was concentrating on the 11 fishing boats surrounding us; calculating the best path to take to avoid them when crash! Down came the end of the pole that should ALWAYS be attached to the mast. In theory, that inboard end stays connected to a cup-like holder that slides up and down the track bolted to the front of the mast. It is controlled by and held in place by a contiguous piece of rope that one can cleat off at both ends. It should be unhooked at the outboard end(which clips onto a metal bracket at the base of. read more...


Sweet Dream - Sunday January 12, 2020
Sweet Dream - Sunday January 12, 2020
14/02/2020

Sweet Dream - Friday January 17, 2020

All night long we had squall after squall blow by us. We were shortened down to a triple reef in each big sail with the full staysail in the middle. At daylight we did not even shake out one reef, as the wind just howled! No rain fell until 11:00 in the morning just as I pegged the last article of laundry onto the offshore clothesline strung on the aft deck.It was a very quick squall as far as water but the wind carried on. In mid afternoon we gave in and rolled the main completely away. Still hitting 10.2 knots of boat speed with just the staysail and the triple reefed Genoa! It was a fast fierce sailing day. I believe the British term is “ sporty”. Thr highlight of the day came at 17:10 when we could hear Someday and Footloose on the ssb radio over 400 miles away. The couldn’t hear. read more...


Sweet Dream - Friday January 17, 2020
Sweet Dream - Friday January 17, 2020
14/02/2020

Sweet Dream - Wednesday January 15, 2020

This leg of our journey is 1/3 of the way accomplished from Cape Town to St. Helena. It has been some of the most enjoyable sailing in the rally. Blue skies, sunshine, fairly consistent wind from a very usable quarter, very little boat traffic, and a quite pleasant wave pattern. Each afternoon the wind gets up around 30 knots, we reef down and travel comfortably through the night, then shake out some of the reef in the morning light. We currently are flying the wing on wing rig with the Genoa poled out to port and the main prevented out to starboard with the staysail sheeted tight in the middle. The pole has given us a bit of trouble in that it has detached itself at the mast track again this morning . Very unnerving! Captain did a temporary fix by using a short length of dynema to tie. read more...


Sweet Dream - Wednesday January 15, 2020
Sweet Dream - Wednesday January 15, 2020
14/02/2020

Sweet Dream - Monday January 13, 2020

We had great wind all night long, rocking with the wing on wing Hoyt in the middle rig. It was a beautiful day and we were treated by the sight of over a hundred dolphins passing us by all leaping in a long line. They created so much white water that it looked like a small waterfall was paralleling us! After lunch we took down the pole(YAY!) , furled the staysail, and pulled the Genoa out on the starbrd side with the main. We had a radio hail from San Marco, an 85 foot fishing boat four miles off our beam. They wanted to know if we were going into port nearby here in Namibia, and would we like some fresh fish? Very nice chap, but we had to decline as we were not stopping...planning to carry straight on to St. Helena. We turned towards St Helena and this put the wind on a comfortable 120. read more...



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