Calm seas tonight and the stars are out now. We have the wind on the beam
and Aretha glides effortlessly through the flat seas carving a line of
phosphorescence on either side of her. It’s magical sailing and the fact we
are calm means we have a full strength crew.
We’re aided by a couple of knots of current meaning the 1700 or so miles to
Grenada is being rattled off at a good rate. We have an ETA calculator on
the chart plotter which calculates our arrival time based on our speed.
Currently its showing we are some 9 days away.
Fortaleza was a much nicer and more relaxing stop than we were expecting.
The marina was best described as an upgraded anchorage. Anchor and reverse
sideways whilst your friends in dinghies take your lines and secure them to
large metal piles with jagged metal cutting out in all directions. Hairy
stuff indeed especially with 20 knots of wind blowing you sideways. We were
moored next to a Russian craft which was a pretty much exact replica of the
craft that Kevin Costner had in the film WaterWorld. Getting ashore meant
using a dinghy and dodging the metal bars underwater. Worst marina we’ve
been in. Despite that there was an excellent hotel pool 2 minutes walk away
with strong free wifi. Perfect for the kids to play while we got online.
We stayed for 3 days – time to reprovision, get some admin done, work on
what we are doing next and a small amount of exploring. In all respects a
useful and relaxing stuff – largely due to the kids being able to play in
the pool all day.
This next leg is challenging compared to previous ones for the fact that
there is a piracy risk. Some 9 weeks or so ago, there were 2 pirate attacks
between Trinidad and Grenada (it’s all documented online). We need to be
extremely vigilant and you appreciate the value of sailing in company with
Nichola and I have been busy working on our plans for what we do next. In
the coming updates, I’ll share the first parts of our plans and our
Columbus is awake and just explaining to me why it rains and how
condensation works. He loves learning and sharing what he has learnt.
Plenty of shipping around tonight. Just been overtaken by Frio Poseidon
headed to Santiago de Cuba – a cargo ship 486ft long travelling at 17.1
knots. To the North of us is Shiblah, a tanker heading to Loop, USA at 14.5
knots. We get all this data from AIS – one of the most impressive navigation
aids ever designed where vessels have a digital signal enabling you to
access a wealth of information on different ships showing them on the chart
plotter relative to where you are.
Time to go check the sails on deck.
Team Aretha off the N Brazil coast (and approaching the mouth of the Amazon
0145 am. It's a sensible time to be asleep. Apart from when you're not. Being short handed (just Nichola and me) means we are single handing 12 hours a day ... Read more
2044. In 10 miles time, we cross the equator for the second time on our passage. The last time was over a year ago as we sailed into Galapagos. It ... Read more