13 47 South 032 02 West – Back up to racing speed

Aretha is a big yacht and heavy for her size. She thrives on big winds for
being able to go fast. In light winds she’s certainly not as quick as some
of the lighter race boats. We’re back in 20 knots of wind today and back to
surfing down giant waves at 13-14 knots. Magical stuff and we’re racing the
clock now to get into Salavador be Bahia by Sunday before it gets dark in
the evening.Team Aretha are very settled into our routines at sea – schooling is
bubbling along, the watches are expertly being run by Nichola, Paul and Jani
and it’s great to have a smooth running happy ship. Our daily patterns of
values prizes and questions such as “What am I committed to doing today” are
well established and get great engagement. Right now, the children having
done schooling for the day are playing lego and watching the Jungle Book
DVD.

Fishing is unfortunately curtailed for this leg. Two days ago we had the
line out and experienced a massive take. I took the rod on deck as the rod
bent in half and the line was literally smoking off the reel. I had the drag
settings dialled up to full (which is so tight that its impossible for me to
pull it out by hand). Even with the drag on full the line was flying out. If
I’d put a finger on the reel to slow it, I’d have surely taken the skin off
my finger. Back in Australia we caught and brought to the boat a sailfish
(the fastest fish in the sea) which we estimated at being 2.5 metres long.
When we hooked that fish, it was nowhere close to the power of what I was
getting this time around. I can’t even begin to imagine what a monster this
fish might have been. The fish kept running and after stripping 1,000 metres
of 50lb line from the reel broke the line. Deflated I stood there will rod
in hand wishful to have at least had a glimpse of the monster. When we
hooked it, it dived deep in the sea rather than leaping out of the sea which
is more common for marlin. So, fresh fish off the menu until we can replace
the line in Brazil.

The poems continue to come in (thank you very much) and are still inspiring
the children. The latest creation from Bluebell below:

the good life for me
by bluebell craven

the sea is glistening in the sun
o the good life for me
the sails are flapping and are full of wind o the good life for me me lying
on the deck with the scorching sun tanning my back o the good the life for
me the sun is shining on the sea making the sea twinkle and shine o this is
the good life for me for me.

So, 380 miles from here to Brazil. Still strange to think we set off from
Africa some 3 weeks ago and are close to making landfall in South America.
It really does make the world feel a smaller place. Directly North of us is
Knud Rasmussen Land in Greenland. Studying the charts I never appreciated
just how huge Greenland is – I can see an adventure to go there in the
future.

Time to head up on deck and escape from Baloo and Mowgli,

Team Aretha in the Brazilian Basin, Out.

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17 months in...Nichola's reflections on our adventures ...14 17 South 027 51 West - 630 miles from Salvador in Brazil

As I am sitting here this morning on watch (from 6am-9am) the children are not yet up and so all is peaceful as we continue to make our way, now ... Read more

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Closing on the Brazilian coast

Its super warm on board. T shirts and shorts too hot to wear. The breeze is light so little airflow through Aretha. Stars are invredible tonight - I lay on ... Read more

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