Sunrise on the Second-Shortest Day of the Year
22 June 2009
The small wooden fishing boat seeming to head towards the sunrise is in 40m of water, several miles offshore. This is a typical fishing boat for the Brazilian coast. Many have no lights other than a big white fluorescent light, which makes it very hard to figure out which direction they are heading in (lights on boats are standardized and different colors and placements of navigation lights indicate what type of boat and what direction it is pointing at night).
Yesterday was the Winter Solstice for the Southern Hemisphere, so today is the second-shortest day of the year. Now the days start getting longer (though at 10 degrees South latitude, there is not much difference in hours of daylight between winter and summer).
I left Maceio yesterday afternoon. The trip to Maceio was slow, due to winds and current being against me. An eyebot in the windvane (the self-steering system) broke during an accidental tack, but it wasn't a problem because all the sailing was close-hauled (close to the wind), where it is easy enough to get the boat to steer itself without the use of any self-steering devices (by balancing the sails). I got the windvane mostly fixed at anchor in Maceio. The only eyebolts I had to replace the broken one with were shorter, and there is a bend in the eyebolt (an intentional bend I believe), which I was only able to come close to. After some adjustments, the windvane is doing fine steering the boat.
So far the wind has been much nicer since leaving Maceio, and I am really hoping it stays that way :).