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The Lifting Keel
Fri Apr 30 10:01:00 EDT 2010

Rather than describe again that the winds are still light, I thought I'd mention some details of Issuma's lifting keel. Lifting keels are not common, but are somewhat popular on offshore and expedition-type sailboats. At the price of additional complexity (and cost), they allow the boat to motor into shallow water when the keel is up, and to keep the ballast (weight) low when sailing (when the keel is down) so it can still sail well.

Here is Yann's picture of the keel before being installed in the boat. The keel weighs 4.5 tons and also carries up to 600 litres of fuel.

On the lower left is the pin on which the keel pivots when raising and lowering. The upper left corner is the top of the keel (or the top aft corner of the keel when the keel is lowered all the way). The square shiny things are pieces of zinc, welded onto the steel keel to prevent corrosion.

Light Winds
Tue Apr 27 10:01:00 EDT 2010

I've had mostly light winds for the last several days, hot, sunny skies, and seas like this.

One Hundred Dolphins
Mon Apr 26 10:01:00 EDT 2010

This is a picture from about when I was crossing the Equator, and what seemed like one hundred dolphins swam by the boat. Some stayed as long as an hour, playing nearby. I've never seen so many dolphins together before.

Tue Apr 27 8:56:09 EDT 2010 | Sif
Wow, must have been an awful sight, so when am I to expect you in Iceland ?
Trade Winds Tired Out
Sun Apr 25 0:01:00 EDT 2010

The Trade Winds have been great, gentle to moderate breezes from behind, pushing the boat along pleasantly. Today the Trade Winds got tired and decided to rest, so the seas are calm and I am doing a bit of motoring.

Sun Apr 25 5:47:32 EDT 2010 | George Ray
Welcome back to the Northern Hemisphere! How was your crossing of the ITZ and did you have a particular strategy for the crossing?
Cajaiba House
Sat Apr 24 10:00:00 EDT 2010, Cajaiba, Baia de Camamu, Brazil

House in Cajaiba, on the corner of the main road and road to the highway.

To answer George's comment, no, I have not seen any sign of the Amazon's trees, branches, dirt, etc.

Cajaíba House
Sat Apr 24 10:00:00 EDT 2010, Cajaíba, Baia de Camamu, Brazil

House in Cajaíba, on the corner of the main road and road to the highway.

Road Repair
Fri Apr 23 10:00:00 EDT 2010, Cajaíba, Baia de Camamu, Brazil

Road repairs to the cobblestone streets are all done by hand--hard work in the hot, tropical sun.

Fitting the Deck Beams
Thu Apr 22 10:00:00 EDT 2010, Cajaíba, Baia de Camamu, Brazil

Fitting the deck beams on a schooner

Sailing Under the Sun
Wed Apr 21 10:01:00 EDT 2010

I sailed under the sun yesterday, and am now north of where the sun now is, at 12 degrees North. The days are getting measurably longer--not noticeably longer, but as I pay attention to the times of sunset and sunrise, I notice they are about 40 minutes longer. I'm hoping it gets cooler soon, but as long as the wind blows nicely, it is pleasant out here, far from land. Not much out here but birds and a few fish. After catching no fish for two weeks, a fish that must have been big took my lure yesterday. The brake on the fishing reel screeched a few seconds as the fish took off with the lure. Unfortunately, he completely took off with the lure, leaving me with just the line in the water (fortunately I have other lures to use).

After seeing no other vessels for ten days, yesterday a Chinese fishing boat came close yesterday, seeming to be looking for fish (they didn't have any gear out and was following what looked to be a search pattern), and last night a tanker passed. So it's not as quiet here as it would seem from a look at the position.

Thu Apr 22 8:58:31 EDT 2010 | george Ray
Did you see any sign of the Amazon discharge as you sailed by far offshore?
Making Frames for a Schooner
Wed Apr 21 10:00:00 EDT 2010, Cajaíba, Baia de Camamu, Brazil

Hammering the nails into the frames. The nails are about 50cm (18") long, of galvanized steel, and are covered with an oil before use. I understand the oil (I couldn't understand the answer of what kind of oil it is) is for preserving the wood, but probably also makes it easier to drive the nail in.

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