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Mon Apr 6 10:00:00 EDT 2009

Sunset over Isla Gorritti, Punta del Este. The sun is being framed by the windvane self-steering gear platform.

This picture was taken about 785 miles back (click on map for current location).

Genoa modification
Sun Apr 5 10:00:00 EDT 2009

I mentioned getting the genoa made smaller yesterday. This sunrise picture shows the problem with waves hitting the foot (lower edge of the sail). The seas are not at all rough in the picture, the wind is light, but when the bow cuts into the waves, water is forced up and some of it still catches the foot of the genoa, which strains the sail and the furler it is attached to. Waves are not high enough in this picture to require reefing the genoa, but when they get a little higher, the genoa will need to be reefed (and the boat will go slower). Now that the genoa has been made smaller (cloth was taken out of it), waves hitting it are less of a problem than they used to be.

Ship crossing
Sat Apr 4 10:00:00 EDT 2009

Ship crossing ahead. The genoa (the forward-most sail) was reduced in size in Argentina to make it easier to use. The foot is now higher and doesn't catch as many waves (also doesn't block visibility ahead so much).

Fri Apr 3 10:00:00 EDT 2009

A nice thing about getting up early is watching the sun rise.

Fri Apr 3 22:23:40 EDT 2009 | George Conk
Good time of year to be heading north. It would be great to Issuma in New York in May.
Thu Apr 16 16:37:45 EDT 2009 | Richard Hudson
Sorry for the delayed reply, I don't have access to the comments on the blog when at sea.

Think it will be at least June before Issuma gets to New York (after all, have been sort of heading there since last May, so a little longer doesn't make much difference at this point :) ).
Mostly light winds so far
Thu Apr 2 10:00:00 EDT 2009

So far, the wind has mostly been light, and sometimes calm, so speed has been low. There was a great tailwind yesterday (the picture is from a few days ago), but it is lightening up now.

Workng on the mainsail
Tue Mar 31 18:00:00 EDT 2009

The wind finally went behind us (it has been pretty much light headwinds and some calms so far this trip), so the mainsail could come down (the other sails stayed set) for some minor work. The slides that attach the sail to the sail track in the mast were originally attached with toy plastic shackles--too weak for the job, but designed to fail so that damage to the sail itself was prevented. Since the shackles all failed so frequently, they have been slowly replaced by either thin rope (which works, but doesn't stretch much to absorb shocks), or shock cord (which is what I'm sewing on in the picture).

Mon Mar 30 10:00:00 EDT 2009

Along the east coast of Uruguay and southern Brazil there are quite a few ships heading to and from Rio de la Plata. It is really nice having the AIS (Automated Identification System) when traffic is near, as you get a display of the ship's position, course, speed and name. Knowing the name of the ship makes it much easier to call them on the VHF to confirm which side they are passing or overtaking on if they look to be coming close. I called a Brazilian freighter the other night to confirm how what side they would overtake us on (and to confirm that they had seen Issuma on their radar). The freighter's crew had already computed our course and speed (their radar likely does most of this for them), and, while overtaking closer than I'd have preferred at 20 knots (a few hundred metres), there was no danger.

Clicking on the map on the right side of this page should show the most recently updated position.

Tue Mar 31 8:34:37 EDT 2009 | george Ray
So your hopping north up the coast instead of taking a big circle around the the S. Atlantic high to get back to N. America? Will make for a lot of great blogging and interesting reading for us armchair sailors.
Keep up the good work!
Sat Mar 28 10:00:00 EDT 2009

A couple of seals came over to play by the boat. Though it looks more like a dolphin in the picture, it is a seal that is turning over while surfacing.

Mon Mar 30 9:56:39 EDT 2009 | will van dorp tugster
richard- i'm enjoying your fotos of the trip. keep em coming
Mon Mar 30 16:20:29 EDT 2009 | george Ray
Great Stuff, keep it coming.
Classic Cars
Fri Mar 27 10:00:00 EDT 2009, Punta del Este, Uruguay

Uruguay has a lot of classic cars kept in good condition, and driving around on the roads.

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