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Issuma
Salvador, Brasil
Richard
Sun Apr 19 9:20:00 EDT 2009

Arrived in Salvador, the fourth-largest city in Brasil, Wednesday afternoon.

Mon Apr 20 16:19:41 EDT 2009 | George Conk
Congratulations, Richard, on reaching safe harbor.

Jesse would love to come lend a hand - but Pascale is due in 3 weeks and has made clear that he won't be venturing far for a while.

He sends his regards.

- George
Mon Apr 20 20:54:43 EDT 2009 | george Ray
Very exciting that you have that difficult stretch of coast behind you. Looking forward to reading about Brazil.
Notes on The Route
Richard
Thu Apr 16 16:26:26 EDT 2009, Salvador, Brazil

Leaving Punta del Este, Uruguay, the forecasts I had indicated five days of light winds. I needed to get a ways offshore to get away from fishing boat traffic and a part of the coast with few suitable harbors in case of easterly gales.

The Brazil current sets strongly southwards along the coast, and a long way offshore. There is a countercurrent going north very close to shore. With the light winds forecast, I doubted I could make much way against the Brazil current offshore, so kept close enough to land to use the countercurrent to get to about where Florianapolis is (point #6). I don't like being close to a coast, in case a storm comes up, and because there tends to be more traffic to deal with, but keeping relatively close to the coast also gave me an option to enter a port in Brazil and refuel if there was no wind and I motored a lot (in total, I motored about 100 miles, and fuel was not a problem).

When I got to near Florianapolis (point #6), the forecast was for light NE winds, going N along the coast to Rio de Janeiro. I figured the normal current and countercurrent were likely to be less than normal due to the winds having been not from the typical direction over the last few days (a gale in Rio de la Plata had affected the winds at this latitude).

If I stayed along the coast, using the countercurrent, I figured that the countercurrent would not be very strong, and the wind would be totally against me. Also, there is a military exercise area along that coast, and an offshore oil field off the corner (off Cabo Frio, near point #13).

Between Cabo Frio and the offshore oil field is a relatively shallow area full of fishing boats. Staying farther offshore would allow me to avoid a lot of traffic, and didn't seem like it would be significantly slower at this point to go against the Brazil current instead of with the countercurrent. I was alone for this trip, so the concerns about traffic I had would probably not be as great if I was not singlehanding.

Around point #11, the wind became more and more favorable, and around point #14, I was starting to get into the SE Trade Winds, which are really favorable for going north.

Fri Apr 17 7:10:34 EDT 2009 | george Ray
very interesting to read some of the thinking/planning that goes into a run up the north east coast of south america.

Look forward to more pictures and write up of the work done in BA. Have not yet seen the new Aux rudder or heard about improvements in the reefing and the new winch arrangements.
Sun Apr 19 7:06:24 EDT 2009 | Richard Hudson
Sorry for the poor image quality...am limited to 400 pixels wide on the blog. A bigger version of the image is at http://www.issuma.com/rhudson/photos/UruguayToSalvado.jpg
Sailing towards the sunrise
Richard
Wed Apr 15 9:20:00 EDT 2009

The fisherman is the sail that is tied down on deck in the picture, the voile d'etai (main staysail) is fully rolled up. The boat is sailing nicely to windward with mainsail, genoa and trinquette (fore staysail), towards the rising sun.

Wed Apr 15 14:56:59 EDT 2009 | Miles
Hello Richard - I deeply envy you your journey. Although I can't join you, it's nice to see a friend having a great time.
-Miles
Thu Apr 16 10:10:56 EDT 2009 | dave gerard
richard, really glad to come across your blog and vicariously share your amazing voyage. noticed today that they have placed the mooring buoys at 79th street so look forward to seeing your boat moored there soon.

i'll be heading to the gotham city sailing club's first meetup of the season and tell them about the blog.

if you can please include in your blog about daily life aboard your boat, who you're sailing with, and how they came to join your crew (i'm guessing/hoping you're not sailing alone).
cheers
dave
Thu Apr 16 16:44:51 EDT 2009 | Richard Hudson
Miles, thanks very much.

Dave, Thanks, and thanks for the suggestions. I've been sailing alone since Montevideo, Uruguay (about the last 2,000 miles). Singlehanding has been challenging, quite enjoyable, and a great (if not wholly planned) experience.
Moonrise
Richard
Tue Apr 14 9:30:00 EDT 2009

The moon has been pretty full for the last week, giving lots of light for most of the night. Here the moon is rising underneath the voile d'etai (main staysail).

Weather went from hot and humid yesterday to light and squally last night and today. A midnight squall provided the opportunity for a refreshing freshwater shower while getting the fisherman down.

Ship in the distance
Richard
Mon Apr 13 10:00:00 EDT 2009

On the right, just above the rail, is the ship Mol Bravery, crossing six miles ahead. Have seen many ships this trip, they are easy to deal with mostly due to AIS.

Fortunately, have not seen many fishing boats so far. Have been avoiding the banks where they are likely to be working as much as possible. Fishing boats usually don't have AIS transmitters, the smaller ones don't show up well on yacht radars, and there are all sorts of warnings about small unlit fishing boats near this coast.

Sunset at the foremast
Richard
Sun Apr 12 9:30:00 EDT 2009

The genoa is the sail in the picture.

I mentioned a vessel or oil rig called Andromeda yesterday. When I got closer and the mist cleared a bit, I could see it was a very large tanker, just sitting offshore in 3000 metres of water. I guess it is waiting to get to the loading dock at one of the oil wells.

View from the foredeck
Richard
Sat Apr 11 9:30:00 EDT 2009

The sail on the right in the picture is the trinquette or fore-staysail, the sail in the middle of the picture (the highest one) is the fisherman, and the left-most sail (low) is the voile d'etai or main staysail.

After a few hours of no wind yesterday, a light, favorable wind came up and has stayed since, making for pleasant sailing in small seas.

The oilfield area mentioned yesterday has been passed, and we are in deep (3000 metre) water, so there should not be many fishing boats around. Something very large and well-lit appears to be stationary about 12 miles east. Too far to be able to see what it is with binoculars, the AIS only reports the name of it (not position, course and speed like it usually does), Andromeda. Doesn't sound like a ship name. I didn't think oil rigs drilled this deeply, but maybe they do?

Sunset
Richard
Fri Apr 10 9:30:00 EDT 2009

Had great wind yesterday (picture is from a couple of days ago, in light wind), force 3-6 from behind. Sailing farther offshore now to go around a Brazilian oilfield where access is restricted.

Squall
Richard
Thu Apr 9 10:20:00 EDT 2009

The rain (the dark area underneath part of the cloud in the picture) ahead has a squall (sudden increase in wind speed and often direction) with it. When this is coming for you, you get down some sails to be prepared for the much higher wind that you expect the squall to have. After a few minutes, it is generally over, and you tend to have the same wind speed and direction as you did before the squall.

There is an old sailor's rhyme about dealing with squalls: When rain comes before the wind, topsail sheets and halyards mind When wind comes before the rain, hoist your topsails up again

Yesterday the wind varied from Force 0 to Force 7, as it was mostly a squally day requiring lots of sail changes. The wind direction was favorable, though, so that was nice.

Sunset
Richard
Tue Apr 7 20:50:00 EDT 2009

Have had a lot of light winds, mostly from ahead, so far this trip. While that has resulted in really slow progress, it also makes for a lot of pretty sunsets.

Wed Apr 8 9:28:43 EDT 2009 | george Ray
Would like to read some commentary about sailing north up the coast as you are. Prevailing winds, time of year, commonly done or not, availability of harbors of refuge etc.
Fair Winds,
George
Thu Apr 16 16:38:32 EDT 2009 | Richard Hudson
Thanks for the suggestion, I've added some information on the route to the latest entry.

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