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Bahian sailboat
Tue Jul 14 0:00:00 EDT 2009, Bahia, Brazil

A similar boat to the one sailing in yesterday's picture.

Note the mast that was made by simply taking the bark off a tree. I never found the crew of this boat to ask what the vertical stakes are for...I suspect they are used to dry fishing nets.

Bahian sailboat
Mon Jul 13 0:00:00 EDT 2009, Bahia, Brazil

Traditional Bahian sailboat beating to windward. I took this picture a few days ago in Bahia de Todos Santos.

The died to nothing yesterday, then came back to a nice force 3 tailwind, with clear skies, lots of stars and a fair-sized moon. Now (morning) the wind is dying away again and the sails are making lots of noise as they flop around with the gentle rolling of the boat.

Rainbow leaving Salvador
Sat Jul 11 0:00:00 EDT 2009, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil

A nice rainbow appeared while leaving Salvador today. The weather was off and on, rain and sun all morning, gradually becoming drier, mostly sunny, and less windy. By night, the waves were much smaller, and the stars and Milky Way poked their way out among the scattered clouds making for a very pleasant sail.

I am sailing south, out of the tropics, towards cooler weather.

Sun Jul 12 10:29:49 EDT 2009 | George Conk
South - to the end of the rainbow?
Mon Jul 20 14:55:04 EDT 2009 | Richard Hudson
Yes, south to the end of the rainbow :)
Sat Jul 4 8:52:52 EDT 2009, Itaparica, Bahia, Brasil

The most uncommon-looking boat at anchor in Itaparica when I arrived was the Research Vessel Heraclitus. Heraclitus was built of ferrocement in California in 1974 and has sailed around the world several times, 250,000 miles in all.

I've long been interested in junk-rigged vessels, and this is the largest (85 feet/26m, 120 tons) and most-sailed junk that I've seen. A friendly crewman from the Solomon Islands showed me around the boat, which, among other things, is equipped with a library of hundreds of books and a large laboratory area. Heraclitus does mostly environmental reseach for various organizations. More information on their website at

Sat Jul 4 22:01:32 EDT 2009 | George Ray
Interesting Junk !!!
Heraclitus Bow
Sat Jul 4 8:51:04 EDT 2009, Itaparica, Bahia, Brasil

Eyes to see where the boat is going :).

Heraclitus Mast
Sat Jul 4 8:46:26 EDT 2009, Itaparica, Bahia, Brasil


Thu Jul 2 8:17:23 EDT 2009, Itaparica, Bahia, Brasil

On the island of Itaparica, public transportation consists of taxis and Kombis. A Kombi is a Volkswagen van fitted out with three rows of seats. The Kombis serve as the bus system of the island. Two people run them, the driver and the conductor, who collects the money and helps people in and out of the van.

I have been aboard a Kombi with 15 adults and one child. Some people had to stand crouching on that trip, and two lay down in the cargo area above the (rear) engine. There are no seatbelts. Because the roads have many potholes or are cobblestone, the Kombis (and all other traffic) don't go very fast, but it is always a bumpy ride.

Friendly Girl in Itaparica
Wed Jun 24 0:00:00 EDT 2009, Itaparica, Bahia, Brazil

I arrived back in Itaparica (near Salvador, Brazil) in time for the third and last evening of the annual Festival de Sao Joao. This is the second biggest festival in the area (Carnival is the biggest). There are small fires lit in the streets, much music, and many fireworks of various kinds.

Another Statue of Liberty
Tue Jun 23 9:01:00 EDT 2009, Maceio, Alagoas, Brazil

Maceio is a very laid-back city in Northeast Brazil. It is the capital of the state of Alagoas. I was surprised to see this statue of liberty outside an old government building (the old city hall) near the port.

Underneath the statue is the state symbol which says Estado de Alacoas, Brazil, Paz e Prosperidade (in English, State of Alacoas, Brazil, Peace & Prosperity). Another plaque indicates the statue was put here in 1918.

Sunrise on the Second-Shortest Day of the Year
Mon Jun 22 9:01:00 EDT 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 :).

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