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Atlantic Crossing

14 September 2004

brazil in view I made pancakes for breakfast today which were delicious. After dinner we both remained on watch as we will make landfall tonight. We have been sailing parallel to the coast all day. We entered the bay of Salvador just before midnight. We looked at anchoring by the yacht club but thought it was a bit too rolly so continued up to the harbour and tucked in behind the breakwater. It was a great anchorage and we both crashed at about 0200 on 15th! All in we covered 2226 NM during this passage in 17 days.

11 September 2004

shave2 beating Wind increased again so we had a very boisterous night's sail. We made 162.3 miles yesterday - a new record for us. We have just set on a beam reach but the waves make the motion fairly uncomfortable. Most of my day watches are spent reading as by the time I come on watch the sun is behind the sails and it is cool enough to sit and relax. Unfortunately for Kev he has to contend with the full heat of the sun during the day. It feels as though we have been sailing fairly close to the wind forever! However we are making good speed and are both really looking forward to reaching Salvador.

8 September 2004

neptune2 equatormap Still beating...Tonight we crossed the equator at about 2300. We celebrated with pina coladas and sparklers while Kev danced in the cockpit to to "Oh happy day" and even dressed for the occasion. Neptune was offered a dram of Bowmore Voyager (a small one!) in the hope that he will grant us fair winds.

5 September 2004

tuna2 There were dolphins around the boat overnight and their dorsal fins piercing the water created bright green flashes. A wonderful sight! We had good wind last night but it is variable today. We finally tacked today and have around 1000M to go to Fernando or 1600 to Salvador. We caught and landed our first fish - a tuna. I put rum in its gills to kill it, Kev chopped the head off and I had to clean and fillet it. That was revolting and I was nearly sick. Not a pretty operation but I got the meat off with no bones and marinated it in soy sauce, olive oil and garlic. Utterly delicious and a welcome change from pasta. We have decided to head for Salvador.

3 September 2004

Seas and wind calmed down yesterday and we enjoyed a good night's sail and caught up on sleep - both of us. Today we are passing over the Sierra Leone Rise where the water depth decreases from about 4km to 1km. There are fish jumping out of the water all around us but not jumping onto our hook! We tried calling John from Stingo but could not hear him. However, he mailed to say he heard us. Hi is still in Mindelo. It is very sultry today so perhaps more storms? We passed under the sun's declination today so hopefully things might begin to get a little cooler over the next few weeks!

1 September 2004

rain HOT HOT HOT! Did a load of washing and the wind is right behind us and very light . We found ourselves in the middle of an enormous thunder storm over night with torrential rain. The lightning was striking the water close to the boat. It was really an awesome sight. It was so bright that it was not possible to keep my eyes open - looking at the lightening was like trying to look at the sun. We were stuck under a large storm cell and it seemed that no matter how we turned the boat we could not get out for 5 hours. I got totally soaked but at least the boat got a wash. I was on watch from 9pm to 6am as Kev was up for most of the night too. By the morning I very very tired. I started to see things including a deep sea diver sitting on our anchor and someone trying to open our forward hatch??! I took my best sun sight in the afternoon - 0.1nm away. We think this must have been the doldrum area, although according to our weather report we passed through that (without noticing) nearly two days ago.

30 August 2004

We passed Brava late in the morning with our breeze still with us. We have been keeping a close eye on the weather as this is the birth place of the tropical disturbances, some of which deepen during their westward march across the Atlantic to become hurricanes. According to our SAT C, there is a tropical wave and low pressure system south east of us so we will watch this and hope to avoid it. The night was delightful with a full moon and calm seas. This is the first time since leaving England that the light airs have been accompanied by slight seas allowing us to sail at a reasonable pace.. The night watches are preferable as they are much cooler than during the day.Overnight I cooked brownies and woke Kev with a bacon sandwich on fresh hot bread. We have been following the weather and it seems we missed the tropical wave which has been upgraded to Tropical Storm Ivan.(**we listened to the BBC world service during the rest of the leg and found that Hurricane Ivan went on to wreak devastation across the Caribbean and the USA)

29 August 2004

Left Sao Vicente at 0845. We motored as there was no wind. This was not a problem really as the water in Sao Vicente harbour is not clean and our water supplies were low, we needed to make water. It was a very hot day. We turned the engine off at midnight as a nice breeze had set in from WNW so we enjoyed a beam reach.

31 August 2004

First dolphins of the leg. Found the SE trades. According to the SATC weather, we are out of the doldrums., though we didn't really notice them. Kev is making an effort with astro during this passage for his Ocean YachtMaster qualification, he is taking sights each day. We are thinking of skipping Fernando de Noronha and going straight to Salvador as we really need to try to make up for time lost in the Canaries and the Channel Islands.