Saturday, June 30, 2012

Angra dos Reis, Brazil

We have arrived safely to Angra dos Reis, Brazil after a 1200 mile seven day one stop trip.  We stopped only once to refuel and of course to have our first coffee in Brazil.  Good coffee but man is it strong!!

Our first sunset

Found a new friend

Wing on Wing sailing down wind
The trip was a mixture of light to no winds to 36 knots.  BellaLuna handled all that was thrown at her and performed wonderfully.  For a two day stretch we had two sails up and were sailing down wind and never had to touch the sails or the course.  Travelling an average of 10 knots per hour.  We also experienced sailing down wind with wind speeds of 36 knots.  We were surfing 14’ waves.  What fun but not a great deal of sleep during that time.  

 Many firsts for us new fulltime live-aboard sailors.
       1.     Sailing our new boat.
2     2.     Sailing 24/7 for one week.
3     3.     Trusting our boat to handle whatever the South Atlantic had to offer.
4     4.     Two hour shifts at the helm.
5     5.     Trying to put your contact lens in during 36 knot winds.  (lucky I didn’t loose an eye)
6     6.     Cooking at sea.
7     7.     Eating at sea. ( we did not get sea sick, yeh)
8     8.     Enjoying calm rolling seas with a coffee to start my 6am watch.
9     9.     Enjoying (sort of) down wind surfing in 14’ waves at speeds as high as 18.7 knots with only a reefed Genoa  
1    10. Sailing into Angra dos Reis as the sun was coming up knowing the first 1200 miles are behind us

Debbie & Pikin

We hired an Argentine captain to sail with us from Buenos Aires to Brazil.  His name is Pikin and we had a great time with him.  Both Debbie and I learned so much from him and now feel so much more confident to continue our adventure.  It was recommended to us that we hire Pikin for the first leg of the trip because the south coast of Brazil can be very tricky if you don’t know the area.  Pikin has made more than 150 trips from Argentina to Brazil so he is very experienced.  We got along great and had many laughs with the language differences.  Our little Spanish and his little English turned into Spanglish with many laughs along the way. 

Debbie resting after her watch
We set up a watch schedule for the three of us.  One person has to be on watch at all times.  They are responsible for the boat during this time.  Sails, engine, course, lookout etc.  The schedule was a two hour watch then four hours off around the clock.  We would eat a hot meal around two o’clock in the afternoon together and the other meals you got your own before or after your watch.  Coffee was on pretty much all day.  We had made up lots of precooked and frozen meals and lots of easy to get breakfasts and lunches.  It all worked out very well.  Debbie got off easy on the cooking because we seemed to eat at 2pm which was her watch.  Maybe she planned it that way!!
The watches were very interesting depending on the time of day and the area.  Sometimes for the two hour watch there was nothing in your line of sight.  No land, no other boats, nothing to do with the sails.  Just sit back and enjoy.  Other times like one night on my 12am watch I observed 24 fishing boats on the radar screen.  I was required to make two or three course changes to avoid these vessels.  We were warned by Pikin that sometimes the little fishing boats run with no lights on.  A little troubling but we managed to sail through without a problem.  

So after seven days of 2 hours on 4 hours off we have finally had a couple of good 8 hour sleeps.  Feels good.

Now it’s boat cleaning and laundry and a little shopping.  

Angra dos Reis is such a beautiful area of Brazil.  Island after island, beach after beach for us to explore for the next month.  Our plan is to island hop, anchor and explore this area.  There are 360 islands in the Angra area so we have our work cut out for us.   We will post pictures later of this area.

1 comment:

  1. What an awesome adventure you are having. How do you warm up your frozen meals while under way?


    S/V Blissopia