Sailing to Brazil 1

26 February 2018   St Helena to Brazil (Day 3)
Dawn brought us another beautiful day with a light SSE 8-12 knot breeze, which continued all day allowing us to average 5 knots.

At the moment, there’s not a lot to do, so I’ve been working on an Owner’s Manual for Alba.  Over the past seven years, we’ve built up lot of knowledge on the use and maintenance of all the equipment on the boat.  We’re expecting to sell Alba within the next 12 months and I’d like to pass on all my knowledge to the next owner.

Idyllic sailing - Wing on Wing

It’s turning into an epic document.  I have manufacturer’s manuals for practically every piece of gear on the boat and lots of notes and drawings that I’ve compiled over the years, so bringing it all together will keep me occupied until we get to the West Indies in May.  

By sunset, the wind had increased by a few knots to 10-15 knots.  It’s surprising how much better the boat feels with that extra little bit of pressure on the sails.  It’s also good when the boat speed increases to 6 knots. 

Overnight, we had some rain showers go through and the wind increased a bit more to 12-20 knots, so we were screaming along at 6.5 to 7.5 knots.  When we started to plane at 8 knots, I put a reef in the main. 

27 February 2018   St Helena to Brazil (Day 4)
The showers dissipated by 08:00, leaving us with blues skies with fluffy white clouds.  The wind slowly backed, so we gybed the main to port and re-rigged the pole & genoa out to starboard.  The afternoon was idyllic, sailing along at 6 knots.

We have three time zones to pass through before we get to Brazil, which is at GMT -3.  Sunrise didn’t happen until 06:45 this morning, so we put the clocks back one hour and now Glenys will get an earlier dawn.

Hanging out the Smalls

Night brought us showery weather again.  The first shower hit Glenys at midnight, giving rain and variable winds.  For my 1-4 watch, the wind was all over the place, changing in strength and direction as showers went past.  Eventually, I gave up and ran the engine for 40 minutes; and then sailed for 20 minutes; and then motored a while. Glenys had more of the same on her 4-7 watch, so we ended up running the engine for 2.5 hours overnight.  Oh well, we wanted hot water for the shower anyway.

28 February 2018   St Helena to Brazil (Day 5)
Once again, the showers dissipated after dawn, leaving us with fluffy white clouds and a nice day. The clouds built up a bit in the afternoon and messed about with the wind, but we managed to keep sailing at 4 to 6 knots all day.

The days are starting to blur together now.  We’re both feeling weary with the three hour watches and the constant rolling, so we’re sleeping as much as we can. The most exciting event of the day was that Glenys washed some of our underwear and hung it out to dry in the sun.  

It was a beautiful moonlit night with a few small clouds and a steady 8-12 knot breeze – we slid along at 4 to 5 knots.  Fabulous, easy sailing.

1 March 2018   St Helena to Brazil (Day 6)
We’re over 1/3 of the way now, which is encouraging, but the thought of another 10 days is discouraging.  It was another lovely day pottering along at 4-5 knots.  The weather forecast is for the wind to veer slightly and pick up later tonight and it looks like a band of rain is going to go over us tomorrow.

Beautiful Full Moon

Our wind generator has been turning too fast and isn’t producing any power, so I did some investigation and changed the bridge rectifier.  There isn’t enough wind to test it properly, but when we get the odd gust, it hasn’t been free-wheeling, so fingers crossed.   For the rest of the time when I wasn’t sleeping, I wrote more of my Alba User Manual, which has turned into a chore, but now that I’ve started, I want to finish it.  Oh, and I finished off the afternoon by playing a bit of guitar.

Glenys did some sleeping, some reading and a some stainless steel polishing on the stern arch and then produced baked Fish Pie for dinner with stir-fried cabbage.

Just before sunset, we gybed the main to starboard and poled out genoa to port in anticipation of the wind veering later.  The wind is directly behind us so it doesn’t really matter what tack we’re on.  There were a few more clouds around as night fell and the wind picked up to 10-15 knots, so we were doing 5 to 6 knots through the water, but that didn’t last long and we were soon back to 4 to 5 knots.  It was another lovely night with a very bright full moon.