FROM 1-12. 26°S-Nose Brazil &1st circumnavigation

Apr 28, 2005 – 0010hrs UTC

Hello to all out there,

For us the long awaited SE trades seem to be the NE trades. We sailed east a lot of yesterday and all last night to get a better angle for the final assault to slide past the large bump on the NE corner of Brazil. It’s hard to imagine that we have passed some of the most interesting cities like Buenos Aires, Montevideo and Rio and not had a refreshment stop.  Last night I was reading some of the daily journal that I’ve been writing I’ll quote some of it now, this was written on Monday April 11   ” For the last two days whenever I’ve been looking at our position on the computer chart I’ve been amazed at how the boat seems to be pulled towards Rio. The computer produces a beautiful coloured chart of South America and the Atlantic, our position is given at the end of an arrow which points in the direction we are heading. The length of the arrow indicates the speed of the boat so this arrow surges back and forth with the changes in boat speed as we go through waves while progressing to windward. Looking at it reminds me of a dog on a leash dragging the owner to where it wants to go.  Is this like the call of the Sirens of old trying to lead us to the fleshpots of Rio.” Of course we did not stop but we could have invented a stop giving lurid details of our stay which may have entertained some of you but we must remember that we also cater to a young and impressionable audience so decorum must reign. Just as an aside I think if we had gone for the boobs bums and beaches option it would not have lasted long with our bums in such a sorry state we would have been quickly removed from the beach as a health hazard. A virtual stop would have helped to explain our slow progress   ahhh  well, I’m sure Alan Fenwick would have enjoyed a rather more racey version of this part of the journey.

We havn’t seen much wildlife recently, there has been one bird visiting us for brief periods the last few days though.  The bird is brown/grey in colour, it has white dots along the leading edge of it’s wings looks a little like aboriginal dot painting ( perhaps I have got this wrong it might have spent last night perched under another bird ).It’s larger than a seagull and smaller than a young albatross. Just before dawn a couple of days ago a pod of about 6 pilot whales casually swam across our bow then sounded. On the last voyage across the Pacific (nearly 30 years ago,time to do that again) pilot whales would swim next to the boat for hours at a time, I think this was in the area of the Galapagos Islands.

Life on board at the moment is divided by the day/night extremes. At night the sailing is beautiful, soft warm breeze, clear skies loaded with stars. Last night was special, we were sailing east and with an almost full moon above so we had this glittering silver highway to sail down. During the day things are not so good. It’s a lot hotter, water temp is now 30 deg and who knows what the air temp is, perhaps 40 maybe 50 in the sun. The wind is generally stronger than at night so boat goes faster, more water over the deck so hatches have to be closed. In these conditions almost impossible to sleep during the day so we survive on about 5 hours sleep you can manage during the two off night watches. I’m writing this at night and our course has lifted about 40 deg since sundown, this might be the wind we have been waiting for.

Many thanks for all your emails on ” dogwatch “. I still want to know about the dog star and the hot humid days in summer when it was visible were known as dog days, I’m sure this was mentioned in old Greek writings.

Richard D thanks for the letter. No I’m not the Peter Crozier you worked with at Macquarie Uni. but this leads to a little research required on the name Crozier.

Francis Crozier was in command of a ship called the Terror which along with the Erebus captained by Ross completed a British expedition to the Antarctic in the 1840’s. The Terror and Erebus had visited the Falklands so I checked the museum and archives. There was no information except some letters from Ross to officials complaining about the quality and high cost of provisions, funny how nothing really changes. Any information you could find on Crozier would be helpful.

I had best end here I’ve exceeded my limit.        Cheers Pete.

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