Update blog

Lars Alfredson
Fri 26 Feb 2021 13:45

Dawnbreaker Blog 


Updated 01.15 hrs. 26.02.21


The boat has taken on a deliciously jovial air today (Thursday) - we are now only one more night away from Cabadelo and after 7 days at sea we are all (well except for Jeremy) sort of excited about completing this leg of the journey. Which, let's be fair, is the completion of a Trans Atlantic crossing and not an insignificant journey to make.


I was up and on deck armed with my porridge and coffee by 9 am. The AIS was showing we had another 185 nm to go and an ETA (Estimated Time of Arrival) at the mouth of the estuary at Cabadelo of late afternoon/early evening Friday (tomorrow). The wind was now a constant 10 - 12 knots coming from almost directly behind and we were moving at a steady 6.

I then went to restock the fridges and freezer with the essentials (Beer, Wine, Gin and Tonic Waters) and was horrified to discover that the last remaining box of wine (6 bottles) was WHITE !!!

Not daring to tell the Captain, I put the last remaining bottle of red at the bottom of the fridge, so that Jeremy couldn't see it, and stocked the remaining stuff on top.

I then retired to my cot to try and work out how I could break this most alarming news to the Captain. I obviously dozed off because at 1 pm I became aware of the most lovely smell of warmed up NAAFI "Pulled Pork" Pies which Kenneth was just removing from the oven.


Here goes - armed with 2 wine glasses I ventured up on deck carrying a bottle of chilled Neil Ellis Groenekloof Sauvignon Blanc 2018.

My eagle eyed Captain immediately spotted the different shaped bottle and commented "Oooh, White Wine, I didn't know we had any of that" and when I explained the situation to him he just smiled and said "Just as well I like Beer then". There then followed an in depth discussion between Capt. Lars and Kenneth as to how we had ended up with 6 bottles of White Wine on the boat and it was agreed that the "Black Market Supplier of Alcohol" they had dealt with in Cape Town was probably responsible. Phew - that's me off the hook then. Kenneth then insisted that he would need a bottle for his cooking, much to the consternation of Capt. Lars. I diplomatically pointed out that as a 33.3% member of the "Booze Club" that Kenneth was actually entitled to 2 bottles and so the Captain was happy that only one bottle would be destined for Kenneth's Food Fridge.


At short while later I noticed a bowl containing half a dozen dried peaches on the counter top in the galley.


Now here is a funny thing.

A few days ago while looking for G & T nibbles in FACK's 5 and 6 (please note - FACK is a Swedish word meaning locker) I noticed that as well as a packet of Biltong (a meat nibbly thing enjoyed by Jeremy), a packet of sunflower seeds and some inedible savoury mix, there were 2 packets of dried fruits remaining. I remembered that when we had been shopping in Cape Town we had bought about a dozen packets of the stuff and other than on a couple of occasions since leaving Cape Town I hadn't noticed them being available. Now call me suspicious if you will but I wondered if someone had been midnight snacking so took it upon myself to investigate further. I hid one of the packets so that if needed it could be "found" and said nothing. Yesterday Jeremy placed open packets of Biltong, inedible nibbles and Sunflower seeds on the galley counter top. A later check of Fack 6 revealed no Dried Fruits.


What to do ?

I quickly gave Kenneth the "heads up", recovered the other bag of dried fruit and removed a prune from it, which I placed in the middle of the dried peaches. About 5 minutes later I was in the wheel house looking at the computer and Kenneth in the galley area. I then heard Jeremy say "What's this, where did it come from ?" and as I looked back to the galley could see he was holding up the Prune. "What is it"  said I with all the innocence I could muster. It's a prune says Jeremy.

Kenneth in his best Inspector Clouseau voice "A prun - what is a prun?" Huge amounts of laughter and I think Jeremy realised he had been twigged.


Then as if that wasn't enough, a few hours later Kenneth comes up with the most fantastic wheeze of this trip. "Let's put an empty Tuna can on the end of Jeremy's fishing line".

After I had stopped crying with laughter I quickly headed down to the galley where I sorted through the rubbish that I have been carefully compacting over the last week and retrieved  emptyTuna and Sardine cans. Kenneth busied himself serupticiouslypulling in Jeremy's line whilst I made some holes in the cans. Kenneth selected the Tuna can for "Operation Wind Up" and deployed it with the skill of a Master Ninja.

Capt. Lars, who was sitting at the starboard wheel, muttered something about us giggling like naughty schoolboys - If anything Captain I think we are "Nauti Cool" Boys.

Unfortunately I was sleeping later in the afternoon when Jeremy was prompted by Kenneth to check his line. More unfortunate was that the can had disappeared together which much of the Fish Lure. Never mind - there is always tomorrow and the Sardine can.


Evening meal was the close to their best by date Cans of Stewed Beef which I had "Bargain Spotted" on Ascension Island (reduced from 1.99 to 75p) with some carrots and green beans added plus some of Kenneth's super duper Fried Potatoes, which apparently do not contain carbohydrates so Jeremy was able to eat some, accompanied by our last bottle of Red Wine. Another glorious sunset and only 125 nm to go. Time for my pre watch snooze.


By 11.55 pm I was on deck with my mug of tea being briefed by my mischief making crew mate Kenneth who then retired to his bed. Another lovely night, bright moonlight and a steady 10 knots of breeze from the rear, A quick check of the weather gribs suggests that the wind is probably going to pick up by a further 5 knots or so, but unfortunately will also shift more from the north east which will mean me having to lose a few degrees from our course if speed is to be maintained and the sails not flap or even worse the main back up.


O.K Peeps - it is now 3 am. The wind hasn't picked up, if anything it has dropped to a steady 7 knots but has shifted as suggested above. I have had to give up 8 degrees to port in order to keep our speed up around 5 knots. No decisions regarding supper - A mix of tonight's left over stew and the Pasta Bolognaise from the night before. Nom Nom.


Well what do you know - One of the Flying Saucers is back twinkling brightly and flashing intermittent red, blue, green and white light. Now just in case Capt. Lars is correct with all that refracted light stuff he was talking about, I have taken a fix on said "Sighting". We are currently at 07.25.1136 S. - 33.30.9278 W. and the object of interest is bearing 270 degrees and has about 40 degrees of elevation from the surface. So - Any suggestions all you wannabe astronomers ?


5 am - Attention on Deck !!!!

Captain can't sleep. Quick check of our course and the wind direction and before you could say "Jibe Oh" we had jibed and were now sailing a direct course for Cabadelo on 293 degrees with 7 to 8 knots of headway ..... Lovely.

Picked up another hitch hiking bird on our starboard rail and have just spotted a contact on our port beam, a Norwegian cargo ship called Spar Draco (wasn't Draco in a James Bond movie ?). AIS predicts she will cross our path in 26 minutes time and the closest we will be is 6 miles. Dammed clever these computers. However, I'll keep an eye on it myself - Can't be too careful.


At 7 am Jeremy is up, awake and with coffee in hand takes over the helm. I head for my bed but 40 minutes later am awake (bit excited about arriving today I think) and listening to the "Dawnbreaker" Play list I have been preparing over the last 5 weeks. By 9 am I am seriously bored so get up and warm up the last of my bulk prepared porridge. Kenneth mentions something about there being some coffee left in the small cafetiere which is unusually very close to the microwave. I go to pour myself some and notice that it looks very weak for a Kenneth prepared brew. A quick finger taste test reveals all ..... A "Prankster" has spiked it with sea water - Ho ho ho ...... be careful "Prankster" whoever you may be - Payback from Lasty can be a real "Biatch" !


The wind has picked up and we are pulling a steady 8 - 9 knots. More and more vessels start to appear both on the horizon and on the AIS. The interesting ones are the little fishing boats which are not showing on the AIS, so a keen lookout has to be maintained. At mid day (UTC) Capt Lars decides we shall switch to Brazilian time and "Hey Presto" it is now 9am.


Anyhow - I am getting bored with typing, loads of good stuff has happened over the last 4 hours BUT .... - It is 1.30 pm local time and we have just tied up alongside the jetty at Jacare Marina, Cabadelo, BRAZIL ......

Readers ..... "Dawnbreaker" has just crossed the Atlantic Ocean and I was part of it.

Captain Lars - "Thank You" x


Deck Hand Pete

Ps ...... Now where the hell is the "Internetability" ?




Obrigado / thank you


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