Thu 16 May 2013 13:52
Thursday May 16th, 2013
Position 7:30.9S 31:55.3W
Lots more shipping now, and I am having fun with 'Sea Me' and the AIS radar. Both the antennae are at the same height, at the back of the boat, but the Sea Me seems to pick stuff up from about 20 miles out. The AIS starts to plot stuff from about 12 miles out, which I have now learnt is well over the horizon from Fleck's cockpit. Once the AIS shows me where to look I can generally see a ship, or its lights, from about 8 or ten miles. The great advantage of the AIS is that you can immediately see if you are on a possible collision course (always assuming, remembering the last disaster, that your target holds his course!) Like playing grown up battleships, or do I mean battleships for the really infantile!?
The sea is suprisingly rough for relatively light winds of about 14 kts. There are frequent showers now, these each seem to bring a mini squall, with a change of wind direction, and perhaps there is a rather confused sea all the while as a result.
The increased shipping has started a pro-active worry phase: if it is like this all up the Brazil coast, plus fishing boats, plus oil rigs, it is going to be like Indonesia all over again, very very tiring. But for now, just worry about getting into Cabadelo, at the right time of day and tide. Have a Portuguese phrase book, which didn't get me anywhere in Lisbon, and quite a lot of Brazilian words are different. I guess it will be back to Ola, obrigado, per favor, descuple me, boa dia, adeus, and all the rest in loud clear English. Plan at present is to be in at dawn 18th May. So may still be there for my birthday: first time on dry land for three years, I think.
Incidentally, great trouble for the last few days connecting to the Iridium server: probably a satellite problem, but whatever, if I can't connect you won't hear from me! There is internet in Brazil, of course, but not sure about availability in the little place I am headed.