The Alba Chronicles
Neville Howarth
Sat 10 Mar 2018 09:58



07:11S 34:03W


So far we've done 1,755 miles with 55 miles to go to Jacaré, Brazil. We did 135 miles in the last 24 hours.  We have 10% cloud cover and 8-12 knot ESE winds.  We’re sailing wing-on-wing doing 5 knots with a 1 metre swell. Here's what we did yesterday and overnight.


9 March 2018   St Helena to Brazil (Day 14)

The days really are blurring together.  It was another beautiful morning, sailing wing on wing, with 8-15 knots of wind, fluffy white clouds, 130 miles yesterday, 190 miles to go, meaning that we still have to do an average of 5.3 knots to get in at sunset tomorrow.


We’ve given up worrying about trying to get to the anchorage before dark - we’re going to go in at whatever time we arrive.  There’s a buoyed shipping channel up to a quarantine anchorage at Cabadello, which I’m guessing will be free of hazards.  It’s then 4 miles upriver to the yacht anchorage at Jacaré.  We’ll make up our mind which anchorage to stay in when we get there.


You’ll be relieved to know that my Big Toe is much, much better.  It’s calmed down to half a dozen small red spots that look suspiciously like a fungal infection.  I’ll buy some antifungal cream when we go into town.


The wind became lighter and lighter as the morning progressed.  We cracked up at lunchtime and turned the engine on.  The wind came back three hours later, but only enough to push us along at 4.5 knots.


It was another blisteringly hot afternoon.  On my off-watch, I tried to sleep in the back cabin, but in spite of having a fan running above my head, it was stifling and I only slept fitfully for an hour before giving up and trying to find a corner in the cockpit where there was a bit of breeze.  I think that our bodies have become used to the colder latitudes and it will take a while to get acclimatised to tropical heat again.


By sunset, it had cooled off considerably and the wind had increased a little, giving a welcome breeze to cool us down.  At 19:00, we had just enough light to see and only 125 miles to go, so if we’re lucky with the wind tonight, we might be drinking a beer watching the sun go down in Jacaré tomorrow.


On my evening SSB chat with “Sabir” and “Jomaro”, “Sabir” told us that they arrived in Fernando de Noronha this morning, but they couldn’t stay because there was a 2½ metre (north) swell in the anchorage and it was impossible to land a dinghy.  Stefan and Ilya are now on their way to Grenada – they should be there in 2 weeks.


“Jomaro” are also heading to Fernando de Noronha and should arrive on Monday 12th.  They’ve been doing a lot of motoring since they left St Helena and are hoping to get diesel in there.  Hopefully, the swell will have dissipated by the time they arrive, otherwise I guess that they’ll have to find somewhere to refuel on the north coast of Brazil.


During my 7-10 watch, the wind gradually picked up, and when I handed over to Glenys at 22:00, we were tromping along at 6.5 to 7 knots on a broad reach.  The 12-20 knot winds continued until 03:00, knocking off a fair few miles.