The Alba Chronicles
Neville Howarth
Thu 8 Mar 2018 10:58



08:24S 29:58W


So far we've done 1,495 miles with 315 miles to go to Jacaré, Brazil. We did 125 miles in the last 25 hours.  We have 10% cloud cover and 10-15 knot East winds.  We’re sailing on a broad reach doing 5 to 6 knots with a 1 metre swell. Here's what we did yesterday and overnight.


7 March 2018   St Helena to Brazil (Day 12)

We still had light winds in the morning and we were only making 4.5 knots.  At 07:00, we had 440 miles to go, so we still need to average 5.3 knots to make it in on the evening of Saturday 10th.  It was looking less likely as the morning progressed.  In desperation, I pulled out the staysail, which kept collapsing behind the mainsail, but I reasoned that it must be adding a little bit to our boat speed.  Arrival is feeling imminent, so Glenys finished off painting a Brazilian courtesy flag.


It was still daylight at 19:30 last night, so we changed the ship’s clocks back an hour to GMT -2.  It’s surprising how many clocks we have to change – the ship’s clock, my laptop, Glenys’s tablet, the alarm clock, 2 Kindles and 2 cameras.  Phew!

My big toe is looking a bit better today.  It’s not as red as it was and the pustules seem to be a bit smaller.  I’m going to keep cleaning it with Betadine and pray that I don’t have to have it amputated in Brazil.


Glenys and I both put on a bit of weight in South Africa because of a lack of exercise and indulging in vast quantities of food and alcohol.  These recent long ocean passages have forced alcoholic abstinence on us and we eat less at sea anyway, so we’re both feeling less blobby.  Glenys has read that the Brazilians love big meals with plenty of meat, so we’re going to try resist the cheap “All You Can Eat” beef dinners washed down with cheap Brazilian beer.


The wind remained light all day and it was boiling hot around midday.  The sun was heating up the bimini and the heat was radiating down.  With only a light breeze, it was unbearable in the cockpit, so we lurked down below where it was only 30°C.  Fortunately, by one o’clock, the sun had gone behind the sail and the cockpit cooled down in the shade.

We had another lovely sail overnight.  It was frustratingly, until 22:00 when the wind veered and picked up to 15 knots, pushing us along at 5-6 knots for the rest of the night.