Brazil to The Falklands – Day 1

Reading: Meantime (Frankie Boyle)
Weather: OK in the breeze until you have to pull any string, then hot and sweaty …..
Thought for the day: Being at sea can sometimes feel like a human-sized game of pinball ….
Evening meal: Creamy pasta bake with spinach and chorizo and salad
Course: 140-170oC
Distance covered: At 1200 we had covered 32 miles (Log 4,217)
Wildlife headcount: Lots of boobies and frigate birds close to shore, then fizzling away ….

Off again …. We left Ilha Grande first thing this morning just after 7am. The weather report is showing fairly light winds more or less on the nose for the first 18-24 hours, so we set off under engine for most of the time and met just that. Watches started as soon as the anchor was up and the dinghy was deflated and on ours we hoisted the staysail and the mizzen as steadying sails. Motoring into the swell straight away meant that we had to get sea legs again fairly quickly. Routines like ricocheting along the corridor bouncing from wall to wall again as your world shifts around you start to become normal again and you quickly learn to find all the handholds again as you move around deck.

Other than that, it was a fairly quiet start to the trip. This is unlikely to hold, not least because we are heading south and the weather is likely to get more unpredictable. When the wind comes it is likely to be around 20-25 knots and as we approach the Falklands, headwinds are increasingly common. It will definitely get colder as well, though that element sounds appealing. Initially though we are heading well out to sea to avoid the Rio De La Plata. The winds that develop there are called the pomperos and can be brutal. They come down off the mountains and whistle across the plains so we want to be well clear of that area and stay well offshore. Once far enough out, we can start a more direct course to the Falklands, though how direct depends on how kind Neptune is feeling towards us.

For the afternoon watch the main went up and we started sailing and by the evening watch we had put a reef in ready for the wind which was expected to increase. The Brazilian coast faded into the haze behind us and we are back on our own again. We have 2,050 miles to go on the planned course, so this is likely to take around a fortnight or more depending on whether the wind favours us ……