Brazil to The Falklands – Day 7

Reading: Real Tigers (Mick Herron)
Weather: Grey, then sunny and what wind there was vanished …..
Thought for the day: Sometimes you have to confront deeply held prejudices and admit you were wrong. Actually fresh pineapple (with tuna) on pizza is quite nice …
Evening meal: Mince bake with runner beans and courgette with mashed potato and salad
Course: 190-250oC
Distance covered: At 1200 we had covered 930 miles (Log 5,115)
Wildlife headcount: Albatrosses everywhere (including a black-browed albatross) and also cape pigeons (named after Cape Horn) ….

The sailing was short-lived. By the 6am watch changeover we had to take all the sails down again. What wind there was slowly vanished and the sails were just slatting around in the swell, so back to the engine and the rock and roll started again. At least the sun came out again in the morning so it was a nice day’s motoring. There was a suggestion that we might stop for a swim and at midday Jet arrived for the watch changeover in swimming gear ready. The water temperature has been progressively falling and is now down to 17oC, but still nice for swimming. Sod’s Law though, the wind had increased just enough to make swimming impossible as we were drifting, even with no engine power, at nearly three knots. If any of us had gone swimming we might have ended up swimming all the way to the Falklands, so we all declined.

The last few days has seen a change though. For perhaps three of four nights it has no longer been possible to do night watches in t-shirt and shorts. In fact one evening cooled down so much that we ended up in full sailing gear. Today was warm enough to go fleeceless but only during the day, the nights are cooling down fast. Last night was also the first night in six weeks on board that I used the duvet they provide. For the next six weeks, I suspect I will be holding on to it tighter and tighter. There was even talk of turning the heating system on in a few days.

The day was a good day for wildlife spotting with loads of albatrosses hanging around, joined most of the time by cape pigeons. These differ from ordinary pigeons in that they are attractive birds and that they are sea birds – so no comparison really! They are quite small with a white underbelly, squat head and black upper wing markings and a lot of the time they keep up quite well with the albatrosses. We wonder whether we are at a changeover of ocean currents and whether that is a good feeding ground for the birds. We are starting to lose the south-going Brazilian current and from now on, if anything, we will have current against us.

We are heading under engine more towards the coast of Uruguay (around 500 miles away) on about 250oC, attempting to get across into a different weather system – one with wind! Hopefully we will manage that in the next 24 hours as it will be nice to get the engine off again.