Tenerife to Brazil – Day 29

Reading: Peter Duck (Arthur Ransome) (finished)
Weather: N-NE 1-3 – variable. Cloudy, occasional showers and grey, so why is it so hot?
Thought for the day: Does the common dolphin have an inferiority complex about its name?
Evening meal: Pumpkin, mince and feta cheese with potatoes and an artichoke dip
Course: 250-280oC
Wildlife headcount: Common dolphins and a long-tailed skua ….

The engine was on much of the morning with the wind continuing to be aloof and do its own thing which was mostly to sulk. So, we motored on through with the sails down. However, at the 6am watch changeover, in a fit of optimism, Jet decided to hoist them again. The optimism was misplaced by four and a half hours, but finally at 10.30am, the wind stopped sulking and we had a lovely sailing breeze for much of the rest of the day. The weather was pretty much totally grey with the rain taking over from the wind in its indecisiveness, but mostly it more or less stayed away.

After nearly a month at sea with just one sighting of land (and that was an island!), there is an ambivalence about the possibility of seeing land again, but there is a frisson of excitement on board at the prospect. The evidence of the possibility of land has grown. We saw one ship today and had a couple more on AIS, several birds and had to weave our way through several oil rigs. Not sure that this is good evidence of land, but it does show the presence of people, though possibly in their more negative sense. We now just wait for what is hopefully the inevitable first sighting. The TTA tells us that we will get there tomorrow afternoon, but with the reliability of the wind, this seems as likely as betting on the outcome of a Brazilian election ….

For the night watch we were treated to the most spectacular light show. It felt almost like we were driving along a highway of clear sky bounded by lightning either side. The clouds were positively fizzing (pun intended!) with electricity and it was not just occasional strikes, but a constant flashing lighting up the cloud and outlining them in vivid detail. Great to watch, from a distance! Luckily it never seemed to actually approach us, so we could enjoy it a lot more than lightning normally can be from a boat. In amongst the lightshow on the starboard side came a small flashing light, almost indiscernible and completely overshadowed by the natural son et lumière show around it. This, though was quite a momentous light as it marked our first sight of land – the lighthouse on Cabo Frio. Gradually, around it, shore lights started to appear giving form to the land around the Cape. Land ho …