Ambassador 29

Hello again, and welcome back to my continuing adventure along the coast of Brazil. I last wrote in mid-July, after deciding to leave the boat in Fortaleza for a while, waiting for better weather, getting needed spares and making repairs. I returned to the boat last Thursday evening, and was happy to find everything just as we had left it. I spent Friday and Saturday making the repairs, fueling, handling exit paperwork with the local authorities, and generally getting ready to go again.
It is now Sunday morning, and I am on my way! The big difference this time is that I am going solo, as Steve and Marianne couldn’t get away again so soon after the last 17-day ride from the Virgin Islands to Fortaleza. On the plus side, I am not constrained by anyone else’s schedule, so if I want to stop and rest somewhere I can, I won’t be constantly worried about how they are feeling, whether they are having fun or not, and nobody is ever sitting in “my” spot.  But the down side is that I must rely only on myself for everything, which makes some tasks slower and harder, and I have only myself to complain to.

I’ve got about 2600 miles to go still, which could take anywhere from 17 days to 35 days or more, depending on weather and how long I decide to take breaks, either to rest or to avoid bad weather. And of course also depending on the reliability of the boat and its systems.
I expect the first 2 to 3 days will be with strong winds on my nose, until I get to the eastern corner of Brazil, and that is just unavoidable. I am hoping they will be the worst days, and everything will get better after that. It’s possible I will still have wind in the nose for another 2 or 3 days after that, but hopefully not as strong. Somewhere around 9 degrees south I should get reaching winds, which should last until I get to Rio. Then I need to pay more attention to weather forecasts to avoid any southerly storms kicked up from Antarctica, as they can bring very strong winds and seas. If I miss those, I should enjoy beam and broad reaching all the way to Argentina, with the last day or two in brown water going up the river, where the winds can do anything- but it’s a shallow river so it never gets that bad.

A very special Happy Birthday today to my Dad, who introduced me to sailing some 40 years ago. He’s 82 years old, today, and still sailing vicariously through my adventures.

So, wish me luck, and I’ll keep you posted on how everything goes…
-David

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