Ambassador 58 – Familiar Place – Totally Different

Last time I rounded Cabo Sao Tome and Cabo Frio, I was headed south, and I was riding a gale, seeing the biggest winds and seas on the whole trip. It was very quick in this neighborhood, but I was holding on for dear life.

This time I am headed north, and last night saw gentle seas and a light west wind for beam reaching under a carpet of stars. It was lovely!  Not as quick, sure, but not so stressful, either.

So far, I am very pleased with my progress, having averaged 7.1 knots for the entire first week. This is faster than I expected, so it’s time in the bank.

I didn’t really think about it till it happened, but when I spotted Cabo Frio on the horizon yesterday afternoon, it was the first land I had seen in 6 days. So no more open ocean bliss and relaxation for me, at least not for now. Now I am back with the fishing boats and buoys and traffic. But all that activity does pass the time better.

At the moment I am heading towards Vitoria, where I expect to arrive this evening. If the weather forecast looks disagreeable to my north, I will stay there and try to get my primary autopilot fixed. I tried, and bled all the lines and everything else I know how to do, but to no avail. I am thinking it may be the solenoid or pass through valve.

If the weather forecast looks like I can keep going north for a few days, then I won’t stop, with a goal of making it to Salvador, perhaps on Sunday, and stopping there for the repair. I would prefer to have both pilots working before running 3000 miles in the trades. I’m not on a schedule, and have made good time, so a day or two layover (and repairs, and rest, and maybe a restaurant meal) won’t hurt me a bit.

You’ll know tomorrow morning which option I chose.

Happy first day of spring/autumn!

3/21  8am   21.39S  40.34W    1324nm gone,  4079nm to go.

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