After yesterday’s early morning “variable” weather, and about an hour after I sent the email, a large squall rolled through and cleared everything out as it passed. The entire rest of the day was perfect again- sunny, clear, flat seas and 8-12 knots of East wind, making my south route a nice beam reach. It stayed remarkably consistent throughout the day and all night as well, with clear skies to enjoy the waxing gibbous moon.
Today continues the same, although the wind is slowly starting to move more behind me, and I expect to be broad reaching by afternoon or evening.
I saw a whale yesterday, and today I have already spotted a dozen more, and dolphins as well. I will be passing through the Abrolhos (translation: open your eyes!) Archepelago this afternoon, which has reefs and rocks that extend some 100 miles offshore. This area is a national marine sanctuary, and the antarctic whales come up here for the warmer water during the southern winter. That means they are here now, spouting, splashing, jumping and tail wagging all over the place, enjoying their whale clan family reunion, and probably starting to think about heading south again now that spring is just a few weeks away. It’s nice to have some company out here.
Looking ahead a few days to the weather for rounding Cabo Frio, the big right turn towards Rio, there will be some building NE winds, which will be behind me, but if I don’t time it right it could be 30 knots of following winds and seas. That would certainly keep me moving, but the autopilot struggles in heavy downwind conditions, so I prefer to get around in 25 knots or less. Next weekend the Rio area looks light and variable, with maybe some light rain systems swirling about. Too soon to tell, but I am hoping to get lucky and not have to stop.
17.08S 38.47W 3718nm gone, 1596nm to go. 8am 9/6