This blog is about planning and preparation for a circumnavigation of the world in a 39-foot sail boat followed, hopefully, by a diary of the actual circumnavigation. You can track the progress of Pachuca by visiting http://www.pangolin.co.nz/xtras/yotreps/tracker.php?ident=VNW5980
Friday, July 6, 2012
On the Way
The navigation computer was in place with shock cord restraints on it and its mouse. Both MarinePlotter v126.96.36.199 and the OpenCPN v2.5.0 were running, each with its own dedicate GPS antenna. I had the chart covering the area all of the way to Angra Dos Rais on both systems, but MP gave the advantage of also providing Google images. I confess that I didn't have a paper chart of the South Atlantic (to be rectified before I set off for Cape Town), but I was confident that the charts on three separate laptops would see me through.
Even though I didn't expect rough weather I put up the protective shower curtain as a precaution.
At 8 AM I began the task of replacing the four heavy mooring lines with two thin and supple nylon ones in order to simplify the casting off. I then brought in the shore power cable. I started the engine at 8.30 AM.
Fortunately the skipper of Agape showed up a few minutes later. He agreed to cast me off and when I asked him if the bridge operator could be contacted on VHF 71 he said Yes, and that he would call him to open the bridge. Unfortunately the operator did not respond. A phone call was made to Club Nautico, which controls the bridge, but nothing seemed to be happening. Then a man set off on a dinghy from my marina and soon the bridge was open. The operator had apparently been fast asleep trying to keep warm.
The conditions were perfect for the exit: 5 knot wind from behind and the depth at a healthy 2.7 meters. I cast off at 9.30 AM and got through the bridge with very little trouble.
It didn't take long for me to find out that the autopilot was not totally functional. Once set a course then switch it on to "Auto" it will steer very well. However, the logic that deals with course adjustments is shot. If I tell the autopilot to adust either 1 degree or 10 degrees in either direction it goes berzerk. I wasn't too upset by this, and was grateful that its most important function is OK.
The wind was from the SW at about 5 knots and I tried sailing for a while, with jib only. I didn't mind dawdling at 2.5 knots but my heading was parallel to the coast and I wanted to get plenty of sea room for the night, so just after 11 AM I started the engine and proceeded more to the east at 4 knots. After another two hours of motoring I set the sail giving me a course slightly to the east of north, but this was not nearly good enough to clear the River Plate and Uruguay. I to remain on this tack (partial headsail only, wind off the port quarter) with the plan to gybe before nightfall. This would follow Alfredo's advice to head for land during the day, and away from land at night.
After a late lunch I lay down for an hour wondering why I had been cold and shivery all day, with lots of sneezing. When I got up I dug out the Icebreaker skin tight merino wool under garments and on top of that I put on three wool sweaters on my chest and thick track suit pants below. I also put on alpine socks.
At 4 PM I was getting a little uncomfortable with my position. The shore was 6 miles off the port beam and the edge of the shallows about two hours ahead. The depth was dipping below 15 meters. I decided to gybe and my timing could not have been better. After the gybe I found myself still pointing too close to the shore with the wind stronger at about 12 knots apparent. I bore off another 10 degrees to starboard, set up the wind steering to take over from the autopilot, and here we were comfortably doing 4.5 knots on. course 055T. It was good to be really sailing again after a lapse of almost 5 months.
At noon I had begun to soak the kidney beans in the pressure cooker and put out one of the bags of pigs feet to thaw. Before dark I would put in the meat, celery, onions, carrots, potatoes and garlic then pressure cook the lot for 30 minutes.
The meal turned out to be very, very good. It certainly warmed me up. I put so many vegetables in the pot that it was more like a stew than a soup. Because I put so many vegetables in the pot the pork pieces had to ride mostly above the waterline. Tomorrow I'll put enough water into the cooker to cover the meat and then I'll give it another 15 minutes of cooking.
At 7.30 PM we were 32 miles from MdP, making 4,5 knots at about 50T under a clear sky. We were 10 miles off the coast and edging away slightly, but it was too close for a full night's sleep. I planned to sleep in bursts of 30 minutes or perhaps an hour.
radio email processed by SailMail
for information see: http://www.sailmail.com
- Official Clearance into Angra
- At Enseada de Sitio Forte
- At Marina Bracui 22S57.010, 044W23.687
- Ilha de Paqueta (2S59.586, 044W24.465)
- At Ilha Da Gipoia, 23S03.809, 044W21.321
- Another Night at Enseada de Sitio Forte
- A Day at Praia de Proveta
- At Ilha Grande
- Departure for Angra
- Last Day at Ilha Bella
- More Preparations
- Mercury Outboard Running
- Trapped On Board
- Clearance Into Brazil Done
- First day at Ilha Bella
- Safe on Mooring
- Final Run to the Anchorge
- Fair Wind and Following Sea
- Quieter Night, Great Day, Reasonable Progress
- Another Tough Night with Good Progress
- Half Way, and Storm Trysail
- Rough Night, Good Progress
- Hard Night
- Tracking for Pachuca - by Stephen
- Variable Wind, Fighting Current
- Difficult Night but Good Progress
- Sailing Well
- On the Way
- One More Night
- Cleared to Go
- Clearance Blues
- Fridge Follies and Boat Ready
- Firm Departure Time
- Settled Marina Account
- Wine Supply
- Progress with Refrigerator
- Saved My Bacon
- ▼ July (37)
- ► 2011 (288)
- ► 2010 (355)
- ► 2009 (376)
- ► 2008 (269)
- ► 2007 (43)