At sea when there are other ships around at night they all display
navigation lights, depending on which angle you are looking at them, you
will see different colored lights, but they are distinctive so that you can
ascertain whether they are heading towards you, passing you, or going away.
Even far off the coast, in the middle of the ocean there is always a chance
of not only seeing other ships, but also of being hit by a ship.
your height of eye on a sailing yacht, you can only see the horizon about 9
nautical miles away. So if you are traveling at 7 knots, and a ship is
coming towards you at say 15 knots, then you have a closing speed of 22
knots, which means that from not seeing anything on the horizon within 20 to
25 minutes you could be run over, hmmm hence why we always have someone on watch, sensible don't you think ?
Tonight is a full moon night here in the North Atlantic, and a clam smooth
night it is. For days as we have headed north from Brazil's Fernando De
Noronha, crossed the equator, slipped out of the crippling calms of the
Doldrums and are now north of 20 degrees.
The days are now getting longer as we head into northern hemisphere spring
time, the waters are now getting cooler again, instead of the tropical
blue's with bath water temperatures of 33 degree's Celsius, we are now back
at the still pleasant mid 20's. Day times are still wonderfully warm, and
the evenings are a beautiful cool, but not cold, well for some onboard !
(compared to Antarctic climates)
With every passage there is wear an tear along the way, which is to be
expected, unfortunately on this leg north the only breakage has been a
running back stay block, this for non sailors is part of the mast rigging,
and needs to be tensioned and changed each time we make a substantial course
alteration when the wind changes from one side of the yacht to the other.
Well dear Vincent was the very unlucky one to find this out the other day
when we tacked. In applying the needed tension to the running backstay, the
deck turning block that the rope runs through exploded. I was near by doing
the main sail, when it happened, Vincent went quiet as I reached over to
check on him. Luckily, but unfortunately he was hit on the side of the head,
the blood that was coming from his head was not large, but I was concerned.
Audrey and I grabbed the medical kits after our initial examination of his
head, and as Vincent has said he is a very lucky "Black cat". The wound
needed two stitches, and this Vincent managed without local anesthetics and
my initial slightly shaky hand (stitching sails are not as stressful).
Now two days later we removed the first dressing and inspected the wound,
not too bad a job if I say so myself, and certainly Vincent is back in his
So tonight's full moon party at sun set had "cheers all round" as Credence
Clear Water Revival was playing Bad moon a rising in the back ground. The
stars are all out, and eventhough I am not so familiar with these northern
sparkling lights, they do remind me of ships that have safely passed us by,
because from that aspect you can only see one small white light.
2,400 nautical miles may seem to you all like a long way to go for a
relaxing drink, yes that's nearly 5,000 kilometers, but our passage north
from Uruguay has taken just over 13 days with some superb sailing, positive
inshore currents to help along the way, warm weather and great fishing.
Remote Brazilian islands there are not a large amount of, but Fernando de
Noranah is one of their jewels. Located about 200 nautical miles off the
coast to the north east it is a lovely volcanic tropical island with a
wonderful array of wild life, on shore and in the sea.
Very popular for surfers, wild life enthusiasts and wedding honeymoon
couples, there is also a healthy stream of visiting yachts heading either
north or south in the Atlantic's as a stopping destination.
But being Brazil, it holds the essence of their culture is so many ways,
their foods, drinks, music and their people.
Now men being men, and women being women, having even an average eyesight is
very rewarding when visiting Fernando de Noronah, because the women there
they have some amazing, outstanding features which makes me wonder why the
letters BRA is the start of the country name ?? because they just don't
seems to be needed.
Now the second part of the countries name I have also found out why it is,
eventhough this is my third stop at Fernando de Noranah (yes for the
wildlife and relaxing atmosphere of course) Brazil has over the last few
years become a very very expensive country, their currency is now at about 2
to 1 to the US$ so its just as well that for spectator sports that you get
your moneys worth ! which of course we did, but with World Cup happening
very shortly if your going to be a visitor then come well armed with cash
because that's why the second part of the country name comes from the word Zillions.
We have departed Fernando de Noronah today, heading due north to the Azores,
with a spectacular display of Dorado fish jumping 3 meters into the sky as
they endeavored to catch flying fish, we all on board can honestly say that
we were impressed and astounded by what we saw there in our time at this
picture perfect location.