Forteleza Goodbye…\”Hot\” Cayenne on the menu!…..
July 8-9th, 2013, (Western Hemisphere) Time: -3 on GMT
The Marina Park Hotel where our Marina was, hosted a \”SAMBA BRAZIL\” event last Saturday night. Nikki and I got tickets and joined the 30,000 screaming fans.
Amazingly, the \”Samba\” culture here is very alive with the youth of Brazil. It has a Justin Beiber twist to it of course, but they know all the words, the artists and go wild for it. The age range was mostly 12-25 with some parents in attendance with the young kids. We had a good time and met a young guy who is an English teacher who explained it all to us.
Sunday was really hot and mostly a recovery day for us. We really hadn\’t taken a day off since leaving Cape Town and just needed to be human beings rather than human doings…
Forteleza is a mixed bag. Hundreds of high rises, some new, but mostly quite old, lots of poor, very crowded, but in it\’s own charming way; I\’m glad we made the stop.
The big deal for us was good markets and fuel! We think our propane will hold out to Trinidad, but I\’ll check if available at our next stop in French Guyana.
We left the Marina at 9 am yesterday and of course as we\’d Med Moored, lots of stuff to put away. The winds were light from the ESE at first, but steadily picked up.
In fact, just before dark, we took in a reef and put out the staysail instead of the genoa. The really big key to this route is the Guyana Current – WOW.
Where friends Dave and Kathie of \”Sunflower\” seemed to send us endless emails about the lack of a good current or worse, a counter current, this coast is like the SE Coast of Africa. It\’s an express train! We are only on occasion moving 5 knots \”through the water\”, but \”over the ground (bottom)\” we\’re going 7.5-9 knots! AND, in the right direction, this current lasts all the way to Trinidad! Winds currently are 10 knots from the east, but we\’re going 8-9 knots. That\’s terrific. The other nice thing is that as the winds are calm the sea is very calm with a less than one meter swell behind us.
The ITCZ, (inter tropical convergence zone) however is just being entered by us and extends to about the north side of French Guyana. So, all bets are off until we get to the North East Trades from Surinam to the north. We spoke with \”OZ\” and \”Jongilanga\” on the radio today. John on Jongilanga is 215 miles north of us and OZ is about 300 miles ESE of us. They both have light winds and not as much current. I suggested they get closer to shore for better winds and of course…the current ride.
Speaking of weather, we note that Tropical Storm \”Chantal\” is just about to the Caribbean, we hope it turns north and misses Grenada. Also, another as yet un-named system is developing West of the Cape Verde Islands and looks to be a humdinger as well. Being close to the coast and of course not in the hurricane belt; the ITCZ is actually acting as a block for us of the nasty stuff up north. At least so far, the coastal route seems the way to go. We\’ll be 40-100 miles off the Amazon delta when we pass both the Para and Amazon Rivers. I\’ll go into why I\’m not comfortable stopping in Belam, Brazil in tomorrow\’s blog.
Due to the current, we did 178 nm in 21.5 hours, whoopee!
For the moment, we\’re going fast, flat, calm and happy. IT IS HOT out here now as we approach the equator. The crew appreciates the air conditioning when the generator or engines are on in the sleeping cabin.
We\’ll cross the equator in about 150 miles and should have the entire Nikki goes from \”polywog\” to \”shellback\” story…. And with that teaser, we\’ll write more tomorrow.
Feel free to drop either of us a note at the sailmail or land addresses.
Scott and Soon to cross the Equator Nik!