Paraty to Buenos Aires

Day 1 - Saturday 6th December 2008

There was a lot to do before departure. At 07:45 I weighed anchor and motored over to Porto Imperial. This time they had fuel and I topped up with diesel verano (Reals 2.72/litre) and water.

Afterwards I anchored again off Paraty jetty and went ashore with Shirley to top up on stores and check the latest weather forecast.

Back on board I stowed the dinghy and prepared for sea. At 13:45 I weighed anchor and got under way. Next stop Buenos Aires some 1000 miles away.

The forecast was for light winds from the east.

Once clear of Baia Paraty at 14:55 I had to motor sail (mostly motor) into a SE F3 wind. In the distance I could see a red boat that looked like "Menkar" bound for Paraty. I called on the VHF but there was no reply.

This persisted until after Punta Juatinga was rounded at 18:40 when, with the open sea ahead and in company with a small fleet of fishing boats, Ilha Grande fell astern. The wind died away then slowly backed to the NE and increased to F3. I shut down the engine at 20:30 and continued under sail at a modest 2-3 knots. It was a very clear night lit by an almost full moon.

Day 2 - Sunday 7th December 2008

During the early hours large searchlights were visible on the horizon to seaward, I suspect from a cruise ship. There were quite a few fishing boats and some commercial traffic. The wind stayed at NE 2-4 fine on the port quarter. On this point of sail we proceeded under full main sheeted out on a preventer.

The forecast was for E-NE 10-12 knots.

It was fairly accurate. Throughout the day the wind varied between ENE and NE F2-4. During the morning it was between 5 and 7 knots, increasing too 12knots during the afternoon
Noon Run 61.8 miles. Av Speed 2.77 kn.

A bit more E in the wind during the afternoon meant the Yankee could be deployed. Around 19:00 the wind increased to 17 kn giving a boat speed of 5-6 kn with one reef in the main.

It was good sailing and the day closed with a bright red sunset.

Day 3 - Monday 8th December 2008

Overnight the wind backed to NE 4 and the Yankee was furled.

Throughout the day the wind continued at NE F2-4, more or less as forecast.

A southbound warship passed on the horizon to seaward at 06:00 and a bit later I was able to pole out the Yankee and run more or less goose winged with the main. A helicopter passed overhead during the afternoon.

The wind generator was not quite keeping up with consumption so I ran the engine for a couple of hours.

There was some commercial traffic to and from Santos and at night I slept in 20 minute spells. Waking to the alarm then going on deck to check for traffic and attend to the sails if necessary.

Noon Run 83.72 miles Av Speed 3.49 kn.

Day 4 - Tuesday 9th December 2008

Some fishing boats and commercial traffic passed during the night.

In the morning a rig tender proceeding shoreward passed quite close.

It was another good days sailing with a forecast of light NE winds.

Noon Run 93.4 miles. Av Speed 3.89 kn. This was very close to my planning speed of 4 knots. There is something wrong with the log as it is only registering about 25% of the distance covered.

I was surprised at the electricity consumption and had to run the engine again. Around 13:00 we sailed through a thin band of what looked like brown algae.

At 16:00 the wind had increased to F6 and was gusting to 30 kn. I furled the Yankee halfway and left the main fully up. Probably a tad too much sail but Kiriwina was romping along nicely with rough seas and a moderate swell. The Aries, Dame Kiri, steered impeccably in the conditions.

The chart showed a series of large oilfield/gasfield buoys but I did not se them despite being within a mile of the charted position.

This was a sleigh ride albeit with some heavy rolling. Kiriwina was romping along at speeds approaching 6 knots.

Some commercial traffic passed in the distance and at 20:00 Sao Franciso do Sul was 130 miles abeam to starboard.

After 21:00 the wind eased to 20 knots and the motion became easier.

Day 5 - Wednesday 10th December 2008

The wind stayed more or less N-NE F4 easing and backing to NW during the afternoon.

Again, the forecast was pretty close to the mark.

Noon Run: 112.9 miles Av speed 4.70 knots.

Another hour of battery charging was necessary. This was surprising given the higher wind speeds over the past 24 hours. Around 18:00 the wind backed to SW3. This was not in the pre departure forecasts. According to the pilot book Northerlys followed by the wind backing to the SW herald the arrival of a Pampero SW gale. I hope not! They can be quite vicious.

Assuming the worse I reduced sail to the staysail and 3 reefs in the man. There was still only 6 knots of wind. It looks as though we have cleared the shipping lanes. I didn't see anything today.

Day 6 - Thursday 11th December 2008

Around 03:00 the wind backed to SSE and increased to 14 knots.

This was not forecast and at 08:00 a long line of ominous looking cloud passed overhead.

After it passed the sky cleared and the wind increased to 20-25 knots.

Noon Run: 70.80 miles Av speed 3.73 knots. Florianapolis was 72 miles abeam to starboard.

This was different sailing altogether, beating into a south easterly with rough seas and a big swell. Again, no ships were sighted all day.

Day 7 - Friday 12th December 2008

Day 8 - Saturday 13th December 2008

Day 9 - Sunday 14th December 2008

Day 10 - Monday 15th December 2008

Day 11 - Tuesday 16th December 2008

Day 12 - Wednesday 17th December 2008

Day 13 - Thursday 18th December 2008

Weatherbound - Paraty

It looks as though the weather should improve and Saturday so I penciled in an afternoon departure for Saturday.

This morning I weighed anchor and went over to Porto Imperial to top up with fuel and water. Unfortunately they were all out of diesel so I went and anchored off Paraty jetty.

Coming back from a run ashore I noticed a junk rigged Vertue 25 "Speedtest Hong Kong" anchored nearby. Her South African skipper, Shirley, came over for chat. She is single handing and also bound for Buenos Aires.

I had last seen this boat in Salvador back in April.

Bad Weather - Paraty

So far the forecasts have been pretty accurate, both the official Brazilian marine forecast and the German site Windfinder.

Apart from some very rough sea warnings issued yesterday today's forecast was W-SW F4-5, gusting F6-7. Usually this anchorage is sheltered from prevailing winds but today we had strong winds up to 30kn from the SW.

A french boat was anchored about 150m from me and the skipper was ashore. Around 14:30 with the wind gusting to 30kn I went on deck to check my anchor cable. The french boat was clearly in the wrong position having dragged to within 10-15 metres of a rocky shore to leeward.

The blue boat has dragged 4-500 metres and come to rest just off some rocks.

There was a brazilian boat quite close. When the skipper went over to check there was not a lot he could do with a locked boat.

Fortunately the blue boat skipper returned in his dinghy...

...and was able to hoist his anchor and motor clear.

Fortunately she was shallow draft and of steel or aluminium construction so no harm was done. What surprised me was how quickly she moved towards the shore once her anchor started to drag.

Meantime I just sit here and wait for suitable weather. Looks like I might be able to leave on friday or saturday.


Still in Paraty

I took the dinghy over to Paraty this morning to top up on stores.

When the time came too return the bay had become quite choppy in an ENE wind. By evening this had veered to the SW bringing very heavy rain. At least I could again top up the fresh water.

Last week I pencilled today in as departure day. No chance. Events have intervened!

This is the weather system (source: that is holding me up and which looks like persisting until the weekend. Being at sea in this would not be fun.

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