Blog entries written by Chris Bates moved from CIC

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Group: Administrators
Posts: 748, Visits: 86
Blog entries written by Chris Bates
Cruising areasAzores, Brazil, Canary Islands, Cape Verde Islands, Fernando de Noronha
Originated byGeorge Curtis

Going North
(Tuesday, 19 July 2011)
The voyage north continued to be difficult with stron squalls and calms.Untill Bahia the current was strong and mostly against us.We countered this by staying inshore.In this the accuracy of the Navionics e charts anf the forward looking sounder certainly helped us.

We made calls at Salvador and Natal.North of Salvador the current became favourable at last.Our final port was Fortaleza where we tied up in the very delapidated marina at Hotel Park.The Brasilian Navy were there to hand over ships to Namibia so some pontoon spaces were 'done up ' for the occasion.

The passage from here to tobago was long and arduous without the strong favourable current expected and with heavy squalls.I chose a very offshore route to find wind and we were able to sail all of the way. We avoided the many small fishing boats inshore and did not se Amazon debris. We did encounter huge ares of seaweed which prevented effective use of the water generator. To add to this thePAGURU genset failed yet again and we were limited for power and water.we arrived at Scarbourough after a passage of 13 days and rested here before sailing to Trinidad to be hauled out at Peakes in Chagaouras

Following the Liberdade
(Thursday, 07 April 2011)
We left Ilha Grande 123 years after Slocums visit and began the journey north.The weather was less settled with some pretty violent thunder storms but precious little wind at first.Calling again in Rio we enjoyed carnival on the Rio Branco .Leaving Rio we encountered strong headwinds[which we can deal with] but also 1-2 knt adverse current which we found difficult.Initially this caused us to turn back and shelter under the heads at Rio but next day we set on a beat to Cabo Frio where we anchored in the bay inside the cape for 2 days of shelter and bottom cleaning.Onward to Buzios for more r&c and then the windward passage around Cabo Tome where the current was at its worst.Like Slocum we were pleased to get into the shallow water and out of the current[He didn 't have gps through.Thence after a night at anchor deep inshore on to to Vitoria where we provision and prepare for the next leg north to Bahia calling at Abrolhos islands[alas too early for the whales encountered by Slocum
Ilha Grande
(Thursday, 10 March 2011)
Spent the past 6 weeks exploring this magnificent cruising area. Very hot- upto 40 degrees.This caused some dramatic evening thunder and lightening.Paraty beautiful town and the hill behind have welcome waterfalls.isolated anchorages although not the backwater expected and lots of big powerboats in a;; the bays.Now back in Rio for Carnival and finally exploring the city-last time spent form filling

Rio De Janeiro
(Thursday, 27 January 2011)
Moored at Club Naval Charitas. This is a friendly, comfoertable club with all facilities.First question was 'How can we help you?. Fix my generator? and they have.Down side is again the form filling but then the brasiloians are charming and generous people.Rio is exciting with no sign of the violoence sometimes reported.We saw alot of Rio yesterday as we walked for miles mbetween offices.

We did find out from mboth customs and immigration that if we leave Brasil and return next day we can get a new visa.Visit to immigration is necesary on arrival and departure from any state

Bahia means Salvador.Sailing south was easy and fast.Very hot and very warm seas.Arrival in Salvador just before Christmas is not recommended since the French Rallye du Solliel is in town and they have all the berths at the centre nautico for the nnext 4 weeks. So forget Salvador except that Bahia seems to be operating a different system from the rest of Brasil which means checking in with fed police and capitanerie and checking out with both .This is whilst boat is at anchor a considerable distance from the marina.Still less chance of geting mugged.

Itraprica was lovelly with nice marina.The Bay of Saintes great but we are here 10 years too late.The islands are private and you can 't always land.They now have light pollution.

Morro Sao Paulo and Baaia de Camaru very similar. Tourist resorts with the dug out canoe clinging on in nthe wake of the tourist schooners and speedboats.

Vitoria is undeniably first world and attarctive because of this.ICES the iate clube is very friendly comfortable and helpful. That where we are now.Tomorrow onwards ro Rio

(Thursday, 16 December 2010) Written by
The passage to Ria Paraiba was a leisurely one since the winds sere light and we wished to enter the river in daylight.Again navionics charts proved to be precise and the approaches were well buoyed.A chinese dredger was working in the entrance.

We tied stern to the pontoon at Jacare marina village. This is french run and comes with a small club house showers/loos/wifi and a small bar.A friendly place to get the feel for Brasil.

An early visit to an enormouse Carefour hypermarket at nearby Joao Pessoa was an enormouse treat after the weeks of little at sea and in the Cape Verdes.We also explored the neighbouring countryside in a coachtrip organised by the marina.A difficult place to leave we need to make sail this weekend to be in Salvador by Christmas

fernado da noronha
(Saturday, 11 December 2010)
beautiful island. very expensive but worth it. anchorage exposed to swell.. we anchored well in front of dive boats outside od harbour wall. this seems best place
(Saturday, 11 December 2010)
We crossed to Fernando do Noronha in 9 days 16 hrs with no use of engine. Perhaps we were lucky but I spent alot of time researching this one. I took an easterly route staying on the wind and gradually giving up easting as time went by. Fast passage.
cabo verdes
(Saturday, 11 December 2010)
We spent a month in Mindelo. Too long I think..The visy to Sao Antoa was superb. We left havcing logged out bwith immigrationand sailed via San Pedro to Santa Luzia and Sao Nicholau to Brava.. Here we spent 2 glorious days at anchor at Baio das Ferrerias.This anchorage is protected from the prevailing wind and is totally sheltered. absolutely delightful.. Cabo Verde is agood cruising area with good anchorages but be well provisioned.
Porto Grande do Mindelo
(Wednesday, 03 November 2010)
The passage from La Gomera took exactly 6 days and was a gentle downwind sail under spinaker and main or poled out genoa.Finally met the flying fish as we approached Cabo Verde.Delayed approach untill daylight because of lack of lights.Reieved when navionics charts proved spot on.

Porto Grande an impressive natural harbour with much history and very protected from the prevailing n/easterlies.Checked into the new marina .It was saturday morning and customs not interested untill monday.

Mindelo has an impressive waterfront.Supermarkets are fairly well stocked and cash is available at atms[visa].The town feels safe and the marina has excellent security. We will spend a month here before leaving to sail through the isaland chain clearing out from Santiago

We experienced our first acceloration zone just off Puerto de Vueltas-enough said.Minutes and all was calm and we anchored under the cliffs in this very germanic resort.Most spectacular cliffs but somewhat spoilt by the new building. We anchored here for two nights and at Cala Negrita and Calacabrita.In very calm weather both anchorages were very roly.Finally arrived San Sebastion and logged into marina.Intend to stay here a little while before continueing south in October

La Palma
(Saturday, 21 August 2010)
The passage to La Palma was complicated initially by stronger than expected headwinds which caused us to spend another night hoveto mainly for the rest before the trades settled in and we then had asmooth fast passage to Santa Cruz.

The marina is almost empty,very clean and alot seems to have been done to combat the swell problem. Infact we had anortheasterly to 30kn and apart from the inevitable rolling to nthe wind no swell.

Town and Island superb.Good shopping and plenty of free entertainment. Car hire well nworthwhile

Santa Maria
(Sunday, 01 August 2010)
It took 40 hours to sail here from Horta mainly because of no wind/strong headwind/adverse current.In the end arrived 0230 am.Approach to Vila da Porto confusing because of the many lights on the adjacent airfield so anchored off the beach at Priaa.This was sheltered in the N/Ewind but slightly rolly.

Daylight approach straightforward to new harbour with plenty of room to get in and manouvre to the 14m pontoons.Marina staff helpful and all forms filled in at he office in a few minutes.

Marina now functioning well. facilities clean.dockage for travel hoist but no hoist as yet

island delightful with good shopping/walking etc.

Onwards to Madeira later in the week

(Friday, 23 July 2010)
Hot and steamy.Good berth in south basin infront of peters cafe.long walk to goes on regarding new break water.little change since last visit. Mays do offer rigging service upto 14mm and not as suggested in Ponta Delgarda. Fuel here has 20cent /litre surcharge compared with Angra/Ponta.Also gaz refill still half the price of UK[11eu -3kg but that is still a 5eu markup over Galp filling station in Angra
Sao Jorge
(Tuesday, 20 July 2010)
Last time I was here we anchored but did not land because of swell so it wa sgreat to find Velas marina fully operational.The toilet block and offices had finally opened last week .Approach to the marina is straight forward. work continues on the fishermans harbour with a large crane laying a new wall .The orange buoys mentions in the pilot are still present.Harbour master is exceedingly helpful but doesnot answer his vhf[10 and 16].

The town seems alittle depressed with not many shops and only one supermarket which seems overstocked with major items [washing machines etc]but what fresh food there was appeared old and shrivelled.The fresh fish seen monday evening seems still to be there tuesday evening..

Velas is very quiet at all times but especially at night .that is with the exeption of nthe shearwaters who burst into activety at 2000hrs exactly.there are not may young people about.

The island is a delight. often from the sea it appears gloomy and grey in a curtain of cloud but we have been lucky to see it in brilliant sunshine.An island of hydrangea hedges covered in wild flowers with small herds of contented cows.

Talking of cows the cheese is fantastic

more azores
(Tuesday, 06 July 2010)
i spent 16 days in angra.the festival was great although no fireworks this year due vto was nice meetin dick and pam moore[aleysha]who were breaking there passage before returning to the uk at the end of their circumnavigation.

angra marina staff were as helful and welcoming as ever and remembered me from previous visits.english is now the second language on the island and is taught in the schools and hence is much more widely spoken than 5 years ago.

i have now returned to ponta where thomas at boat and sail is replacing the backstays[i noticed a broken strand whilst on the passge to the azores.we are lucky to have thomas here since i think he is the only one in the island with the equipment to do the job. tonight the mast is supported by halyards

the new showers in the marina are now functioning with hot water. the entrance is through a separate door from the marina showers/ loos .the pop concerts are not every night and are quite good so nnot causing a problem with sleep.

here untill the weekend when penny arrives

(Sunday, 13 June 2010)
arrived ponta delgarda after exactly 11 day passage from milford haven. wind mainly southwesterly but with good nortly as azores closed.decision to take a more southerly route paid off as we missed the worse of a deep atlantic low tracking northwest in mid passage. new marina good with loos etc now fixed and most things working.staff very helpful.planning to move to angra do heroismo in next few days for festival
tomorrow we go
(Sunday, 30 May 2010)
The past 2 months have passed very quickly. tomorrow we lock out of Milford Haven marina at 19 16 hrs and begin the rest of our lives. First leg to Ponta Delgarda and Salvador by Christmas.Boat finally ready this evening and all systems working. Forcast not bad for a direct route
(Thursday, 29 April 2010)
just month to go aford haven on the first and we leave milford haven for san miguel[azores] on the first leg of a passage that will take us to southern brazil in early 2011.months of planning are coming to fruition but still waiting for the electrics to be completed which is frustrating.

we call the voyage sailaway challenge since we will be raising money for local charities paul sartori foundation and shallom along the way.both charities are involved in the care of the termially ill in pembrokeshire.a web site has been established and the first effort is a competition to guess the distance we have travelled at noon gmt october 9 2010 which is world hospice day.

season 2009
(Sunday, 22 November 2009)
nothing too ambitous this year.mainly cruising southwest uk and putting up with some not too good summer weather.mostly getting l esprit de la mer ready for the big off next year.quite a challenge and expensive at that with watermaker,genset,new electronics and radar.still alot to do.hope to leave for azores late may and then slowly via cape verde to brazil at end of year
season 2008
(Sunday, 11 January 2009)
2008 seemed to be blessed with some awfull weather.Penny and i managed a circuit of Biscay visiting france and northwest Spain to vivero. We encountered very unsettled and squally weather[june/july] .One memorable morning we left Santader after freeing a fouled anchor under motor for gijon only to run into 50 kn headwind and have retrace our route and finally find shelter under the end of the runway of Santander airport.Anchors were not holding in the ria and the entrance to the marina was untenable,This was fine untill the wind dropped in the evening and the aeroplanes started to come in.

We returned via brest fouling our rudder and as it turns out cracking the rudder stock on a heavy net in the Rade.The crossing form vivero was noticable for the thunderstorms and line squalls with gusting beam winds to 40k.

In late august early september we manged a short celtic sea triangle from Milfors visiting Eire and Scilly.

We spent a weekend at a quieter than usual SIBS and there started the refitting process in anticipation of circumnavigation beginning 2010.Watermaker and generator are now installed as is the luxury of aircon.

We have no fixed plans for 2009 as yet but may take the opportunity to finally cruise to the Scottish west coast before we head for warmer climes.

Best wishes toto all sailing friends and aquaintances for 2009

new season
(Friday, 21 March 2008)
easter is here and we are sheltering from the strong cold northerlies in milford haven marina. we lift esprit de la mer next week at the dale yard before starting our season in may.plans afoot are a slow cruise to galicia [june-mid july] and probably southern brittany august.we will be making the usual weekend passages to southern ireland and scilly in between.looking forward to meeting other members on our travels
sprit de la mer 2007
(Saturday, 27 October 2007)
passages this year includes isles of scilly [may] and southern brittany[august].in june /july penny and i again made passage from milford haven wales to the azores and back visiting horta angra and ponta. the outward passage to horta coicided with the azab race and took us just over eight a huisband wife cruising crew this compared well with the racers of azab.for those interedted the new oceam terminal/marina in ponta is well underway and should be completed for next season.

now making plans for next season but probably not azores again

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