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Saturday, April 21, 2012

April 21, 2012-Sailing to Sao Luis-Updated

wingssail images-fredrick roswold
Sailing to Luis Corriea

We left Fortaleza.

You always knew we would.

We’re not ready to stop.

And anyhow, even if we were, Fortaleza is not the place, the marina is poor.

So we headed up the coast.

First stop, Luis Correia.

We arrived after dark, no fault of our own. We tried to make it by sunset, but the winds let us down.

Then we made a discovery: the charts for Luis Correia lack detail and what there is…is wrong. So we went in after dark with bad charts. Never mind, we did it on visual, and some fishing boats left their lights on so we could find our way. Thanks Guys.

Luis Correia was nice. There is a breakwater and up the river, a town. We never made it to town, the breakwater was just fine: Calm, protected, and quiet. All we saw of the fishing boats were their cabin lights except for the one closest to where we anchored where, under the glare of his foredeck light, I saw one of the crew pouring buckets of water over his head. He looked lean and muscular and clean as the saltwater poured over his body. All the fishing boats were gone in the morning.

We stayed three nights.

Then we sailed to Sao Luis.

You know, Sao Luis is supposed to be a wonderful city. From what we could see, it looks like it. But there is no marina or harbor for sailboats and we couldn’t get into the channel where the yacht club is due to low tide; no water. Instead we anchored behind a nearby Island.

We’ll try again tomorrow.

San Luis is, however, a major port for Brazil and in the anchorage there are about 30 ore carriers waiting to export Brazil’s commodities; waiting for a load. Probably a load for China. Not right now. There is a lesson in the world economy for you: when China stops buying, the world waits.

But that all misses the point of the sailing: it was good, then bad, then good.

That’s what the doldrums brings, light variable winds, brief periods of nice breeze, and sudden storms. Not bad storms mind you, but enough to reduce sail and go slow while you get drenched.

Yeah, we were in the doldrums. Finally I decided to keep the sails up and steer through it and in that way the sudden storms gave us sudden bursts of speed. Wet but fast.

wingssail images-fredrick roswold
Waiting to Load

wingssail images-fredrick roswold
Sao Luis

We arrived in Sao Luis speeding in through one of those blinding rainstorms with the automatic transponders of 30 empty ore carriers shouting at us. I turned off the AIS.

Now, we don’t know if we’ll get into the yacht club basin tomorrow or be back here behind this island. Either way, we’ll be getting ready for the next leg, further up the coast, and surely onward to some other new adventures.

We’ll let you know.

Update: Wait until you get the next post, you won't believe it!

Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Sao Luis, Brazil.

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