Paradise Found—or Lost?

Leaving Grenada was tough, as we’d had such an enjoyable stay, and there was still plenty to see. But with family aboard, and the whole of the rest of the island chain to explore, we were on our way without a backward glance. One of the great things about the Caribbean is that there’s so [...]

Lights Out!

There’s nothing like a departure that has been long anticipated to get the adrenaline flowing. Add to the risks inherent with going to sea the possibility, however slim, of a possible attack and boarding by pirates, and you’ll be wide-awake, I can assure you. As indeed we were as we set off on our first [...]

Life In The Bus Lane*

In the past I met many people who expressed amazement and envy for my then way of life: skippering yachts on wildlife research projects. And for the most part they were right, it was an enviable way of life. And although the pay was awful and the hours endless, the rewards were colossal, not least in [...]

Brazil As A Cruising Destination

Chapter 15 of 15 in the Online Book A Transatlantic On "Pèlerin"

Colin finishes off his online book about a Trans-Atlantic via a route less traveled with a clear eyed analysis of the benefits and challenges of cruising Brazil. Not only will this chapter be of use to those with that country in their cruising plans, Colin also does a masterful job of discussing the issues that a voyager visiting any country with a very different language and culture from their own should consider.

Brazil’s Green Heart

Chapter 14 of 15 in the Online Book A Transatlantic On "Pèlerin"

Leaving Rio wasn’t difficult for us. After just a few days in the city we were longing for the peace and quiet of rural Brazil once more, far from the noise and security concerns of the big city. Besides, we had an overdue appointment to keep with one of the country’s great natural wonders, the [...]

The Stars May Be Out…

Chapter 13 of 15 in the Online Book A Transatlantic On "Pèlerin"

Land people sometimes ask what we cruisers do out there in the dark in the middle of the ocean. You don't keep going all night, do you? Yes, we keep sailing. Don’t you just go to bed? No, we have to keep a watch out at all times. What for—surely there’s nothing out there? Well not a [...]

Islands On The Edge

Chapter 12 of 15 in the Online Book A Transatlantic On "Pèlerin"

We’re often asked whether we make much use of our lifting keel and rudder, and the answer is always an unequivocal "Yes"! Having real shoal draft capability (0.8m with board and rudder up) is a huge plus, not just for exploring rivers and creeks but also sheltered bays and islands, and we take full advantage [...]

The Changing Face of Brazil

Chapter 11 of 15 in the Online Book A Transatlantic On "Pèlerin"

Like many of you, we’re lovers of islands, especially if they’re small and peaceful. Since our arrival in Brazil, we’ve visited a few, but mainly ones that have been sizeable and busy like Itaparica. So as soon we arrived in the lovely Baia de Camamu, we were scanning the chart for the right sort of [...]

The New Brazil—And the Old

Chapter 10 of 15 in the Online Book A Transatlantic On "Pèlerin"

Our decision to make Salvador our landfall in Brazil was due to a mix of the prosaic and the profound. In practical terms, it’s an easy port to enter, it is strategically well placed for arrivals at this time of year bound further south, and once you’re rested up after the Atlantic, the winds and [...]

There are Many Ways to Celebrate Christmas

Chapter 9 of 15 in the Online Book A Transatlantic On "Pèlerin"

There are many ways to celebrate Christmas, but peering at a radar screen isn't one that instantly springs to mind. Nevertheless that’s what I found myself doing as I explained to Lou why we were currently sailing northeast back to Dakar, as she came to take over the watch. Out in the inky night a squall was [...]

When the Flag Drops…

Chapter 8 of 15 in the Online Book A Transatlantic On "Pèlerin"

There comes a final moment, when all of the food, fuel and water is aboard, the boat is ready to go and the goodbyes have been said. All the planning, scrutiny of the weather and last minute checks have been carried out, and there’s no excuse to linger a second longer. It’s a delicious, calm, [...]

The First Thing To Go Is Always The Plan

Chapter 7 of 15 in the Online Book A Transatlantic On "Pèlerin"

A stop over in Mindelo hadn't been on our original route, but then, as we all know, the first thing to go in ocean cruising is the plan. We had intended to meet our friend and new crew member Ronnie on the island of Sal, before heading for the southern islands of the Cape Verde group such [...]

“Pèlerin” Crosses The Equator

Chapter 6 of 15 in the Online Book A Transatlantic On "Pèlerin"

We just got an email from Colin, AAC European Correspondent, Louise and crew Ronnie, who are at sea bound toward Brazil from the Cape Verde Islands. Just a quick note to say that we crossed the equator last night at around 1900 UTC at around 28W after a fairly interesting joust with the ITCZ. All well, hard [...]

Landfall Cape Verde Islands

Chapter 5 of 15 in the Online Book A Transatlantic On "Pèlerin"

In case you hadn’t noticed, we hate night entries, especially to new ports. Fishing gear all over the place, the shoreline ablaze with light, fatigue and stress; what’s to look forward to? And in the developing world add to that a heady brew of pirogues, unlit or missing navigational aids, unmarked wrecks and so on. [...]

Landfall in Africa

Chapter 4 of 15 in the Online Book A Transatlantic On "Pèlerin"

Landfalls never cease to make our adrenaline flow. Whether it’s the anticipation of a new country, or in this case, continent, there’s a delicious sense of reward, of simple achievement in having made our own way there. There’s also a frisson of nerves, as you move from the vast and largely empty ocean back into [...]

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