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Transatlantic On “Pèlerin”

The story of a different and much more interesting transatlantic than the classic milk run from the Canaries to Barbados. Colin takes us along as he and Louise visit Senegal, the Cape Verdes, and on for the long hop to Brazil in their Ovni 435, Pèlerin.

Not only do we learn about these fascinating off-the-beaten-path cruising destinations, but Colin also shares valuable voyage planning and execution information, including how to transit the tricky Intertropical Convergence Zone.

And all of this is delivered in Colin’s lyrical travel-writing style that will sweep you away to these exotic places.

Table of Contents:

Africa At Last!

Colin and Louise start their voyage with a passage from Spain to Morocco.

We Can Cope With This

Colin and Louise really enjoyed Morocco, and found it hard to leave, but the anticipation of a new landfall in the Canaries made the break less painful.

Sometimes It Seemed Like it Might Never Happen

After a winter in the Canaries, it’s time to head for Dakar, Senegal, about a week away. The forecast is looking good, “Pèlerin” is loaded to the gunwales with food, fuel and water, and all systems seem to be behaving.

Landfall in Africa

Colin and Lou find a warm welcome at Dakar. But where are all the other yachts that used to visit?

Landfall Cape Verde Islands

Colin uses their trip from Dakar to the Cape Verdes as a good example of how to plan and execute a safe and enjoyable passage.

The First Thing To Go Is Always The Plan

When cruising, flexibility is a must, and Colin shares how a problem with the engine on Pèlerin led to a change in their planned landfall at the Cape Verdes, which led to a wonderful stop at Marina Mindelo.

When the Flag Drops…

Before every ocean passage, 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 time to go.

The New Brazil—And the Old

After experiencing the new Brazil—the city of Santiago—Colin and Lou head out to find the old Brazil—up the slower, quieter Rio Paraguacu.

The Changing Face of Brazil

The Baia de Camamu still offers quiet anchorages in beautiful surroundings. But the number of pleasure boats has increased incrementally in recent years. Will Brazil find a way to ensure all can enjoy and benefit from the popularity of the Baia without losing its essential magic?

Islands On The Edge

Pelerin’s shoal draft comes in very handy when Colin and Lou visit the National Park of the Arqipélago dos Abrolhos—a remote island archipelago and one of those places where you feel about as safe as the mouse that dwelt in the cat’s ear (Bill Tilman).

The Stars May Be Out…

Sometimes cruising in foreign lands in a foreign language can be exhausting and overwhelming. That’s when the kindness of strangers can make all the difference. Colin describes just such an experience during their approach to Rio de Janeiro.

Brazil’s Green Heart

After a few days in Rio, Colin and Lou are ready for peace and quiet, which they seek in Mata Atlantica, a little known natural area of rainforests and savannahs that runs from Brazil down to Argentina, followed by a visit to the charming old city of Paraty.

Brazil As A Cruising Destination

Colin provides a clear-eyed analysis of the benefits and challenges of cruising Brazil. Not only is this chapter of use to those with that country in their cruising plans, Colin 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.

What Worked and What Didn’t

There’s nothing like a good long voyage to sort out a boat, for better or for worse, and after 3700 ocean miles between the Canaries, Senegal, Cape Verde and Brazil, Colin reports on what worked and what didn’t.