Sailing north to Fortaleza

Squall at sea off Recife, Brazil

A week at sea battling contrary winds to return to Cabedelo, ten days to recover and another three days on the water before reaching Marina Park, Fortaleza.

Not that there was much recovering going on in Jacare! The place was infested with sand flies (no-seeums, gnats or what ever else you want to call them). All boats were affected, including those at anchor, despite mosquito netting (they are small enough to get through the mesh). After several nights of playing host to the creepy crawlies, no sailor was feeling particularly rested.

For entertainment, we’d compare ‘war wounds’ each morning and complain about the incessant rain! For me, one visit to Jacare is more than enough, and if it had not been for the excellent company of fellow yachtsmen, I’d have left almost immediately.

Just hop on the bus Gus....

Suggestion for sailors visiting northern Brazil via Fernando de Noronha: Head directly for Salvador so you only have to contend with ‘bad sax’ and this part of the coast once.

Making bread in a pressure cooker

I’d wanted to stop at various small ports along the way, but few are safe to enter in anything other than perfect conditions.

Besides, it’s taken me three days to regain my “sea legs” and I’m not going through that process again any time soon if I can help it.

I’ll busy myself making fresh bread instead…

It’s been the usual uneventful solitary affair at sea. Cruising 20 to 30 miles offshore, Brazil is out of sight. The only reminder that I’m not too far from civilization is the reflection of city lights upon an ever present band of cloud to the west.

I’ve been feeling somewhat melancholy since leaving Salvador and I’m not particularly sure why this is. Am I suffering from the anticlimax to “great expectations”? Perhaps… It could also be that watching the cricket all day isn’t my thing…

Watching the cricket Brazillian style...

It’s true that no crowd of teary eyed maidens came to wave goodbye upon my departure but my expectations weren’t that great! Three or four would have been enough. 😉

Fantasies aside, I happily (forcibly) settled for the maiden-less cacophony of ships horns sounding from my marina neighbors as I made way in Eileen. It was a fabulous substitute send off guys… Thanks!

No, I suspect that freedom itself breeds melancholy. With no social ties or responsibilities and nothing but the vague objective of sailing westward in mind, it’s easy to feel emotionally adrift, oscillating between euphoria and a mild despondence.

As long as the oscillations don’t increase in amplitude or frequency I should be fine, but if ever you come across someone who laughs and cries in the same sentence, it’s a sure bet he’s done too much single-handed sailing!

I’ve no idea what the long term psychological effects of DIY bathroom renovations or mowing lawns on weekends is but it frightens me, so for now I’ll stick with the potential hardships of sailing while emotionally adrift… 🙂

Regards from Fortaleza!