Cupid’s arrow finds other targets!


Cupid in Gamboa, Brazil?

Having shamelessly pandered to my friends and fellow sailors expectations by ticking the box marked “Show evidence of  smiling bikini clad Brazilians visiting Eileen of Avoca”, and insinuated that my ability to lure young attractive sailing companions rivals the likes of greats such as Errol Flynn, I can now return from my flirtations with fiction and deal with more mundane subjects… Or perhaps not! 😉


Get your free mud treatment in Gamboa. It's all the rage!

I’ve said my goodbyes to new found friends… (and the mud people of Gamboa), and started retracing my steps via Catu, Itaparica and Salvador.

I’m on my way back north to continue Eileen’s Brazilian adventure, though Trinidad is also firmly in our sights. Why Trinidad? Because Eileen needs to be lifted for a growing number of small repairs and Trinidad is reportedly boat-service friendly. But with nearly 2500 nautical miles to sail before I get there, it might take a while.


Sailing Eileen of Avoca in Brazil

Of more immediate concern is getting north of Recife and back to Jacare where the prevailing winds are southeasterly and the current turns favourable. I’m not looking forward to this next leg as I’ve already “been there and done that”, but I’ll try to make the trip more interesting by stopping at several isolated anchorages including ‘Praia Frances’ along the way.

So that’s the plan!

For sailors who wish to visit Morro de Sao Paulo and Gamboa I highly recommend anchoring opposite the small yacht club (not the same as the one mentioned in the guide books). Look for a couple of Hobie Cats lined up on the beach. There is always at least 2.5m on the outer buoys. Here is the position:

13’23.260S 038’55.933W

And for getting through the sandbanks to Cacha Prego or Catu, I can confirm that the following way-points will give you at least 3m at high tide:

  1. 13’10.559S 038’47.265W
  2. 13’09.890S 038’47.070W
  3. 13’09.769S 038’47.226W
  4. 13’08.384S 038’47.746W
  5. 13’07.856S 038’47.730W
  6. 13’07.182S 038’47.901W
  7. 13’06.806S 038’47.902W

Happy sailing!

Sailing from Crete

English Sailor

English Sailor

In the Cretan heat I didn’t come across any mad dogs, but I did meet this simpatico Englishman (pictured right). As we were to sail in the same general direction it was decided to form a flotilla of two, at least as far as Chalki.

Leaving A.Nikolaos early (7:30 is early for me!), we hugged the Mirabello Bay coast making our way North in light variable winds. As the Aeolian Energy Park on Ak. Ioannis came abeam, gusts from the NW had Eileen of Avoca almost keeled over, even with two reefs. Mind you, my flotilla companions’ Westerly seemed similarly affected, bobbing about in the surprisingly agitated seas.

After two hours of the boating equivalent of “lets play hobby horse”, I set a course of 58 degrees and settled in to some steady tiller-pilot controlled sailing. By sunset Eileen approached the uninhabited island of Astakida. Vrak. Ounianisia had already been passed and was barely visible on the horizon as two conical peaks to the NW.

GPS track from Crete to Kos

GPS track from Crete to Kos

Shortly after sunset, and despite a brilliant moon, Astakida just two miles distant, vanished from view.

The night sailing, though sultry, proved uneventful… until… two massive whales surfaced in a cascade of spume and wash, straddling Eileen…

nah… just kidding…