Welcome to the blog of the sailing yacht Sea Bunny.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Passage Brazil - Tobago

The passage posts we managed to send to an incorrect address - so here is a synopsis.

On the 4th day out from Jacaré ( 31 July), still in good down wind conditions, Sea Bunny crossed the Equator for the 4th time (with us) at 0013 ship's time (0313 UTC) at latitude 43 24.228 W. Celebrations were of the fruit juice type.

Mostly we were making good speed with 200 nm days over the ground courtesy of 2-3 kn of favourable current. Crossing the wide mouths of the Amazon 300nm to port.

Then off the coast to Suriname the wind and current both eased off a bit but still making 7+ knots over the ground.

In the passage planning we had to include not passing Iles du Salut in French Guyana when there would be launch activity for the European Ariane space rockets. As there was enough wind to keep the sails drawing when we passed and we were well rested, Sea Bunny did not need to stop at the islands.

Soon after we entered the  ITCZ (Intertropical Convergence Zone - used to be called the Doldurms), so the Iron Topsail had to come on. There was enough fuel to keep her going until Tobago where we will stop for a week or so. We ran out of the strong Guiana current (2-3 knots in the right direction) and found an east-setting counter-current for about a day, slowing us down dramatically.

On the last evening the weather looked a bit unsettled although there was no rain showing on the radar. We put in a second reef as a precaution for the night. Half an hour later we were hit by a 45-knot squall with torrential rain.

We rounded the north of Tobago at first light and entered Man of War Bay, anchoring at 0750 local time on 8 August.. Unfortunately arrivals outside Customs' office hours 0800-1200 incur a charge, so the 10 minutes cost us USD 50 $5 a minute! We didn't get away with "about 8 o'clock"!