Brazil on our mind
So our plans have changed a bit since we last spoke about the routes and plans of this journey. Much have happened during this year and almost a half that we've spent in the Caribbean. We felt the need to change boat to something bigger and faster, we found a new boat, sold the old one and tried to acclimatize as well as possible to this new change that occassionaly brought some discomfort, stress and unbalance at its parts but except for that, we have survived well thus far. When we planned for this circumnavigation in the comfort of our, at that time, home and boat - onboard our ex-boat Caos, our main goal was to get out into the South Pacific. We thought that to get away, as far as humanly possible from our everyday life would make us happier and the image we've always had of cruising in the serene, picture perfect waters of the South Pacific called our name more than anything else in the world. After this year and a half in the Caribbean, we've kind of have changed our mind. Yes it will still be amazing the day when we get there, whenever that happens, but as we have came to the simple conclusion that it is not to sail around the world that is the main focus any longer, but to simply take it easy and to enjoy the best of the world, we've decided to go to the places, first, that we would miss if we were to rally around the world on the typical route of a circumnavigator.
To sail straight South from the Caribbean to Brazil isn't normally the most adviced way to get there, particularly not this season (best would be between October and March), as one most probably will have to beat into the strong NW setting Guyana currents. An option, which most people do when they decide to get to Brazil from the West Indies, is to cross back to Europe, to the Azores or the Canaries and from there cross the Atlantic ocean again, to get to Brazil in a smoother manner. This would of course make the distance much longer, but at least you'd always have the favorable winds and currents on your back instead of the opposite. If we would have still sailed with Caos, we would probably never think about this route, but as our new boat is a racier one and goes well into the wind, we've decided to give it a try.
The many books and websites we've read on the subject suggests that one should departure from Trinidad and hold close to the South American coast to avoid most of the strong currents, but as that for sure will be a very slow and uncomfortable (motor)sail, we've instead decided to leave from Barbados on a day where the winds are more NE than E and try to make our way as far E-SE as possible to begin with. We will then try to stay as far offshore as we can to avoid the Guyana current and then alter to a S direction once we're cleared of the proximity to Suriname where there has been a few piracy attacks reported these past years. Our aim is to reach as close to the border of French Guiana and Brazil and thereafter follow the coastline.
We're very content with and super excited about the choice that we are going to Brazil and the fact that we're going South instead of crossing the Atlantic once again. I will get back to you with more of our thoughts and plans for this journey shortly, until then; if any of you have ever done this trip, please feel free to share your experience with us.