Monday, April 09, 2012

Blown Jib on Mila after the storm
Belem on the River Para
Adriane Space Centre
in Kourou
French Guiana

Saturday, April 07, 2012


A lot has happened since my last post. I launched Mila on the 20th December 2011 in Trinidad and sailed to Scotland Bay to prepare Mila for the trip South. Yanke my 4th granddaughter was born on the 21/12/2011 .
I left Scotland Bay early on the 22nd and rounded Trinidad at 16h00. Motored due West and had bad weather. Squalls came from all directions and I had one with 45knts of wind. Motored for three days and eventually started sailing and setting a course for rounding the horn of Brazil
This was not to be. During the night of the 26th a squall came and in huge seas I slipped in the boat and hurt my knee. It was so bad that I had to crawl around in the boat. Eventually I phoned my son on the sat phone and told him about the accident and decided to sail for Ile du Salut on the French Guiana coast.
All the time the weather was lousy, the wind on the nose and the current of 4 knots agains me.
I anchored at Ile du Salut but after a rolly night decided the next morning to sail for De Grad de Cann.
Anchored in the river at De Grad and went to have an Xray taken of my knee. I tore a ligament and got some pain killers. Chilled out in the river for a week and then set sail for Kourou to wait for my son to help me sail Mila to Fortaleza.
Hennie arrived after 21 days and we left Kourou for  Fortaleza.
Again we had bad weather and after a big blow during the night we found the head sail in pieces.
Our only option was to change our course and sail for Belem.
This stretch of our trip was a nightmare with only the stay sail to drive the boat. The current of 4 knots was against us all the way and at times our speed was 1knt on the GPS.
Eventually we arrived at Belem. Belem is situated in the River Para which is part of the Amazon River. The River Para is muddy and very big. The mouth of the river is 40 miles wide. The tide difference is four meters, so you can imagine the current, at times 6 knts.
The City is big and approx. 80 miles upstream. Here we waited for David Schutte and C J Vlok to join the boat and Hennie and I left for Sao Paolo on our way to Cape Town. Took a flight with Turkish Airline to Cape Town via Istanbul. I have traveled over the years on many airlines but can recomenned Turkish Airlines to anybody. We were back in Cape Town Feb the 17th..
David and CJ and Milo the boat cat sailed to Fortaleza.
We decided to get a new sail made in Cape Town and get it by air to Fortaleza.
Again a nightmare. The sail was made and delivered to the freight agent who sent the sail to Fortaleza. This was done 3 weeks ago. As of today the sail is still at the airport and the clearing agent there is busy clearing the sail. The clearing charges amounts to more than the freight charges from Cape Town to Fortaleza. The Marina Park Hotel has pushed the price up to 1US dollar per foot per day. It used to be 20cent per ft.
Hopefully they will get the sail and start on the trip to Cape Town within the next few days
Till later