We slowly go up north looking for better winds by Renee
Photo by Pierre Fromentin
We left Boca Chica for the second time. We loaded rum barrels and fermented cacao beans, almost filling up the whole cargo hold.
The town that is the closest to our harbor is Andres. The street view is interesting to see. Makes one wonder how life was here before speaker boxes made their introduction. Cars use them to sell their pineapples, coconuts, ice creams or whatever more. Loud music is coming out of shops.
The Lord still has a lot of followers here. His name often shows up in phrases written down on walls or cars. The churches are full when there is a service.
Beautiful installations connected to mopeds press the juice out of the sugarcane on the spot. You could rent a washing machine to do your laundry and they would bring it to you on the back of their moped. The garbage system makes the streets full of garbage. Mountains are piled up especially on places marked with 'no basura' which means 'no garbage'. In this climate, this can produce great smells.
Getting away from this place with the Tres Hombres is only possible in the morning and the evening when the wind is in our favor for leaving without a tug. On Tuesday, May 14th, we have finally finished the formalities and are allowed to leave. Our dingy pushes us out, we set sails...and turn back into port. Too late--the wind has already changed. After some free-floating in the harbor, we ask a tug to pull us out.
After tacking our way east we finally make it through the Mona passage on Saturday. We tape off all the equipment in the chart-room and continue on dead reckoning.
By throwing bottles in the water with a rope on it and timing when the rope pulls tight or by throwing wood chips or fruit peels in the ocean from the bow and timing when they pass in the aft, we measure our speed. For every hour we write down our average compass course and at the end of the watch, we calculate our dead reckoning position. With the sextant, we can now correct our dead reckoning and see where we are. Keeps us awake during the night. Weather conditions are great for doing this. Calm sea and little wind. Not the best weather to bring us to the Azores. We are slow.
Last night suddenly a lot of wind came but not in the right direction. Then in the day, it was so calm. Perfect for a swim break. The ocean is so clear and blue and swimming with the bottom 5000 meters below you makes you feel pretty small.
Now we slowly go up north looking for better winds that bring us to the Azores.
Renee, Second Mate
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