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Join us as we sail around the world - share our joy, experiences, trials and tribulations as we proceed.
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MAR
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Delicious Homemade Mango Atchar

MangoAtchar

Since arriving in Salvador, we have been cooking up a storm in the kitchen (or "galley" as referred to in yachting terms). Besides sampling the local Brazilain dishes, we have taking full advantage of the abundance of food and fruits available in this near tropical climate. We bought a large amount of various spices from a spice merchant and then mixed our own masala mix to be used in Indian style dishes. With this masala as our base material, we found some beautiful large mangoes and decided to make our our home made mango atchar. I have always enjoyed atchar with food - especially curries, chicken and other Indian dishes. What I do not like about the commercially made bottled atchar available in stores all over South Africa, was the chopped up and inedible mango stones within.

Here is the recipe and you should certainly try making it back home. It is easy to make and you will agree that it is the BEST mango atchar you have ever tasted!

Ingredients
2 Kg Mangoes - Very firm mangoes, peeled, stoned and cut into 2 cm chunks
7 ea Green chillies - finely chopped
100 grams Masala
50 grams Blanched nuts - Almonds, Cashew or Peanuts - chopped into 2 to 4 mm pieces
3 tbsp Chilli powder
2 tbsp White sugar
2 tbsp Salt
1 tsp Cumin powder
1 tsp Coriander powder
2 tsp Chopped Garlic
1/2 tsp Chopped Ginger
100 ml White vinegar
100 ml Sunflower oil
Directions
Heat up the oil, add all the spices, garlic and ginger.
Immediately lower the heat, stir all the time and fry for a minute or two - be careful not to burn the spices!
Add the vinegar and the sugar - stirring until dissolved.
Then add the remainder of the ingedients.
Cook until the mango flesh is softer but still firm (5 - 15 minutes)
Pour into clean, hot sterilised jars and seal.
Store in a cool, dark and dry place.
Place one bottle in the fridge and it is ready for eating from the very next day.
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MAR
10
2

Gearing up

We have been moored at Terminal Nautico Da Bahia in Salvador, Brazil for just over a month now attending to a range of issues such as repairs, breakages, medical (dentist) issues, stocking up, re-organizing and resting. The marina is kind of OK but certainly not idyllic in any sense - to the contrary, it is dirty, noisy and located in the old business district next to the commercial harbor. Despite these drawbacks it is without question the most central location to moor in Salvador with suppliers a short hop by taxi all around us. Here are a lot of youth delinquents and other riff raff hanging around the area making it unsafe to venture out at night. To date, barring going shopping for supplies and hardware, we have not really explored or seen much of Salvador or it's surrounding areas. The internet situation here is really bad and at time it takes hours to just download a couple of emails. We have also been talking to suppliers back home in South Africa as we need to import some goods.

We have slowly been gearing up and getting ready for the next leg of our voyage. Now fully stocked with food supplies and with most of the essential repairs done, Revelations is ready to go. But Entheos is still struggling getting the critical engine parts before she can take on the open ocean. So we are all kind of stuck for the time being waiting for parts to be imported and then still to be fixed. This will give us the time to also courier some goods we need from Brent in Cape Town. we anticipate that everything will be sorted within the next 2 to 4 weeks and we will then depart sailing up the Brazilian coast to our next port of call which is Recife - a sailing distance of around 400 nautical miles.

Here is a picture of Terminal Nautico Da Bahia - can you spot Revelations?

TerminalNautico

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Recent Comments
The world has become so much smaller even though you have limited internet. When I was there in March 1985, we received letters th... Read More
Tuesday, 10 March 2015 17:47
Yes, whilst one is quick to complain about the damn Internet, it is still a HUGE amount better than say 20 to 30 years ago.
Wednesday, 11 March 2015 21:33
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MAR
08
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Goodbye Joe!

JoeStreeterWe met Joe sometime in November 2014 after he called us to sign up as crew for the Governors Cup Yacht Race from Cape Town to St. Helena Island. He moved aboard Revelations in early December and helped with the last preparations we still had to do for the voyage. Together with Patrick and Rinette (the other crew) he did his full share of duties to St. Helena and then onward to Salvador, Brazil. Shortly after arriving in Salvador, he left Revelations for a brief spell but we missed the guy and invited him back on board where he stayed until yesterday. Chasing his goals and dream to work on yachts as a yacht master, Joe has now departed for St. Martin in the Caribbean. During the past three months, Joe crept deeply into our hearts and right now Revelations and our life's really feel quite empty. Living in close confines, we shared many experiences and we enjoyed his enthusiasm, personality and attitude. Joe, our best wishes and the best of luck to you! We will miss you something chronic and really look forward meeting up with you again when we get to St. Martin. GOD bless and good luck buddy!

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MAR
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The Mast

TheMast

Some of the places we intend visiting have high bridges spanning the waters under which we will have to pass, so it is imperative to know our mast height to ensure we have adequate clearance. So Joe hoisted me up the mast and I lowered a long piece of string from the top of the mast down to the deck. Pulling the string tight, he then made a mark on the string which we measured later and found that the mast was 19 meters in length. We then measured 1.7 meters from the base of the mast to the waterline - this give us a total mast height of 20.7 meters. The means we can effectively pass under bridges with a height clearance of 21 meters and above. Bridge height clearances are indicated on navigation charts but one has to be mindful that the heights specified are at low water datums - one therefor have to subtract the height of the tide to work out the actual clearance. Failing this, there is a risk that the top of the mast will collide with the bridge probably causing extensive damage to the mast. So here I am hanging from a rope at the top of the mast some 20 meters up in the air. So whilst I was up there, I took some pictures and video.

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MAR
07
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Good times

A week or two back, we sailed to Ilha de Itaparica here in Salvador to go and checked out a sandbank as a possible place for the yacht Entheos to be beached for much needed repairs to her sail drive. On the way there, we took a couple of pictures and some video footage - we have now compiled this into a short movie for you all to see. Hope you enjoy as much as we had a good time.

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Ready

PolisherWe made good progress the past couple of days getting Revelations ready for the next leg of our voyage.

This is now the fourth day of buffing and polishing the yacht and for the first time in many years, the paint is starting to shine again. Although not completely done, there is a marked difference in the appearance of the yacht.

The oil leak in the starboard engine sail drive was eventually found - caused by a loose bolt. This has now been tightened and the sail drive was filled with new oil. Whilst we were doing this, we also changed the oil in both engines and the port sail drive.

The damaged pickling water tank (feeding pickled water to the water maker) was removed. I will strip some fittings from this for spares and the tank will end up in the rubbish bin.

During the week prior to arrival in Salvador, we had perplexing electrical issues. Flipping the electrical switch did not start the fuel transfer pump. The bright LED lights in the main saloon would only dimly glow. To get the lights to glow brighter, we had to switch on some navigation equipment. To get the fuel transfer pump to work, the LED lights in the main cabin had to be on. What the hell does the one electrical circuit have to do with the other? After testing for a couple of hours, the electrician found that the 12 volt system was not properly earthed. After earthing the 12 volt system, everything is now working the way it should. In addition, this also sorted out the autopilot problem - a huge relief!

The Kohler generator water pump now have a new bearing, the fan belt pulley driving the water pump was also fixed - this is now installed and working.

Joe Streeter, who returned for another stay on Revelations, replaced the broken stainless hinges of both vanity cabinet doors which broke in the rough weather soon after leaving Cape Town.

I made further pipe modifications to the water maker by adding a "T" piece and ball valve in the seawater intake pipe. This allows us to close the sea cock, open the newly inserted ball valve and cycle pickled water through the system. The water maker is now pickled and can stay like this for a couple of months with no growth causing damage to the expensive membranes.

With all this sorted out, Revelations is once again ready to depart whenever we want. However, there are a number of smaller things and less important issues we are busy sorting out and we will still be here in Salvador for some weeks. Once we are done with all the work and the haphazard time schedules of all various people doing work on Revelations, we can then relax a bit more and start exploring Salvador and perhaps even the enterior of Brazil.

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So what are we up to?

Time here in Salvador has it's own meaning where tomorrow is another day - but hey, this is the province of Bahia and things here move at a leisurely and "one thing at a time" pace. But despite this, we are slowly managing to getting on top of things and sorted out - here are some of the stuff we have done or are busy with.

One night just before going to bed, I remarked that one of my upper teeth felt sensitive - not sore, but sensitive. It was like I chewed a lot of hard biltong where my teeth took some strain. The only thing was that I did not chew on anything hard that day but it was no big deal and I thought it would pass. The next morning, I woke up with what seemed like a golf ball implanted in the side of my face. Overnight, I developed an abscess and it was SORE! A throbbing pain and I could feel the pressure building up in my upper gum. This happened a couple of days before the carnival and where would we find a decent dentist. There are many so-called dentists around Salvador and walking around the area, we have seen a number of these which look like "pavement specials". Really dodgy looking dental setups with rough hand painted signs at the entrances proudly declaring "professional" dental work. These are the places you would take that dog which barks non stop at the moon throughout the night and every night. That dog which drives you totally insane and who's owners do not seem to mind your hearing agony. So whilst you might desire to take those dogs (and their owners) to these dental pavement specials - these are not places you want to visit for work required on your own teeth.

Asking around, we found a decent dentist about 30 kilometers away from where we are located. In the interim, Sue had me on antibiotics which reduced the infection and the pressure causing the throbbing pain. Communicating with the dentist is another story but she was most helpful and even used a voice recording/translating software application for our discussions. But even this was difficult as some things would have a completely different meaning once translated. I have been to the dentist five times already, drilling and grinding away, doing root canal, filling and whatever else she did - I will mostly likely have to go twice more before everything is sorted.

The hydraulic ram of the autopilot system was stripped and it was found that Steve Searle, Cape Town did not seal the unit when he serviced and assembled the equipment mere weeks before we left. This has now been repaired and with no further detectable leaks, this seems to have been sorted out - hopefully this problem will not rear it's ugly head when we depart from here.

We also found that the bearing of the generator's water pump seized. This was stripped and taken to a workshop for a new bearing replacement - the water pump will be returned to the boat within the next couple of days.

En route from St. Helena to Salvador, we found lots of water leaking into the starboard engine compartment. Upon investigation, we found that the bilge water whale pump pipe, allowing water to be pumped overboard, was cracked and leaking. This skin fitting is about 200 mm above the water line and as waves would pass the yacht, this skin fitting dipped below the water line and sea water would fill the pipe. Since the pipe was cracked, it leaked large amounts of water into the engine room bilge. Both the port and starboard bilge whale bilge pumps are now fitted out with new pipes.

We also found a local worker and his companion who is now polishing the entire boat for $R2000 (just over R8000). For many years now, the paintwork on Revelations have oxidized and became dull. This is only their second day at this laborious job and although far from complete, the paint sections they have done now sport a new lustrous and bright shine.

Due to incorrect information and instruction supplied by the water maker people, AquaMarine in Cape Town, the stainless steel water tank holding the pickled water to be cycled through the water maker burst when we ran the system. When one is not using the water maker for a week or longer, the water maker membranes must be pickled with a biocide to stop all sorts of growth in the water within the system. We video recorded the pickling instructions and followed the exact procedure. Instead of successfully pickling the water within the system, it burst the pickling tank. We have now removed this damaged stainless steel tank and I have already devised another system which we will apply within the next couple of days.

We still have to sort out some electrical problems on the boat and the electrician arrived a couple of minutes ago and is now looking at the system. The lights do not shine as bright as they should and is affected as we switch other equipment on or off. Despite having it's own on/off switch, the fuel transfer pump will only run when we switch all the saloon lights on!? Then there is the B&G autopilot "fault" which gave us so much problems causing us to hand helm most of the way. I have since found out that it shows "fault 101" which according to the manual is some magnetic issue with the fluxgate compass.

Once all of the above are sorted out, Revelations will once again be ready to take us to our next destinations - which at this stage, we have no clue where it will be. However, we are not there yet neither are we ready to depart from Salvador as we still want to visit some anchorages and moorings in the area.

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I like this .... which at this stage, we have no clue where it will beCheers Brent
Thursday, 26 February 2015 13:01
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Bus ride

For days on end, we have been pre-occupied with boat repairs, internet connections, sourcing and obtaining supplies, finding out where to go to buy common things like food, water and other day to day stuff. We have still not really explored any part of Salvador neither visited any touristy places, churches, museums, beaches, anchorages, etc. With our own boat still to be repaired and also somewhat carrying the responsibility to discuss and seek solutions to have the yacht Entheos sorted out, we have been spending far to little time on things which give us joy. In conversation and indirectly reminding ourselves that we embarked on this world cruise to see, discover and explore foreign places - it was time to get back to the purpose of us visiting Salvador. With this in mind and with the onset of cabin fever, we decided to hop on a bus and see where it takes us. It did not matter which bus nor which direction or route the bus would take, we were fed up that we have hardly seen anything despite us being in Salvador for two weeks.

So we hopped on bus No. 210 and paid the required $R1.50 (just over ZAR6.00) and with the bus already speeding up, we staggered down the center aisle to our seats. The bus has seen better days and the shocks were literally fucked, but with the windows wide open and with the wind blowing in our faces, we were quite excited to be on this small adventure into the suburbs unknown. Salvador is a densely built up area with narrow bumpy little streets running in a crazy maze. After several stops, lefts and rights, winding and twisting roads, one is easily lost where North and South loses all meaning. The buildings are neglected, dirty, collapidated, built adjoining each other (read; "on top of each other"), last saw paint when it was originally built which has long disappeared under decades old thick layers of smog and black fungus, and with absolutely no space or yard on the left, right or front of the buildings. There are thousands of ruins in the old city (lower part of Salvador near the harbor), all left to rot and decay until there is nothing left but the outer walls of the building. Salvador with these thousands of century old buildings, rotting away to it's very foundations, have the capacity to be the Monaco of the South America's. But not one of these buildings, sitting on land with must be worth a fortune are being repaired, renovated nor restored. It is a strange phenomenon and we just cannot get our heads around understanding the thinking behind this. It is apparently near impossible to obtain a permit to restore the buildings and some permit applications are over ten years awaiting to be decided upon.

So our ride continues in this bus, turning and twisting its way through numerous suburbs where building after building, house after house are in bad need of tender loving care. Having seen this all over Salvador on every single time we set foot ashore, we now firmly believe that there simply cannot be any home improvement and painting contractors anywhere in Salvador. With all this ruin an decay going on, of which not a single building are in any stage of renovation, there cannot be such businesses around or they have all closed down because nobody is renovating. After riding on the bucking, bumping and rattling bus for some 20 kilometers, we find ourselves back at the same place where we got onto the bus. We expected the bus to stop and get rid of all it's passengers, but instead it headed off in completely different direction - this time skirting the harbor of Salvador all the while heading North. A couple of places which we have been to before flashed passed as the driver seem to steadily accelerate. On this journey, we must have passed well over 10,000 houses and there was not one single house along this route we would be happy, never mind proud, to call home. As we proceeded, glancing into the side roads, it became apparent that we were heading in the direction of Pier Salvador Marina - a marina we investigated shortly after arriving in Salvador as a possible place to relocate the yachts. Sure enough, when Pier Salvador Marina came into sight, it was also the end of the bus as it reached it final stop.

We disembarked in this very impoverished area and decided to look around at the several eateries and informal pubs for something to eat. We found this dodgy little place and the owner doing his best to get us seated at the best table - right there on the side walk in front of his eatery. With us obstructing the flow of sidewalk traffic, people passing by would squeeze pass our front seat table before continuing on their way. A simply meal prepared in the depths of this proud owner's joint consisting of thinly cut fried steaks, chicken drumsticks, pork sausages, beans, plain rice without any gravy, spaghetti and some sliced tomatoes on a lettuce leave made for an unforgettable meal. The owner was thankful for our patronage and with the waitress delivering her best possible service allowed under the circumstances, we were happy that we spend our money and the service tip where it mattered the most - in the hands of the people needing it the most. We felt at home and enjoyed ourselves for the first time since arriving in Salvador - going for a ride into the unknown and experience what happens next. The whole experience was primitive and as basic as one can get - but good!

BusRide

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You guys look so relaxed! Cheers Brent
Monday, 23 February 2015 10:15
Dis mos nou die lewe! Geniet die gasvryheid en die smiles!
Tuesday, 24 February 2015 01:58
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Ilha de Itaparica

We left Terminal Nautico dos Santos yesterday morning at around 10h00 and set sail to Ilha de Itaparica - the largest island in Salvador, an inhabited island popular with tourists some 12 nautical miles away to go and check out a sandbank where Entheos might possibly be beached for the sail drive repairs. The sky was overcast and there was a light breeze of about 10 knots when we left - the first bit of decent wind since we have been here. As we motored out of the marina, the sky cleared and the sun made it appearance and the heat was back with a vengeance. We've had a number of rain showers during the past couple of days and with the heat of the sun, the humidity jumped several notches adding to our discomfort.

The Salvador harbor is huge and very busy with all sort of traffic - cargo ships, huge passenger ships, ferries, motor cruisers, yachts and small dinghies cutting their paths through the water. Since our arrival, we have seen more luxury passenger cruise ships entering and leaving Salvador than the entire South Africa will probably have in a 3 year period. These huge passenger ships arrive and depart at a regular basis and on average, there is a new passenger ship arriving every second day or so - sometime two of these ships on the same day. There are a variety of ferry boats leaving the passenger terminal adjacent to the Terminal Nautico marina on a every 10 to 15 minute basis - some of these ferry boats are large and fast boats. One therefor have to keep a sharp look out for this hectic various traffic and they approach for all directions.

Soon after leaving the marina, we raised the main sail, unfurled the jib and switched off the engines - it was nice to be sailing again! We sailed for about 2 hours and as we approached the northern part of Ilha de Itaparica, we encounter numerous buoys, sandbanks, various other obstacles and structures, so we dropped the sails and motored the last 2 to 3 nautical miles. Now at low tide and in quite shallow water, we cautiously approached the marina, motored around for awhile looking for a spot to drop our main anchor. We ended up to close too another yacht with our first attempt at dropping the anchor and we received some semi hostile stares from the occupants of the other yacht. So we relocated to another spot and without any issue, dropped and set the anchor. After making sure that the anchor did not drag, we switched off the engines and went about our business for why we embarked on the journey.

The main reason for visiting Ilha de Itaparica was to investigate whether the sandbanks were suitable to beach Entheos for her sail drive repairs. The dinghy was lowered and all the men piled in heading towards the exposed sandbank. We looked for rock exposed rocks and any other obstacles which might cause damage to the hulls of Entheos. We found the sandbank to be a perfect location to beach a yacht (see red circle in the second image) - specifically a catamaran which will rest on her keels when the tide recedes. Whilst Bertie (the owner of Entheos) trapped around taking pictures and making marks in his iPad navigation software, I motored the dinghy back to Revelations to fetch the woman to come and "play in the sand" (joke Laughing). With our work now done, we lazily motored the dinghy around the marina, checking out the local boats and marina, then heading back to Revelations where we enjoyed a delicious lunch consisting of braai-ed Brazilian sausages, rolls, pickled vegetables, olives, dips and several other "lekker dinge". We lifted the anchor at around 15H00 and headed back to Terminal Nautico dos Santos and with wind directly from ahead, we motored all the way arriving well after dark - where we are now once again safely moored.

Itaparica1

Itaparica2

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Nanni Saildrive Woes

Entheos, the yacht sailing with us and moored opposite ours in Terminal Nautico da Bahia, have a problem with their port Nanni engine and saildrive (similar to a gearbox). The 8 bolts holding the engine and saildrive together came undone by itself, then got sheared off by the flywheel and with nothing holding the engine and saildarive together - the entire saildrive was loose and moved about when motoring. The sheared off pieces rattled about in the saildrive bell housing causing a huge rachet and further damage to the rubber seals, pressure and adaptor plates. These bolts should never come undone by themselves - it is like the bolts holding your car gearbox and engine together coming undone by itself.

It is a real shame that neither Nanni (the engine manufacturer), nor the distributor in Cape Town who assembled and installed everything are taking any responsibility for any of this. All sorts of excuses, very little in terms of answers and typical "duck and dive" moves from both the engine manufacturer and distributor. Neither are there any support in terms of answers to pertinent technical questions.

It was not a simple task of replacing the sheared off bolts with new bolts! The engine had to be taken out, the other half of the sheared off bolts, still stuck in the saildrive, had to be drilled out. With limited and confined working space, high heat and humidity, without the required tools and plant - it was a huge task drilling out these stuck pieces of bolts remaining in the saildrive. This took days of frustration, blood, sweat and tears to remove these bolts. Once removed, it become apparent that the distributor never applied "loctite" to any of these bolts! Despite photos clearly showing no Loctite residue, the distributor in Cape Town is simply evading the issue and clouding the entire matter with irrelevant and non sensical questions and statements.

As a result of all this saildrive movement, oil seals got damaged in the process and now there is water in the saildrive oil. This means that the salidrive must be taken out and to do this, the boat must come out of the water - another formidable and damn expensive problem here in Salvador. To do this, the boat must be relocated to another marina as there is no space here or boatyard at Terminal Nautico. Then a mobile crane with at least 20 ton capacity and adequate slings must be found and hired. Once on solid ground and properly supported, then only can the saildrive be taken out and checked for damaged after which it can be repaired. The costs and risks are high, it is no joke and quite nerve wracking to see one's boat hanging on a crane cable in mid air whilst lifting it out of the water onto solid ground. As usual, all of this will be entirely at the yacht owner's risk.

During the past 2 weeks, whilst seeking answers and solutions, talking to people in the local industry, the greedy and the sharks have gathered. One local guy who does a variety of repairs on yachts in this area wants over ZAR8000 just to remove the engine - that does not include putting it back or anything else. "I want $R2000 (Brazilian Reals which is over ZAR8000) and I will take out the engine and take it to my workshop". Then he does not quite seem to understand what the actual problem is - the problem is not with the engine, the problem is with the saildrive.

In view of all these unknowns, inadequate industry, risks and hyper prices, we are considering beaching the catamaran on a local sandbank at high tide. When the water level recedes, for us to then take out the saildrive ourselves, plug and seal the about 300 mm diameter hole in the yacht through which it protrudes - all before the tide returns.

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Hi Wiets Tell Entheos, I will come repair it for them Spent my life working against the clock in the sand , but never by the se... Read More
Sunday, 22 February 2015 13:16
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Children of the carnival

We walked around the carnival and every now and then, a family would cross our path of which one or more children was dressed up for the occassion. The future of the carnival seems to be in good hands. We could not resist the temptation to take pictures of some of them. Various bands playing loud music or banging away at drums, all singing loudly with masses of people following these bands would pass and some of these kids started dancing with the beat.

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Slow Internet in Salvador

The internet speed here is Salvador is unbelievably slow! We bought some "Pay-As-You-Go" sim cards from TIM, the local service provider and slipped this into our mobile Vodacom USB sticks from South Africa. Sure enough it works - but at one hell of a sloowwwww speed! Here is a screenshot showing that it took over 15 minutes to download 439 KB of data! In fact, it is so bad that we mostly cannot view our own website from here. About once every fours days, for an hour or so, the internet speed is slightly faster and we can then browse a website or two. Neither is it a matter that the sim card does not work properly in the Vodacom USB Stick - the speed is as bad in Android tablets, iPads and Samsung cell phones. It is therefor difficult and time consuming posting new stuff here. To publish this specific message took more than 45 minutes from start to finish.

TIM
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So ... what was it like?

As humans, we are free to dream, fantasize and imagine about the wondrous offerings of the world we live in. For many years, I thought and wondered about what it would be like crossing the oceans on a yacht. With my mind free to roam, I thought about all the systems and equipment we have on Revelations – playing with various scenarios, thinking about layers of back up plans and systems, the various things which can go wrong, if this or that happens – what then situations. This was a rather complicated affair due to the multitude of factors involved sailing around the world – weather, sea state, equipment, communication, money, cost of living, repairs, emergency procedures, dangerous situations to name a few. You too might be wondering what it’s like, perhaps have some "sailing around the world" notions of your own, dreaming or planning to do your own world cruise. The oceans are huge and deep with a capacity to be perfectly calm and outrageously rough. Throughout history, untold number of people have lost their lives sailing the seven seas and no doubt, many more will follow. Early on, I realized that sailing around the world is in one aspect similar to flying to the moon – everything is on you and you are essentially on your own. It is a wild place with no borders or frontiers – a potentially dangerous place where there are no help on demand. You have nobody to turn too and in poverty stricken parts of the world, there is simply no help or assistance of any kind. As a stranger in another country, you stand out like an inflamed pimple on a baby’s arse – for the unscrupulous to milk this rich cow (you) and take advantage of your situation. Then add to this mix the issue of modern day piracy. So what is it like? I am by now means an expert crossing the seven seas and believe me, I have made a number of miscalculations, mistakes and bad decisions. But it is all part of the steep learning curve.

If taken seriously (which you should) all these factors are enough to make you very concerned. I became more tense under the burden of responsibility as the time for our departure came closer. With mere days before we started our world cruise, with a shitload of frustrations and bogged done with lots of red tape, overworked and with weeks of inadequate sleep, I experienced massive pressure and felt like a tightly wound-up guitar string. For the first three days after our departure, I probably slept less than one hour whilst experiencing rough weather and several problems with equipment. Exhausted and quite stressed out about crew and yacht safety, at times it felt like I was on the very edge of having a heart attack. I then realized that the stress was self-created by none other than myself, that it was an internal thing which I needed to control. With this in mind, I focused on real issues and less on the possible “what if” scenarios. After this, I managed to get 6 hours of solid sleep and was feeling quite normal and relaxed when I awoke.

Whilst sailing to our destination, there were hardly any typical idealistic situations like basking in the sun, calm and beautiful seas, sipping champagne, having a ball of a time. For days on end, the yacht was sailing at maximum cruising speed allowed by the winds and with this, the entire yacht is in motion – moving forwards, left to right and up and down. The yacht never stands still and for 24 hours of the day, your body is continuously counter acting the effects of this perpetual motion. The yacht will rise and fall with each wave action, the yacht is tossed left and right by the swells, it accelerates and the slows down as it moves up and over the waves, it will lean to the left and then to the right – so do you. At the best of times, you have to hold on when moving about as it is near impossible to walk around without doing so – and the rougher the sea, the more exponentially violent the motion. This is all quite tiring and you burn calories – causing you to eat like a horse. The noise inside the yacht as it moves through the water is loud – really loud! The waves slams the yacht with lots of violence causing loud bangs, sending shock waves through the entire boat, pounding through the waves – wave after endless wave. With each bang or slam, most people would believe that the boat sustained mortal damage and was about to break apart – just to be repeated wave after wave after wave. After a couple of days of this, one gets used to this violence and can only marvel at the strength of modern day yachts. Get onto the back of a pickup truck, let the driver drive a straight line over very rough off road terrain (bundu bashing) at a constant speed of about 15 to 20 kilometer per hour … imagine what it will be like … if you have to walk about … how you will have to hold on … prepare meals … write emails, work, shower, sleep and live whilst all this is going on - that is what it is like when Revelations was in motion, 24/7 and for weeks at a time.

For long periods of time there is nothing to do but every now and then, there will be a burst of activity. In calm seas and during these inactive periods, you can read books, write emails or articles, work on the navigation, study the route ahead, fix broken things, etc. In rough weather many of these things fall by the way side as it is near impossible to do anything due to the violent motion of the yacht – it is like trying to read a book whilst riding a wild horse. Then the wind might shift all of a sudden and with sails wildly flapping about like the wings of a gigantic flying dragon, you have to jump into action getting things under control. Once under control, then it is back to nothing – no activity, except the continuous motion of the yacht.

One is faced with numerous breakages, leaks, equipment failure, chafe, wear and tear, defective products or systems. Things break all the time and you have to make a plan – mostly “McGiver” style. It is impossible to carry all the possible spares for every breakage or eventuality, the only way to do this would be to tow another complete boat behind you. Then there is the 24/7 shift work to be done as somebody must be on watch all the time. The more crew one have, the less hours one has to work – the problem comes when there is only two, this will require long hours and with hardly any break … very tiring. Even with a full complement of crew, it is difficult to get a proper rest – the noise and motion of the boat constantly awakens you. The longest continuous sleep I’ve had on the South Africa to St. Helena leg of our world cruise was four hours - mostly it was short naps of 1 to 2 hours.

Considering all of the above, besides the ignorant or people not fully grasping what they are getting into, sailing around the world is certainly not what most people seem to think – a romantic, idyllic all pleasurable experience. A while ago Sue said; “Sailing is not for sissies – it is for the brave.” … and I think she is right.

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Mid Atlantic Diveboarding

We did not sail non-stop to Salvador, Brazil - we also had lots of fun along the way. We deployed the dive boards, made a rope bridle which we attached to the yacht, cruising at around 5 knots - we went dive boarding. We video recorded several of these episodes - this one, the camera (GoPro) was turned upside down and we think the video result is quite unusual. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

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Recent Comments
Hey Wiets, this video won't go beyond 8 seconds.
Monday, 16 February 2015 12:22
Thought it was just my old machine, think Wiets is tearing his hair out with the connection...or lack there of
Thursday, 19 February 2015 16:45
I think I found the problem - it was video codecs used by some software I'm using to compress the video. Using other software, I h... Read More
Sunday, 08 March 2015 09:45
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Revelations in mid Atlantic

The internet speed here is Salvador is beyond slow! It takes more than 30 minutes to download a simple text email of around 200 words! So whilst the marina's wifi is down, it is an uphill struggle to get anything done on the website. So although we have stuff to share with you all, it takes forever to get it posted - for example, this video took no less than 7 hours to upload. Then during this time, we had to start over afresh a number of times as the connection was broken.

Anyway, enough bitching! Here is a video of Revelations sailing in the mid Atlantic ocean. The wind was around 8 knots, the sun was shining, the ocean was an amazing blue and the visibility in excess of 50 meters under water. Hope you enjoy! (Near the end of the video, on the upper right side of the video, look for the small fish swimming along with Revelations) 

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Recent Comments
Hey Wiets and you thought the radio email was SLOOOOwww.... Seems there are worse things than a slow radio connection in mid Atla... Read More
Friday, 13 February 2015 19:53
Thanks Wiets!!
Friday, 13 February 2015 20:37
Yes ... in the end, the radio email was actually quite good, especially through your station and with WinLink. Just got to get the... Read More
Saturday, 14 February 2015 07:10
You would have loved it!!! Barring for a few days of little wind, the trip to Salvador was really good with consistent wind (betwe... Read More
Saturday, 14 February 2015 07:29
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