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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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FEB
28
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Close to Rio de Janeiro

Revelations is now at anchor in a small harbour in the town called Ubu, a small town near Rio de Janeiro. She will depart tomorrow morning and sail to Cabo Frio where she will spend a couple of days. From there, they will set sail to Rio de Janeiro where they will do some small repairs and maintenance. After this Revelations will depart for Cape Town, South Africa - a long non stop voyage of about 3300 nautical miles. We hope and anticipate that she will arrive towards end of March 2018.

Location 

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JUN
15
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Caribbean - GPX file crime on yachts

Have a look in the DOWNLOADS section of this website for the GPX file depicting various crimes committed against yachts during the past three years. The information was extracted from the Caribbean Safety and Security Net website as at 30 May 2016 and then converted to a GPX file. You can import the GPX file into your navigation software showing each and every reported crime - including a short description.

CaribbeanCrime

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AUG
05
0

Recent photos sailing to Trinidad

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623 Hits
JUL
23
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Sights in Saint Laurent du Maroni

Here are some images from Saint Laurent du Maroni, French Guiana and of the Maroni river. A couple of days ago, we took the dinghy and slowly motored up river, passing some activity, settlements and islands on the river. The forest along the river bank is dense and prolific due to the abundant rain. About 2 nautical miles up river is this stunning small little island where visitors can stop for the day, relax and perhaps even have a picnic. Then there are a couple of images of a wreck about 40 meters form where we are moored. The old wreck, who's back is broken, is overgrown with plants and trees and numerous birds roost here at night.

SaintLaurentDuMaroni

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MAY
10
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Arrived at Recife, Brazil

We cast off the mooring lines at 06H00 on 6 May 2015 and slowly motored out of Terminal de Nautico Bahia in Salvador, Brazil. Once out of the marina, we set course for the open sea and with one engine running, we engaged the autopilot. The autopilot repeatedly would not engaged and showed the one fault after the other. Just as we started fearing that we would have to hand steer all the way to Recife, the autopilot finally agreed to work and do it's job. We motored out of the Salvador bay and as we clear the last cardinal sign, we motored some 5 nautical mile off shore then steered to port and set a course of 50 degrees heading up the coast to Recife.

At 10 nautical miles off shore, we encountered clean blue water and it was time to start the water maker. We pumped all the fresh but undrinkable water out of our water tanks, then started the water maker and several hours later, we had 700 liters (full tanks) of almost pure fresh water. With 8 to 10 knots of winds, our boat speed was between 5 and 7 nautical miles per hour, it was time to troll some lures behind the yacht.

Several hours later, we had a strike on the bungee cord lure and caught a big male Dorado. Whilst reeling in the Dorado to the yacht, the Penn reel on the rod started screaming - strike two within a few minutes of each other. Sue ran over to the rod and started tightening the reel, perhaps a bit too tight as the line broke and that fish survived another day. What ever it was, judging from the speed the line was stripped from the reel, it was a really big fish. The Dorado we caught was the biggest we have caught to date and must have weighed between 15 and 20 kilograms. It was a real commotion cleaning, gutting and cutting up the fish in meal size portions - the fish yielded at least 14 meals each for the two of us. We caught another big Dorado on day two and yet another big Dorado on day three which we gave to Entheos as our freezers where full.

Due to the wind direction, we were beating most of the way and on two occasions, the wind kept pushing us closer to the land. We had to start the engines and motored for several hours each time heading offshore. We could then alter course and could start sailing again. Not having long distance sailed for several months, this leg of our journey was tiring, we only found our sea legs and got into sailing routine on day three. On Friday evening, we extensively furled in the jib so that Entheos could keep up with us and at sunrise we where 20 nautical miles away from Recife. At 11H00, we were inside the marina, Cabanga Iate Clube, where we securely moored Revelations in the tightest and most awkward mooring space ever.

RecifeRoute1

RecifeRoute2

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MAY
04
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Gamboa

Motoring around in 4 meters of water where we wanted to anchor, we found the seabed to have steep and deep ravines - at places well over 50 meters. Our first attempt at anchoring failed as we dragged our 40 kilogram on the seabed. So we lifted the anchor on board and motored around looking for another spot to drop the anchor. This time around the anchor dug deep into the seabed and we felt secure for the night. Entheos were not so lucky and they must have tired but failed to anchor securely for at least 6 or 7 times. At about 19H30 they eventually found a suitable spot and could settle in for the night. We were quite tired from all of the sailing activities, had dinner and fell asleep whilst watching a movie.

There are virtually no cars on the island and the exception is an ambulance, some electricity service trucks and a few tractors. The beach have clean light beige sand with virtually no waves although the water is a bit murky with all the plankton therein. Feeling fresh when we woke up, we decided to go ashore and have a look around. The area is a hive of activities with water taxi's and ferries carrying people to various locations, some small dhow like motor boats loaded with goods and many small fishing boats. We dropped the dinghy into the water, piled in and proceeded to the ferry terminal. We beached close by and made sure that the dinghy would not wash away in the rising tide.

There were several restaurants catering for tourists with typical inflated prices. We found a tiny restaurant one street aawy from the beach and their prices were about 25% of those on the beach front. We sat down and ordered one of their specials and Caipirinha's - a strong sweet but delicious alcoholic beverage made with Cachaca (sugar cane hard liquor), sugar, limes and ice. The drink is prepared by smashing the fruit and the sugar together, adding the Cachaca liquor and then topping it with ice - here is the recipe:

Take one ripe lime and cut it in eight slices - add to your pestle an mortar,
Add 2 teaspoons of white sugar,
Lightly crush this with the pestle - avoid overly crushing the lime skin,
When well mixed, pour this mixture into a large glass,
Then add about 50 ml of Cachaca,
Top it with some crush ice cubes,
Enjoy this drink sipping the drink through a straw from the bottom of the glass.

The drinks we ordered where substantially larger than the recipe above and I felt quite intoxicated after drinking two of them. Continuous rain prevented us from exploring much of Morro de Sao Paulo and on the morning of day three, we decided to lift the anchor and sail to Enseada de Garapua.

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MAY
04
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Enseada de Garapua

The charts and the cruising guide books show this small fishing village to be in well protected enclave which turn out not to quite the situation. It is certainly not an enclave - rather a coastal indentation but exposed to the winds from the ocean. The fishing village consist of a couple of permanent buildings, a church and some wooden structures stretched along about 300 meters of beach and then this long beach around the perimeter of the land indentation. It was just as well that we stuck to our policy of arriving in daylight as the way points given in the guide book would most certainly have caused Revelation to run aground on some rocks. Fortunately we could see the sea breaking over the rocks from a distance, we alter course and managed to enter the anchor area well clear of the rocks and without incident. We managed to anchor first time around, sorted out the yacht, packed away all the ropes and other sailing gear - we were all done by around 18H00. In the meantime Entheos struggled to securely anchor the yacht and they repeatedly tried to set the anchor but failed. They would then find another location an repeat the anchor process only to fail yet again ... and again and again. Sue made a local dish and we sat down for the evening meal but this was interrupted when Entheos radioed us asking for help.

I motored the dinghy over to them and it was clear that their ground tackle was hopelessly inadequate for anchoring in the strong wind and choppy sea state. They had this flimsy little anchor more suitable for a small boat of around 20 to 25 foot instead of a heavily loaded 40 foot catamaran. In addition, the thin anchor shaft was completely bent - this anchor deserves to be thrown overboard. So we motored back to Revelations, loaded two of our spare anchors into the dinghy and then back to Entheos. With me at the helm, Bertie removed the inadequate anchor and hooked up our Fortress FX-55 - all of this took some time and effort. Finally the Fortress was dropped overboard together with 35 meters of chain. I then slowly backed the yacht until the anchor chain was under tension and the opened the throttles to set the anchor. Viola ... with both engines doing 2000 rpm in reverse gear, the anchor held fast first time around. I trust that Bertie learned from this experience and will now substantially upgrade his ground tackle.

The next morning we decided to visit a floating restaurant at one end of the bay and in a bit of chop, we all slowly motored over in that direction. we arrived some 10 minutes later only to be told that they were closed. So we headed back to the beach close to where the yachts were anchored. there were several other little restaurants - again mostly catering to tourists. We settle down at one of these and ordered lunch - some prawns, scallops, a fair size fish some ice cold beers and cool drinks.

EnseadaDeGarapua1

EnseadaDeGarapua2

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1414 Hits
APR
22
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Next destination

We discussed our next destination with Bertie and Theresa from Entheos and before sailing directly to Recife, we agreed to first visit "Morro de Sao Paulo" and then "Camamu" some 30 and 60 nautical miles respectively South of Salvador. These are anchorages (not marinas), we will have to anchor and will be without electricity and other conveniences (internet, water, etc.) whilst we are there. We do not plan to stay there for long - at best, no longer than a week after which we will head North up the Brazilian coast to Recife. We are now preparing the yachts for this short voyage and will most likely depart here on Thursday or Friday - weather permitting.

NextDestination

 

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1072 Hits
APR
03
0

Rural Salvador

The past three weeks or so we have been cruising around the Salvador area sailing up some large rivers, visiting some remote and rural areas. Away from Salvador commercial harbour, one encounters stunning scenery with thick green jungle style vegetation on either side of the rivers. At 1500 meters wide and over 50 meters deep, these rivers are huge and tops the biggest rivers back in South Africa. Despite the heavy pollution originating in Salvador, the sea life is prolific and quite healthy with tons of sea shells, prawns, juvenile fish, clams, worms and a myriad of other creatures.

We first sailed up the Rio Paraguaçu and finally reached the town of Marapogipe where we anchored in four meters of water on a huge area of sand and mud. We dropped the anchor and to be sure we do not drag our 40 Kg. Delta anchor, we let out over thirty meters of chain - giving us a ratio of about 1:8. This area does not have any surge nor currents and with this high ratio, it is unlikely that we will drag the anchor during our stay. We lowered the dinghy, started the engine and we all piled in to go and explore the area and in specific, the farmers market. Prices were cheap, the produce was fresh and the place was a lively affair where buyers and sellers hustled for the best deal. We bought some maize and found a huge ox tail weighing around three kilograms in one of the open air butcheries which we immediately bought. The place is peaceful, time here does not seem to exist, although very poor - the people seems happy, content, helpful and they are all friendly. After walking around for kilometers, we returned to the yachts some hours later, exhausted, sweaty and dehydrated. Then we had a quick swim in the warm waters around the yachts to cool off and started preparing the meal for the evening - "Oxtail and stamp mielies". It was like food from back home and damn delicious. The next day, we all sailed back to the anchorage in Itaparica where we lazed around in the warm waters.

The next day, we departed for Ilha de Matarandiba, another island some 15 nautical miles away where we anchored on a wide stretch of river - opposite a small waterfall. Our side of the river was unpopulated but there was a small village on the opposite river bank some 800 meters away. Unfortunately, due to the dry season, barring a trickle of water, there was no water cascading over the waterfall. None the less, we went ashore and walk around the waterfall and it's tiny beach. We then lazily motored the dinghy to another section of the river to what we called our private beach. There was nothing really except a 100 meters stretch of beach with proper beach sand and some palm trees. It would certainly make a stunning location to build a beach house - your own little paradise.

Later, we slowly motored across the river to the opposite side hoping to find some locals and something cold to drink. We found a wooden shack which served cold beers and foods to the local. We made ourselves at home, sat down at a ramshackle table and ordered some beers and cool drinks. In no time, an elderly gentleman, who turns out to be a retired advocate befriends us and insist that we sample some of the food he ordered. After tasting the fried prawns, we decide to order our own plate and then later, another plate. It was delicious and we tried to figure out the recipe. Paprika for certain! Very spicy but there is no bite (no chillies). No, It was marinated in spicy oil we argued. So Sue does her usual thing and befriends the cook, insisting that she share her recipe. But it did not contain any of the ingredients we thought and is as simple as one can get - sunflower oil, 24 fresh prawns, 1 small onions, 1 glove garlic and salt. Heat (medium heat) the oil and add the prawns and salt and fry the prawns until the shells are quite crisp, chop the onion and garlic and add this to the pan a couple of minutes before the prawns are crisp. Viola! Simple but delicious!

We said our goodbyes to these local people and motored the dinghy back to the yachts. Later that night, we went back to the waterfall and had a beach braai - almost South African style. The next day we sailed back to Marina Terminal in Salvador and that was the end of our 6 day excursion.

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FEB
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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668 Hits
FEB
16
0

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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1075 Hits
FEB
12
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Photos - Cape Town to St. Helena

Despite many requests, it took awhile for us to post some images of the Cape Town to St. Helena voyage. Sorry about this delay, but it is not as easy as pie to do so. We first had to sort out a number of issues which took time, the marina does not have wifi, internet access via the "Pay-As-You-Go" sim cards is unbelievably slow (at the best of times, we can't even see our own website), etc. Anyway, here are 40 images of the almost 1000 images we took.

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FEB
12
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Salvador thus far

The language barrier here in Salvador is huge and it is a real mission to understand and be understood - of the hundreds of people we have encountered thus far, only three of them spoke good enough English where it was possible to converse. It is not just a matter of spelling and language, words are pronounced in a very different way. Take "Bahia" as an example, here in Salvador it is pronounced as "Ba-he-ah" and not as we would in English "Ba-hi". So it is extremely difficult to communicate and I so wish I learned Portuguese and Spanish when I was younger. None the less, the people here are VERY friendly and helpful, so trying to understand each other is more of a fun thing - except when we need to get something done in a hurry, then it can be quite frustrating. It is quite a mission when we go shopping for food! Barring a few words which are clear enough to understand, just about every packet or tin of food holds some surprise or another. We walked past this coffee shop and ordered a cup of "cappuccino" which we know as a form of coffee back in South Africa - but here in Salvador it is a kind of "hot chocolate".

Thus far, we have not seen any mutton in the shops, the only sausages one find here are the smoked "chorizo" variety and the meat cuts are completely different as found in South Africa. The meats (beef) here are not cut in a way one can recognize from which part of the body it comes from - it is just a blob of meat. Salvador is a coastal city and one would expect an abundance of seafood but this is not the situation, the availability and variety is surprisingly minimal. Generally the price of food here is substantially cheaper than in South Africa - so is medicine, alcohol, ham, salami, pasta, etc. For example, a bottle of Vodka (750 ml) cost R$9.40 (Brazilian Reals) - which is just a little over R40.00 (South African Rand).

We have been warned that the entire city comes to a virtual standstill during the Carnival period (which officially starts today) so we have been stocking up on food supplies. Everybody we speak to, talks about the carnival and say it has already started in parts of the city - but so far we have not seen any such activity. So we will go hunting for some festive action later today!

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1262 Hits
FEB
08
2

Relocated to another marina

The past few days were quite hectic trying to find our feet. As mentioned it took 3 days to do the entire check-in procedures with exhausting long walks between the various offices in the main harbor (no taxis allowed). Then there is a huge language barrier, building are offices have no clear markings and nobody seems to know the location of the various offices. The result is that we walked an average of 6 kilometers in high heat and humidity on each of these three days. Anyway, we have now properly check-in and are flying the Brazilian flag on the starboard spreader.

Whilst all of this was going on, we had to find food to eat, arrange fresh water for the boat, find a grocery store and a number of other tasks. One cannot drink the freshwater available on tap as it is contaminated. Just finding a fitting for the hosepipe to connect to the tap in Bahia Marina was not easy. Sue and I took a taxi to a more up class area looking for a supermarket - we ended up walking for about 8 kilometers before we found a superette the size of a small "Spar" back in South Africa. The people here are friendly and helpful, but we just cannot understand each other. We read about a specific chain of supermarkets here in Salvador called "Bompreço", but in a matter of pronunciation, nobody seems to know what the hell we are babbling about. In the end, we found out that it is pronounce as "Bom - presch". With that sorted, we now know of this huge, modern and well stocked supermarket located in the suburb of Barra, Salvador.

In the interim, the crew had to make plans to get on with their lives. Rinnette and Patrick spend countless hours sending emails and looking at flights bookings to return to Cape Town, South Africa. On the morning that we left with the owners of Entheos to check out "Terminal Pier Salvador" (another marina), they left for the airport to return back home. Joe intends staying on in Salvador until after the Carnival, he was looking around for accommodation, he said goodbye and left on Friday afternoon. Together, we shared 6 weeks of our lives sailing to St. Helena and then to Salvador, we got to know each other quite well and we shared some good and challenging times together - so it was difficult to say our goodbyes to these great people. Rinnette, Patrick and Joe - good luck to you all, we certainly wish you the very best and it will be great to hear from you once in awhile. THANK YOU (to each one of you) for everything and it was indeed a pleasure sharing a tiny snippet of our lives together and having you on board Revelations.

Despite certain good reports received and read, we found "Terminal Pier Salvador" marina to be neglected, dirty and in bad condition. There was no way we could risk taking the yachts to this place - located in a very dodge area. So we caught a taxi back into Salvador city and stopped at another marina called "Terminal Nautico Da Bahia". Although not as up-class as Bahia Marina, it offered most of the things we were looking for - so we decided to book moorings. we were informed that we needed to immediately bring the yachts over to the marina as they were expecting new arrivals the very next day. So we all rushed back to Bahia Marina where we checked out and we first brought Entheos and then Revelations over to our new location - Terminal Nautico Da Bahia. We are in the center of the old city, the surrounding area is not to savory, we believe it is quite dangerous alone at night.

But this relocation also meant that we can no longer enjoy the wifi we had at the up class marina. We don't have wifi where we are now as the telephone cables were stolen (reminding us of South Africa). We bought a sim card and after battling with the language barrier for 2 days, we finally managed to get it activated - so we can now once again send messages. I now need to go through the many photographs we took, resize and edit them and share some of them with you.

TerminalNauticoDaBahia

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Recent Comments
Sunday, 08 February 2015 15:27
Hi Wiets and Sue,it really was awesome following your progress and at the same time frustrating knowing I'm of no bloody use while... Read More
Thursday, 12 February 2015 05:13
1150 Hits
DEC
14
1

Simonstown - Our new location

We are now moored in False Bay Yacht Club, in scenic Simonstown where we await the start of the Governor’s Cup Yacht Race 2014 to St. Helena. We left Houtbay at 05H00 this morning and motored for a while before we raised the sails in about 15 knots of easterly winds – sailing due west. We sailed around 15 nautical mile offshore and then tacked to the South East – heading back towards land. Closer to the land, the winds just about died on us and we were cruising a slow speed. We then decided to start the motors and head due south towards Cape Point. Once around Cape Point, we encountered very little winds and continued motoring all the way to False Bay Yacht Club. A quick call on the VHF radio confirmed that our mooring was ready and available. It was an uneventful and quick boring trip – but this is the best and safest way to sail. We are now safely moored, yacht has been washed by the crew and it is time to settle in for the evening.

Simonstown

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Recent comment in this post
Now that the first mate can post here, we cant blame the captain for trivial things like not updating the position report to simo... Read More
Wednesday, 17 December 2014 04:33
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