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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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SEP
01
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Trinidad to Tobago Power Boat Race

There is a power boat race every year from Trinidad to Tobago and this year's race was held last Saturday. The race starts in the city of Port of Spain, Trinidad and after doing a small circuit shortly after the start, the boats then head for the first Boca (a narrow stretch of water between the island of Trinidad and a smaller island where the current runs very strong at around 6 knots on the incoming and outgoing tide.

The first Boca is around 4 nautical miles from the boatyard where we are and the Boca is only accessible by boat. With both the Revelations and our dinghy on the hard, we were desperately looking for a way or lift to the first Boca. The night before, we started asking around if anybody knew of a boat going there - but to no avail. We woke up at about 05H00 on Saturday morning an headed made our way to the waterfront - mere 50 meters from were Revelations is parked. The place was already busy with lots of people and boat activity, all heading to the same destination - the first Boca. But all the boats were privately owned and mostly full and after some 2 hours asking and looking for a way to get there, it appeared hopeless.

Then, at the last minute, a seemingly doped up guy of about 40 years of age arrived with his worn skiff which outboard motor constantly threatened to depart to the after life. A fee of 100 rand was negotiated and we piled in the rough an ready skiff heading to the Boca. When we finally arrived some 40 minutes later, we found the place packed with hundreds of pleasure craft in all shapes and sizes - all ready and waiting for the powerboats to race pass. It turns out that our doped up guy was not particularly under the influence of anything specific, it was indeed his permanent appearance and behavior - damage form years of substance abuse. Anyway, he was friendly and coherent enough to get us there safely.

Soon after arriving, the first powerboat raced passed and Sue managed to get some nice action photographs whilst I was taking videos. But with both eyes on the boats as they raced passed, I did not get one single boat in any of the video's I took (embarrassingly). This video footage is not mine - it was video recorded by another guy on a skiff close to us and on occasion, you will see us in the video footage.

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I laughed my head off, almost p'd my pants! Kept looking for you and Sue, and then....there you were....in a proper skiff...whoa... Read More
Thursday, 17 September 2015 10:26
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JUN
26
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Public Holiday and Celebrations

It was a public holiday here in Brazil on Tuesday earlier this week. Scores of people went away for a long weekend, businesses closed for several days, there were much less cars on the road and then people started piling up firewood in the roads. For the past couple of weeks now, I noticed stacks of firewood on the pavements in front of people's houses but thought nothing of it. Unnoticed these piles of firewood grew in size into formidable heaps and the reason became clear late Tuesday afternoon. We noticed many families all moving the firewood from the pavements into the roads, they were clearly intend on making fire. But why and for what reason?

We returned to the streets early that evening and found that these piles of firewood were burning, music blaring everywhere, parts of the road were blocked off, people were sitting around in groups all along the road, celebrating and partying, drinking and lighting fire crackers. We then learned that the local market sold huge truck loads of corn cobs (called "mielies" in Afrikaans) the past few days. As we walked down the road, most of the fires burned with intense heat and some were fairly close to the houses. All along the road, we noticed corn cobs and some people were already toasting them in the fires. We took a couple of short videos as we walked down the one road - here is our compilation.

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MAY
04
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Flying at 11 knots

With my somewhat incapacitating injuries, we decided to head back to the bay of Salvador and once again visit Itaparica for the weekend. We motored out of Enseada de Garapua bay and after some distance from the shore, we turned north and once again headed towards Salvador. We raised the spinaker and within a couple of minutes adjusting the sail for optimum performance, we were sailing at 11 knots in 14 knots of wind. Although the sea state was rough and choppy from the strong winds the previous evening, it felt exhilirating and good to be on the move again.

11Knots

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APR
22
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Salvador Graffiti

Everywhere you go here in Salvador, graffiti is never far away - especially on old buildings. Some of this graffiti are quite skillfully done and although we do not quite get every thought or idea depicted in every scene, it is interesting to look at. Here is a small collection of this street art we encountered around Salvador, Brazil.

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MAR
08
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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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FEB
22
2

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
1498 Hits
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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FEB
14
3

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
1369 Hits
DEC
25
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Town of Simon from above

Some last neccessities being done, new spinaker/screetcher halyard being fitted, leka view of Wiets & Revelations from above!!

Joe25

FBYC from a different view

Joe26Joe27

Good times!! Notice the trimaran (bottom of pic) which im sure we gana beat in the race!!

Joe28

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Recent comment in this post
Hello Wiets, hi Joe, Claire here (Joe's aunt) in Auckland. Our family is following your progress with great interest - enjoying yo... Read More
Tuesday, 30 December 2014 21:06
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OCT
29
0

Governor's Cup - here we come

I drove out to False Bay Yacht Club in Simons Town with completed race entry application forms for the Governor's Cup Yacht Race 2014. The Governor's Cup Yacht Race is an exciting 1700 mile summer ocean race from Simon's Town to Jamestown in St Helena Island. Entrants typically range from fast racing boats with experienced crews to cruising boats manned by small families, some of which may afterwards sail on from the island to other destinations. AI are able to enjoy the usually prevailing downwind conditions followed by an activity-filled stay on St Helena Island across the festive season, culminating in a comfortable return early in the New Year to South Africa for crews, supporters and yachts aboard the 7000 ton mixed cargo/passenger ship), the RMS St Helena. Originally introduced with support of the then Governor of St Helena, David Smallman, then Master of the RMS St Helena Captain Dave Roberts and others, this first race first took place in 1996. Held every two years and organized and managed by the False Bay Yacht Club, the Governor's Cup race pits the fleet of competing boats above 30 feet in length against each other in an 8 to 14 day handicap chase across the South Atlantic to St Helena Island What makes participation in this race so special is that the crews can then relax and enjoy a sub-tropical holiday, joined by supporters and family who can connect with the contestants via a comfortable and economical sea cruise to and from the island on board the RMS St Helena; a never to be forgotten experience with something for everyone.

So I paid the race entry fee of R1500.00 and for 4 crew members (R300.00 each). I was handed more papers which we now need to complete which we will do in due time as we add further requirements and specifications for the race. Although not yet "officially" accepted and part of the race yet, we have taken yet another major step on our world cruise.

After St. Helena, we will make a beeline for Rio de Janeiro and in time for the world famous Rio street carnivals! This is where and when I will let it all hang out - literally! This is where I will dance like a maniac, half "kaalgat" (naked) and flash my big arse around in a skimpy G String. Hey man, you only get one opportunity, so to hell with what everybody thinks, let go of your inhibitions - so watch this space for photo's of a my fat hairy arse cheeks wrap around the thin part of a G string, jock strap or whatever I can lay my hands on!
Yeah mon, let's go!

GString

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OCT
28
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Here comes the new Rambo

Watch out! Here is Sue, in the dive shop gearing up to be the NEW Rambo on the block!

Rambo

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JUN
08
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Having fun

We woke up late this morning, slowly crawling out from under the warm duvet into the cold air. It is chilly here in Salhanha, the sun is low on the horizon and it's warm rays are still on the way. In the interim, it is around 8 degree Celsius and the cold air bites deep into our old bones. The mood is somber as we both miss our woman and all the home conveniences - although the "manne" thing is fun and all of that, but we also need some pampering from the woman. So much for us being these REAL tough guys! To lift the mood we decide to take the yacht out of the mooring and go for a sail. With the wind blowing some 20 knots, we are bound to find some action to get the blood flowing and turn the soft belly men (us) into real men again.

So we cast off, cross the shipping channel after getting clearance from Port Control, then pass the incoming cargo ship and we set the front sail. We have the whole lagoon for ourselves as there is no other activity to be seen - no yachts, no fisherman and no wind surfers. Seems like we are at least a bit tougher than these sissy boys obviously still crawled up in their warm beds. Anyway, within a few seconds, we are clocking over 6 knots with the wind partly behind. Martin then wants the main sail up and he climbs into the stack pack to unzip and get the sail ready for lifting. The wind is now pumping over 20 knots and the boom, stackpack with Martin in it, is crazily swinging about. By now, Martin is clinging on for dear life and screaming and squealing like a wild pig on heat. Turning the boat upwind settles everything and Martin then calms down, but every now and then, the boat will turn broadside to the wind and that is when the bucking, screaming and squealing will start afresh. Of course, I'm doing my best to keep the boat facing upwind. Evil

The main sail set, we change direction and the wind is now on the port beam. The boat accelerates and within seconds the boat speed is almost 10 knots. There is a marked difference in the way the boat is now going about her business - there is a wake, the boat is leaning somewhat and is straining to go. After a couple of nautical miles, we tack and head off in the opposite direction. I engage the auto pilot and we both head up to the front of the boat - time for a picture of ourselves (selfie) having fun. Pumped, the strong guy feeling returns as this gives us new bragging rights for the remainder of the day. Jeez, we men are so predictable - will we ever change?

HavingFun2

HavingFun1

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JUN
03
0

Sheer exhilaration ...

Sheer exhilaration on a fun joy ride recently with the limiter de-activated doing 320 kmph (and accelerating) with "Born to be wild" playing loud. What? Me? Come on, you guys know me! I'm a law abiding citizen and will never do something like this. Evil

Steppenwolf - Born to be wild!

BMW-M6a

BMW-M6b

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MAY
11
0

Powered Alcohol - Make you own

Some truths we rarely question. The sky is blue. The sun rises in the east. Cocktails are wet. But a new product, called Palcohol, aims to crumble our everyday expectations. It's an alcoholic beverage -- in powder form. Carry a convenient lightweight packet of powder with you anywhere, and reconstitute it with water whenever you want a drink. Palcohol will be available in vodka and rum varieties, as well as mojito, margarita, and other premixed cocktail flavors. It was officially approved by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) in the USA earlier this month. It's creator, says we can expect to see it in stores soon.

Palcohol1
Palcohol2

But how does one make powdered alcohol?
Here is how to make your own.

The only way to make unadulterated alcohol into a powder would be to freeze it solid. The temperature required to do that would destroy your tongue when you ate it though, not to mention certain other logistical concerns. The trick, therefore, is to start with a highly sorbent powder as a base, and add alcohol to it -- just enough so that the alcohol is fully soaked up, but the powder remains powdery.

The best easily obtainable powder I've found for this purpose is a specially modified starch, a maltodextrin made from tapioca and sold under the name N-Zorbit M. Each granule of this light, fluffy starch has a micro-fuzzy texture that gives it a great deal of surface area so it adsorbs liquids very well. It's popularly used in high-tech cooking to soak up fats, for instance in the "olive oil powder" recipe that appears in Modernist Cuisine. But it can also soak up alcohol pretty well.

Palcohol3It used to be hard to find in reasonable quantities for home use, but now you can buy it affordably from suppliers like Modernist Pantry or WillPowder. There's plenty of other maltodextrin out there, but those won't work for this purpose -- N-Zorbit is the one you want. (Other starch derivatives, such as cyclodextrins, would probably be even better for this task than maltodextrin, but those aren't as easy to find. Yet.)

  • Weigh out 100 grams of N-Zorbit into a mixing bowl. Because the powder is so fluffy and light, this will be a sizeable mound.
  • While whisking steadily, drizzle in 30 grams of high-proof spirit. I use Lemon Hart 151-proof rum. After you've stirred it in completely, the powder should be dry, but somewhat chunky. If it's still moist, sprinkle in a little more N-Zorbit.
  • Sift the dry liquor through a fine sieve to break up the chunks and make a nice powder. If you're making a larger batch, you can do it in a blender and step 3 won't be necessary.

Voila! You've got powdered booze. It will be a slightly moist powder, because of the water in the liquor. You can stir the powdered booze into a mixer, to taste, to make a delicious sippable; sprinkle it on food (rum powder is great on desserts); or just lick a little bit of powder off your finger for the novelty. Be careful: it's highly flammable! Don't get it anywhere near a flame.

You may be able to use a lower-proof spirit, but that will require significantly more N-Zorbit to soak it up, and produce a damper, clumpier powder. And the more powder you add, the more weakly the flavor of the spirit will come through. On the other hand, if you have access to 190-proof neutral grain spirit, you can make a very strong powdered booze indeed. If you store your powdered alcohol in a sealed container with one of those (non-edible!) silica gel packets, some of the water will be selectively absorbed by the silica, and the powder will become more powdery.

I don't know if this is similar to Palcohol's secret method, which (according to the leaked label above) has close to a 1:1 ratio of alcohol to non-alcohol content by weight. But I look forward to trying their product when it's ready!

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MAY
10
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Kitten freak out

Here is a YouTube video showing a kitten catching a BIG spook! Hilarious!

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