Due to bad internet connection this is all I can send for the moment.
Just to undermine my last blog entry.....More pix will follow hopefully
in Vitoria.

Tomorrow morning we leave this beautiful town of Caravelas again and
head towards the Aprolhos. Rocky islands about 70km way from the coast
here, a natural preserve where you need permission to go there and very
restricted as well. Hope we can at least snorchel, It is said to be VERY
beautiful there. And we expect to see many whales. We're in a high
density whale area at the moment. ...From the Aprolhols we head for
Vitoria where we should arrive tuesday. Can easily be that you don't
hear from me in the meantime.
Marcus is just writing a blog entry as well, so don't forget to also
check out the german blog.

Finally: special thanks to Sven for his wonderful guestbook entry in the
english blog! We're happy he enjoyed Alitania so much.

Wonderful sailing and nature

This last trip from Camamú bay to Caravelas was a beautiful one. Quite
calm seas and a good wind, which after my first night shift stabilized,
wales, beautiful sunsets and sunrises as well as good fishes (macreles)
who had decided to be a hero and die for the sake of providing us with
first class protein. Thank you guys, you were wonderful - and will be
(we'll have the last filet tomorrow). So indeed a trip to enjoy.

God seems to have decided that I need some excitement during my shifts
so he tends to make sure to keep changing the weather conditions during
my shifts or send me some other surprises, that keep me busy and happy.
So during my first shift the wind constantly changed towards westerly
winds and thus tried to push me towards land. That meant I had to tack
(wenden) to get out to the sea where I was supposed to find a wind from
a more southerly or better south-easterly direction. Well, it did turn
more and more north, all the way to an easterly wind, which caused me to
change the course more and more north - back to where we had come from -
just more east out on the atlantic. Then I saw the cloud coming, wind
picked up but then the rain did its best and the wind died completely. I
used the chance to take the genua in and drive out more to the east so
be able to then tack and head towards where we had to go without the
need of a further tack. The plan worked out. Once in the new direction I
re-set the sails and off we went....In my next shift similar game. Rain
clouds seem to have become my friends. First they give you a nice kick
as the wind gets stronger and you sail faster (we came up to 7,8 knots
at that time) and then you get wet and have to take the sail down and
motor on once the wind dies completely....This time thank god just for
Then yesterday I we had different highlights. Marcus had already cuaght
2 fish which I had put into the fridge as Frank continued his pledge
towards catching his first fish, ans it should be a big one. So Marcus
put out the fishing rod again and what can I say: during my shift a big
Mahi Mahi (about 10kg) came to love our pink plastic octopus and decided
to die for us. Frank pulled it in, Marcus got in on board and showed
Frank how to kill the guy and take it apart, which Frank did. Including
cleaning the deck afterwards from all the blood. Frank did a good job to
overcome his fear of killing the fish. Congratulations.
Then my personal highlight in my nightshift this morning short after
midnight. I had just changed the direction 70° to a downwind course (vor
dem Wind), taken the genua down to a quiet but still fast glide through
the moonlit night with the waves rolling and pushing from behind. This
to me was the most beautiful sailing night I had in a long time.
Everything as perfect and I felt the happiness in my heart. Just in this
peaceful moment I heard some strange calls from the ocean. At the same
time Marcus came up to me and asked me if I had heard the whales "talk".
That was the moment I realized what an extraordinary moment I had just
experienced. Just imagine, you're sitting in a boat, a nice breeze
around your nose, the moon shines behind the boat in the direction where
the waves come from, you're relaxed and love your life and then you hear
strange sounds. I had heard them in movies before, documentations about
whales and in "Free Willy". It was as if you put a seal and cow mixture
in a big box, drop it under water and let them call you. Hard to
describe that beautiful sound. Next to that deeper sound I also heard a
higher sound. At first I heard it in front of the boat on starboard
(Steuerbord) side, then directly on the side and then again from behind,
so they must have swam the opposite direction, passing by us. THe night
turned silent again. All I then heard was the wind and the waves softly
rolling by. About 10 minutes later I heard a call again while I was
looking in to the moon. Marcus was also up in that moment still. He came
and sat next to me. Then we both heard a splash on the starbord side of
the boat. Just a bit more of a splash than the splashing of a soft wave.
We both looked in the direction out onto the water at the same time when
we heard a huge blow and splash, saw the water shooting up into the air
against the moonlight and then saw the whale coming up. What a beautiful
sight at night, when the moonlight puts this special, beautiful
glimmering and yet mysterious shin on everything. This was the closest I
had every experienced a whale. Only maybe 50m away. Must have been 2.
They were travelling the same direction as the ones we had heard before,
that to me proves my hearing a bit....They were travelling so fast that
30 s later I saw another splash against the moonlight and then we were
back to silence. Marcus and I kept staring out on the ocean, still
overwhelmed by our feelings of this beautiful moment.

How to describe the blow? Hmm, to me it was like as if someone strongly
blew into a stiff plastic tube of maybe 5cm diameter, right next to your
ear. With a bit more base. Just amazing. That was the moment when I
realized how much my senses have changed. Since you're always alone in
your night shifts (and mostly during the days as well) you learn to feel
and hear what is going on around you. I need to be able to differentiate
noises from the boat from noises coming out of the wide ocean or created
by the wind. Those senses all of a sudden work without you noticing it.
I can feel an "enemy" boat approaching, feel and hear the wind change or
the boat moving in other directions, hear/feel which sails are up (if
the setup was changed while I slept ;-), how our course is to the wind
or, and that's new, if whales talk at night. We don't think about it,
but especially at night we are dependent on this ability as we can't see
much - with full moon more than with no moon, but still it's dark. Very
rarely though have I had a night completely dark - no moon and the sky
full of dark rain and strom clouds. That's frightening. Even more you
need to feel and hear. And pray. You don't want to sail into something
like a sweet whale sleeping at the surface....I hope I did not bore you
with this wonderful experience.

Besides this beautiful nature we're so lucky to be able to eperience I
am still fascinated by the friendliness and helpfulness of the
Brazilians. Not one day, in which we are not out sailing, passes without
someone helping us even before we know we need help. Another beautiful
example happened today. We took the Finghi to get to the land.
Unfortunately there was only the big pier made out of concrete which is
there for big boats. We couldn't really leave the Dinghi there. Marcus
however wanted that only one (him) gets dirty and brought Frank and me
to this pier. As we had low tide it was hard to even get to the lowest
stair from the Dinghi and this step was evel full of mudd. We would have
had to g on the knees in order to be able to get up there. A boat was on
the pier and the guy on the boat already as we approached the pier
showed us we could get out to the stairs over his boat, which he had
just cleaned! That was so sweet. We had to bind the Dinghi to another
stair and Marcus was the one to crawl out from the Dinghi onto the step
while I tried to help him and pulled him up. But he cut his toe on the
extermely sharp mussles there and bleeded like hell. I fixed th boat to
a metal I had found and found a hose with water where we could clean
Marcus foot. The guy from the boat saw that and asked us if he should
bring some desinfection, which he did. How sweet is that??? When we came
back from our tour through town another boat had tied itself to the
stair where our FInghi was and had re-tied our Dinghi to his boat. This
eased us the way into the Dinghi - we could use his boat to transfer. I
am just speechless. I understand more and more why people love to move
here and "Brazilianize" so fast. It is an honour to be like that and
watch out for each other.



On sunday evening we finally left Morro for good. The wind and the direction still were not optimal, but we had to leave some time.

We headed for Ilhéus but stopped for the afternoon and night at Ilha do Goió and Ilha do Campinho (town Saphino), all located in the Baia do Camamú. The anchorage is right in bewteen the two islands. A beautiful place on this earth. White sand beach as always, mangorves into the water and palm trees (planted by humans after killing natural trees and mangroves). The night was probably the most quiet night we ever had. The river flat, no wind, no noise whatsoever.

Tonight we're at anchor in front of the Yacht Club of Ilhéus, the third biggest city of Bahía. There is no noise, but the harbour is not protected very well so we will be rolling all night. But that does not keep us from sleeping...

After the first 5 hrs of motoring today we finally had a nice sailing day. The wind finally changed the direction and we were able to sail down 40-50° against the wind without tacking. We had tacked already under motor 3 times before that....Thank god the waves were very low, so it was a clam, fast sail. The sail that we all like.

While enjoying it in the afternoon, Whales showed up again. Twice. The first time close enough to take some few pictures with my long lense. Got the tail finally!!! The second time I was alone on deck, the sun slowly moving down, warm sunlight, I enjoyed music and sang. All of a sudden I saw something big in the horizon and was a stonished where all of a sudden the ship came from as I was constantly scanning the horizon and would have noticed a ship before. Then I realized it was not a ship but huge splashes and huge wales throwing themselves around. They jumped up high and twisted like I had only seen it from the dolhins in Noronha before. I was stunned. Too far away to take a picture with the camera, but not far enough to not take pix with my inner eye...It was so beautiful to watch them do their sunset Ballett -Fitness-Workout.

Ahh, I almost forgot to mention: Marcus caught 2 fish today, which served as a dinner: a tuna and a macrele. Not very big, just enough for one dinner. About 1,2 kg. As always Marcus prepared the fish wonderfully, today on the BBQ.

Bonne nuit. Michaela