|"Egret" N4674 - Scott and Mary Flanders
Ed note: After a summer filled with cruising along the Mediterranean and conducting final preparations for their big voyage, Scott and Mary Flanders left September 16th, 2006 for the Canary Islands - the first stop in their great adventure taking them from Gibraltar to New Zealand by way of Cape Horn. After successfully traversing the Horn, the Flanders fell in love with the pristine cruising grounds of the "deep south" and decided to winter in Chile, thus postponing their arrival into New Zealand by a year, but they reached their goal destination in October 2008. Now plans call for exploring the lands of New Zealand and Australia. Here, the latest update from the Flanders as they keep us continually apprised of their journey with weekly log reports.
November 26, 2006
Well. mi amigos, let us give you first impressions of Egret's arrival in Mar
Del Plata, Argentina. The dredge was gone, the standing waves left with the
northerly winds then we were met by a group of friendly sea lions. One
thing our somewhat dated cruising guide was very correct about was the
little maneuvering room in the tiny five acre basin housing four yacht
clubs. Fortunately there was no wind or current so Egret wandered around
with no one answering the radio, sooooo we squeezed in between two poles bow
first to the dock. We knew we were in Yacht Club Argentino from the yellow
stripes on the dock mentioned in the guide. With help from our new German
neighbors we were secure. Soon followed a parade of friendly cruisers and
Argentinians all looking at this strange BIG boat. We have never felt Egret
was big in fact she is quite small compared to the Ft. Lauderdale boats we
are used to. In this marina she towers.
This small group of docks is the home of REAL sailors. The Argentinians
themselves in their small day sailors sail through the swing bridge, around
the maze of docks, round up, drop the sail and coast into their slip. Half
of the boats don't have an engine. Pretty to watch. The southbound boats
are the REAL DEAL. All have heavy duty everything, heater chimneys, self
steering vanes and are from everywhere EXCEPT the US. The Yacht Club flies
flags of every country represented in the marina. The US flag near the top
of the masthead represents Egret, something we are proud of. Behind and
next to Egret are Swedes, we had Germans over last night for cocktails and
dinner, Aussies, Kiwis, Spaniards, French, Danes, etc. All are going
south to Chile. All are waiting for the wind to swing to the north more
A couple left yesterday in their small sailboat heading for South Georgia
Island. Incredible!!! S. Georgia is where Ernest Shackleton is buried near
an old whaling station located midway between the tip of South America and
below Africa at about 50 degrees south. To get there you have to sail SW
then pick up the 'screaming 50's' westerlies where full gales roar through
every so many hours chasing themselves around the Southern Ocean. Once on
that course there is NO turning back. You must either land in South Africa
or Australia. Wild!!
The Argentine Peso was tied to the US dollar for years but since their
financial troubled times it is now at 3.05-$. Bill Gates move over.
Everything is a deal. Yesterday we bought fleece lined waterproof pants, a
heavy fleece pull over and heavy rabbit hair socks for a song. We have
fleece gloves and a pair of waterproof pants coming for Mary on Monday.
This is for hiking in the mountains of the Chilean Canals. We will replace
Egret's rock hard dock lines here as well. Unfortunately the lady in the
store told us not to go out at night in this part of the city. There is a
huge fleet of offshore fishing boats up to 300' docked here with their
crews. Apparently the crews like to mix it up at night drinking and so
Across from Egret is a number of small day fishing boats with paying guests
that bottom fish close by. When they return they are met by a couple of
begging sea lions cruising along behind looking for scraps. Pretty cool for
these Floridians and a Coloradoan.
Today, Sunday, is boat chores day. Tomorrow we will finish the customs cha
cha then go into the main town to look around. Master Angler Steve was
there yesterday returning with bags of 'stuff' he bought for presents.
After a brief intermission for breakfast we're back to sign off. After
staring out the pilothouse windows as we write this then enjoying the last
of our jungle fruit from Brazil, toasted bread from Argentina, apricot and
cherry jelly from Turkey and Starbucks French roast from the US. As my aunt
used to say, "sometimes I have to pinch myself to see if this is real". The
Egret crew is very, very lucky. Think about this mi amigos. This is not an
exclusive club. It is open to all. Ciao.
November 24, 2006
Position: S38 02.44 W57 32.28 (at the berth in Yacht Club Argentino) nm
traveled 158.4, Average speed 6.2 knots, NM traveled from Gibraltar 5602.0
Wow!!!! This place is great. Will give a report in time. We ate lunch at
the Yacht Club today for lunch. Poached mussles in a cream sauce, calamari,
fresh bread, beer, Steve had a huge steak, etc, 30 bucks with tip. My kind
of deal! Two locals from the yacht club next door stopped by a second ago.
Now we have to go fishing with them. Oh yes, breakfast before at their
clubhouse. Life is very good for the Egret crew.
Well, mi amigos, today is arrival day in Mar Del Plata, Argentina, from our
departure port of Florianopolis, Brazil. This leg is a 123 hour journey,
about 5.12 days. It is just after sunrise with 28.49nm to go. Last evening
we watched the front retreat giving the Egret crew a very calm ride in
gentle seas. This morning the seas are slick with lazy 2-3' swells from the
SW. The coffee carryometer is doing well. As we neared the coast both Mary
and Steve on their watches were busy diverting around the local fishing
boats on the banks.
Something we have been noticing for days is the brilliance of the sun. In
this area of sweeping winds, very few people and no industry there is no
haze. Just pure brilliance. For the first time in years both Mary and I
were sunburned after a couple hours in the dinghy and visiting the bird
sanctuary in the Brazilian offshore national park.
We have made our peace with the albatrosses. Perhaps from feeling guilty
from their previous teasing the photographer last evening they put on a show
cartwheeling around Egret in multiple pairs along with their jet black
cousins. Mary and I watched their aerial display for several hours before
dark. We have some great pictures to pass along. Master Angler Steve is
making a quick trip to the States while Egret is in Mar Del Plata so he will
bring the picture CD's earlier than expected. They will be on the website
soon. Included will be the Salvador to Mar Del Plata pictures including the
national park and Ilha Grande.
Mar Del Plata and a new adventure begins...more to follow. Today will end
Egret's Daily Position Report until departure with occasional updates coming
with shore side news.
November 23, 2006
Position: S36 34.87 W54 48.26 Course: 246 degrees M, Average speed: 5.9
knots at 1550 RPMs, Seas: 4-6' NNW, Apparent wind: 11.8 knots NNW, Nautical
miles to go: 155.1, Distance traveled from Gibraltar: 5445.78
Tomorrow's daily position report will be sent after Egret's arrival in Mar
Del Plata and secure in her berth. On the Google Earth tracking you will be
able to zoom in using the slide bar to the left of the overhead picture to
see exactly where Egret is berthed in one of the two yacht clubs. Amazing
After writing the introduction to OMNI Bob's Wed (yesterday's) weather
forecast and mentioning the building seas, the seas continued to build into
quite high little mountains for two hours or so then stayed large but spaced
out further and finally diminished into comfortable 4-6 footers. Last night
was very comfortable as well. This morning (Thurs) exactly as predicted the
wind and waves are clocking around to the northerly quadrants. At this time
(0830GMT) the wind is from the NNE at 15.6 knots with building 3-5' waves.
The ocean certainly has many different personalities. A good friend
e-mailed and asked about the weather Egret had been thru and forecasted
nasty weather. We would like to share with you an expanded version of the
reply on a separate addendum to today's Daily Position Report. Please take
the time to read the addendum as part of Egret's efforts to share with you
the hard to find details of long distance cruising life.
A couple of days ago we mentioned Milt and Judy Baker's Yahoo website for
next year's Atlantic crossing to the Med. Here is the website open to all.
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/MedBound2007/ The Egret crew can't recommend
enough if you have a capable boat and have done your requisite miles to join
this group. Mediterranean cruising is simply fantastic! The Med is one of
the most beautiful, historic and simple areas to cruise in the world.
During her three season, two-winter Med cruise Egret did not have her
stabilizers turned on 60% of the time. The Atlantic crossing is the easiest
ocean to cross with the 'connect the dots' (Bermuda, Azores, Gibraltar)
itinerary. Take the time to read the information if not for next spring but
for the future. Print every page and put them into your 'someday' file.
November 23, 2006
In reply to a NAR buddy's e-mail asking about the nasty seas Egret is
forecast to drive through and has driven through recently, we will share
with you an expanded version of our reply. First we would like to give you
Egret's boating experience and lack of experience to give you a personal
The Egret crew are relative neophytes to long distance cruising. We owned
fishing boats for a number of years spending many hours on the water BUT in
short day trips. A few exceptions were Bahamas trips on long weekends. All
of these hours DO count in your overall comfort on the water. As the early
retirement and cruising bug was germinating - fueled by Cruising World,
Ocean Navigator, Passagemaker and other magazines, we took the initiative
and first big step buying a small Grand Banks for a real life test, not a
theoretical arm chair exercise. Happy to say we passed that test with
flying colors. The next big hurtle in Egret's case was to make the decision
to sell everything and order what has become our home and transporter to our
dream destinations. This small, heavily built white fiberglass little ship
through our experiences of the past five years has shown her true colors.
We thought we knew when we bought her, now after the miles we do know. So
with absolute confidence in our safety learned during 4852.1 hours under way
we will address the wind and wave issues.
In a single word comfort at sea is acclimation. Like any endeavor, whether
it be a hobby, vocation, skill of any kind acclimation and comfort comes
through DOING. Yesterday's large head seas Egret was reporting as sort of
ho hum would ten years ago have our eyes out on stalks. No big deal these
days. No big deal for you either after putting in the hours and miles.
What IS important is knowing YOUR little ship will take care of you.
Here is another important point. When Egret reaches Mar Del Plata,
Argentina, tomorrow a boat we met in Salvador, Brazil reported some Southern
Ocean Class of '06 boats are congregating in one of the two yacht clubs.
This group of intrepid sailors are truly skilled. They NEED to be. (Sadly
at this point none are Americans and none are powerboats.) This very moment
if Egret were a sailboat we would be on a beam reach getting soaked with
very chilly sea water a couple times a minute. Yesterday when Egret was
driving through large head seas sail boats would have to be doing long tacks
to make headway to windward. For a sailboat to power through that mess
would have been nearly impossible. We are standing in the pilothouse braced
on the counter in a tee shirt, shorts and barefoot as this is written.
Bottom line: The Egret crew are just plain folks. Any of you reading these
lines could travel in your learned comfort and safety in YOUR little ship.
If long distance cruising is in your future MAKE SURE your little ship is
the RIGHT little ship. Make sure she is as safe as you think she is, not
what some salesman tells you she is. You will find as well the sea is your
friend. You will become as comfortable as the albatrosses wheeling off
Egret's bow at this moment. All you need to do is write the check and put
in the hours. It will change your lives.
November 22, 2006
Position: S35 06.29 W52 37.51 (about 100nm due east of Punta del Este
(East Point) Uruguay), Course 219 degrees M, Distance traveled past 24
hours 158.7nm, Average speed at 1550 RPM's 6.6 knots, Seas 3-5' and
building SW, Wind (true) 14 knots SW, distance traveled from Gibraltar
Exactly as predicted by OMNI Bob the weather has swung SW giving Egret
building head seas in 14 knots (true) of wind. Our downhill sleigh ride
with accompanying great speed is over for a while. Our average speed for
the past 24 hours is dropping like a rock. Egret's current speed is 4.3
knots. The good news is we will no longer have to anchor off the beach or
steam back and forth offshore Friday morning on arrival at Mar Del Plata.
The other good news is the tide will be nearly high. Whale Song reported a
dredge mid-channel (narrow to start with) at the entrance with breaking
waves before and at the entrance. As the C-Map charts show we were advised
to stay tight to the northern breakwater.
Lovely. Let's get this right. We have to drive through breaking waves with
half a channel staying next to a big pile of grande rocks. Yup we do. At
least we will have an additional six feet of water under the keel. We'll
The beautiful albatrosses are no longer our friends. Those slime dogs have
been teasing mercilessly as the photographer has been hanging on by his
eyelashes risking sea water spray on the camera trying to get a picture for
you amigos. Last night's sunset and this morning's early illuminating sun,
no pity. Feathered pole dancers.
On a more successful note my sweetie performed her own dance this morning
making pancakes standing in her bouncing galley. In the 5 years of owning
Egret she has only once not fixed meals because of rough weather. That
first was last Monday's dinner when the boys were sent off with an apple.
An Olympic gymnast could not have made dinner that night. It would have
been too dangerous. Soooo, mi amigos, all is well. The sun is shining, the
seas reasonable, life is good for the Egret crew.
In the two hours since writing the last weather the wind has strengthened to
over 20 knots with still building seas. Both seas and wind are still from
the SW. Our turning waypoint in 27nm will put the seas directly on the bow.
Sooo it looks like a two-day bounce with some relief when the wind and seas
clock to a more northerly direction. We'll see.
A cold front extending NW from a low center near 42S 49W moves north/east
along the southern Brazilan coast through the day. The front is expected to
weaken as high pressure ridging extends SW across 40S 50W late tonight thru
Thur/am. A new cold front is expected to move north/east across Argentina
on Thursday then cross the northern Argentina coast by Fri/morning. The
front will weaken during Fri/pm as it extends across the Rio de la Plata
area. However, a moderately strong high pressure ridge extending from near
36S 90W SE across the southern Chile/Cape Horn area will help maintain a
moderate to fresh pressure wind gradient behind the cold front through
Friday. We note that observations indicate fresh SW'ly winds of 25-30kts
behind the cold front across the coastal Uruguay area. These conditions will
tend to ease as the high ridge pattern builds across the area thru tonight.
Along the direct coastal route to Mar del Plata expect:
Wed/22: SW'ly 22-27kt, SW-SSW 8-10ft gusty west of the cold front thru the
aftn, Ease SW-WSW to WNW 15-20kt to 10-15kts thru tonight-overnight. Seas
easing SW-SSW 6-8ft thru late aftn, then ease to SW-WSW 3-5ft during
Wed/eve-night. Morning clouds, maybe a shower give way to clearing skies.
Thur/23: WNW-NNW 12-20kts, WNW-NW 3-5ft, upto 6ft Thur/am. Freshen NW-NNW
17-25kt, gusty 30kt+ passing the cold front late, NW-NNW 7-9ft during
Thu/eve-night. Incr clouds with showers, maybe a thundershower
Fri/24-arrival: SW-SSW 20-27kt, SW-SSW 7-9ft, chance 10ft thru arrival.
November 21, 2006
Position: S32 42.60 W51 12.25 Course 221 degrees M, Average speed 7.0
knots, Distance traveled 345.1nm (past 48 hours), Seas 4-6' NNE, Apparent
wind 6.9 knots NNE/ 14 knots true, Nautical miles to go to Mar Del Plata
443.02, Distance traveled from Gibraltar 5145.77
Hola (hello) mi amigos (working on Spanish for Argentina thru the
Galapagos). There is very little to report yesterday to today. Egret had a
routine day at sea in comfortable 4-6' mostly down sea swells. The sun made
an appearance for the afternoon, first in days, and we had a spectacular
sunset. Master Angler Steve saw his first green flash. The air is so clean
and clear the sun is particularly bright. The albatrosses were out in force
with two new species of flying critters making their appearance. Egret was
swarmed with big albatrosses just after sunset framing themselves against
that beautiful setting. By the time we got the camera out they were gone.
Will try again tonight.
We have been working on a star rating harbor/anchorage guide to the
Mediterranean as requested by Milt and Judy Baker, Bluewater 47-32, for
their upcoming Atlantic crossing spring 07 and subsequent Med cruise. This
will be a useful addendum to the three season, two winter Mediterranean
cruising itinerary that will soon be available on the Voyage of Egret
website. Milt and Judy have gone all out forming a crossing group using the
Nordhavn owners group Yahoo website and a second Yahoo website for the
crossing forum. If you have any interest in crossing yourselves either as a
boat owner or crew now is the time to join this group and let yourself be
swept away. There is still plenty of time to prepare your boat and stage in
Ft Lauderdale for the crossing. Visit
November 19, 2006
Position: S28 16.10 W48 32.48 Average speed at 7.2 kts@1600 rpm.
NAR buddies aboard Strickly for Fun (Nordhavn 47) reached their westbound
destination of Grenada at 0100 this morning after an Atlantic crossing from
the Cape Verde islands. They had great weather, averaged remarkable speed
and logged a routine trip. Congratulations to Scott Strickland and his crew
Tom Selman (N50 owner), Frank Sain (N40 owner) and Ron Montague (N47 owner).
Well, mi amigos, Egret is under way again to Mar Del Plata, Argentina
bouncing along in confused 8-10' and occasional larger seas in 24.2 knots of
wind. It is amazing how our little ship runs through this mess. Egret's
coffee carryometer needle is barely lifting off the scale. The good news,
it is raining keeping the water on the pilothouse glass somewhat brackish.
Floroianopolis is everything Salvador should be and perhaps will be in time.
Flo is a beautiful modern city on the island of Ilha de Santa Catarina with
the mainland city of Santa Catarina west across the bay. We mentioned in a
previous VofE how at night it reminded us of Miami Beach with the buildings
illuminated at night in different colors. We did our final provisioning in
a multi story mall as attractive and modern as any in the States. Squealing
kids were enjoying a Holiday program downstairs complete with a couple of
Santas. With our final load of jungle fruit, bread, meat, etc the Egret
crew took a very wet ride in the rain aboard our tiny little rubber boat
loaded with three crew and filled to the gunwales (actually to the top o'
de' tubes) with plastic bags of goodies. Yes, Master Angler Steve had his
candy and drink mix packets.
The customs cha cha in Flo is the big story here. In all of Egret's
travels, customs officials have been courteous, pleasant and professional.
(Except Luperon Harbor in the Dominician Republic. When we asked for a
receipt they too did their proper duties.) Flo officials were exceptional.
First the Navy officer at Capitania dos Portos (Port Captain) gave us nine
days to leave after checkout because he understands weather issues. He told
us a story abut how recently a Navy ship brought 350 Army troopers up from
the south in fifteen foot seas. One hundred fifty of them were hospitalized
on arrival because of sea sickness. Next was the Policia Federal. We were
ushered in front of quite a crowd to mesa 6 (table 6). A young English
speaking officer cleared us out after a thorough inspection of our papers.
The Federal Police are not sailors and are used to giving only 24 hours to
leave once cleared (true in most countries). After explaining our weather
situation they, too, gave us a time extension of 72 hours.
Our last official clearance check out was Alfangeda (Customs). Here we met
our knight in shining armor. Because Flo is not a commercial port with its
shallow bay and few cruisers, Customs is no longer checking boats out of
Brazil. We were told to go to a commercial port about 50 miles south. This
presents two problems. First we would exceed our 72 hour Federal Police
time frame and second the complexity of anchoring in a commercial harbor,
dinghying ashore and finding the Police, etc. (This was Friday and we
planned to leave on Monday.) The cruising guide was VERY wrong. Our Customs
officer, Ricardo Navarro, is a sailing regatta official at the local yacht
club. He went WAY beyond the call of duty and gave Egret a personal 'Pass'
to exit the country. Best of luck to Ricardo for the help he gave us. (We
have sent the RCC cruising guide updated information and will also send the
information to noonsite.com)
We will sign off now, rock n' roll and watch the albatrosses working the
wind and waves in front of our little ship. OMNI Bob's latest forecast is
To: Captain Scott - M/Y EGRET
1Fm: O.M.N.I./USA1108Z 19 NOV 2006 Latest
observations indicate SE-ESE winds 20-27kts south of Florianopolis toward
30S/lat. Latest satellite imagery indicates the stationary front continues
to extend WNW across southern Brazil near and just north of Florianopolis. A
wave of low pressure appears to have formed inland along the front. The wave
should move ESE along the front today, across 28S 40W thru Mon/morning, then
seaward. As the low moves seaward, the front should move slowly northward
thru Mon/night-Tue/am. South of the front an area of high pressure centered
near the Rio de la Plata area is expected to remain stationary thru
Sun/aftn-eve, then move north/east across the Uraguay to the southern
Brazilian coast near 30S south thru Mon/am-aftn. Thereafter, the high is
expected to move eastward across 30S45W thru Tue/midday, then weakens during
Wed/22 as it crosses 40W. A new cold front is expected to move north/east
across northern Argentina during Wed/pm, but will have a hard time moving
north of the Rio de la Plata area through Thur-Fri. Outlooks indicate the
front tends to stall and lay WNW across the Rio de la Plata area through
Fri/am. As with any stationary front, there will be the risk of low pressure
developing along the front during Thur/pm-Friday. Should this occur, SE-ESE
winds will tend to freshen south of the front, across the Rio de la Plata
area and northern Argentina coast during Thu/night and Friday. In the
meantime there appears to be no change in the short term wind/sea pattern.
You should anticipate SSE-ESE winds forces 5-6 gusty/7 on Sunday, slowly
easing forces 6-4 during Monday into Tue moving through the high ridge.
Therefore, basis a departure early Sun/am along the direct coastal route to
Mar del Plata expect:
Sun/19: SSE-ESE 22-27kt, upto 30-33kt thru Sun/aftn near the front. SE-ESE
7-10ft chance higher Sun/am-aftn. Winds should ease closer to 20-25kts,
SE-ESE 6-8ft during Sun/night-overnight.
Mon/20: SE-ESE 20-25kt, gusty, ESE 6-8ft during Mon/am. Easing ESE-E 15-20kt
to ESE-Var 10-15kt, ESE 4-6ft, then E-confused2-4ft during Mon/pm.
Tue/21: Var to N-NW 08-15kt Tue/am. Gradually freshen NNW-NW 15-20kt during
Tue/pm. Waves 2-3ft Tue/am, build 3-5ft during Tue/pm.
Wed/22: NW-WNW, slowly shift W-WSW 10-20kts thru Wed. Chance become WSW-SW
15-22kt, gusty during Wed/night. WNW to WSW 3-5ft, upto 6-7ft during the
Please keep us advised of your departure and daily posn while enroute. We
will monitor your posn and updated information and update this forecast
later today, if there are significant changes. Otherwise, we will update
Mon/20th by 1200GMT.
November 16, 2006
Position: S27 36.29 W48 33.55 Distance traveled (29 hours) 212.1nm
Average speed at 1600 RPM's 7.3 knots, Seas following 4-6', apparent wind
4.5 knots Distance traveled from Gibraltar 4799.26nm
The first yacht club was closed. Egret is anchored beyond the two bridges
in 12' of water. We will start the customs cha cha shortly.
Today we saw our first albatross ever. Today's albatrosses are the
black-browed albatross or black-browed Mollymawk. The wing span of mature
birds reaches nearly eight feet. Today's albatrosses' were about five feet.
The large sea going gulls we took so many pictures of in the national park
are the masked bobies with their bright yellow beak and olive green feet,
also a first. (We are far enough south the line drawings of birds and their
descriptions in the Patagonia Guide are coming to life). Also we have seen
miles of plankton floating on the surface. The first we saw was after
passing a ship. We were thinking very evil thoughts about our large
brethren pumping their bilge into OUR ocean but later saw it everywhere.
Where the plankton has congregated into thick piles it looks like fine
ground yellow corn. Egret's stabilizer cooling pump sea strainer is
clogging fast. This says a lot for keel cooling the same pump.
Below was written earlier this morning inspired by the sunrise.
What a beautiful day!! Our little white fiberglass home is lit up in the
just risen sun. In spite of the miles she still sparkles. The seas have
behaved this entire trip pushing Egret at record speed since leaving the
States toward her next destination of Florianopolis, Brazil, just fifty or
so miles ahead. Florianopolis is Egret's next of many past little cruiser
challenges. Flo is a N/S island off the mainland connected by two central
bridges across a shallow bay. The Ilate Clube de Santa Catarina (YC of St
Catherine) is located at the north inside tip of the island. It is small
AND didn't welcome the cruising guide's author in his small sailboat like an
arriving prince so we may have a somewhat distorted view of the YC. A YC or
marina in Brazil represents security.
The YC alternative is follow a winding course through the shallow bay and
anchor just north of the northern bridge. This means leaving a dinghy
somewhere. All three of the Egret crew must present themselves at customs,
immigration, etc. A dinghy here is worth perhaps several years' wages to a
possible sticky fingered local. Even Egret's small dinghy with patches and
outboard motor cowl taped with gorilla tape after our little misadventure in
Italy. So, what do we do? Don't know. We'll do something, AND we will
enjoy ourselves. It is very rare we don't. After a while the unpredictable
becomes the predictable.
As we mentioned another time, cruising isn't like going to your favorite
restaurant for dinner. Cruising is different. You have to think a bit.
Like everything you can do most anything when you have too. This is why
long distance cruisers as a group are so settled, sure of themselves,
content and enjoy little pleasures we don't get to enjoy in our frantic dirt
dwelling lives. (Frantic is an extreme word, but what isn't extreme these
days of tabloid news on TV, etc?)
Well, mi amigos, after that little rant it is time to make coffee for my
sweetie. On the coffee carryometer today is rated 'very good'. (The coffee
carryometer is Egret's highly technical method of rating sea
state...carrying coffee to the pilothouse) Adios
November 15, 2006
Position: S24 43.30 W46 34.52 Distance traveled 160.9nm, Average speed
(variable rpm's to 1600) 7.4 knots, Seas 6-8" swells ESE, apparent wind
2.9 knots variable, distance traveled from Gibraltar 4586.12 nm
Egret left Ilha Grande around 1400GMT yesterday. Once offshore we
encountered residual sea swells that continued while rounding the two
headlands before the turn toward Florianopolis. We then encountered
confused 6-8" swells making for a bounce until about 0100GMT this morning.
The front we reported yesterday did indeed march to the north leaving Egret
in calm winds that continue until now. The seas have taken a ESE set with
comfortable swells. OMNI Bob reported higher winds however we think (and
are hoping) it is because we did not follow the near shore route we intended
missing the sea breezes.
Egret has been consistently 40nm+ offshore. For safety's sake instead of a
direct rhum line course to Florianopolis we chose to set a course for a
large bay then turn directly for Florianopolis adding just two hours to the
trip but keeping Egret within a reasonable distance from shore (instead of
over 100nm) in case of deteriorating weather.
The birds are back. Large green-headed powerful tern shaped birds have been
dive bombing the bow all morning along with a smaller dark backed petral.
Egret doesn't have a bird or fish book for the South Atlantic and should
have. Our only bird and fish (whale and dolphin) drawings and descriptions
are in the Patagonia Guide starting further south.
We passed a cruising sailboat under the iron sail this morning pounding
their way east into head seas. Brutal. Egret is riding comfortably down
sea in the same seas. Just guessing they are on their way to the Ilha
Grande area to begin their cruising season.
Nordhavn Atlantic Rally friends on Nordhavn 47, Strickly for Fun, are
closing on their destination of Grenada from their Cape Verde departure.
Strickly is enjoying a fast, nearly trouble-free voyage with great weather.
Strickly for Fun was the first 47 to cross the Atlantic and the first now to
recross the Atlantic. Many more will follow but there will never be another
first for the Atlantic. In '08 Strickly plans to cross the Pacific.
November 14, 2006
Position: 23 23.57S 44 34.52W, course 244 degrees M, average speed (since
1200GMT - now 1800GMT) 6.9 knots at 1600 RPM, Seas confused 6-8' multi
directional swells from the SSE/SSW (lumpy), wind, less than 5 knots
Egret is under way to her final Brazilian check out port of Florianopolis.
The approximate 350nm voyage is a two day plus run. We should arrive during
daylight on Nov 16th. We have been told by several Brazilians Florianopolis
is beautiful so we may stay for a couple of days to sightsee and provision
for the next leg to Argentina. Because of serious weather further south we
asked for and received from the Naiad folks a weather delay for our
destination of Mar Del Plata, Argentina where a Naiad technician is flying
in to upgrade Egret to the Multi Sea Electronic Control system. He is now
arriving on December 4th giving us time for the deep low to move east and
Ilha (Isla) Grande appeared out of the mist the early morning hours of
November 11th. The tiny fishing village of Abraao on the NW coast was
Egret's destination and anchorage for two days and nights moving to a
smaller cove on the SW coast for a third night. Isla Grande is a 10nm N-S
island with multiple coves around the perimeter. The island itself is low
sharp peaked misty mountains covered in jungle. The tiny fishing village of
Abraao is much more beautiful and alive than the somewhat sterile cruising
guide depicted. This is island living at its best. Judging by the dinghy's
left on the beach, unlocked bicycles and such there is no theft. In short
word bytes Abraao is: est. 250 residents, dirt streets around the town (no
roads across the island), one car (cop) no motor scooters, lots of bicycles,
friendly people, tiny shops serving the day tripper tourists and beach villa
vacationers, two internet cafe's, two ice cream shops, two cart wheeling
pastry sellers, misty rain of on and off during the days and evening, etc,
etc. The restaurants typical meals of fried chicken, mashed potatoes, rice
with black beans and gravy - five bucks. Starch city. We ate two of those
meals and did not eat dinner that evening. The local Skol beer is served
There are wide paths across the island. We walked from our bay across the
ridge between two small peaked mountains to the next bay. Pet shop birds
are flying everywhere. Exotic plants grow wild here. There are multiple
streams caring runoff or spring water down to the white sand beaches. We
took over two hundred and fifty pictures on the island itself. Every turn
is a Kodak moment. We have a whole new 'Flowers of Brazil' for posting.
There are no charter boats here. There are very few Brazilian cruisers here
this early in the season (spring). Brazilians are charged 100% duty on
imported boats so only the very wealthy own anything but small locally built
After leaving Abraao we skirted the shoreline traveling a number of miles to
go seven as the crow flies. The water is deep near shore so we ran the boat
from the flybridge visually checking for rocks in the clear water. We took
multiple pictures of shoreline cottages set in the most beautiful jungle
settings imaginable. There are no roads so every home has a mooring ball
and small dock out front for their 'car'. There are enough pictures to have
a 'Cottages of Ilha Grande' as well. Egret anchored overnight in a SW cove
expecting to trail walk today (Tue) but with the light rain socked in we
decided to push on SW to Florianopolis.
This area has to be one of the most beautiful cruising areas in the WORLD.
What a shame this special area is so very difficult to get to. The
sailboaters can't go back north. They must travel further south to catch
the westerlies and ride them to South Africa or west then north in a
wind/current driven semi circle to the far north. The alternative is to
pound their way southwest riding the northerly wind reversals to the Cape
Horn area. Long distance powerboat cruising in these waters is very much in
its infancy with only a very few powerboats making this trip.......ever.
Powerboats could reverse their Brazilian coast travels but at a terrible
price of pounding their way north. South Africa would be easier for them as
well. This entire coast will be protected for the future, first by weather
and difficulty of access and secondly by the Brazilian tax laws.
History repeats itself. The Brazilians should take note of the pinhead,
commie, DC bureaucrats' idiotic luxury tax of the early 90's in the US. As
a part of the marine industry we watched our new boat construction business
drop by 40%+ overnight. We lost nearly one third of our skilled workers to
other vocations during this period taking years to recover. (sorry for the
Egret will continue her 1200GMT Daily Position Report in route to
November 11, 2006
Position: S23 08.32 W44 09.56 (in anchorage - Isla Grande) distance
traveled (25.5 hours) 136.0nm, Average speed 5.5 knots, seas 4' swells -
slight, Distance traveled from Gibraltar 4424.43nm
Bom dia, good morning in Portuguese. We need to practice a leetle
Portuspeek because in a few hours Egret will be anchored off the tiny
fishing village of Abraao, on Ilha Grande (big island) the centerpiece of
Brazil's cruising area. The cruising guide says there is a different
anchorage for every day of the year in this two bay, three hundred and sixty
five tropical island area. We have no idea what to expect of the village,
villagers, surrounding area, etc, etc. All we know is we can see low
mountains in the distance. Cruising makes you think and keep challenging
yourself with the little unknowns. This sure beats driving to your
favorite, predictable, ho hum again restaurant doesn't it? Yup, it do.
Mary, my sweetie and love of my life asked for three things of this stop: a
supermarket (well OK, how about a tienda?), a restaurant and a walk ashore.
This little jewel of a village has the first two and the island itself is
covered with foot paths to explore. She deserves every bit and more. She
stands full watches, does the cooking and cleans the boat. Master Angler
Steve is the dishwasher, fish winder inner, occasional beer quality control
officer and overall helper. My job is to hand my sweetie her first cup of
hot coffee every morning and keep our lovely little home purring. Simple
and it works for everyone.
Ilha Grande is Egret's only planned stop between here and our check out (of
Brazil) port of Florianopolis, about four hundred miles further south.
There is some nasty weather brewing south so as soon as there is some
northing in the wind and the residual heavy seas lay down a bit we're off
with the OK from OMNI Bob. The Daily Position Report will end here until
Egret is under way again. We will give you an update as soon as we uncover
what this little jewel of an island has to offer.
FYI, there is a new 'Flowers of the Mediterranean' section coming up soon on
the Voyage of Egret photo gallery. We did some artsy/fartsy stuff you'll
November 10, 2006 (part 2)
The very instant we sent Egret's Daily Position Report the winds suddenly
increased and changed direction from the SW to the W. We believe this is
the 'wrap around wind' from Cabo Frio. The report below is the latest from
To: Captain Scott - M/Y EGRET 1
2345GMT 09 NOV 2006
Observations continue to indicate improved wind/sea conditions from your location to Isla Grande. This is due to the high pressure ridge over
Brazil that should remain stationary through Fri/am. This ridge will
weaken and dissipate during Fri/pm as a weather front to the south moves
northward through Fri/night and Saturday
We continue to watch a weak area of low pressure developing over Brazil
near 20S 50W. This weak low should move ESE-SE across the Brazilian coast
near 20S-21S during Fri/pm, then continue to move ESE'ward and gradually
merging with the northward moving weather front thru Sat/11th.
Overall, easier wind/sea conditions will continue through
Fri/morning-afternoon. As the front approaches from the north, high
pressure reorganizing to the south will move offshore near 43S 55W during
Fri/night then will build/strength as it moves eastward across 50W through
Sat/night and 40W on Sunday.
This building high will bring increasing SE-E-NE winds to the coast
between 25S-30S, then fresh NNE-NW winds from 30S-35S thru Nov 15-16. The
prevailing storm track will tend to remain south of 50S and with a broad,
moderately strong high pressure ridge over the S/Atlantic, the wind/sea
pattern described to 35S should become more dominant during mid to late
November. Therefore, a more coastal transit from Isla Grande to Mar Del
Plata should be anticipated. With a more N-NW wind/sea pattern expected
south of 30S, seas should become fetch limited close to the coast.
We will need to watch the waters across the Rio de la Plata. Even with
the prevailing NW wind there is still plenty of sea fetch to deal with.
Consider this region as an area like passing the Delaware Bay entrance.
Along your intended direct coastal route to Isla Grande , expect:
Thur/09-night: SW-S 10-16kts. SW-S 3-5ft, long SW-S swells of 7-8ft are
possible. Fri/10: SSW-SSE 10-16kts, seas ease 4-6ft, 3-5ft toward the
hours. Swells SW-S 6-8ft thru the day. Swells tend to become more S-SSE
6-8ft during Fri-ovenright.
Sat/11 - Isla Grande area: Freshen SSE-SE 20-25kt S-SE 6-8ft, upto 9ft
during the morning. SE-ESE 22-28kts, gusty, SE-ESE 7-10ft during Sat/pm.
Captain, please keep us advised of your departure plans after Isla
Grande. We will continue to watch and will update Fri/10th by 1200Z.
November 10, 2006
Position: S22 58.75 W41 45.82 Course 254 degrees M, average speed at 1550
rpm's 5.7 knots, Seas 12' swellls SW, apparent wind 22.9 knots SW, nm
traveled from gibraltar 4288.52
First the weather. Egret is riding gently up and down on large sea swells,
12' plus, with a little wind chop on top in 12 knots of wind. On the coffee
carryometer we are doing well. This is a comfortable change from the 12+'
powerful WAVES of the other day.
Well, mi amigos, things are changing. As Egret drives south into the
austral spring and away from the equator the weather is noticeably changing.
First the wind swung from the northern quadrants to the southern quadrants.
The south flowing Brazil current has given away to the northbound cold
Falklands current. Even the birds are different. The frigate birds are
gone along with the large shearwaters. A much smaller shearwater have
replaced their larger northern cousins. As we move further south and the
fishing becomes better the bird life will increase proportionately along
with the emerging sea lion colonies and penguins.
If you remember we discussed this convergence of the two currents occurring
around the area of the Vitoria, Brazil W-E seamount chain (S20 18 W 40 13)
making it one of the very best fishing areas in the world. Vitoria is about
120nm north of Egret at this writing. (Sorry. Can't give up the thought of
all the south and north bound food chain of fish meeting soon for a three
plus month seasonal feeding feast. Egret will not be there participating.
Can't do it all. Whine, sob, snivel)
Egret is slowly pushing her way through this north bound current. Crewman
Master Angler Steve mentioned yesterday (Thurs) he noticed how much cooler
his stateroom was (forward stateroom). This is simply the cool sea water
temps transferring thru the hull. The outside air temps are slowly falling
as well. By the time this edition of VofE is sent Egret will be close to
rounding Cabo Frio (Cape Cold) now showing its small volcanic mountainous
shape through the early morning mist. Cabo Frio is the west bound turning
point where Egret enters the 500-mile shallow bay containing among others
Rio de Janeiro and our destination of Isla Grande seventy miles further
South America is shaped roughly like an ice cream cone. The ice cream
portion contains the Amazon of
Brazil and further south then west to the northern most tip of Chile. The
coastal cone portion contains on the east; southern Brazil, Uruguay and
Argentina. On the west it contains Chile. The cone is tipped slightly
SW-NE on the east side and SSW-NNE on the west side. Once leaving this
upcoming five hundred mile shallow bay Egret will cruise southwest down the
southern Brazilian coast, past Uruguay and the entrance to the Rio De La
Plata, dividing Uruguay from Argentina. Rio De La Plata leads 125 miles up
river to Buenos Aires. After crossing the wide river entrance Egret is on
to Mar Del Plata, Argentina. As the crow flies this is roughly 1225 miles
from Egret's current position, however in actual distance to travel it is
quite a bit further.
On board we have the large coffee table edition of National Geographic's
Atlas of the World. This is a useful planning tool we use often in overall
route planning. We used the atlas for this bit as well as C-Map charts.
The National Geographic atlas would be a useful addition for your boat as
November 9, 2006
Position: S21 19.97 W40 14.95 Course 223 degrees M, Average speed at
variable rpm's 4.6 knots, Seas 4-12+', Apparent wind 12-36 knots, 4158.45nm
traveled from Gibraltar
Ol' ma nature gave Egret a good spanking until about 0100 this morning. We
had very large head seas and up to 36 knots of wind (apparent - 32.8 true)
Our speed average for 12 plus hours was 3.4 knots (2.8 knots at times) As
the seas calmed we sped up and now have slowed as the seas are building
again but not nearly as bad. Now the seas are 4-6' head seas with 12 knots
true wind. Our speed is 6.2 knots at 1550 RPM. We are topping off water in
these relatively calm conditions before the next round of weather. With
just four spare days to be in Mar del Plata, Argentina for Egret's
rendezvous with the stabilizer rep we need to keep truckin' unless the
weather becomes impossible.
It is a shame not to be able to spend weeks in Brazil's prime cruising area
but it is more important to keep up with Egret's overall cruise big weather
picture. Our main thrust for this leg of the trip is to maximize our time
preparing and staging for the Horn rounding and spending maximum time
cruising the Chilean Canals.
Below is OMNI Bob's latest weather report received early this morning.
Captain, observations from the area continue to indicate SW-S winds in the
25-30kt with occ higher gusts to 35kts. SW-SSW sea/swells continue in the
We do note further south near 22S easier SW winds closer to 15-20kts.
However, SW-S swells of 8-12ft are still noted.
High pressure ridging that extends NE across the coast of Brazil should work
itself slowly off the coast through Thu/pm and Friday. Meanwhile, the low
center to the south should also move slowly eastward and weaken through
We still anticipate SW-SSW wind/seas to remain at current levels through
1200Z/09, but an easing trend is expected to develop from that point onward
through Thur/night and Friday as the high ridge tends to become the more
domiant weather feature. Would not be surprised if you experience slightly
easier conditions (closer to 20-25kts) by 09/1200Z.
The easier winds will give way to increasing S-SE winds Fri/overnight
through Saturday as the high cell providing the easier winds on Thur-Fri/am
moves offshore and merges with a new high ridge moving north behind the
trough/front that is extending west from the exiting low.
We are also watching for the development of a disturbance over inland Brazil
(north of Rio). New data indicates the disturbance should drift SSE across
the Rio area and eastward through Fri/10th, then move more ESE out to sea as
the trough/front force this activity out to sea on Sat/11th.
AS of now, we would anticipate you to be west of this disturbance during
Friday, but some shower and thunderstorm activity is possible from this
activity that would approach from the west. We will continue to monitor and
November 8, 2006
Position: S19 31.44 W39 35.50, Course 223 degrees M, Average speed at
variable RPM's 5.5 knots, seas (see below) wind 27.8 knots, nm traveled from
Well, mi amigos, it had to happen sooner or later. In Egret's case it
happened much later. Today's subject is weather. In Egret's travels we
grew more comfortable with wind and waves as time and miles went by. The
NAR (Atlantic crossing west to east) did not have bad weather on any single
day (some reporters told a different tale but that likely was due to not
having the miles under them). Upon arrival at Tariffa, entrance to the
Straits of Gibraltar, we had wind funneling between the 'rock' and Africa
puffing a bit but there were not big or dangerous waves. During the next
three cruising seasons in the Med we had few days of 'bounce' (an Egrettism
for rough water). The recrossing of the Atlantic from Gibraltar to Brazil
was benign as well for the most part with NO large waves. All of this
changed this morning less than 45 minutes after sending OMNI Bob (Egret's
weather router) a note telling him Egret had pushed through the expected
front, the seas were calm with little wind. Below we copy this
correspondence with Bob and Andy Cool at Explorer Satellite where Egret buys
her Iridium phones and minutes.
Andy, Just a precautionary note. Egret is getting ready to drive thru a
major front and lightning storm. If you don't hear from us by Wed PM please
activate our new sim card. This will mean we got zapped. Thanks, Scott
Flanders (Egret has two Iridium phones but two different sim cards.
We are currently using up the minutes on the first card with the second 3000
minute/2 year sim standing by for activation) We take communication and
weather reports VERY seriously.
Bob, Its 2330GMT and we are driving through the front. (S18 39 W39 17)
Speed 6.9 knots The heavy wind is over & is quite still with a few more
miles of showers and occasional lightning. The wind reversed itself during
the front from N to SW. The seas before were 5-6' following are now calm
for the time being. Will send in a 1200GMT report tomorrow (Wed)
We are getting our bell rung folks. Dennis and Julie Fox on Sea Fox gave
the Egret crew a beautiful cast bell with the Egret logo cast in.
(Bellingham Bell Co) Mary and I call the bell our 'Dennis and Julie
commercial'. The bell only rings when Egret's bow, stern or sides are where
they aren't supposed to be. When the bell rings today Egret's bow is
pointing nearly straight up or straight down. Egret is NOT in sea swells.
Sea swells can be quite high but they are nothing more than small hills your
little ship rides up and down with no theatrics. These are WAVES stretching
out front probably for the next day or so. These waves are being driven by
27-36 knots of north bound wind AGAINST the south bound Brazil current. The
Brazilian coast is shallow near shore (12-40 miles offshore) so two things
happen at once. The current accelerates crossing the shallow water with the
wind stacking the waves up tighter against the current. Let us describe
after all this preliminary education what the Egret crew is experiencing at
this minute (1030GMT 11-08-06).
The waves are 8-12+'. They are very close together. We have reduced speed
twice to our current 1425 RPM so we don't overpower the waves and drive thru
one sliding down the backside of the wave before. Once every 20-30 minutes
we take a slug of green water over the bow ending up hanging on the
pilothouse glass like an aquarium for a second then disappearing. A number
of times a minute we have to quit typing and hold on to the laptop with two
hands. Spell check will get a workout.
Now for the GOOD news. This IS NOT dangerous. The waves are almost
directly on the bow making our stabilizers and autopilot not having to work
hard. We are able to sleep including Steve in the forward berth. Yes it is
uncomfortable. Yes you have to hold the coffee pot on the stove to heat
water because the sea rails (dealies that hold pots in place on the stove)
are overpowered. Yes, a watched pot takes forever to boil.
In every not so giggly boating moment there are lessons to learn. First
lesson you learn building on today's and past experiences just how tough
and secure your little white fiberglass home really is. Here are Egret's
current lessons/mistakes, ALL of which should have been avoided. Egret was
in a day hop mode. The fresh and salt water hoses were left on the
foredeck. The boat hook we always secure wasn't. The boom was in the
dinghy launching mode still attached to the dink (but secured well). It
should have been lowered, then secured. After a brief, wet dash to correct
these mistakes (yes with an inflatable life jacket on - clipped into
jacklines and two people watching) these items were corrected along with
turning the dorades (foredeck air vents) around backward. We got a slug of
water through the dorade into Steve's stateroom. First time ever.
Please understand we are not complaining, just reporting facts. We are here
by our own hand. This report is part of our continual effort to give you
the verbal descriptions, in lay terms, exactly what we are experiencing
during Egret's 20,000nm journey to New Zealand. Egret's reported lessons
learned are simply an educational tool for your use. We will include OMNI
Bob's weather report at 1200 GMT as an addendum to this report.
P.S. Egret is experiencing more wind and seas than is shown. We just had
our biggest pilothouse window aquarium wave yet. Looking forward to the
Observations indicate the northern extension of the cold front extend NNW
across 18S-19S along the Brazilian coast. High pressure ridging also extends
NE from Uruguay toward 21S 47W. As the cold front tends to move slowly
north/east through Wed, the high pressure ridge pattern should continue to
lay stationary along the Brazilian coast (across the Rio area) thru Wed and
continue on Thur.
A gale low center near 42S 44W is expected to move eastward crossing 40S 40W
thru 09/0000Z, then cross 30W thru 10/0000Z. As the low moves slowly
eastward, SW-S swells will continue to build, slowly, thru Wed. Fortunately,
your coastal transit will help you avoid the highest swells that are
expected further offshore and along the more SSW heading toward Mar del
Also, the closeness of the high ridge will also help keep the wind speeds
down. Winds should range 15-22kts with periods of 25kts possible tonight and
Wed/08th. Winds are expected to remain SW-S thru Wed/am-midday. Gusty winds
are still a possibility the next few hours. Once you are south of the front
and under the influence of the high ridge, then you should start to
experience long period SW-S swells in the 6-9ft range through Wed into
Thur/am. Thereafter these swells should subside as the eastward moving gale
low weakens as high pressure tends to move off the coastal/offshore waters
Once this high moves offshore, it will strengthen. However, it will also
allow the winds and sea/swells to become more ESE-ENE along the Brazilian
coast during Nov 12-14.
Along your intended direct coastal route to Isla Grande , expect:
Tue/07-night: SW-SSW 12-20kt, gusty 25kts at times. SW-S 3-5ft with longer
period swells 6-7ft developing during the overnight. Cloudy with lingering
showers and thundershowers.
Wed/08: SW-S 12-18kts, 3-5ft. Longer period (9-11sec) SW-S swells 6-8ft thru
the day. Lingering clouds, maybe a few showers still possible. Some clearing
expected late. Winds may become more SSW-SSE with swells possibly 9ft during
Thu/09-arrival: Range SW-S-SSE 10-18kts, 2-4ft, SSW-S long period swells
We will continue to watch and update shortly after your 08/1200Z posn.
November 7, 2006
On the road again. Egret is currently running down sea in 20+ knots of wind
at 7.3 knots sailing SSW on a course of 220 degrees M. (OMNI Bob - Time now
1800Z, S18 02 W39 06) Our destination this hop is Isla Grande, about 70nm
west of Rio. We'll explain this in a bit and give you OMNI Bob's latest
Egret spent the past three days anchored in the beautiful Brazilian National
Park of Arquipelago Dos Abrolhos thirty miles off the Brazilian coast. The
big attraction are the huge reefs in the area and the whales. Upon arrival
a dinghy came out to explain the park rules. They commandeered the local
mainland marine biologist vacationing at the islands to translate. Later
that afternoon we waved the 20ish biologist and his girlfriend to Egret for
a touch of rum. She is a marine biologist as well both graduating from
university in Sao Paulo. We had a great evening learning about local tings.
When they left we gave them a big bag of frozen dolphin. We suspect their
tiny sailboat is a no refrigeration job so they must have eaten to bursting.
The next morning after arrival we lowered the dink and visited the only
small island you may land accompanied by park guides, Bernie (Bernadette),
Madelena and Anna. Much pantomime, gesturing, flapping arms, Portuguish,
etc later we got the gist of the birds and turtle (tortuga) population. The
birds are capable of diving three meters (9') under water. Yes, the
tortugas do a little better. We had a great time on the island taking lots
of pictures and invited them to the boat. We gave each of them a big bag of
dolphin as well. (Get the pattern? We boys can fish again!!!) The next
day was whale day with three humpback whales in 50' of water quite close to
Egret that were swimming back and forth. These whales are the last of the
stragglers from the late summer season when they arrive to mate. The park
rules say you can't get within 50 meters of whales by dinghy but Bernie said
it was impossible there are so many during that time. They went out so
close to the three that morning in their dink they were sprayed by their
spouts. Major fish breath.
After spending a rolly night when the wind shifted we were ready to be on
the move again but the weather further south wasn't cooperating. At noon we
decided to go visit the small village where Daniel, marine biologist, is
from. Our charting shows no details for the river but Daniel said the river
is buoyed with plenty of water. The dive boats coming from the village draw
about as much water as Egret so we decided to go for it. On the way we
paralleled three more whales & got some more great pics.
Speaking of pictures let us explain Egret's picture deal for the website.
The Egret crew is technically challenged when it comes to computer gizmos.
Dumb, dumber and really dumb (yes, we are including Steve in this as well).
Sad but true. We use a Nikon D50 camera taking pictures at full resolution.
We usually edit 50-100 pictures from the many we take and copy them full
resolution onto discs and Fed Ex them to PAE. The webmaster in turn makes
his choices and thru some magical means they appear on the nordhavn.com
website. We wish you could see them all. There is so much to share. The
pictures of this leg will be delivered back to the States by the stabilize
tech in early December.
Soon after the latest whale episode on the way to the mainland village we
got the attached weather forecast from OMNI Bob soooo we turned 90 degrees
to port. We are now off in a race against weather. When further down the
road if the weather becomes a problem there are a number to places on the
mainland to tuck in to until the weather blows thru. No problema. This is
a three day hop so we'll see.
To: Captain Flanders -
M/Y EGRET 1Fm: O.M.N.I./USA1535Z 07 NOV 2006
Captain, thanks for the notes. Thanks for clarifying your next port. (Egret
- We had planned to take the near shore route and Bob thought we were going
to rhum line to Mar Del Plata) That makes more sense now. Latest
observations indicate the weather front has already cleared the Rio de
Janeiro area. The northerly 20-23kts in your area are associated with
pressure/wind gradient winds ahead of the cold front. Satellite imagery
indicates the cold front is to your south at about 22S/lat. The front should
work its way across 20S/lat and your position thru this evening, then
continue to move east/north on Wed.
The SW-S flow behind the front will develop prior to you reaching the
islands south of Rio (Isle de Sao Sebastio?) . It will also take some time
for these conditions to build, so you still have some sailing time.
The northerly winds you are experiencing will tend to become more NNW-WNW
as the front nears, then shift to the SW-S by midnight tonight. SW-S sea
will continue to build slowly through Wed/8th. However, the winds may take a
bit longer to increase due to some high pressure expected to ridge NE from
Uruguay to Rio through Wed. This ridge pattern and your close coastal track
toward Rio, may provide just enough time to get your to those islands prior
to conditions becomimg too rough to travel.
The ridge is expected to weaken during Wed/night and SW-S winds will tend
to increase into Thur/am, but the strongest winds will tend to remain near
30S/lat. Winds should increase to only the 17-25 range. However, the biggest
factor for you will be long SW-S swells that build, likely close to 7-10ft
with longer periods of 9-12sec through Wed and Thur.
Please keep us updated with your posn and weather today and Wed. If you
can, please advise your posn/weather at 07/18Z and 08/00Z. As we receive
updated information, we will use your information when updating the
November 6, 2006
Just 150nm south of Egret's current anchorage in Brazil's National Park area
of Arquipelago Dos Abrolhos (S17 57.87 W38 41.91) is the Vitoria - Trindade
Seamount Chain. This chain of seamounts begins just east of the small
village of Vitoria extending 660nm eastward to the small island of Ilha Da
Trindade. This area is one of the best fishing areas in the world. The
target for sportfishermen is the giant blue marlin who arrive in November
staying through February. All pelagic fish (open ocean swimmers) are driven
by three simple needs: the ability to feed, the ability to stay comfortable
(water temperature) and the ability to reproduce. This is similar to we
humans, however we complicate it a bit.
The Brazil current sweeps small bait south along the Brazilian coast
followed by the ladder chain of predators. If you recall on a previous
Voyage of Egret we had several days on the way to Brazil where a bait was
put out and almost immediately eaten by dolphin (mahi mahi, called a dorado
-golden) in Brazil. These schools of fish were swimming south. Dolphin are
one of the mainstays of marlin diet along with tuna. We encountered massive
schools of feeding tuna along the route south as well. As the water warms
during the austral summer the southward progression of feeding fish are
riding the Brazil current southward. At the same time arriving from the
south riding the Falkland current north cold water species of baitfish are
arriving during the same time. The convergence of both migrating schools of
fish is the west to east seamount chain. Huge volumes of water are
disrupted by the series of seamounts rising from over 12,000' to less than
300' in a short distance. This concentrates the baits into feeding alleys
where all species arrive to gorge during this predictable, yearly magical
According to my marlin crazed brother (31 blues to date) the average marlin
caught off these seamounts averages over 400 lbs. This is the highest
average weight per fish of any kind caught of anywhere in the world. AND
there are lots of them. The sport fishery is relatively in its infancy with
just a few small local boats for charter and very dedicated American
sportfishermen who have expended tremendous effort, expense and time to send
their boats this far south. The engines alone will need a rebuild before
the trek south and after upon returning. These turbo'd and aftercooled
monster engines are thoroughbreds designed for a short but powerful life
It is the nature of sportfising competition among SERIOUS fishermen to try
to outfish their friends and fellow sportfishermen. This is not a serious
'rub their nose in it' for their catches but subtle respect traded among
this group of fishing peers who chase the monster blues. As in most venues
pure extravagance is frowned upon. Sending your traditional sport fishing
boat south for this 3 1/2 month or so marlin bite is so difficult, expensive
and logistically complex it borders on the outrageous or pure extravagance.
There is now a way to achieve this fishery goal and others fisheries around
the world that makes sense, costs much less than supporting a comparable
sportfisherman, will have better resale AND is a concept that is so
recognizable by the long distance powerboat crowd it hardly draws attention.
This concept is novel among the traditional sportfish crowd but this author
thinks it first will attract the forward thinking adventurous
sportfishermen. As this group put into practice the simple concept of
fishing the drop off's of the world during their seasonal visits by monster
fish this fishery will morph into the same type of camaraderie and
acceptance we long distance powerboat cruisers enjoy. Because of their
range and seasonal travels we cruisers enjoy there will be a friendly
commingling of our two adventurous venue's.
If you haven't already guessed we are speaking of the new Nordhavn 75' ocean
crossing sportfisherman. Quite a while ago we were asked along with a
number of others for our ideas on the q.t. for this secret at the time
project. This struck old roots, both hobbies and vocational, so off we went
smothering the principals in enthusiasm, details, concepts and so forth. We
drew on my brother's affliction with marlin, other friends enthusiasm of
scuba diving and our personal love of shallow water fishing in flats boats.
The moniker the author put on the project was 'Global Sportsman Series'
combining sport fishing, diving and shallow water and estuary fishing. If
Egret had the budget (we're a little short folks) we would be right there
with offshore tackle, dive compressors in the lazarette, and two flats boats
on the fore deck. There would be a fish hold with an Eskimo Ice chipped ice
maker, huge freezers for storing the catch to give away to villagers here
and there, accommodations for our family and dirt dwelling fishing buddies
that would LOVE to fly in here and there. This would be the dream of dreams
for the Egret crew. We would think it will be for others with the budget
and more global thinking than trekking to and from the traditional fishing
After fishing the traditional hot spots like the summer white marlin bite
off the US NE, the Bahamas Billfishing Tournament series, St Thomas on the
August moon, Puerto Rico for the small marlin bite, Venezuela for the
October-November bite off La Guaria, etc, etc we would think this would get
boring. Great fun, but been there, done that. With the range and economy
of the new sportfish you could literally circle the globe chasing different
fishing, diving and cruising venue's. How could you EVER get tired of that
and sharing the same with others????
We are sorry to say when we pass through this world hot spot we will be
pulling small baits to simply fill Egret's freezer. We don't have the
tackle on board or the boat to seriously fight very large fish. We would
have to circle the fish as we reported in an earlier Voyage of Egret letting
the fish fight the line, not the angler. This exhausts the fish which is
fine if fishing for the freezer but when sportfishing it is not fair to the
fish. When released after a prolonged light tackle fight even the largest
of marlin are susceptible to attack from sharks. We have killed two
billfish in our career. A blue marlin and a sailfish, both the first. We
never have since or will ever knowingly kill another billfish. To kill a
billfish for youthful pride is simply not acceptable these days as it wasn't
The large billfish sportfishing crowd is a relatively small and narrow
focused group. We hope in time this fishing concept spreads and the orders
will flow on the new 'Global Sportsman' sportfisherman. Selfishly we can
use the company while Egret and our long distance brothers are 'out there'.
Tight lines, mi amigos.
November 4, 2006
The past 24 hours had a few treats and a weather surprise. After the boys
did their research they found enough space in the freezer for one more fish.
Out went the baits then yes, ho hum, another 20lb dolphin...again! The boys
had to stop fishing...again. The Egret crew had fresh dolphin for
dinner...again. Tough duty folks. Later in the afternoon we saw a whale
leap out of the water five times, tail and all. BIG splash. That is big
stuff for the Florida and Colorado folks. While we are talking about
swimming critters, we are approaching one of the best fishing areas in the
world. The area is the Vitoria - Trindade Seamount Chain. We will do a
separate short story on this area.
Egret also hit another milestone with 4600 trouble free engine hours 2 hours
before the anchorage. Egret's little Lugger has never missed a beat, EVER.
She has the original injectors with all running exhaust manifold temps
within a few degrees of each other. Perfect!!!! (a cold or cooler cylinder
means an improper spray pattern = less combustion = time to change the
We didn't mention previously that after putting a rebuild kit into the
watermaker high pressure pump and upgrading the hose that blew once again we
can make water at will. From a 500 lb. burst pressure hose we have
upgraded to an 8000 lb. burst pressure hose (now standard from Matrix). All
is well again with that issue.
With the relatively short 600nm or so jaunt to Rio (600nm trek seems like
child's play these days after the twenty day crossing) we left in good
weather and a surmised promise of trade wind seas. We copy OMNI Bob,
Egret's weather router, on our Voyage of Egret writings. Bob taught us
another lesson. What we thought and reality are sometimes different. Egret
was sailing into a nasty low coming of the coast further south. Bob took
the imitative and sent the weather forecast copied below. With this sage
advise Egret is taking the smart approach and will hide out in Mary's choice
of the Arquipelago Dos Abrolhos. This is a national park and a large diving
location off the coast of Brazil surrounded by reefs. No matter where the
wind shifts there is an excellent anchorage. As the low moves off the coast
we will again head south. Our next planned stop is the island group ninety
or so miles south of Rio.
In six to eight weeks the weather and seas associated with this low may be
acceptable but as of now we have the time to relax and enjoy the park what
every contributor to the cruising guide gave 5 stars. We will delay this
Voyage of Egret to give you the exact lat-lon location of the anchorage so
you may zoom down and see the anchorage and surrounding small islands/reefs
on the Google Earth feature displayed on this website.
To: Captain Flanders - M/Y EGRET 1
1316Z 03 NOV 2006
Captain, thanks for your posn report. Having taken a look at what's ahead, we are sending this forecast based on the expected conditions from Nov 6 and beyond.
Currently, high pressure ridging extends from a high cell near 30S 10W WNW
toward 15S 40W. Just south of the ridge, a weather front extends NW across
32S 30W to 22S 40W. Both of these systems should change little through
Sat/morning. Thereafter the high ridge should weaken (while remaining
stationary) as the high cell moves eastward.
The weather front should remain stationary thru Sun/5th as an area of high
pressure SW of front near 37S 46W Sat/eve-night tends to build as it drifts
slowly offshore. As this high builds, elongates and accelerates eastward
through Mon, it will force the weather front across your location during
Mon/6th. Once this occurs pressure/wind gradients are expected to increase
south of 22S as a new low center develops near 35S 48W by Mon/eve-night
This low is expected to intensify as it moves eastward through Tue-Wed. A
new area of high pressure moving east across South America at 40S will
combine to produce building rough to even very rough SSE-SSW wind/sea and
swell conditions along your current transit during Nov 7-8.
Basis your S-SSW heading at approx 6.5kts toward Mar Del Plata expect:
Fri/03: E-NE 12-18kts. SE & ENE 5-7ft with the ENE more dominant by late in
Sat/04: ENE-NE 10-16kts, occ 18kts. Winds more become more NE-NNE by late in
the day. ENE-NE 4-6ft mixing with a SE swell 2-4ft thru day.
Sun/05: NNE-NW 12-18kts, chance locally gusty near the front. Shift quickly
SW-SSE 10-18kts during Sun/eve-night. Mixed ENE-NE & SE 4-6ft, up to 7ft
Mon/06: Freshen SE-NE 12-20kt, NE-NNE 22-27kt, gusty during Mon/eve-night.
SE-ESE, mixed with ENE 6-8ft.
Tue/07: Shift NE-NW 22-25kt, gusty 30kts during Tue/am. Shift NW-SW 20-27kt,
gusty thru Tue/eve-night. ENE-NE mixing with SW-SSW 6-8ft, up to 9-10ft
Wed/08: SW-S, SSE at times 22-27kt, gusty am. up to 25-30kt, gusty pm/hrs.
Building SW-SSE 9-12ft thru the day, up to 14-15ft very possible by the
Based on the above forecast, you may wish to consider seeking port prior to
the Sun/night-Mon/am and allow the low center that develops to your south to
move offshore and give high pressure time to build to you south. This will
provide for easier wind/sea conditions. Watching, updating unless otherwise
November 3, 2006
Position: S15 06.28 W38 22.40, Course 199 degrees M, Distance traveled
from Salvador, Brazil 129.87nm, average speed at 1500 RPM 6.5 knots,
fuel/fuel burn (did not fill tanks to accurately measure fuel), Seas 3-4'
swells ENE - 5-7' swells SSE, Distance from Gibraltar 3743.05nm
The seas have subsided since last evening. We now have two wave sets, one
from the east and one from the south east. The waves themselves are gentle
rollers but occasionally we meet at their convergence and jiggle a bit. Our
well researched and highly technical criteria for wave size and direction is
how easy or difficult it is to carry a cup of coffee to the pilothouse.
Today, no problemo. With no fuel range issues Egret is treating herself to
1500 RPMs giving her better handling than her mile stretching 1350 RPMs. We
have found in all but extreme conditions Egret handles better the faster she
goes. A dirt dweller comparison is riding a bicycle in soft beach sand. If
you go slow you will eventually get the wibble wobbles, crash and burn. If
you go fast you will ride on top of the sand but will eventually run out of
energy...just like a boat.
Not to be too lengthy in yesterday's Ft Lauderdale boat show wrap up we have
two more short items of interest. The first is watermakers, and their
parts. In doing research well before taking delivery of Egret we went to
the Ft Lauderdale Boat Show to educate ourselves about watermakers. After
listening to pitch after pitch we found a common theme in observation: not
listening. It appears watermaker manufactures are not reverse osmosis
pioneers but assemblers of common parts packaged and marketed in various
ways. The membranes come primarily from Dow Corning, the seawater inlet
supply pump from various manufactures but seem all to be centrifugal pumps
(aka pool pumps), the gauges, knobs and sight glasses appear to be from the
same manufacturer and the high pressure pumps are from Cat pumps in Japan.
This is generalizing however it fits most of what we observed. We presented
this theory to the folks at Matrix Watermakers in Ft Lauderdale, 954
524-5120 matrix-utilities.com, who had a simple high volume watermaker on
display along with much larger and complex units. The salesman laughed,
dropped his pitch and concurred. He explained what is important is you have
stock size membranes, not ones built to an odd size for a specific
manufacturer so when replacement is necessary you bleed. The same goes with
inlet filters. With that bit of honesty and a killer show price Egret
bought her watermaker almost a year before taking delivery. We have 2 1/2"
x 40" membranes (standard size) and a simple 5 micron pool filter for our
intake filter. This is a simple, Emerald Series, 600 gallon per day
watermaker with no gadgets. We do have to go to the effort to turn a knob
to select the pressure depending on water temperature/salinity AND have to
open and shut a valve to flush the system. That's it. Simple.
We had trouble with our watermaker high pressure pump on the crossing to
Brazil due to a chipped washer dealie. Matrix's primary business is very
large watermakers for home and industrial use so their small pump parts are
limited. Due to our limited time frame the parts manager at Matrix did the
right thing and sent us to his competition for immediate parts. A great
place for Cat pump parts and a very knowledgeable service tech is at Water
Makers, Inc in Ft Lauderdale. Steve Boose is the senior service technician.
954 467-8920, watermakers.com, email@example.com
The second item of interest is what we will call 'the boat that won't die'.
This story was prompted by listening to Dan Streetch, PAE President, at the
Ft Lauderdale show talking about recent 62 sales. Nordhavn's first effort
in powerboat construction from their early primary thrust of building the
Mason line of sailboats was the Nordhavn 46. The 46 was fine tuned and
polished over their long production life ending with 82 46s built (Egret is
#74.) Next came the 62. The - what Egret calls - new design boats, start
with the 40II, 43, 47, 55, etc are better boats replacing the early models.
These new boats are simply better designed boats than the older designs.
Boat building is evolutionary, not revolutionary. The 46 and 62 were
designed for maximum fuel efficiency and they are very efficient. All
builders build to their market and PAE is no exception. People today want
more space, comfort, a more stylish boat to fit the times AND not give up
their heritage of being an ocean crossing powerboat.
The 46 was gently set aside as the 47 entered exploding with sales and
justifiably so. The 62 is the boat that simply won't die. The 55/64's are
a better boat, more gentile, more interior volume, etc., HOWEVER there is
something about standing in the pilothouse of a 62 looking over that long
fore deck, over your large tenders, and watching her shoulder aside wave
after wave. The feeling of power is awesome. The Egret crew spent three
weeks pre Nordhavn Atlantic Rally helping friends Bill and Arline Smith from
Autumn Wind bring their 62 down from Virginia to Ft Lauderdale for the start
of the rally. There was nasty weather offshore. The weather router advised
staying in the ditch (Intercoastal Waterway) but after having enough of the
inside Bill decided to pop offshore in South Carolina. For the first time
we got to see the power of this boat. It is amazing. We never tired of
that high bow way out front eating waves like candy. Docking was even
easier with wing controls on either side of the Portuguese bridge using the
powerful hydraulic bow and stern thrusters. THIS is why the 62 won't die.
She has been fine tuned and polished over years making new builds the best
62s yet. THIS is why friends on 62 Grey Pearl are doing a complete refit
this coming year (after eight years) preparing for their '08 Pacific
adventure. They simply love the 'Pearl'. We believe the 62 will attract
buyers for years to come.
November 1, 2006
The Egret crew voyaged from Salvador, Brazil to Ft. Lauderdale for visits to
see family, friends and the Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show. This voyage wasn't at
6.2 knots but a bit faster. Egret will be leaving Salvador on Thursday,
November 2, sailing south but that's another story. This edition of Voyage
of Egret is our boat show observations and experiences.
After you make the decision to buy your boat, put in some miles and get more
comfortable with living aboard, boat shows are another annuity to feed your
interest and thirst for more knowledge. For many years boats and boat shows
were our vocation but we still can't get enough. We get great pleasure
standing back with no venue for the last five years observing trends and
workings of different boat design/function sectors vying for business. In
the early 90's the Egret crew developed a line of highly specialized small
fishing boats. In the spirit of competition and commerce others piled on
our toilings riding on our coat tails as others in virtually every industry.
This is simply business, however it is frustrating as an owner.
This trend was very evident at the Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show. The latest
rages are two different, completely opposite types of boats. The first are
the long distance cruiser wannabees...but we will leave that subject alone
choosing not to stir that pot. The second is the profusion of the day
'downeast type/picnic type' boats. These boats are beautiful, usually dark
blue, some with water jets, some with straight drives but universally were
all very expensive. VERY expensive. We don't get it. After the initial
pride of ownership and a few short trips, reality sinks in. We have to
throw in a big disclaimer now to cover any possibility of perhaps
overstating a few discrepancies. These boats don't have the batteries to
anchor out night after night without running a generator continually while
gunkholing (forget long distance cruising). Part of the expense of building
these boats and justifying their cost is their lightweight 'high tech'
construction for a couple of extra knots. (As if that matters in the big
picture. Leave a few minutes early or run a little late and you get all the
'high tech' speed/time back...) This 'high tech', weight saving nonsense
eliminates the weight of a proper house bank of batteries along with the
durability needed in case of a grounding (cored bottom vs solid glass).
These boats are MARINA QUEENS living on the yellow electrical cord and a
garden hose. There is nothing wrong with being a marina queen but this is
simply not the independence we long distance cruisers or overnight QUIET (no
generator) gunkholers enjoy.
For a great example of a good value and REAL boats were the two junior
members of the Nordhavn line, a 40II and the 43 that were on display at the
show. These two boats cost a whole lot less than most blue queens, are real
quality AND can go somewhere WHEN they want, comfortably albeit slower. In
three or so years when so many of the fad boats have little value, these
little tanks will do well if owners want to move up. The 43 steals our
hearts with their two hundred gallons more fuel than Egret, a proper day
tank with reporting tank on top for exactly determining fuel burn giving
accurate fuel usage. This is NOT what Egret experienced crossing the
Atlantic to Brazil last month using an electronic meter. We drool at the
prospects of having our watermaker membranes outside the engine room, a
larger lazarette, stand up engine room, etc. This is guy stuff but is truly
important in outfitting a boat for long distance cruising or even
gunkholing. The ladies will enjoy real galleys, proper refrigeration that
works and an easy to clean interior. The large heads and showers are a
treat as well. The 55 that was on display at the show is a boat that takes
your breath away and costs the same or less than just over 40' blue
speedsters from some manufactures. We don't get it...again.
Education in design, construction and function was the single largest
obstacle we had to overcome when we were building boats. We tried our best
to sell steak, not sizzle. There is a very large difference in similar
boats in boat show shiny presentation. Some boats are the real deal, some
lesser and some are howling at the moon with their slick ad guys and their
salesmen mouthing deeds accomplished by others.
Enough boat building talk. Let us share with you the dynamics of a
WONDERFUL evening dinner spent with friends the Thursday during the show.
The group included Milt and Judy Baker, Nordhavn 47 owners (Bluewater)
crossing the Atlantic next spring to the Med (and looking for company) and
Braun Jones, Nordhavn 62 owner (Grey Pearl) shipping back to the States from
their post NAR Mediterranean two winter-three cruising season cruise. Grey
Pearl is preparing to cross the Pacific in '08 with a group now forming. In
addition Egret's good friends Kal and Anita Blumberg, dirt dwellers still
working, Eastbay owners and future Nordhavn 47 owners. As the beer and wine
flowed, the tempo increased (like that was a surprise). Braun was telling
about Pearl's trip from Egypt to Crete shouldering their way through heavy
seas; Milt and Judy were hanging on every Med word. The Egret crew was
telling how they saw on their weather forecast the thumbprint isobar lines
Pearl was experiencing. Egret was waiting for Pearl in Crete then sent a
'we love you guys but not that much' e-mail just before Egret split for
Sicily to miss the west bound weather Pearl was driving through. Braun
perked up with every tech goodie spoken. Braun is a real hands on guy, Kal
and Anita were overwhelmed but were clinging to every word. The enthusiasm
from all was contagious. It is difficult for you reading these words to
comprehend the friendship and closeness from this group sharing experiences.
There was no oneupmanship, no 'my weather was rougher than yours'. This
group is WAY beyond that. Experiences flowed as the evening progressed but
you get the point. We simply enjoyed sharing our sea stories with others
who REALLY understood and appreciated the different experiences.
Now for the post dinner story. The next evening Kal called his business
partner saying in 3 1/2 years he is 'outta here'. After that, they intend
to coastal cruise for a year following the sun, work for another year or so
somewhere (his profession allows for him to work anywhere) then head out
full time. This long distance cruising is contagious. It will change
their lives from their current frantic pace to a simple life the rest of us
enjoy. Being a good friend it was fun watching the Blumbergs catch hold of
the cruising bug after Egret sailed away. Perhaps some day we'll be
together fishing again, but next time it won't be South Florida. Perhaps
the Seychelles, New Zealand, Papa New Guinea, Great Barrier Reef, Sea of
Cortez...etc. In 3 1/2 years life will change for the Blumbergs to somethng
simpler, more peaceful. They think they know. We DO know. We are happy