2004 Journey to return to the Falkland Islands on board the yacht Pelagic Austaralis
Pelagic Australis 74′ Cutter rigged sloop Joined the yacht at the Hamble after her trip down form Spitzbergen
Rich and Micki
Slipped the Hamble 0615
Arrived Sark 19.15 49 26 380N 002 20 982 W
Moored in La Geve De La Ville Met by Peter local fisheries protection officer Roberts wife puffin and son Christopher. Roberts the chap we came to pick up. All climbed aboard the rib and went ashore. Met by chap with a tractor and trailer with bus seats on and taken up to the top of the island Had a delicious meal at Roberts house met some islanders and drank wine. Friendly people lovely dinner. Magical evening with the moon on the water and a shooting star.
La Geve De La Ville Sark
Pelagic Australis built at South African Shipyards (Pty) Ltd Durban South Africa
Draft min 1.2m
Draft max 3.9m
Fuel 6500 Litres
Water 2500 Litres
Running Repairs, no place for a stoker
Left Sark Down to the Bay of Biscay calm seas and sunny. Long rolling Atlantic swells
A cabin, Luxury
03.45 May Day calls on the radio Yacht Wisper instructed to continue on course by French Coastguard yacht hit rocks and lost rudder but was not taking on water’ lifeboat was on its way.
22.00 Electrical Storm
0800hrs 45 14 000N 008 08 635W
Sunny Morning sails up 10knts
39 52 342N 011 06 207W 9.0Knts 23.40hrs 1015mb
Across the bay of Biscay no bad weather a few Spanish trawlers and ships . A pod of dolphins chasing fish which were leaping out of the water. Had a new crew member on board for awhile a finch. Quite a few moths as well. Instruction in the use of the radar and ropework. Gained sea legs don’t feel like death warmed up. Have no Spanish courtesy flag for the Canaries ,manufacturing one from j cloths and left over curtain material. Luxury a pilot house, radar, chart plotters and roller reefing on the foresails.
Pilot House Watertight door to outside steering position.
Spanish Courtesy flag made to order by Mickey
Cruising shute up swimming at 33 56 512N 013 24 080W
Blue clear and warm. Dinner of reindeer risotto
2241hrs 1021mb calm seas temp during day 30 degrees 9 knts 33 28 750N 013 33 527W
Sun 12/9/04 Las Palmas
Robert taking it easy caccooned in the mainsail
Have left the Canaries leaving behind a tasteful reproduction of Pelagics Flying fish and albatross logo on the quayside wall alongside all the others. Good sailing top speed 14knots.
23.32 hrs 14 09 04
26 38 916 N 016 00 916 W
213 degrees 1019mb 9knots
La Vijar Ted is the official mascot of Pelagic Australis and has had his Atlantico Passporte issued by King Neptune his stated occupation is marinero.
The customs officer in Las Palmos did look rather stern when it was explained that we had an extra crewmember and I pulled ted out of my pocket and his passport.
He took it in good stead and duly stamped his passport.
Good time in the Canaries a few running repairs 4500ltrs of diesel and 2000ltrs of fresh water with a bit of tank cleaning thrown in and far to much gin on the aft deck to the early hours, just like old times.
Sun sights, only 25 miles out
Unfortunately by the time Christopher’s traveling Ted had been joined by Snoopy ((Mascot sent to me Down South by my sisters during the war)and Hissing Sid created by my sister Diana it had all turned into a bit of a menagerie. What the rest of the crew must have thought. I could have made it worse by keeping them by my pillow I suppose.
Friday 17/09/04 Fish Sketch
Saturday 18/09/04 Roberts Washing Day
Wonderful weather there has been some good sailing, 10 knots in the trades.
Had some man overboard exercises today, had a go, bucket and buoy thrown overboard, stick the auto pilot on manual, 360 degrees, 1200 revs, three quarters astern asked Alec to pick up buoy with boathook beautifully done, however 58 tons still traveling at 8 knots might have meant getting somebody on board an arm wrenching experience.
Third time managed to sidle up to it with about half a knot, so in calm seas with no wind and motoring they might stand a chance with me at the helm.
Stopped off in the Cape Verde islands. Iila de Santa Luzia an uninhabited island, three of us went ashore in the inflatable with a 25 on the back through the surf and onto the beach with La Vijar Ted poking out of my pocket.
I thought we did rather well but a laughing radio message from Pelagic asking whether I had been in the SBS and not a stoker with my flying leap, put pay to that.
Evidence of habitation
Located 8km south east of São Vicente and 29km northwest from São Nicolau, Santa Luzia is the smallest of the islands in Cape Verde, and the only one which is uninhabited. The island was uninhabited until the 17th century from which point it was used for raising livestock. This continued up until the 1960s when there was a small community living on the island, however by the 1990s the island was once again uninhabited.
Sunday 19/09/04 Setting up Inflatable
Left a bit
A lovely volcanic island with more vegetation than I expected – grasses as well as succulents
In the past the island had been inhabited, with some stone walling and a ruined village as evidence.
We changed into hiking boots and set off up the 400M hill boulder strewn scree with what looked like inquisitive house sparrows chirping at us.
The scree and rock faces had deep channels carved out from obviously heavy rainfall.
At about 200M I discovered Ted had gone missing and not wishing to have to explain to my son why travelling Ted now lives in the Cape Verde Islands with a local bear he met on the beach, I asked the others to go on and I would wait for them.
An hour later having squared off 75 square yards of mountain with cairns I found him sat on the ground sat next to bush staring at me with what I’m sure, was an amused expression. (three weeks at sea oh dear)
Spent the remaining half an hour watching crickets and ladybirds.
Rich and Mickey came back down with a description of a concrete block with a piece of wood in dated 1922 and wonderful views.
We returned to the beach out through the surf without getting deluged and back on board. Spent the rest of the day with safety boat whilst Alec and Giselle went diving for dinner. A domestic nearly ensued when a big trigger fish returned to the sea after some confusion in getting it aboard. Three decent sized parrot fish calmed things down.
Through the Surf
Micki Robert with Rich doing a bit of night fishing
Bringing back Giselle and Alex from a Trigger Fish hunting expedition
Have been tracking the formation of tropical storms and their movement North, one of which is supposed to build into a hurricane with 125 to 150 knot winds sustained and 55 foot waves – not the time to be sailing to the Caribbean !
Approximately 1400 Miles to Salvador We sailed that evening.
Ill let you know how we get on over the next few days.
23/09/04 0001hrs 07 16 402N 26 41 403W 29.7 degrees 1015MB
A few problems since the last communication flying fish, open hatches, screams in the night (cooked the ones that didn’t manage to get a cuddle – lovely tasting once you pick out the translucent bones)
Flying Fish Dinner
Sun 26/09/04 Hauled in a Mahi Mahi, cooked by seeping in lemon juice
Wahoo or Ono, which means “delicious” in Hawaiian, is a pelagic fish found in all the world’s tropical and subtropical waters including the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans.
Alex dispatching a Wahoo with a winch handle
1200hrs 00 00N 029 21W SE 20 1014 falling
Crossed the equator!
King Neptune climbed over the aft guard rails brandishing a boat hook strapped to an ice axe wearing a spectra beard and a j cloth crown.
I introduced the initiates Rob (loin cloth, talcum powder, bright orange rubber glove and tickling stick) Giselle (South sea island coconut bra and frills with rotten teeth)Mickey (bunny suit)
They were ceremoniously castigated for fowling and raping the sea of her bounty without permission.
As a penance having to resample last nights meatballs and pasta ,kissing long dead flying fish and throwing back a tot concocted by Alec.
Then I was found out, having let slip in an unguarded moment missing out on the ceremony twenty years previously after flying off at Ascension.
Two elderly pickled gurkins washed down with Grappa Russian Vodka and Pescoe on an empty stomach nearly finished me off.
King Neptune took his due when my hat flew off leaving me with a bin liner wig and toga.
A shout on the upperdeck later and we had caught the first fish on the troll line a magnificent wahoo streamlined iridescent blue and silver. 15 minutes baked in paper parcels delicious.
The day was finished off by showering in a rain squall wonderful.
Tue 25/09/04 Crossing the line Ceremony
Kiss the Fish
Tuesday 28/09/04 Make a Kite flying competition
A BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE VOYAGE UNDERTAKEN BY PELAGIC AUSTRALIS IN THE NORTHERN ATLANTIC UP UNTIL THE EQUATOR AND ADDRESSED TO THE AQUATIC DEITY KING NEPTUNE
By Gisele Bokki Botha
(Names have been changed to protect the innocent. no animals were harmed in the making of this passage. except 3 parrotfish, 1 Triggerfish that kicked the bucket and YAHOO! 1 Wahoo)
Dear the Revered King Neptune
Pelagic Australis is her name,
She is an aluminium Grande dame,
A true South African Wild Coast broad,
Deep down South she has soared.
To introduce you to the crew,
Their sense of adventure keen and true,
Richard the Skipper, Alec the Mate,
Dave, Robert, Mickey and Giselle with their various quirks and traits.
First on Board was Micky. The Civil Engineer,
Who for a sailor, drinks surprisingly little beer,
When she isn’t cooking up a divine River Café dish,
She is shooting celestial bodies while the rest of us make a wish.
Next to join, was pencil wearing Dave,
Who is the expedition artist and Builder by Trade,
As he whips up his Wicked Pelagic Pancake mix,
Like Loki he is dreaming up a new set of tricks.
A stow away discovered who’s looking rather Brown,
Along the way he has turned into a bit of a clown.
Travelling Ted with passport in hand,
Becoming a regular visitor to exotic lands,
Ports Foreign and distant horizons he hails,
To relate to Christopher some wonderful tales
For Paragliding or Mountain Climbing Thrills,
Packed with Reindeer Adventures and mid-air to firma spills,
Than Captain Richard is your man,
For hatching and scheming some wind funnel plan,
In Shantooti he scadootied to the icy continent,
To deliver us to Brazil there is no one more competent.
If the not so ordinary qualifications apply,
To become a Master of a vessel, to get a boat to really fly,
Then of the mate Alec he may be nearly there,
Considering his piloting exploits up in the air,
And diving in shit, now that’s quite a story,
That gets embellished each telling and is rather gory.
And on his watches the tea quaffing lad, wears his pants inside out creating a Doldrums Fad.
And if its stories with fantasy the theme,
Or bogus facts you may wish to glean,
Then consult Giselle (unlike the graceful name applies)
Everyone tries to steady her before she topples over to her demise.
So a motley crew delivers Pelagic and he clears the Hamble as if by magic, With tide up her bottom, she whipped through the Solent, Wasting not a single moment. We journeyed to the Island of Sark, where they don’t have streetlights so it gets very dark.
We have one more crew to pick up, we lick our chops, if there’s dinner we are in luck. and on the Island we met Robert and Puffin, and we ate and we drank till there was almost nuffin, and we press ganged Rob onto our yacht,
Next morning friendly Sark’ians descended on to our spot, we set off in a fair breeze, waving goodbye to the hills and the trees. We set the course for the Island of Dogs, and progress appeared in the log.
In Las Palmas we spent a few days, to work and to and wonder, and shop and amaze, some without a clue, tried to gate crash a hen party too.
And so next stop Brazil, waiting for the sails to fill, a small detour was decided, and a glorious day in the Verde’s provided.
A daring beach launch and a climb up a hill, if Dave hadn’t noticed Ted would be up there still.
Some diving and spear fishing to end a perfect day,
Upped anchor and sailed away.
This is an account of our voyage in the North to be read at you leisure as we proceed forth, grant us safe passage into the Southern Ocean,
Allow us to aquaint ourselves with the new motion, bring us good weather at 0 Degrees, Keep south pleasant so we don’t shiver and freeze,
Please send lots of big yummy fish,
And keep hurricanes away we fervently wish.
TA PELAGIC AUSTRALIS HAMBLE TO BRAZIL
Mid Atlantic swim warm as bath water 25,453ft deep and a thousand miles from land
Landfall at night Brazil
According to the chart plotter an open bay, get caught up, manage to extricate ourselves. The whole bay is an oyster farm.
Lads came over to supply dinner
08.15 Entering the port of Victoria 20 odd ships bulk ore carriers 20 16 23 S 039 33 238W
Massive terminal, ships lined up like Sainsburys car park.
On the way in saw a pair of hump back whales breaching – looked as though they were just mucking about, travelling along at about 5 knots.
Children doing quite well. On board, Laura is 2.5 and Lucre 18 months. Poor Cea is suffering from sea sickness.
Anchored outside a marina, rounded bed rock alongside waters edge. Lush vegetation on steep slopes surrounded by high rise buildings on one side, large villas on the other and looking up river, a large bridge.
The ship in Salvador was not Brilliant, but ex HMS Brazen didn’t manage to get on her as she was about to sail, but the chap on the gangway said Brillant was in Rio.
Off to drink Caiperinaes
1124hrs have departed Vitoria (not Victoria) 22 21 .3 S 041 00 .6 W
Skip Novak (A bit of a legend) the owner of Pelagic Australis came on board with his family and nanny . Richard flew home. Also
embarked two Brazilian chaps making a documentary about sailing, Andreas and Secundo (nicknamed Huie and Sturgeron)
Andreas is from Brazilia . Nice blokes, never been sailing before – they were both very ill.
Jumping around the decks when they recovered after reaching Parity.
Vitoria Bulk carriers everywhere
Owner of Pelagic Skip with Family
09/10/04 1012hrs 23 17 S 44 08 W Arrived Parity
Anchored in small bay, palm trees, rounded granite boulders, new jungle on, the steep slopes.
Small house on beach owned by Amyr Klink (famous Brazilian sailor who sailed South overwintered sailed North and overwintered there).
Finally shamed into jumping off the spreaders, a new form of Acupulco diving named Cossack dancing style, interesting to watch but rather hard on the chest when you hit the water face down.
Amir brought his boat Paratii 2 into the bay and came alongside. A beast of a boat 30m 98 tons unladen, carries 30 tons of fuel, unbalasted twin aero rigs and built of aluminium. Part of the photo shoot for the documentary.
Went into Paraty a colonial Portuguese town with rough cobbled streets , a Brazilian tourist town.
Travelled over to an island owned by Amir by inflatable. Ilha da Bexiga or Bladder Island. In the beginning of the 20th Century when the victims (then called bladders) were quarantined there and buried.
Massive dug out canoes in the boathouse, tracks up to the top of the island where in amongst the trees, earth banks and traces of buildings, lie 6 cannons in the grass in immaculate condition. A GR crest on the barrels with pussers arrow 23-9-21.
Hacked into a coconut that fell out of a tree, delicious on a red hot day climbing hills.
Back ashore wandered into a small banana plantation looking for a ripe bunch (something else to cross off the list) all unripe, following day poisonous snake lay beheaded on the path.
Paraty Watering Hole
Paraty Big Eats
13/10/04 0145hrs 23 38 .2 S 45 01 .5 W
0600 hrs arrived Sao Sebastain. Anchored in channel opposite Cercao’s beach house, about 3km down channel from a big fuel terminal. Cercaos is a chap who organised the Whitbread Brazillian stop over.
Lovely old style beach house made from reclaimed materials.
Never realised that the pan tiles have no lugs or fixings to keep them in place – they rely on weight.
Walked into town, a working town, good condition. Falmouth Brazillian style except there are mountains across the channel and around the town.
Big electrical storm last night with some visious squalls.
Staying here for a few days must go exploring.
28/10/04 38 34 064 S 055 57 471W
8.4 Knots COG 186 degrees Temp 21 degrees
No more just shorts, sailing down the coast of Argentina forecast is for something rough – phrases like we don’t believe the winds will be as bad as the computer model forecasts, and it will be a rough trip.
No sign of it yet. Beautiful sunny day, decent swell and twenty knots of wind surrounded by wandering Albatross.
Uruguay great country. Punta del Este feels like a European City. Apparently a lot of Argentine money gone into the place – probably explains the big sign outside the British club saying the Falklands are Argentine ( I was a little offended… Still at least they got the name right) right next to the sign inviting you in for high tea.
Good food. Main meal and wine for four pounds. Since unfortunately we are not stopping in Mar De Plata, I posted the war books Carlos asked me to bring by DHL.
That evening, behind the bar, the proprietor is also the same man who is the manager of the local DHL. 795 miles to go
Punta del Este
Coming alongside Punta del Este
Skip Laura and Lucre
Punta del Este
Have just returned form the Falklands, gut feeling that it needed to be a journey and not a visit correct. It has put that episode of my life in Historical, Geographic and Current perspective, from visiting a school in Brazil,. Talking to Argentines in Uruguay who were only children at the time of the war convinced the Falklands are there’s but who spoke with grudging respect of Maggie and a sign that was outside the British club in Punta del Este stating in English and Spanish that the Falklands are Argentine and finally Melanie in Stanley who now 78 had not left the islands until she was 70 to visit Wales and Scotland describing her ARP training during the second world war and the conscripts begging for food during the occupation in 1982.
The pleasure of coming in to Stanley with a friendly Port captain who delivered a parcel for one of the crew on our arrival and the Customs officer who willingly stamped La Viajar Teds passport.