As the gentle red haze of dawn light crept over the horizon, we could first make out the peaks of land and began to smell the unmistakable scent. Not of pine trees this time, but a more tropical scent that’s hard to describe. A bit like a faint smell of sun cream with musty aromatherapy oils mixed in. The sunrise was completely stunning, with bright reds and oranges streaking across a turquoise blue sky, while fluffy pale pink clouds lazily drifted above. Eventually, the sun crept above the horizon as a great glowing red ball. Stunning! There’s something really special about sighting land at this time of day, so thanks James, Clare and the weather for the impeccable timing.
The 4am until 8am watch is my firm favourite as is between many crew members. It is preceded by a good nights sleep after a delicious dinner (dinner is always delicious…I’ve not had a bad one yet), then once up on deck, we often get to enjoy an hour or so of twinkling stars and moonshine (and the milky way on good days), followed by stunning sunrises then fresh coffee and breakfast is the relatively cool morning sun (cool is when shorts and t-shirts are not yet considered as too many layers – or in other words around 27 degrees).
Now as we motor between the island of Isla Grande and the coast of mainland Brazil, heading for the port of Angra dos Reis on the mainland, the crew are starting to prepare themselves for land. The first thing we have to do is go to customs, and we want to look a little smart for them, and for general civilisation. At least for the girls that means hair washing in a bucket on deck and a clean outfit. Once we’ve cleared customs we will be free to look around. I know what my first mission will be – find a nice, ripe papaya to eat. Yummy!