Elinca is ready to leave… again. This time across the Atlantic and heading for home. Five new crew members join this morning and we hope to be away by lunchtime, aware always of the 4000 mile journey ahead of us to the Azores. Europe! Rio for me has been a 50/50 mix of food shopping and sightseeing. We only had three days here this time and so most of the crew were on tight schedules to see as much as possible in 72 hours available. The boat parked safely in Marina da Gloria the crew scattered and the boat became a hotel. James negotiated immigration alone as Clare (with the help of Sarah, Cliggy and new crew member Emma) loaded the boat with 8 heaped supermarket trollies full of food. Now buying £2,000 worth of shopping in one go has become the norm it’s going to be weird to visit a TESCO local and buy just two chicken breasts.
On-board now we have “full timers” Clare, James, Nick, Jon and Cliggy, “All the way homers” Lynda, Rachel, Sarah and Raffe and we are joining by new crew members Emma Layfield, Andrew Taylor, Bob Little, Sarah Martin and Alice Wordley. Everyone met last night in the lively district of Lapa for crew dinner (last South American steak) and some Caipirinha’s on the famous tiles steps. I sensed a bit of nervous energy from some as we declared that we were going back to the boat to sleep due to needing to set off across the Atlantic in the morning.
The weather looks fairly settled with northerlies to begin with (so we plan to head east and clear the coast of Brazil) veering to easterlies by Wednesday so we will tack on the wind shift and start to head north. In terms of distance and time this is the most challenging leg of all. We have to keep the speed on in order to make it on time to the Azores. Everyone has a different incentive to push the boat and make it on time. For Lynda it is her 30th birthday party (on the 26th), for four it is the flights they have booked and for me it is mostly pride in not being late.