Wednesday, October 17,
Bahai del Palmeira
Day 21 into this adventure and we are still speaking and working well together. Anchored and went to bed for a very quiet night.
After experiencing six rather forlorn days in the dusty and desolate Cape Verde Islands to refuel and provision, Palawan’s crew eagerly returned to sea and turned her bow south to put some miles under her keel.
Friday, October 26,
Cloudy and squally looking, but not much wind. We are four days out. I do miss Gayle [Bontecou’s wife], home and all, but the experience is great, and I am having the time of my life. We seem to be ahead of schedule, so Tom is now talking Montevideo, Uruguay. I’d rather stay at sea, but I’m sure I’ll be in the minority if it comes to a vote. Maybe the SE trades will come with this rain. I sure hope so.
Saturday, October 27,
Big squall line, increasing winds, off with Genoa. Wind at 30 knots and we are doing 8.5 knots. Very pleasant except it’s raining like hell.
Sunday, October 28
Staysail and full main all day and very squally with 20- to 30-knot winds, and at 0200 a 45-knot squall hit. We saw a tanker to starboard. Good sailing and partly sunny, and we are making good time.
Monday, October 29,
Super day. Transferred 120 gallons of fuel from the deck to the main tank and we seem to be riding better with not so much roll. After all we moved 840 pounds about 12 feet lower in the boat.
Big celebration. We have two neophytes on board, Ben and Alden, who have never crossed the equator before. So King Neptune came aboard at 1830 and we hove-to in his honor, while we turned the two men into shellbacks like the rest of us.
Tuesday, October 30,
Right now we are hard on the wind as the SE trades are blowing too much south and not enough east. So at 1400 we tacked to get away from land and are now heading east. We are out one week today with about two more to go to Montevideo. Wind 30 knots with moderate seas.
Wednesday, October 31,
03.37 South 33.19W
Wow! What a night. Mizzen, staysail, and engine, leaping and surging, but we need to get east and this is the way to do it. Very active below and very wet on deck. Wind up 25 to 30 knots. Hard on it.
Thursday, November 1,
This makes three days of this shit. Motor sailing at 200 mag right into it. Rough, rolly, and wet. Why doesn’t the SE trade blow more east? We’re still getting set toward Brazil. Thank God for the dog house. We seem to spend our time tucked in a corner to stay dry.
Saturday, November 3,
Super day, shut down motor last night and have sailed since. Altered course to 215 and that brought the wind abeam. Today is just like the book says it’s supposed to be. I just hope it lasts for eight more days, and we should be in Montevideo. Just a magnificent night, huge moon, soft breeze, smooth sea, and a cool beer. What else can one ask for?
Tuesday, November 6,
This is day 15 at sea and no problems at all so far. Tom and Alden seem to have a truce going at the moment. Alden was considering leaving at Montevideo, but I think now he will stay. I hope so, as he is good at his job.
Thursday, November 8,
Yesterday was too rough to write, but it was exciting. I had the 0200 to 0400 watch and nice sailing. At 1100 I came on watch to haul in a very big dolphin we ate for supper and froze the other half. Then the radar showed a whole bunch of stuff ahead. We could see about one and a half miles in the fog and drizzle. All of a sudden there was what looked like a Greek temple ahead. All I could see were the columns holding it up. But then it turned into an oil platform, and for the next four hours, we passed by platforms, supply boats, tankers, anchor buoys, and a small fishing boat that Tom says brings the girls out.
It is still cloudy, but not raining. Broad reaching with all sail doing 8 knots. We have 960 miles to go and should make it in by next Monday or Tuesday.
Friday, November 9,
Thunder squalls with 40 knots of wind, biggish seas and generally not very relaxing. All hatches down and safety belts required on deck. But we have made great time and averaged 8 knots for the last 40 hours.
The yacht log of sailor Jesse Bontecou brings to life the journey of venerable sailor and businessman Tom Watson, JR., and crew from Portugal, around Cape Horn, to Argentina.