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Home » Sailing » Cape2Rio: first sight of land as Perie Banou closes in on Rio

Cape2Rio: first sight of land as Perie Banou closes in on Rio

Perie Banou II 18:30H GMT 30th January 2014 Day 27 at sea…
130 nm to Rio de Janeiro

A big night out in the Pampo Oilfield!

The Trades prevail. Light winds last night with 5/8 cumulus cover, very scattered cumulonimbus this morning, to clear skies and a taste of “real” Trade winds for much of the day. The rapid drop in the barometer late yesterday afternoon did not seem to amount to any rapid change in conditions. Maybe it marked the edge of the South Atlantic high pressure system that plagued us for days?

The Trade winds are finally blowing – 17 knots! About time too…

PBII rapidly “climbed” the continental slope and sailed onto the continental shelf in about 100 m water depth by the early hours of this morning.

Dozens of orange glowing orbs over the horizon to the north, ahead and south announced the pending arrival of the Pampo Oilfield. PBII sailed in the field last night and continued through it well into the mid-morning. Dozens and dozens of producing platforms, drill platforms and other facilities. All scattered along the eastern edge of the continental shelf. The lighting was like that you may see in a major land borne industrial complex that extended for over 200 km. A most impressive sight!

Oil and gas in abundance to drive the Brazilian economy.

Your correspondent yesterday noted a dearth of shipping. He noted too soon. At times last night and this morning there were up to ten vessels of various types, passing at any one time, within a 10 nm radius of PBII! Not trucks but ships servicing the platforms. And large twin-turbine helicopters ferrying personnel…

Now jet contrails high overhead. The first seen since departing Cape Town. PBII is headed back into civilisation.

PBII had a guest last night! She flew in unannounced at midnight and departed at sunrise without ado. Dressed resplendently in a light tan coat with grey trim, she wore a white bonnet on her delicately shaped head. About the size of a pigeon she sat next to the helm (literally) on the edge of the solar panel and kept each man company. On arrival she was wary and aloof but as time wore on she engaged in occasional conversation and strutted about. When she tired of company she tucked her little beak into her downy feathers and nodded off. She nevertheless kept balance on the pitching PBII by skilfully spreading her dark grey skirt in time with each role of the boat.

Lance had quite the discussion with her and calmed her with his dulcet voice. Your correspondent wonders just what they discussed?

Gareth seemed less impressed as she apparently had few powder room manners and pooped on his iPhone and seat.

Jon had seen it all before and talked of other such visitations whilst he was on one or other of his lone voyages…

Your fearless correspondent took lots of photos and some video of her. She appeared to be quite comfortable blazed in light for a few moments. She accompanied him throughout his 04:00H – 06:00H GMT watch. No discussion but after introductions she seemed quite content to sleep, your correspondent just half a metre away…

Her name? She never did tell…

Speaking of which, now that PBII is within 40 nm of the coast the bird life had returned.

The “inky Atlantic blue” is gone. It now has a greenish hue; perhaps the result of suspended sediments that have been disgorged from coastal rivers?

At approximately 02:00H GMT, on the eastern side if the Pampo Oilfield, PBII had an unexpected close encounter with Vulcan. She passed twice within a few hundred metres after which she was apparently last seen headed for the Fauklands. Jon apparently engaged in discussion with her on VHF radio.

17:10H GMT Breaking news:
Gareth, on watch, has reported the first sight of land. Rio de Janeiro state is quite rugged and mountainous. The first sighting is of a mountain top approximately 40 nm to the west.

18:20H GMT:
There are 20 nm to run to the Cabo Frio waypoint and a further 69 nm to the Rio finish line.

All well on PBII.

All set to cross the finish line tomorrow?

Ate ja…

By Robin Morritt, Perie Banou II


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