Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Surf is Up!

Praia Grande. Arraial do Cabo. RJ. Brazil.
Praia Grande. Arraial do Cabo. RJ. Brazil.

Great afternoon at Praia Grande, Arraial do Cabo, RJ, Brazil


Some reflections about Work

work (wûrk)


1. Physical or mental effort or activity directed toward the production or accomplishment of something.


a. A job; employment: looking for work.

b. A trade, profession, or other means of livelihood.

In my “previous” life, did as everybody else: exchanged my time for (what I thought to be) the company that paid the best wage. I enjoyed my job so I didn’t think a second of doing something else. Until 

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Does it Flow? Goiot Electric Anchor windlass (winch)

This post is for those of you that are interested to know more about the different equipment we have onboard. If you are not into this, don’t worry, you can skip this one….

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sailing, flying!

When people ask me why? I say why not? Explore your dreams. Just go beyond your limitations and don't give up in times of failure.
Gull in Armação dos Buzios - '...forth and back to the fishing boats' 

Gulls in Cabo Frio - 'For most gulls, it is not flying that matters, but eating.'

“Instead of our drab slogging forth and back to the fishing boats, there's reason to live! We can lift ourselves out of ignorance, we can find ourselves as creatures of excellence and intelligence and skill. We can learn to be free! we can learn to fly!”

“Don’t believe what your eyes are telling you. All they show is limitation. Look with your understanding. Find out what you already know and you will see the way to fly.”

 Jonathan Livingston Seagull - Richard Bach

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The Boat

Some pictures of the 40ft Sailing Catamaran, we call home... She is a french designed boat (Fountaine-Pajot), comfortable, safe and easy to sail.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Does it Flow? The Comar Systems AIS

For safe navigation, the Onda Boa is equipped with a Radar, a GPS (and Chartplotter), and also a VHF Radio, a SSB radio, an EPIRB and PLB... In other posts i will talk about those pieces of safety equipment separately. This post will be about an AIS system (Automatic Identification System) that was recently installed. These two small boxes (one is a VHF signal splitter, and the other is the actual AIS) are easily installed. The system uses the VHF signal, and works like the type of transponders that commercial planes also uses. So, now we get instantly on our Chartplotter screen detailed info about the commercial vessels around us. Name, destination, speed, heading etc etc... It is a really good safety feature as it gives precise and in real time the info you  need. Now, we can either communicate with the vessel, or decide to change course if need be.
Brand: Comar Systems (
(In contact with the supplier in order to verify an installation issue: prompt and to the point email exchange, so after sales at its best)..

This piece of equipment definitely Flows...

Stay Safe....

Sunday, February 12, 2012

What's Cooking? Brazilian Moqueca Onda Boa Style

This recipe is a favorite on board. It is a kind of fish stew, and the original comes from the North East of Brazil (Bahia). Some adaptations have been made, and it continues to taste fantastic (plus it is also treat for the eyes....)

* Ingredients (for two)

- 1 kg of fresh fish ( sliced, not fillets)
- 3  tomatoes (cut in slices)
- 1 union (cut in thin slices)
- 2 Paprika's (cut in slices, a red one and a green one)
- Fresh coriander (not a must, but it sure tastes great)
- palm oil (nice, and intense yellow cooking oil)
- coconut milk
- olive oil
- lime juice
- salt
- pepper

* Preparation

- put some palm oil and olive oil in a pan large enough to hold all ingredients (we use a wok frying pan....) and once the oil gets hot, stir fry the unions,and once they are getting fried (they get really yellow because of the palm oil), then add the paprika's and let it simmer for a while, then add the tomatoes, some salt and pepper, and let it continue to simmer...

- put the slices of fish in a bowl, and add the lime juice, some salt and pepper as well...

- once the union, paprika's and tomatoes are well under way... add some coconut milk (200 ml) and mix.. then place the slices of fish on top of it all and add some freshly cut coriander and again let it simmer.... Put a lid on the frying pan (wok).. don't stir the fish, as that will not be necessary. In abt 15 min it will be all good and ready to eat. You can serve with white rice...

Hope you like it.... Please let us know....

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Impressions of a great day.....

A relaxing day.... a little bit of sailing (only with the Genaker...), a great lunch on board, some swimming and catching a great sunset, later on being able to take a picture of an almost full moon on board, meaning no wind, no waves in Buzios....

Sometimes you need to take your time, to unwind and slow down and enjoy the things around you...

All the best...


Tuesday, February 07, 2012

SpiderMan in Buzios; the fine art of climbing concrete piers

If you are not into sailing comments, tips etc, then you can skip this post.

For those of you sailors,  who plan to spent some time in Buzios here are some practical comments, hints and tips:

* Best ancorage location:
- Actualy, there isnt one... Sorry... The winds, usualy coming from the NE (24-28 knots is more like the rule, than exception...) makes it a bumpy place. Your best place is near the Yacht Club of Buzios, at the praia dos Ossos. Here you are kind of protected from the winds. Praia de Tartaruga, or Porto da Barra offer no protection at all. If you come from the South, then praia de Ferradura is your best option. The entrance of this horse-shoe type bay (hence the name of this beach: Ferradura) is kind of tricky (swell) but once you're in, you are good... calm waters..

* To get to land:
- In Buzios: There is a public pier (near the Rua das Pedras...fancy shopping and high end brand clothing shops... ) and you can tie your dinghy there. No, there is no guard, no nothing, just dont let stuff in your dinghy. When the tide is low, you better put your spiderman gear on, as you will literaly have to climb to get on  to the pier. You can always beach your dinghy, but that is not our personal favorite.
There is also a concrete pier near the end of the Bardot Boulevard, where the small local fisherboats dock. Some climing may be needed. The up side is, you can get ice and fresh fish.
In praia de Ferradura no other option than to beach your dinghy (at ancor) and just hope for the best.

* Fresh water and Fuel:
- There are at this moment (2012) no petrol stations/locations near the water front, nor the Yacht club. So, this means you will have to walk for aprox 20 min to the nearest gas station. I have done this twice on the same day, and No, that was not funny.(Hint: if you can, you can go to Cabo Frio, and right at the entrance of the canal, you can fuel up (and fresh water) at the Yacht Club of Rio de Janeiro (they take credit cards).
- Fresh water: unless you want to pay a day fee to the Yacht Clube of Buzios (R$ 50) for access to water, you can go to the pier next to the Club and get fresh water. (R$ 5/100 liters). You would want to do this only at high tide (and less wind as possible). This pier is used mainly by escunas and the tenders from the cruise ships.. so they have these wonderful big black old rubber tiers who will get your nice and white hull looking like a tank of war...
No fresh water option in praia de Ferradura, unless you want to purchase a 100 m hose (Sr Roberto will hook you up...)

* Groceries:
- Two options here: ancor out in front of the pier at Manguinhos (you cant use the pier as there is not enough draft, plus the pier itself is useless as there is nothing to tie your boat with (not even metal rings to pass a line...). So, once ancored safely, go with your dinghy to this pier and perform your spiderman act again... Nearby the end of the pier (a little to yr right) there is a supermarket called Princess...
The other option: in Buzios: go  to the smaller grocery shops, pay more (for less quality and choise), or take a van (R$ 2/pp) and go to the above mentioned Princess supermarket.

Armaçao de Buzios: Nautical Heaven or Nautical Hell? Well, if you are a die-hard sailor, or you are spider man, you are in heaven... Strong winds, and hardly any swell.. If you are live-aboards cruisers (like us) because of the lack of minimum nautical support this place sometimes apears to be a nautical hell. (as in: try to get back to your boat, dinghy full of supply, against a 28 knot wind... )...

The upside: we can wheigh our ancor anytime we feel like it...

Monday, February 06, 2012

Thanks for this day!

Yesterday was a busy but successful working day. Great day charter with a great group. We give thanks for this day!

Plan B: A nautical lesson for CEO's

So, the other day we were doing a day charter, and we had 10 business people on board, some of them were CEO of their companies. All was great, a good breeze, chilled champagne, cold beers.... Ancored near an island, a little bay giving some shelter against the wind. More champagne, snacks and beers and lots of business talk (aparently...).

When wheighing the ancor,  something was wrong, the electrical winch had a rough time in pulling up the chain and ancor, and  it became clear why: a big rock was wedged/stuck between the ancor and the chain. By hand it was not possible to move the rock and in this situation, the ancor couldnt be used anymore....
Sailing towards another ancorage, another solution had to be organized.... Plan B if you will...

For safety reasons, we have three ancors on board, so  another ancor was prepared (lines attached etc) and thought through how and where i would ancor. (Ancorage was necessary, in order to  get the rock out of the primary ancor)... The plan worked well, and in no time all was back to normal.

The lesson to learn is that you always have to have a plan B ready. If your original plan gets busted,  stuck, stranded or the wind changes (all of this can happen with your company/business plan etc right...?) then what do you do? Plan B should be ready to deploy. No reason for panic nor dispair.

Succes with what you do...

Thursday, February 02, 2012

The 36 knots adventure!

It's always an adventure to sail in Buzios, Rio de Janeiro. It is no wonder that this region is known for having excellent conditions for wind sports. Well, we were excited to sail on one of the few days off we have, and Pieter did not want to miss the opportunity to give me more practical lessons on the art of sailing.  

At the beginning, after lifting anchor, we were raising the main sail (master sail), this was in front of the Yacht Club of Buzios, and we faced the first challenge of this adventure, a gust forced the main to one side and ripped one of the suporting lines of the lazyjack, its sail cover. From this I learned that to raise the main sail the boat has to be pointed in the wind.

Then, out of the bay an another gust, the cover of the GPS is blown overboard: it took us 10 minutes to rescue the little adventurer cover.
After half an hour sailing with wind speed between 30 and 36 knots, boat speed between 7 and 9 knots, another gust tangled ​​the loose part of the lazyjack (the one back there that we think it didn't offer more risk) to the bimini (ceiling) and almost ripped the bimini struture off the boat, as you can see on the pictures. With cables we made
a very macGyver solution, and returned quickly to anchor and to safety. By now we had sufficient adrenaline (and damage) that are necessary for every human being growth.