7 June 2013 12 55S 38 29W

Hello friends,

The same width as the 3 boats in front of her, Dulcinea is comfortably moored at PierSalvador in Bahia State, Brazil. The high-rise offices and apartments are 15 minutes bus ride away in the middle of town. We are in the sleepy suburb of Ribeira. However, you can't sleep during the bus ride with spine-shaking bumps as we charge over potholes.

Can anything be sleepy in Brazil? This seems to be St June's month (we had no idea there was a St June. Perhaps it is Sao Juan with the wrong accent). Fireworks are going off regularly, the marina manager has invited us to a friend's street party and celebrate this evening. Our hosts are an English/Brazilian couple who settled here decades ago and brought up 6 Brazilian children. We spend much of the evening trying to talk French to a French woman who arrived about 2 years ago. The street is maybe 10metres wide and our bonfire is 2 m high. We all sat outside on plastic chairs and danced line dances to live band from interior Brazil.

We know that Brazlians are famous for dancing and having parties. Their second favourite pastime is lining up in queues. Lines for bank machines, buses, and super-market check-outs might be unfortunate necessity, but the longest lines are for lottery tickets so it must be all done for fun. Fortunately there are often fast lines for idiots (that's how we pronounce the sign, but it actually says idosos which means old people and thankfully we qualify). We spent over a day checking into the country and have now spent another day getting paperwork to leave Dulcinea here while we fly home.

Our plan had been to land briefly in Bahia, then continue south to Santa Catarina State where some heaters should be ready to install preparing for next year's trip south into Patagonia. However that seems like a rush leading to many unknowns like "where to leave Dulcinea when we return to Calgary next month" and "will the southern fronts merge into continuous adverse southerlies during this Brazilian winter?" so we changed our minds and decided to delay the heater installation, and do a little exploring on land.

We have booked flights back to Canada for 8 July and return here for 25 September, and have decided to spend much of the next month traveling in Argentina & Uruguay.

Reviewing the last six weeks, David and Mary met us on the other side of the Atlantic in Luderitz Namibia. Before meeting, they had made an extensive tour of sights & game parks in Botswana and Namibia. Their description of the sand dunes of the Namib Desert made them sound too spectacular to miss, so Jan & Dave rented a 4X4 and drove off for 3 days in the desert from Walvis Bay. We climbed some magnificent dunes, stayed in a local guest house, and walked a little way up the Kuiseb Canyon where two Germans eked out a primitive life throughout much of WW2 in order to avoid the fighting in Europe.

Then we set off sailing across the S Atlantic. We left Walvis Bay on the back of a low with a long ocean swell but dying winds. We slowed further when the spinnaker tack fitting shattered into pieces, and in trying to recover everything, we lost the halyard & ran over the sail tearing it. The sail is now repaired by a Brazilian sailmaker, but the crossing was sleepy & slow.

St Helena was a lovely stop. We picked up a bouy in the open bay. Customs, port, and immigration officials came out to us next morning, and remarked on the way back to shore that St Helena doesn't have mobile phones and wouldn't want them since it would spoil the pace of life. There has been much controversy about building an airport which may bring tourism and economic benefits, but is not uniformly desired. It is a steep, rocky island about 10 miles by 6. There are many different communities and land varying from rocky shore, to semi-desert, to little fertile fields. Many slopes are covered with flax plants and in the 1960's the island's economy suffered a major blow when the British Post Office stopped using flax bags for letters & parcels. About 1,000 miles from Africa, and 2,000 from S America. It is best known as the last home of Napolean Bonaparte. Very friendly! Presently connected by boat every 2 weeks to Capetown or Ascension Island from where there are flights to England.

Upon leaving St Helena, we drifted and sailed well north of the rum line to Salvador, looking for breeze in the SE Trades, but always being squeezed by calms in the S Atlantic Hi. David honed his fishing skills and caught us both yellow-fin and skipjack tuna to add to our diet, and we all ate well.

love from Dave & Jan back in Brazil after 10 years absence.