21.03.09 – north from Salvador

A slow night ticking off the looms of towns along this endless coast. There is still a strong set to the south, varying between 1.5 and 2.5 knots. This causes dispiritude as boat speed is high and progress is not.

We are creeping north under a zillion stars. It is a relief to be free of the land again. That land, at least. The relentless northerlies have been generally mild, so that at best this bit is idyllic and at worst only moderately uncomfortable. Life has become tolerably cool again, clean and purposeful. Gone are the urine smells, the port captain’s pretentious whistle, dreary samba noise, the sweaty closeness of the elevator and all the other sensory onslaughts of Salvador. But each defines the other and our time in Salvador will remain firmly entrenched in my mind. I finished Lost Dog and was quite unsatisfied by it. As Chris says, she is a good writer, but the various elements didn’t come together enough for me and the prose seems sometimes just too cute. Next Ian Yates and Patricia Cornwell in tandem.

Navigation is easy – keep the coast (canefields afire and smudged looms of endless towns) on the left. Just as well, because the chart plotter is dead.

An eerie glow to the east has turned into a lovely crescent moon and a cool land breeze has just sprung to life. I must go and do boys’ things on deck.

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