15 March

23 hours travelling from a wet, wintry street in Hove to the blue-sky heat of Montevideo was tiring. Goodness I slept well after a typical Uruguayan dinner of steak. (Apologies to you vegetarians).

There are a lot of buses in Montevideo. The public transport system is very, very comprehensive. They are frequent, cheap and old. The 45 minute journey from the airport cost £1.50! There are curtains on the windows to keep the interior cooler.

The old town of Montevideo is crumbling in places and full of character.

But it is a modern place. There is free WiFi in all the public squares and the police patrol on these….

Even though there is 98.5% literacy in Uruguay I wondered how many people could type this website without making a mistake!

the temperature yesterday was a magic 27°C. Just right for a swim

And a bicycle ride along the busy waterfront

The boat is in the harbour in Punta Del Este which is 100km to the east. The comfortable coach ride only £7.50. Thursday’s adventure is to try and catch the right bus.

And then……..


Song Of The Whale

Hello fellow travellers.

Off on a new adventure on Monday 11th March.

The painting and decorating of the house is over.  Rooms have been carpeted.  Everything is sorted.  We are going sailing.  This is going to be a very different escapade for me. I wonder what I am letting myself into?

This a picture of the boat – which is called Song Of The Whale.
The plan is to fly out to Montevideo (that’s in Uruguay) on Monday, join the boat on Friday, depart on Saturday to sail to Salvador in Brazil, to the Azores and on to Faro in Portugal.  Here is a map of the route.

The name of the boat is a hint.  It is a Research Vessel that studies whales so on the journey we will be recording sightings of whales and some other large fish/mammals; taking water samples to assess the plastic in the ocean and listening to the whales.  The boat tows hydrophones to listen to underwater sounds.  I cannot wait to hear Whale Song. The boat has five computers!!  For the first leg of the journey I think there will be only six on board so it is going to be a busy ‘holiday’. I think there will be little time for sitting on deck and gazing at the far horizon and pondering on the meaning of life!

The boat is run by Marine Conservation and you can read more about them and the boat on their website – www.marineconservationresearch.co.uk/  There is an occasional (weekly?) blog on the home page of this website.

If you look at the very top of this blog you should see some text “Atlantic 2018”.  If you take this link it will take you to a link that will show my track.  Or just go straight to this page MAP  There is nothing on the map at the moment as we have not yet started.

I am not sure whether I will be able to blog every day.  Certainly there is no wifi in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. I am hoping to post something but there will be limitations.  When at sea I will not be able to post any pictures and I will not be able to read any comments posted to the blog.  I will catch up when we reach shore.

It has been a childhood ambition of mine to sail around the world.  I read Joshua Slocum’s accounts and Francis Chichester’s when I was a teenager.  This is the closest I guess I will get to achieving that ambition. I have always wondered how an ocean storm feels like on a sailing boat…….

Wish me luck!!!!