I’m three days sail from the mouth of the Amazon. I love sailing up rivers. I made it two hundred miles up the Gambia River and I bet I could make it six hundred miles up the Amazon. I would first need a reliable engine and I’ve done no research on the upper amazon. Maybe next time. It’s hard for me to sail around Brazil; this is a country I’ve always wanted to visit. Back in 2009 when I was sailing around Portugal I hung out with more Brazilians then Portuguese. Every city in Portugal has a Brazilian club and Brazilians are incredible dancers. My ancestors must have been river dancing in caves for 10,000 years because I have stiff hips and get sun burn in 2.2 seconds. I tried to dance with some girls but it was embarrassing to say the least. If I ever have the time I would like to see how far I could make it up the Amazon, if I ever have the time.
I was able to get my engine started. The problem was it took 6 hours and I was standing in a puddle of sweat. Down here it’s hot so it’s easier for the engine to reach proper compression. Up north were it’s colder I doubt I’ll be able to start it. Of course I still have a leak below the water line, not much I can do about that.
After the equator I sailed through the intercontinental convergence zone. The intercontinental convergence zone is a major pain in the butt. Although the one in the Pacific was much worse. Normally in tropical parts of the planet you get occasional squally showers (convection activity) that are usually in a circular shape. Not a perfect circle, some are the shape of an egg or a hotdog. If you have ever seen a squall on a radar you know what I’m talking about. From the boat you can see the whole squall from one side to another. In the intercontinental convergence zone you get rain bands. It’s one long squall from one side of the horizon to the other. They seem to come every 45 minutes or so bringing strong winds and rain. When they leave you sit there becalmed until the next one comes. It’s a pain. Because I sailed though it at an angle I was in it for two and a half days. There is one benefit; I was able to collect 25 litters of water. I had so much fresh water that I was able to shave with fresh water for the first time this trip. I’m looking forward to my first fresh water shower.
Simon tells me I caused a bit of a fuss on some sailing blogs and web forums with my last update. I don’t want any one arguing over anything I have to say. But since “guns on boats” is a heated debate my opinion is as follows. If you’re sailing around the United States you can carry firearms by law. If you want to sail to another country I would first check with their embassy and find out if they have a problem with firearms – and most countries do. When I sailed from Annapolis to Europe, Africa the Caribbean and back I didn’t take any firearms because it would have been more of a hassle then a benefit. Some countries will take your boat and throw you in jail. The Canadian coast guard prefers that you bring a firearm to the Artic because of polar bears. I’ve heard of people bringing nothing more than a can of mace. On this trip I don’t have to worry about rules and regulations because the ocean is not part of any country; this is no man’s land. Ultimately the decision is up to the owner of the boat just understand that internationally it can cause problems. Make sure it works and you know how to use it properly. Well I’m less than 2,500 miles from the Chesapeake Bay; if I can make it back there I’ll be the first person in history to have completed a non-stop singlehanded circumnavigation of the Americas.
Matt's motivation for the trip is to show people, particularly those with disabilities, that there are no limits to what can be accomplished in life; and to raise money for Chesapeake Region Accessible Boating (CRAB), a nonprofit sailing program for people with disabilities, based in Annapolis, Md. Click here to learn more about CRAB.