April 1 - After a good night of sleep on the boat, we were up and doing our final check before finally departing Aracaju at 7:00am. As we were approaching the Bahias from the river, we were suddenly hit with a short rain lasting about 10 minutes. This cloud was the only one we saw all day. What was really cool was the double rainbow it created as we entered the Atlantic Ocean crossing the sandbars known locally as the bahias. We decided that this was a good luck sign as we started the long journey. We spent this entire first day sailing upwind in fairly smooth seas with a solid 8-9 kts of boat speed heading for our first planned stop at Recife. After 2 pleasant days of sailing we reached Recife at 6:00am. Babalu spoke to some locals on the VHF and quickly found a fuel dock that we could tie up to for the day We were told that the fuel dock would open at 9:00 and that we could go get some breakfast and look around the city for awhile, which we decided to do. We took a taxi over to the part of town known as Olinda, which is really nice, and walked through several blocks of shops and had a very nice meal. We then headed back to the boat and to our total shock and surprise, found Free Spirit’s bow sitting high and dry on the mud bottom with only the stern still in the water. In the short time we were gone the tide had dropped several feet! We had to wait a couple of hours for the tide to come back up before we could get underway again. Needless to say, I was a little concerned that we had already grounded the boat after only two days of sailing! Recife to Fortaleza was an easy four day sail, as we had now left the eastern most part of Brazil and were reaching with the trade winds towards the northwest. Between the patch and the seasickness pills, Lance probably slept more during these four days than any other four day period of his life. I think it was at this point that Lance decided that he really needed to get back to beach volleyball and leave the sailing to the rest of us. We had a really nice spot in Fortaleza, with the boat docked in front of a large hotel with a swimming pool and everything we needed close by. There were several other cruising sailboats passing through with some really cool people. The beaches were nice and the people very friendly. As hoped, the port captain here was much easier to deal with. After a few relaxing days, Lance flew home to LA and Rick, Babalu and I were ready for the long 1800 mile passage to Trinidad. We departed early morning motoring with no wind. Our plan was to head about 40 miles offshore before setting a straight line course for Trinidad, hoping to pick up trade winds and a favorable current. The plan worked well, as we completed a 200 mile day and were now sailing with 8-9kts of boat speed. The second night out, we passed the equator with increased speed now averaging 9-10 kts and an increasingly full moon. None of us could believe our good luck, as we were sailing through what was suppose to be the doldrums, with fantastic boat speed. Babalu said that he had never seen wind like this in the many times he had passed here. Continuing on, as we passed the Amazon Region, the wind increased to 20+ kts and we were easily maintaining 10+ kts of boat speed giving us a nice couple of 250 mile days under a full moon. Fifth day out and the wind has increased to 25+ kts and the boat speed is now 11-12 kts under clear skies and a spectacular full moon. The dolphins were back for the second day in a row to swim with the boat. We finished a 256 mile day as the wind finally decided to ease a little. The nights just kept getting better. Now, in addition to the clear skies and full moon, we had the water sparkling all night with phosphorescence?, which left sparkling trails behind the boat. Before we left Fortaleza, I told Babalu that I thought it would take us about 7 days to get to Trinidad and he said no way. He said it would take at least 9 days and maybe even up to 12 days. I told Babalu that there was no way I was going to be out there 9 days and he laughed and said yes, it can’t be done in 7. Well, with lots of good luck, and to all of our surprise, we made the trip in 7days, arriving on Easter Sunday. What an incredible welcome to the Caribbean. After a great trip and a beautiful sunrise, Babalu breaks out the Bolo de Pascoa, which is a Brazilian coffee cake, special for Easter Sunday. We laughed and celebrated the swift passage, and decided it had to be left over luck from the double rainbow as we left Aracaju. Now we sit in Trinidad for several days getting all the additional new gear installed, which had been planned well in advance of our arrival.