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31/12/12 - Lord Nelson
Eve of New Year 2013
We finally find ourselves leaving the submarine base as Ihla de Mocangue. In best Brazilian fashion the pilot arrived 15 mins late but we were finally underway, not to Cape town but at least away from the dockside. We moved the boat and anchored in Copacabana bay ready for the evening’s festivities. En route we were introduced to good rope handling practice and had our first go at bracing the yards, not bad but plenty of scope for improvement ( and plenty of time luckily ). In the customary glorious sunshine we motored across to our prime position in what must be one of the worlds most spectacular anchorages. We were treated to impressive displays of bird life most particularly from circling groups of frigate and from blue nosed boobies. Though a few of us tried with various pairs of binoculars to try and spot the pink-nosed boobies which we assumed would be displaying on the already crowded beach all efforts failed to achieve any verifiable sightings, although various pairs were spotted later on adjacent boats in the anchorage.
The evenings celebrations began at 6.00 with Capriana Traditional cocktails prepared by our Derek and the mess crew consisting of the local sugar cane based spirit "51"with fresh limes, sugar and ice – delicious ( I had several to make sure )!!
After cocktails the real business of the Barbie began, built by Marco but fired up and tended lovingly by the Barbie Doll herself Marcin looking stunning in a little off-the- shoulder number. In what seemed less than the twinkling of an eye Marcin was done to a turn!! The grub unfortunately followed a fair bit later but it was well worth the wait, consisting of chicken, bangers, fish and steak done to order with Derek’s superb satay and pepper sauces, salads potatoes and rice. Everybody ate and drank their fill and waited for the highlight of the night.
At midnight, after a short speech by Captain Chris, we all toasted with champagne as the oldest crew member Bryan Shedel rang the old year out with 8 bells followed by the youngest crew member Aussie Cate Prowse ringing the new year in with 8 bells. The latter part of this was unfortunately rather drowned out by the start of the biggest and most breathtaking firework display I’d ever seen ( and I’ve seen some crackers if you’ll excuse the pun ) Fired simultaneously and in perfect synchronization from nine barges moored along the entire length of Copacabana beach and filling the sky completely with colour. It was one helluva start for the trip – and one knocked off my personal bucket list. Its going to be a tough act to follow but the south atlantic beckons!!!!