The Mighty Mighty Amazon

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.

23 thoughts on “The Mighty Mighty Amazon”

  1. Your doing a GREAT thing! So much sacrifice for such a good cause. You ARE, the man! You ARE making a difference. You ARE making so many of us so proud.
    Stay safe, and stay strong.

  2. Nice post. keep it up all the way. Guns have there place and your entering some of those places soon. Good job fending off possiable pirates

  3. I’ve been following your progress since the recent CW article. I only wish I’d known about your trip earlier, as I enjoyed following Jessica Watson’s voyage as well. I’d like to say you ABSOLUTELY should be carrying a weapon in your circumstances, and anyone who disagrees is in la-la land. It will be interesting to see whom you come across off Venezuela….I’m sure you’ll appreciate having a weapon then. God speed and stay safe. From a veteran (armed) cruiser who is enjoying your trip vicariously, keep up the good work!

  4. GO MATT!! You ARE SUCH A HERO AND INSPIRATION TO ALL OF US!! Keep going, God be with you for the rest of your journey! Also, funny- you bought that gun to keep away wild animals, and look who you had to use it for- members of the human race! .. BRAVO AND STAY STRONG!

  5. I see today (Tuesday 3-13) that Matt is sailing closer towards land now. I just hope he gives Venezuela a wide berth. Its pirate reputation is supposed to be as bad as the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean!

  6. “- 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.”

    Oh, I forgot this, the frequent heavy rains around Ecuador … Well, if Matt is not running to Cayenne to replenish fresh water, what kind of water he needs? LoL!

    Nice, very nice and well written this last message from our hero Matt, who writes and navigates every day better than the previous…

    Look Matt, while you are sailing 300 miles far from the colossal mouth of the amazing Amazon river, look what your two little brothers are doing just now in the hot heart of Amazonia.

    Good winds Matt!


    Fernando Costa, from Cabo Frio, Brazil

  7. Be careful carring guns aboard your boat when entering foreign countries. Remember territorial waters extend out 12 miles and guns in many countries are illegal.
    Take care

  8. (I posted this in the wrong place, meant to put it here.) 6.8 knots! Whoo-hoo! We’re going to have to work hard to get our boat in the water to greet him off of Herring Bay, at this rate! Fair Winds and Following Seas, Matt!
    Dave D

  9. It doesn’t matter what some people think.(opinions are like ass holes everybody’s got one) life is ephemeral so we had best not waste our time. Live large and in the moment. Sincerely John (from Canada)

  10. Matt has just won the “infinite” Brazilian coast, my friends.

    I don’t know if you remember, but it makes exactly 45 days he began to climb it.

    Read what I wrote in my blog in 01/08/2012.

    “Our young master Matt Rutherford published a new post on his blog, that you can start reading right now and here. I avowed you, that I have a deep admiration and a tremendous sympathy for this guy, that will become the first sailor to circumnavigate the Americas alone, on board of a tiny boat with only
    27 feets long. Good, very good, excellent winds Big Matt!”

    Congratulations by this important triumph, Matt.

    You won the “infinite” coast of Brazil just using the power of winds. People often say that this is impossible ! You are a champion.

    Do you know, dear friends, what means FORTITUDINE VINCIMUS ?

    Fernando Costa, de Cabo Frio, Brasil

    1. Hi, Fernando,

      I don’t know if that was just a rhetorical question, or if you really wanted to know what FORTITUDINE VINCIMUS means?!! I think it means: “Victory through Endurance” (or something like that). And as Simon said, it was earlier used by Shackleton!

      But, I think, Fernando, that you probably knew what it meant all along, and were going to share the answer with us, if someone wrote back that they didn’t know the meaning!!! If that is so, I’m sorry to have pre-empted your response!!

      Carol Florida U.S.A.

  11. Hi Matt!!!!
    looking your position today March,14 at 1900 GMT you are leaving brasilian waters, so good luck and good winds for the rest of your adventure!

    1. Thank you, Marcos, for helping my son with the resupply. Our family has a connection with Brazil. Matt’s great uncle, David St. Clair, was a reporter for Time & Life magazines in Brazil in the 1960s. David wrote several books about Brazil; my favorite was called “The Mighty, Mighty Amazon”. I am sure that Matt will visit Brazil someday!

    2. Thank you, Marcos,

      There are a whole lot of people following Matt’s amazing voyage . . . . and we ALL thank you for coming to Matt’s aid with the resupply! We enjoyed all the photos that were taken as you got closer and closer, and the added surprise of the delicious roasted chicken had my mouth watering!! I can only imagine how Matt felt to have such a wonderful (and, I gather, totally unexpected) surprise!!!! (not to mention something so special to “wash it down” with!!) You certainly thought of everything!!

      You now have hundreds of new friends who consider you our hero for so quickly agreeing to make this timely delivery and to rendezvous with Matt . . . that “little speck” in our great big ocean!!

      You’re a good man, Marcos!! We salute you!!

      Carol Florida U.S.A.

      1. Dear Carol Mosier,
        My english is very poor to express my feelings after read your post. Tank you very mutch for your words, but I only did the same that I believe anyone do to help someone in a so great adventure.
        thanks again.

  12. Thu 15/Mar 02:00 GMT
    5 58.571 N 51 12.038 W
    Course: 8.2 kts, 301° true.

    8.2 kts Matt ?!!!
    All this?
    During the night ! ! !
    Easy Matt !
    Please don’t hurry up, we love to read your substantial blog.
    Tell me, what we, your passionate readers, will do after your arrival in Annapolis ?
    Nothing interesting.
    So do not rush!

  13. I know you probably won’t let this get passed the screening, but I felt compelled to send this to Matt. He obviously has lived an event filled life that most of us dream of, with virtually no money. I think this will encourage him.

    Covetousness; The Sin of our Time

    “But Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world and it is certain we can carry nothing out, and having food and raiment let us be therewith content, They that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare and into many foolish and hurtful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil. Which while some coveted, after they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou O man of God flee these things, and follow after righteousness, Godliness, faith, love, patience, and meekness. Fight the good fight of faith. Lay hold on eternal life, where unto thou art also called and has professed a good profession before many witnesses.
    1st Timothy Chapter 6 verse 6-12

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