After five productive months in South Africa, the crew is back in Brazil to put Ongemak in the water and aim for the Caribbean.

The long break made our sailing life feel more and more surreal and perhaps even created a bit of apprehension about the return. (I speak for myself).

We all agreed though that landing in Joao Pessoa was surprisingly welcoming and familiar. With the help of a kind-hearted lady who ordered us an Uber and a sigh of relief, we cruised along the contour of the city and entered “our” village between Joao Pessoa and Cabedelo. We set our bags down at Marina Jacare, shook off 26 hours of travel and ordered our first, well deserved beer.

I found Muir sneaking up on Ongemak, admiring her preserved hull. Her inside was dry and clean with no signs of decay. We’ve started to unpack luggage and are adding a few comforts which we are all really excited about. We’ve come to appreciate little things and know the difference a steadfast toilet seat will make, or being able to charge our USB-powered fans in our rooms (#waronmosquitoes).

Oloff Squaffing Whiskey

Being back is a lot as anticipated, like “un-pausing” this life and getting into its natural flow. Step one was to get one of these unbelievably large avocados, fresh cilantro, the reddest tomatoes and limes to make a huge tub of guacamole.

Bicycles are out and the Jacare Village is our playground once more. We miss our cross-Atlantic community but there are many new friendly faces who we hope we will see along the way as we cruise up to the Caribbean.


The tides of the Paraiba River will only allow us back in the water on the 22nd, so it seems we will be around for Christmas and are already planning a pot-luck with the other Marina dwellers. Watch this space – we’ll share the feast!

Ongemak is our home for the foreseeable future and we couldn’t be more excited about what’s ahead.

Thanks for reading!