Too expensive to catch the train?
While in Salvador I made note of Michel Balette’s correction of the daily mooring rate in Natal. Previously listed as 8 Real per day after 3 days “gratis”, it was increased to 35 Real in the corrections supplement.
By the time I’d sailed to Cabedelo, the price had risen to 42 Real per day irrespective of boat size (confirmed by a couple that had driven to the marina from Jacare). Approximately 20 Euro a day to use your own anchor and a quintupling of the price in just 2 years. You’re not even allowed to use the swimming pool!
Apparently the Yacht Club of Natal (Iate Clube do Natal ) has priced itself beyond the budget of most visiting international yachtsmen. No one that I know plans to stop there.
I’m no economist and assumed I was finding myself in more expensive cities with each stop, but now that I’ve been forced to retrace my steps, I’ve witnessed the doubling of prices on everything from train fares to restaurant meals in a period of less than two months!
I suggest sailors visit Brazil before it’s no longer affordable.
Cupid in Gamboa, Brazil?
Having shamelessly pandered to my friends and fellow sailors expectations by ticking the box marked “Show evidence of smiling bikini clad Brazilians visiting Eileen of Avoca”, and insinuated that my ability to lure young attractive sailing companions rivals the likes of greats such as Errol Flynn, I can now return from my flirtations with fiction and deal with more mundane subjects… Or perhaps not! 😉
Get your free mud treatment in Gamboa. It's all the rage!
I’ve said my goodbyes to new found friends… (and the mud people of Gamboa), and started retracing my steps via Catu, Itaparica and Salvador.
I’m on my way back north to continue Eileen’s Brazilian adventure, though Trinidad is also firmly in our sights. Why Trinidad? Because Eileen needs to be lifted for a growing number of small repairs and Trinidad is reportedly boat-service friendly. But with nearly 2500 nautical miles to sail before I get there, it might take a while.
Sailing Eileen of Avoca in Brazil
Of more immediate concern is getting north of Recife and back to Jacare where the prevailing winds are southeasterly and the current turns favourable. I’m not looking forward to this next leg as I’ve already “been there and done that”, but I’ll try to make the trip more interesting by stopping at several isolated anchorages including ‘Praia Frances’ along the way.
So that’s the plan!
For sailors who wish to visit Morro de Sao Paulo and Gamboa I highly recommend anchoring opposite the small yacht club (not the same as the one mentioned in the guide books). Look for a couple of Hobie Cats lined up on the beach. There is always at least 2.5m on the outer buoys. Here is the position:
And for getting through the sandbanks to Cacha Prego or Catu, I can confirm that the following way-points will give you at least 3m at high tide:
- 13’10.559S 038’47.265W
- 13’09.890S 038’47.070W
- 13’09.769S 038’47.226W
- 13’08.384S 038’47.746W
- 13’07.856S 038’47.730W
- 13’07.182S 038’47.901W
- 13’06.806S 038’47.902W
Sick with the flu... Need to stay in bed...
I’ve arrived in Morro de Sao Paulo! Party central. I should be living it up but I’m not. Finding a safe anchorage has been my first problem. The yacht club near Morro de Sao Paulo is no more. It has become a failed night club called Madagascar and the only yachts here appear to be abandoned. It’s not a safe place to spend the night. I had to discourage several young swimmers from attempting to board Eileen.
So I moved to anchorage number 2 in my guide book, near the town of Gamboa. Better, but at 2am a ferry came to anchor so close that Eileen started bumping against it as the tide changed. Luckily there was no damage!
In the morning I met with a Brazilian sailor anchored close by and he suggested that I try the small yacht club by the clay cliffs situated half way between Gamboa and Morro de Sao Paulo.
The manager of the club kindly offered me the use of one of their buoys and the clubs facilities.
Peace at last….
Unfortunately problem number two chose to raise its ugly head.
Dauntless hardened adventurer that I am, I am confined to my bunk until further notice, suffering a severe case of the flu… 🙂
I was there!
I planned to leave on the 24th of November to make use of the most appropriate weather window but fell victim to more bureaucratic red tape, which would delay my departure by another 24hrs.
In the following 12hrs I discovered that the Yacht Clubs jetty becomes untenable under certain conditions. I was lucky to escape damaging Eileen as a vicious swell grew intolerable towards midnight. I abandoned my anchors (but not before attaching fenders for easy retrieval) and motored out into deeper water for the rest of the night.
Unattended vessels were not as fortunate, as I am sure the owners of at least one large fishing boat can attest. It spent the evening crashing its steel hull against the rock-lined shore.
By 12 noon on the 25th of November my passport was returned and at last I had permission to depart. I wasted no time hoisting my sails and heading for the open sea. To my amazement the local fishermen gave me a memorable send-off, cheering and singing as Eileen of Avoca made way under sail. It was moving.