I’ve spent almost six months in Brazil, and despite there being so much more to see and do, I must once again weigh anchor and set sail to new destinations (to boldly go where no 23 footer has gone before…). It’s all because my visa is about to expire…. Darn!
But I won’t tire you with my incessant complaints (since surely you already know of the hard life I lead).
Arduous as it was, sailing to Brazil turned out to be a wonderfully exotic adventure, and even if I feel its conclusion is somewhat premature, I’ll console myself by admiring my many photos and by reciting an idiom or two on the ephemeral nature of good times.
I’ll stake some other persons reputation (since I’m still in the market for mine), by stating that sailing to Brazil and exploring it’s Northern coast is relatively easy. The sea swell is consistently slight (rarely more than 2m), the winds are relatively predictable (SE to E in my case, with the exception of the leg from Salvador to Recife) and the overall temperature this time of year (February to July) is a bearable mid to high 20ºC or so, (occasionally more, but no 40ºC scorchers).
Eileen has held up well in the conditions (three cheers for sturdy #9), and I’ve even managed to avoid “being” mugged (as opposed to “behaving” like a mug) while I was here!
What more could I fancy?
Well…. I didn’t count on having my bank account emptied by some unknown criminal who somehow managed to clone my credit card and deduce my pin code.
It would also have been nice to make at least one real Brazilian friend. Evidently it’s not so easy. I’m frequently antisocial (a hobby of mine), but somehow I managed to get the impression that the “well to do” of Brazil don’t readily mix with the yachting equivalent of “trailer trash” (unless they happen to have heart attacks), and the more “needy types” see gringos as nothing more than walking dollar signs.
So I leave Brazil with mixed feelings. Some good, some bad… but mostly good… 😉
Things I loved about Brazil included:
- The white sandy beaches and remote island getaways. I’m thinking specifically about Gamboa! It was my favorite island anchorage, and the closest I’ve come (in Brazil) to finding “cruisers paradise”. It has the obligatory long sandy beaches, the beautiful friendly natives, inexpensive restaurants and night life galore (just a stones throw away in Morro de Sao Paulo). If the water were crystal clear and the anchorage just a little less exposed I’d still be there, but as not all the criteria for Shangrila are met, I’m still wandering aimlessly about the Atlantic.
- The music and dancing… Salvador de Bahia is my pick for the best in Brazilian music and dance! Spend a Sunday or Monday night partying in Ribera, and you will surely agree.
- I was going to say Brazilian bikinis but instead I’ll be brutally honest with you and go with “Brazilian bottoms” instead! Arguably an acquired taste, but I see a huge (or medium) market here for budding cosmetic surgeons… Too embarrassed to be seen in anything but a one piece? Why not have your buttocks adjusted to fit that tiny Brazilian bikini… Didn’t you know that breast implants are so yesterday… Today, a bum that says yum is all the rage! No? Well…. perhaps not… My mind seems to wander and I never seem to get past this last point so I’ll stop here…
Things I didn’t like about Brazil! Oh dear…I’ll admit there were a few…
- It’s either new or it’s all about to crumble! Yes, Brazil is a country of extreme contrasts and while I applaud the investment in imposing new real estate mausoleums, it appears that the “average Joe’s” house is going to the dogs… Evidently Brazil is in dire need of a season or two of British DIY television! Todays favela is tomorrows villa! You see… I have trivial solutions for everything! Give me a job in politics… lol
- It’s all buy buy buy on easy credit! Apparently Brazilians are also readily warming to the idea that they can live like millionaires by borrowing like there is no tomorrow and by just working enough to service their debts…Do only sailing bums realize that the mantra should instead be… save save save and forgo that easy credit? Buy a small sailing boat with your hard won savings and then live like a million…. like a… like… hmmm…. like a homeless person? Maybe I’m the one that’s got it all wrong….
Well, they’ve stamped my passport so I’m off… Next stop are the islands in French Guiana. A ten day passage if all goes well.
Bye bye Brazil.
I’ll be back…. but only if the girls remember to write to me…. which they never seem to do. 🙁