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.
Strangely, I’m experiencing a complementary current near the coast when I’d expected a contrary one. As a result I arrive at the strait at least two hours before schedule. What an inconvenience!
What I’ve failed to notice is that my complementary current is an eddy. Fooled by the shipping which makes the passage through the strait regardless of tide, I head for the narrows and find myself caught in a whirlpool!
With the engine at full speed I make headway at less than half a knot but even this progress is short lived as the engine overheating alarm sounds and I am forced to switch off the motor. Now I’m at the mercy of the currents. Luckily the weather is fine and there is no swell. I hoist all sails but it has little effect. I am pushed around in a large circle at over 5 knots!
After an hour of going backwards, sidewards, and just about everywhere else I’d rather not go, I’m getting a tad frustrated. I manage to start the engine and head for Capo Peloro (but only by steering 90 degrees from my intended destination). I make about 1kt speed over ground. The idea is to get as close to the coast as possible where I hope the effect of the current is less. Surprise surprise, the strategy works and I pass the troublesome headland just meters from the shore. A shoal draft vessel does has its advantages! 🙂
By sunset I’m exhausted and I head for Milazzo for some sleep. I tie up at the nearest marina and ask to stay for 4 hours to rest. “No problem says the manager, rest, we will only charge you 5 Euros an hour”. As if I can sleep when the meter is ticking! I refuse the ‘generous offer’ and set sail once more for Palermo.
With continuing fair weather we set sail for Aigina near Athens, skirting the south of Sifnos and west of Serifos. The sailing was uneventful, and only the port of Aigina is worth a special mention.
Warning! This is a quaint but expensive tourist trap!
To be avoided, unless you don’t mind paying 3.50 for a lukewarm espresso or 3 Euro for just a few minutes Internet usage in a cafe exuding unpleasant plumbing odors. The miser in me suffered considerably. 🙂
Note: This was the only port I visited in Greece since leaving Kos that charged me for the privilege of tying to the quay.