_________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Marcy home Walvis Bay Angling Club club AFASyn Ushuaia Marcy and crew

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Vitoria to Rio de Janeiro

Vitoria volleyball

We were in Vitoria for three weeks. That seems to be about the minimum for recovering from an ocean passage, repairing the necessities and getting started in a new country. The yacht club employees were extremely helpful and many people we met in town were willing to find a way around our language challenges. We enjoyed patient explanations by our Brazilian friends of local foods, customs, and pronunciations, though we quickly learned that Logan's wicked sense of humor made some of his suggested Portuguese vocabulary suspect. Our stop in Vitoria was a fine introduction to Brazil though we didn't venture far from the boat or do any tourist things.

gooseneck . boom end

Alexandre machined new bolts to replace worn parts in the boom gooseneck. The fit when reassembled was better than when it was new. We are so grateful for his generous efforts.

Logan entertained us and kept up a steady stream of Portuguese/English translation, including perfectly delivered jokes in two languages. He and his daughter Stephanie took us to a fantastic Italian restaurant before we left. Unfortunately our camera skills were not up to par and we neglected to take many photos.

Vitoria flowers

Ginger was on antibiotics for much of our stay in Vitoria and had an allergic reaction to medication on our last day in town. Though we had to cancel lunch plans with Logan he delivered flowers and his special roasted almonds to the boat. With such hospitality we were tempted to stay a few more weeks! Before departing Peter secured the flowers for the passage by lashing them to the saloon table.

Ilha de Boi Vitoria

We look forward to returning to Vitoria some day to explore more of the city and to visit our friends.

Brazil coast s Vitoria

Sailing down the coast took 47 hours anchorage to anchorage. It was an easy, comfortable passage and reminded us of coastal sailing in Mexico. The mountains provided a dramatic backdrop for the sunsets. We saw a huge sea turtle that looked like a large piece of styrofoam until we were close and could see the barnacles on his back. Sea birds were abundant and the sailing conditions were near perfect for a sail down the coast.

cable tow . cable tug

There was a fair amount of shipping traffic.

Rio approach sunrise

The sun rise approaching Rio de Janeiro was a beautiful end to a good trip.

Rio arrival sugarloaf

As we entered the famous bay and passed Sugarloaf Mountain we saw frigate birds circling overhead and reflected on all the ocean miles we had sailed since we last saw them in Mexico.

Rio frigate


Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Vitoria, Brazil


We love Vitoria, Brazil. Maybe it's the fantastic weather, the nice yacht club and the beautiful city, but it's more likely because we've met such engaging people here.

Moqueca Capixaba

How long does it take to check in to a new country? For Marcy, an entire week this time! And that was with lots of help.

Brazil papers

Our first day in the city was a difficult one. First stop, yacht club office. Second stop, HQ Policia Federal for immigration. They couldn't help us. Third stop, a long taxi ride across the entire city to the airport for Policia Federal. Success, with stamped passports in hand a quick trip downtown. Then, FULL STOP, customs downtown. We suffered a breakdown of the check in process.

If we spoke Portuguese it might have gone well. We don't and it didn't. To our surprise we were sent by customs to a private agent who wanted to charge us $500US to handle our paperwork. Though our informal survey revealed that none of the other visiting yachts here have paid any fees to enter the country, none of them entered in this city. We were determined to avoid paying an agent even if it meant we'd need to leave Vitoria and do our paperwork in Rio de Janeiro. We managed to check in with the Port Captain and somehow found the correct bus to take us back to the yacht club arriving at 6P. The outboard fuel filter clogged on the way back to the boat and we paddled the dinghy to Marcy. Defeated, we fell into bed exhausted.

Day 2 in Brazil we were very fortunate to meet a couple of members of the yacht club who are interested in sailing and fantastic ambassadors for the city as well. Logan speaks perfect English and is also a shipping agent. Alexandre is an engineer who offered to help with a boom goose neck repair. While Logan helped us (it took a week of his time and help from friends of his too!) with our clearance issues, Alexandre machined new bolts to fit our worn boom attachment. But, more than the help with our problems, they also hosted us at their local hangouts, offered rides for errands and showed us how to enjoy Brazilian beer and their national drink caipirinhas.

What else have we been up to? We went to a "meat by sword" lunch place with Logan and his girlfriend Natache where the meat is delivered skewered on swords and sliced off at the table. The meat keeps coming as long as you've got room to eat it. Peter was in heaven! The salad and accompaniment buffet was fantastic as well but Peter didn't really get a chance to taste much of that. No photos, we were too busy eating!

Med moored in Vitoria

Though there are definite advantages to anchoring, when offered power, water and a dock for the same price as anchoring, we can hardly pass it up! Further incentive was provided by the pilot boat (and big wake) passing regularly through the anchorage. In fact, we (gasp) lost a bottle of fine Madagascar rum to a pilot boat wake. Our first med-mooring in Marcy went well. It's no mean feat to back a sailboat between two others, drop an anchor and get aligned without hitting anything.

Praya de Camburi . Vitoria sidewalk

We've been walking on Vitoria's beautiful beach front walks.

Vitoria fishing boats

And, of course, we've checked out the local fishing boats.

Alexandre and Caipirinhas . Ana and Feijoada

We and the other international yachties here were invited to a fantastic lunch at the home of Ana and Alexandre.

Brazil Discussion

And there was a lot to talk about as we sat on the patio and enjoyed the good food and great company. Sometimes charades were necessary to communicate between all present including Americans (just us), Brazilians, Canadians, Italians, South Africans and Venezuelans. Logan translated for all of us, including some well executed translations of jokes.

Our second week here finds us enjoying life in Brazil.

Vitoria bridge