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

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Vitoria, Brazil

ICES

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

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