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

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Horses, boats and bicycles - and birds

While safely anchored off Clube Naval Charitas, Marcy was our comfortable base for exploring urban Rio and Niteroi.

Marcy at Charitas

But soon we craved a quieter part of Brazil to explore, and motored up river. We anchored at a pretty little island called Paqueta. We arrived as the sun set and found a spot to drop the hook without getting a good look at the harbor. In the morning, we got up early to explore. We startled a beautiful egret who was on Marcy's deck fishing.

Egret Paqueta

Marcy at Paqueta

We were quickly enchanted, the island has no cars, just horses, boats and bicycles - and birds. As we rowed ashore, we saw a line of horse drawn carriages lining up, waiting for the first ferry of the day.

horse carriages Paqueta

What better way to see the island? We signed up for a ride around. As we set off at a brisk trot, our driver enthusiastically pointed out the sights and explained everything in detail – in Portuguese, of course. We couldn't understand much.....

P n G with horses Paqueta . cart driver Paqueta

The houses are beautiful, the roads shady and picturesque, and the place has a sense of peace and calm. The lack of cars seemed to make pedestrians, dogs, and horses all more relaxed.

house Paqueta

elevatoria Paqueta

dog waiting Paqueta

One lady passed by with her bike loaded aboard a carriage, no doubt opting to pay a few reals to avoid the effort of cycling across the island....

trotter with bike

After our ride, we found the quay submerged at high tide.

Paqueta quay under water

Back aboard Marcy, we watched the ferries come and go. The skippers were very skilled, docking their big single screw direct drive vessels and making it look easy. No bow thrusters here! They use lots of throttle, backing and filling with flurries of black diesel smoke filling the air.

Charitas backing . Ipanema

The waterfront scenes in Brazil must be similar to the 1920's in the USA, with much varied action. Fishermen row past in skiffs loaded with nets as bigger fish boats motor past with the pleasing ”pocketa, pocketa” of slow a turning inboard engine. All sorts of goods move by small boat. We watched a load of cooking gas bottles motor past.

gas train Paqueta

dragger Paqueta

Even the smallest and humblest craft is used, named, and taken care of. We think that this little skiff might have a rude name. Sometimes it's just as well not to speak the language.


One of the most common boat types here is the dory, absolutely familiar in fishing history of the USA. Not surprising, when you remember how Portuguese immigrants shaped the fishing industry in the northeast part of our country. Rowed with single thole pins, or fitted with little inboards, steered with yoke and tiller ropes, various sizes of dories are everywhere.

power dory Paqueta . Dory Paqueta
dory 4 Paqueta . skiff Paqueta
dory 2 Paqueta

This little skiff was gathering mussels from anchor rodes.

gathering mussels

We're thinking of Joshua Slocum these days, the American ship captain who was the world's first solo circumnavigator. Slocum was familiar with Brazil. He was stranded here and built a cruising boat, the Liberdade, and sailed home in 1888 to the states with his family. Later, he rebuilt a junked fishing boat, named it the Spray, and sailed around the world alone. For a dinghy, he sawed a dory in half to fit on deck. We noted that the lines of the Brazilian tourist “schooners” are very similar to the Spray – shallow, bluff bowed, long keeled.

schooner 1 . schooner 2

We went ashore for showers. It would not be right to avoid describing the Brazilian technology used to heat shower water – the shower heads have 220 volt heater elements inside them. Wiring is usually exposed and casual. The potential mix of lethal amounts of electricity with your shower water adds a unique component of excitement.

shower Paqueta

Ashore again, we rented a tandem bicycle. It's an enjoyable experience to cycle without fear of cars, only giving way to the occasional horse buggy. Ginger negotiated with the bike shop for a good price.

bicycle shop Paqueta

P n G on tandem Paqueta

The only motorized vehicle we ever saw was a garbage truck (a Volkswagen!) that arrived and was taken away by a barge on the beach.

garbage truck Paqueta

We left Paqueta refreshed and eager to cruise further down the coast.

hills Paqueta

Labels: ,


At 9:24 PM, Blogger Baloo said...

Just can't believe how far you've gone. Amazing!

We're headed back to Mexico in February. Will hook up with Wiz there. Might get a little further south (with 2-year-old crew).



Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home