It must be nice for may of you to be home again. To be
honest; that is the most difficult part of our journey: Missing the children, family
and friends. We miss you too. It turns out that we are completely on our own, most
of the time. There are no other travellers here. Not even Brazilians. And hardly
anybody speaks English so we have to concentrate on each other. In fact we have
the best time when we are in beautiful remote area's; at anchor in a sheltered river
or bay, doing some swimming and reading etc. Or when we do meet other people. We
have met three dutch boats on Noronha. One has been layed up now in Salvador for
half a year. An other one is going back north from Salvador to the CaribiŽn and
the third one we see occasionally. But we are not sailing along with them like we
enjoyed to do with you. In the area and rivers around Salvador we did some serious
exploring and found our way through uncharted area's to very remote and friendly
villages. In one such village we met a french couple that lives there and we did
two big trips on horseback with Jean Pierre. Together with another french couple
we had a wonderful week there and were pampered bij Emanuelle with delicious food.
Later we explored the bay of Camamu. Also some uncharted and very shallow areas.
we ran aground three times but only on sand. After that we had a rather dull and
uneventful few days of mostly motoring before a 6 knots wind. There were no sheltered
anchorages for over 600 miles. We anchored in Ilheus but it is open to a substantial
NE swell. The Yachtclubs are deserted along this coast. We managed to squeeze ourselves
in the back of the commercial harbour at night where it was just tenable. But the
city wasn't much and we could not leave the boat unattended for long. So we continued
to the South and ended up in the Abrolhos Archipelago. It is in the middle of the
ocean and rather unsheltered but we could pick up a mooring just outside the biggest
swell. It is good diving there and snorkeling but pretty cold too. It is a nature
reserve so we were only allowed on one of the islands with a guide. We made nice
pictures of the birds from as close as half a metre. Have a look at our website
in a few weeks.
After that we decided to go to Vitoria because there is a marina
there. We also had to renew our visa and boat papers after almost three months.
And we wanted to leave the boat there for a week to visit the interior. The Pilot
said that visitors are made most welcome and get a three day stay for free. Much
to our surprise they did not even want to let us in although we could see that there
was room. Eventually a man directed us to a mooring buoy along the city beach were
everybody can swim on board. After some time we managed to wrestle us in on a lousy
place with a buoy too close under the stern. We then went to the office but the
problem is that it is all staff, like in Spain, and nobody is interested in you
or your boat. After a difficult conversation with another man they allowed us to
stay for 48 hours and on a better stern mooring. Not a nice welcome. So we could
not visit the interior and went to see the customs and immigration the next day.
When we arrived at the airport it turned out that they had just gone on strike that
day. So we could not renew our visa yet. We had to visit the Captain of the Port
then. After a long bus ride back into town I was not allowed on the premises because
I was wearing three quarter trousers. Paula was allowed in with her 3/4 trousers
but then of course the man wanted to see the captain and not the first mate. Paula
explained and by Gods grace they cleared us in but we had to come back the day after
to clear out again. Paula lied that we had to leave at 05.00 because of the tide
and they cleared us out as well. We stayed another day because non of these ass-holes
is ever checking anything. Then we left for Cabo Frio but a southerly force 4 developed
right on the nose so we anchored in a very small rocky bay with a line ashore because
there was not enough room to swing. Foto's later on the website. It was a good exercise
for Patagonia. But it is rather unnerving when the wind pipes up at night. If anything
breaks you're on the rocks. So we went on the next day and had some nice sailing
now and then. Mind you that these are all trips of almost 200 miles a piece. So
overnight trips. We passed Cabo Frio and anchored in the bay of Arraial do Cabo
which is right on the corner.
From our friends that passed here last year we heard
that there is a diveshop with a Belgian owner. We found him and today we made our
first two open water dives to about ten meters. It is beautiful here. We have seen
big and beautiful fish and big turtles that Paula could even touch on the bottom.
In a few days after some big winds from the south we will continue to Rio. Or in
fact Niteroi. We will hopefully receive some Post (Poste Restante) there from a
friend and from my daughter with magazines and a video of our granddaughter. So
it is not all drama but sometimes very annoying. We now hope to leave the boat in
a marina in Niteroi to travel inland. After some time we will continue to the bay
of Ilha Grande and stay there some time.
We must say that we enjoy the remote parts
very much and that is what we also expect in Chili. We also enjoy the contact with
other people but that is very difficult at the moment. We will join up with the
friends in Uruguay in october and we think that that will be very enjoyable. Before
that we will return to Holland around august 15 for two months.
We have already
more or less decided that we will take more time for Chili and probably spent an
extra year. It would be silly to have come so far and then hurry through it in three or four months.
It gives us time to have children and friends over and visit the
interior. Since we will be too late then for the Pacific we will have to spent time
until spring 2009 or come along the Peruvian coast to Panama into the CaribiŽn and
visit Nova Scotia and Iceland on our way back to all our friends and relatives.
But that decision will be taken later.
So now I think you are rather "au courant".
Hope to hear from you again.
Love from Peter and Paula