After coming back to Salvador from the awesome Chapada Diamantina National Parc, we decided to make the most of the rented car, and arranged a day trip to the turtle sanctuary TAMAR up the coast. TAMAR claims to help the turtles having a better life, but to us in mainly looked like they helped the Brazilians get some understanding that the turtles need protection – and more importantly, help them get a good selfie. Continue reading
Before heading back to Salvador, we wanted to take a little tour further into the Baia de Todos os Santos (or the All Saints Bay). There never seems to be any wind around here, and we slowly motored the short way to the next anchorage by Ilha de Bom Jesus, which had been recommended to us by other sailors. It was a nice and calm little anchorage, good for swimming, just like the anchorage by Itaparica. Continue reading
Amongst cruisers, one of the most famous anchorages in Brazil is the one by Itaparica. It’s located in the big bay behind the city of Salvador, and is very protected and very pretty. From the marina in Salvador, it was only 12 NM, so even though there was hardly any wind on the day we decided to cross over there, we got out the sails, and slowly sailed off. The little trip ended up taking the whole afternoon, and we arrived in the mooring field just before sunset, in company with a French boat we had met in Salvador. Continue reading
We had a 4-day sail ahead of us when we left Maragogi to head for Salvador. The weather had picked up since we arrived, and we were a bit worried when we came to the shallow part of the reef. But everything was fine, and soon we were out in the deeper water again. The wind wasn’t cooperating, and we were sailing close hauled for the first couple of days. This meant that the sailing was rather unpleasant, and that Runa got seasick again, unfortunately. Continue reading
For safety reasons, we had been a bit apprehensive about anchoring on our way down south to Salvador, but after talking to Theresa, an experienced sailor from Recife, we headed towards Suape. Suape is a commercial harbor located 20NM south of Recife, and next to it you can anchor behind the reef. We ended up arriving in the dark, because we had to wait for the high tide to leave the marina. The water shallows very quickly behind the reef, and it wasn’t that great as we didn’t know the place at all. Continue reading
We ended up staying in Recife for almost two weeks. The boat was cleaned up after the Atlantic crossing, and a big load of laundry was sent off to be cleaned. One of the workmen in Cabanga’s boatyard came and offered his services – he managed to get a rigging peace we needed, and his wife did laundry, for a fair price. So that was handy for us.
From Fernando de Noronha, it was a “short” 350NM sail to our next stop, Recife, a big city on the main land. The currents run quiet strongly along the south American coast; south of Recife the currents go southward, and north of Recife, they go north, meaning we had the currents against us on our little trip. So we stayed out far from the coast, and slowly made our way south. The weather still behaved, and the four days the trip lasted went by as a continuation of the Atlantic crossing; we had the routines in, the kids knew when they were fed and when we would read out loud for them, we caught a couple of fish. We didn’t go fast, but at least we had a bit of wind and could go by sail the whole way. And then we were in Recife. Continue reading
The anchorage by Fernando de Noronha was not exactly calm, with the big swell coming in from the Atlantic, making Chip-Chip feel as though we were still under way. But we were happy to be anchored below the impressive mountain that can be seen all over the island, and with a view to lush shores. Esben, of course, volunteered to make pancakes for breakfast to celebrate our arrival. Quite the feat in the rolly seas.
We left Mindelo, Cape Verde, with the course towards Brazil at five in the evening, just before darkness fell. Our neighbors in the marina found it a bit odd to leave so late in the day, but we prefer starting out late and letting the kids have a night of sleep to begin the trip. This way, we find, that we have less seasickness onboard. Everybody went down to get some sleep, and I started our Atlantic crossing with just the genoa, in the strong winds between the islands. But soon we were in complete lee of the island and I had to start the engine. The whole trip to Fernando de Noronha is about 1320NM, so should take a couple of weeks. So far so good. Continue reading
Our visit to West Africa was very special to us, and we would definitely suggest anybody sailing from the Canaries to Cape Verde to make a stop here (just make sure to check vaccination requirements and malaria risk) – it’s so different and will challenge your perception of the world in ways that the “normal” cruising destinations do not. None of us had ever visited Sub-Saharan Africa before this trip, and we have learned a lot. We have seen a little part of the incredible wild life this continent has to offer, heard about the history of these countries and talked to some very interesting people, offering views of the world so different to ours. Continue reading