Blog

Join us as we sail around the world - share our joy, experiences, trials and tribulations as we proceed.
It's lonely out here! So please comment as we love to hear from you.

APR
22
0

Visa extension

Our Brazilian Visa's expire on 3 May 2015 so we took a taxi to Policia Federal at Salvador International Airport to apply for a 90 day visa's extension. The process was quite easy and quick, after filling in some official paperwork, we were issued with some bank details and payment instructions, ordered to go to the bank and deposit 67 Reals per visa into the Brazilain Government's account. With the proof of payment in hand, we went back to the Policia Federal, waited around 30 minutes and our passports were handed back to us with the 90 days extension we required.

Visas

  994 Hits
Tags:
994 Hits
APR
22
0

Next destination

We discussed our next destination with Bertie and Theresa from Entheos and before sailing directly to Recife, we agreed to first visit "Morro de Sao Paulo" and then "Camamu" some 30 and 60 nautical miles respectively South of Salvador. These are anchorages (not marinas), we will have to anchor and will be without electricity and other conveniences (internet, water, etc.) whilst we are there. We do not plan to stay there for long - at best, no longer than a week after which we will head North up the Brazilian coast to Recife. We are now preparing the yachts for this short voyage and will most likely depart here on Thursday or Friday - weather permitting.

NextDestination

 

  1103 Hits
1103 Hits
APR
22
0

Salvador Graffiti

Everywhere you go here in Salvador, graffiti is never far away - especially on old buildings. Some of this graffiti are quite skillfully done and although we do not quite get every thought or idea depicted in every scene, it is interesting to look at. Here is a small collection of this street art we encountered around Salvador, Brazil.

  1189 Hits
Tags:
1189 Hits
APR
20
0

Can we now move on .... please!

Yacht Enthoes is now back at the marina and apparently all the critical repairs has been done. It seems that we can now at last start making plans to leave Salvador and start the next leg of our journey. Although we had some goods times here in Salvador, especially with Marcello showing us around during the past two weeks, our departure is long overdue! Unable to move on and being stuck in one place for almost three months is not what we desire nor is it the way it is suppose to be on a world cruise. Hopefully for awhile this will be the end of illogical thinking and bad decisions causing these excruciating and endless delays - failing this, it might be better for us to move on by ourselves.

Whilst we were waiting for Entheos, we have been doing some non critical maintenance of our own. The list of things to be done is never ending and as soon as you think things are sorted, a whole new bunch of stuff makes it's appearance. With Brazil's very high import duties (70 to 100%), it is a very expensive place to do yacht repairs - everything costs about double than back in South Africa. Then combine this with the currency exchange rate, four Rand to one Real, no wonder yachts only stay here for a couple of days before moving on. Due to all these delays and unable to move on, during our time here in Brazil we have spend a couple hundred thousand Rand just to live, eat and repair the odd thing.

We will be going to Salvador airport this morning to apply for a 3 month extension to our visa's which expires early next month. Then it is back to Revelations getting stuck in, tying up a couple of lose ends and preparing for us to leave in the next couple of days. Yeah!!!

  995 Hits
995 Hits
APR
14
0

Repairs ... while we are waiting

RopeWorks

The past week or so, while we are waiting for yacht Entheos to complete her sail drive repairs, we have been doing some repair and maintenance work ourselves. Marcello from Bahia Boats Ship Chanderly replaced all the reefing and furler lines with new ones and the above picture shows him splicing the continuous line for the screetcher. We also had our macerator pumps removed, cleaned and installed again - but there is not much improvement, both pumps sound tired and we will replace them when we find a decent chandelier. We had new stainless steel cables made up for the dinghy davits and replace a fan belt on the Kohler generator. Still to be done are two leaking cockpit drain pipes - these will be replaced with solid fiberglass tubes which will be glassed in.

When drilling a screw hole into the yacht, one is supposed to dig out the Balsa wood around the hole, then fill the hole with epoxy and once cured, the screw can then be screwed in. This procedure ensures that water does not get into contact with the balsa wood which rots in no time. Very disappointing is that we are finding unsealed screw holes all over the yacht. Despite numerous instructions to and numerous promises from Jacque and Jonathan, his helper, that this work was properly done, sad to say this is not the situation. We will have to yet again pay somebody to do this work - hopefully then it will be done properly.

  1179 Hits
1179 Hits
APR
12
0

Common Denominator

So what does crayfish, a dentist, stainless steel cable, macerator pumps (yact toilet pump), spices, pipes and yacht engines have in common?

Well I can tell you a tale where you caught some crayfish and kept them in a bucket near the engine but unbeknown to you, a tiny piece of stainless steel cable broke off from the engine, fell into the bucket embedding itself in one of the wriggling crayfish. Later, with eyes glued to Facebook and ears listening to the cell phone, this little detail escapes the attention of your wife as she prepares a delicious dish with exotic spices. At the dinner table, as luck would have it, this particular crayfish landed up on your plate. With teeth working overtime, chomping away in your usual Neanderthal style, all of a sudden, you felt this searing pain as your broke one of your ngasers on this hidden stainless steel cable - all of which you swallow in your shock and agony. After visiting the dentist the next day and feeling quite normal again, you visit the toilet to relief your bowels where once again not thinking, you pass both tooth and the piece of stainless steel cable. As you wash everything away into the dark pipes of the sewer system, the macerator pump came to a loud grinding halt. Damn expensive exercise, not only did you break a tooth, you now also have to buy a new macerator pump!

No, not quite! The common denominator is Marcello - Marcello Brocchini from Salvador, Brazil. We met Marcello soon after arriving here in Brazil and at the time, little did we know the extend which we would come to rely on him. Within hours after arriving, he was the person who showed us and took us where we could buy sim cards for our cell phones. It turns out that he is also the guy who fixed our autopilot system and the hydraulic leaks. He told us where to buy food, spices, arranged the dentist when my tooth packed up, delivered containers of drinking water for us, filled our gas bottle when it was empty, removed and serviced the macerator pumps, organized that we buy 4 kilograms of crayfish for a really good price, serviced both engines and also the generator, replaced several ropes and made up stainless steel cables for the davits, told us of the best anchorages in Salvador, pulled out some damaged pipes and replaced it with new ones, befriended us and invited us to his home where we met his lovely wife and family, where they fed us various Brazilian food specialties for hours on end as prepared by his wife and son, we drank bottles of his red wine, took us visiting some of his friends and associates, helping us translate and communicate, drove us around Salvador for hundreds of kilometers without charge - ever helpful and ever willing. When we went to Federal Receite (Customs) to find out how to import goods duty free into Brazil, who did THEY phone to get answers? Marcello! Indeed a remarkable Portuguese speaking Brazilian man who studied part time to learn how the speak and write English.

Today he owns and operates "Bahia Boats Ship Chanderly", a successful business supplying all sorts components to the yachting fraternity, repairing and fixing yachts not just in Salvador but also many other places in Brazil. Not only has Marcello been a tremendous help to us, we are proud to call him a true friend. If you are in Brazil (especially in Salvador) and you need to get things done, he is your goto man. You need parts for your yacht - contact Marcello! You need drinking water - call Marcello! You want to find out where to find something - talk to Marcello! You need something/whatever.... make sure you get hold of Marcello Broccini.

MarcelloBrocchini

  693 Hits
Tags:
693 Hits
APR
09
1

Salvador Sights & Scenes

  1056 Hits
Tags:
Recent comment in this post
Love the photos! Thanks so much for sharing.
Friday, 10 April 2015 22:37
1056 Hits
APR
04
0

Yet another delay!

We just had word from yacht Entheos who left yesterday for another marina where she is supposed to be lifted out of the water for some engine/sail drive repairs - and then it will take another week to have the repairs done. Despite promises and arrangements that she will be lifted out of the water upon arrival, Entheos will now only be taken out of the water some time Wednesday or Thursday next week. The problem is that there is another yacht already loaded onto the cradle which must go back into the water. This can't be done as the boat propellers has not arrived in Brazil and this  must first be fitted before the yacht can go into the water. As of now, they expect the propellers to arrive some time next week and then only will the cradle be available to take Entheos out of the water.

So, another week of frustrating delay before we can really start looking at departing Salvador. We have now been in Salvador for about 2 months already and many other yachts have arrived and departed again whilst we are stuck here. Jeez, despite being in Brazil for 2 months already, we have only seen Salvador and some surrounding areas! At this rate, we need a couple of years to see more of Brazil. But this is not an option as we only have a three month visa to stay in Brazil and is only valid for another month - so we will have to apply for an visa extension.

It seems Salvador is clinging onto to us and is reluctant to let us leave!

  1107 Hits
Tags:
1107 Hits
APR
03
0

Getting ready to leave Salvador

The engine/sail drive spare parts for yacht Entheos finally arrived and they left this morning for another marina where the yacht will be taken out of the water and placed on the hard for much needed repairs. We anticipate that this will all be sorted within the next week and hopefully our parcel from Cape Town, South Africa (thank you Brent) will then also be here. So we went shopping today buying various food stuff stocking Revelations once more as we plan leaving Salvador when everything is sorted. Our next port of call is Recife due north up the coast of Brazil as we make our way towards the Caribbean. We will be stationed in Recife for around two to three weeks getting our US and French visas sorted out. In the interim, we plan visiting another couple of remote places here in Salvador before we leave.

  971 Hits
971 Hits
APR
03
0

Rural Salvador

The past three weeks or so we have been cruising around the Salvador area sailing up some large rivers, visiting some remote and rural areas. Away from Salvador commercial harbour, one encounters stunning scenery with thick green jungle style vegetation on either side of the rivers. At 1500 meters wide and over 50 meters deep, these rivers are huge and tops the biggest rivers back in South Africa. Despite the heavy pollution originating in Salvador, the sea life is prolific and quite healthy with tons of sea shells, prawns, juvenile fish, clams, worms and a myriad of other creatures.

We first sailed up the Rio ParaguaƧu and finally reached the town of Marapogipe where we anchored in four meters of water on a huge area of sand and mud. We dropped the anchor and to be sure we do not drag our 40 Kg. Delta anchor, we let out over thirty meters of chain - giving us a ratio of about 1:8. This area does not have any surge nor currents and with this high ratio, it is unlikely that we will drag the anchor during our stay. We lowered the dinghy, started the engine and we all piled in to go and explore the area and in specific, the farmers market. Prices were cheap, the produce was fresh and the place was a lively affair where buyers and sellers hustled for the best deal. We bought some maize and found a huge ox tail weighing around three kilograms in one of the open air butcheries which we immediately bought. The place is peaceful, time here does not seem to exist, although very poor - the people seems happy, content, helpful and they are all friendly. After walking around for kilometers, we returned to the yachts some hours later, exhausted, sweaty and dehydrated. Then we had a quick swim in the warm waters around the yachts to cool off and started preparing the meal for the evening - "Oxtail and stamp mielies". It was like food from back home and damn delicious. The next day, we all sailed back to the anchorage in Itaparica where we lazed around in the warm waters.

The next day, we departed for Ilha de Matarandiba, another island some 15 nautical miles away where we anchored on a wide stretch of river - opposite a small waterfall. Our side of the river was unpopulated but there was a small village on the opposite river bank some 800 meters away. Unfortunately, due to the dry season, barring a trickle of water, there was no water cascading over the waterfall. None the less, we went ashore and walk around the waterfall and it's tiny beach. We then lazily motored the dinghy to another section of the river to what we called our private beach. There was nothing really except a 100 meters stretch of beach with proper beach sand and some palm trees. It would certainly make a stunning location to build a beach house - your own little paradise.

Later, we slowly motored across the river to the opposite side hoping to find some locals and something cold to drink. We found a wooden shack which served cold beers and foods to the local. We made ourselves at home, sat down at a ramshackle table and ordered some beers and cool drinks. In no time, an elderly gentleman, who turns out to be a retired advocate befriends us and insist that we sample some of the food he ordered. After tasting the fried prawns, we decide to order our own plate and then later, another plate. It was delicious and we tried to figure out the recipe. Paprika for certain! Very spicy but there is no bite (no chillies). No, It was marinated in spicy oil we argued. So Sue does her usual thing and befriends the cook, insisting that she share her recipe. But it did not contain any of the ingredients we thought and is as simple as one can get - sunflower oil, 24 fresh prawns, 1 small onions, 1 glove garlic and salt. Heat (medium heat) the oil and add the prawns and salt and fry the prawns until the shells are quite crisp, chop the onion and garlic and add this to the pan a couple of minutes before the prawns are crisp. Viola! Simple but delicious!

We said our goodbyes to these local people and motored the dinghy back to the yachts. Later that night, we went back to the waterfall and had a beach braai - almost South African style. The next day we sailed back to Marina Terminal in Salvador and that was the end of our 6 day excursion.

  1245 Hits
1245 Hits
MAR
31
0

Waiting

We have been ready to move on for quite some time now, but we are still waiting for yacht Entheos to do her repairs and we are way overdue. This is frustrating as we are all wasting time and money - especially since the marina where we are based is located in a downtown, noisy and polluted area. Hopefully this will all come to and end within the next two weeks and we can all move on to ur next destinations - Recife, Brazil.

In the interim, we are taking short excursions to various anchorages around Salvador to places with strange and some tongued twisting names; "Ilha de Itaparica", "Ilha do Frado", "Ilha do Medo", "Rio Paraguacu", "Maragogipe", etc. By now you would have gathered that "Ilha" means "island" and "Rio" means "river". We have just done one such excursion where we sailed up the Rio Paraguaca to the small rural town of Marapogipe. The scenery to Marapogipe is simply stunning with hills bordering the Paraguacu river on either side with thick lush jungle style vegetation. It was like going back in time, the scene was tranquil, hardly any noise pollution and very peaceful. We walked around the small town, took several photographs and visited the lively open air market where farmers where selling their fresh produce. We are now once again anchored at Ilha de Itaparica and we will most likely return to Salvador within the next day or so. Unfortunately, internet access is sporadic and extremely slow, but then Salvador is not much better.

Maragogipe

  1019 Hits
1019 Hits
MAR
21
0

Easing into cruising life

There has been major adjustments for us during the past 3 months as we ease into the cruising life. Many of the things we did back home, how it was done and the way in which we went our business is so very different from what we are doing now. Back home, with water on tap and on demand, little thought went into where this precious resource came form and what a great convenience we enjoyed all our lives. Now that we are living "on the edge" so to speak, finding or getting or making fresh water is no small event. When full, our water tanks on board Revelations only take around 700 liters and this lasts us for about 10 days washing clothes, drinking, bathing, cooking and cleaning. By yacht standards, 700 liters of freshwater this is a LOT of water and other cruisers think we have the ultimate luxury - some of them only use 100 liters every 10 days. Tap water here in Brazil is not safe to drink and one have to either buy bottled water or make your own fresh water through desalination. Either way, it is a regular task and each one taking hours and at cost to accomplish. So imagine our delight when we find this free spring water resource, directly piped to the taps of the marina at Ilha de Itaparica! Here is Sue playing her part filling up water containers with spring water. Check the suntan!

SueCollectingWater

  1226 Hits
Tags:
1226 Hits
MAR
21
0

Broken bolt removal

The heat was suffocating, sweat pouring out of every orifice, gulping air like a drowning fish and wishing for a breeze to cool down - it was time to sort out the broken bolt. Because of the heat, the timing is bad but this has been the story for the past week - exhausting, dehydrating and unabating heat. Other events took precedence doing this job at night, although the heat is constant, at least the baking sun is not adding to one's discomfort. But there is no such escape for me! We have plans to go sailing to a couple of islands so this job could no longer be delayed, it had to be done today.

As I gather all the tools required for the job, sweat is pouring out of my almost naked body, I'm glistening with sweat and it looks like I had a serious workout in the gym. Sweat is dripping onto the lenses of my prescription glasses, already half blind it burns as it also runs into my eyes. I feel dehydrated and quickly gulp down almost a liter of ice cold water, feeling better, I head off to the windlass in the front anchor locker to tackle the job of removing the broken bolt.

I contort my body like an escape artist into the cramped space and quickly strip down the windlass cover exposing the cursed bolt. I attach a metal cutting disc of about 30 mm diameter to the Dremel machine and carefully grind a slot, big enough for a flat screw driver, into the broken bolt. Unfortunately, also cutting into the actual component being bolted down but I am impressed that the damage is minimal and the cut is only about 5 millimeters in length and 2 millimeters deep on either side of the bolt - barely noticeable. Then with a short flat screwdriver, it was easy to turn out the remaining stud of the broken off bolt. New bolts were inserted, all the components bolted back into their respective locations, the windlass operation tested and I declared the job as successful. The windlass is working perfectly, the day is saved and we can go sailing tomorrow. But until then, it is back to the wretched heat.

Dremel1

Dremel2

Dremel3

  1220 Hits
Tags:
1220 Hits
MAR
20
0

Moqueca de Piexe Revisit

MoquecaDePiexeRevisit1

MoquecaDePiexeRevisit1

We just had to visit the same restaurant where we had the delicious Mocqueca de Piexe meal the other day. We devised all sorts of devious plans to get hold of this specific recipe - we will tell them we are from a food magazine ... tell them we are writing a recipe book ... we are from BBC Food ... and many other schemes. In the end, Sue did the direct and honest approach asking if she can watch the Chef prepare the meal. Permission was granted and Sue met the Chef in the restaurant's kitchen where she watched for around 10 minutes as the delicious meal was prepared. It was served a bit later and we all once again thoroughly enjoyed the food. For you lazy okes, here is the recipe as eye balled by Sue. So now there is no excuse for you not to try this meal at home.

Ingredients
800 grams Fish - White fish such as Hake, Cod or similar (you can also use frozen fish)
1 ea Onion - coarsely chopped
2 ea Tomatoes - coarsely chopped
2 cups Coconut milk
1 bunch Fresh Coriander leaves - coarsely chopped
4 tbsp Dente or Palm oil
1 ea Lemon
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 tsp Ground black pepper
1/2 tsp Dried garlic flakes
Directions
Mix the salt, pepper and garlic flakes together and set aside.
Squeeze the juice from the lemon and set aside.
Wash fish with water and 2/3's of the lemon juice.
Now wash the fish with fresh water, pat dry, cut into 8 large chunks and set aside.
Add coconut milk into a clay pot and bring to boil.
Quickly rub the fish with the salt, pepper and garlic flakes mix.
When the coconut milk reaches boiling point, add the ingredients in the following order;
Fish, chopped onion, chopped tomatoes, palm oil and coriander leaves.
Do not stir the dish - only use spoon to stir around the edges of the clay pot.
Boil for around 10 minutes or until the fish is cooked.

Serve on a bed of cooked white rice and a fresh salad on the side.
Servings = 4
  1283 Hits
1283 Hits
MAR
19
1

Greetings from Cape Town

This morning, this bearded guy comes around the boat and asks to speak to me.

"Are you Wiets?" he asks.
This is the first time since leaving South Africa that somebody else not in our group of people calls me by my name.
"Yes" I reply, quite surprised.
"Colin sends his regards." he says.
Colin who? What the hell is this guy talking about? I don't know any Colin here and could not help but wonder what shit now awaits me!?
"Colin from Cape Town, the radio guy." he says sensing my confusion and apprehension.

Small world this is! Delivered in person to our yacht moored here in Terminal Nautico da Bahia, Salvador, Brazil a greeting message all the way from Cape Town, South Africa is delivered by another sailor. In the excitement, I did not get his name nor which boat he's from. But he is a German guy also sailing around the world, he just arrived in Salvador and is on his way to do all the check-in procedures. We did agree to meet up later though.

Big regards to you too Colin!

  1219 Hits
Tags:
Recent comment in this post
Hi Wiets You will be amazed at who you meet on the radio. Gave Tom a few pointers to help him recieve email easier and then saw ... Read More
Friday, 20 March 2015 17:20
1219 Hits

Our sailing tracks

Log in  \/ 
x
x