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Trinidad to Tobago Power Boat Race

There is a power boat race every year from Trinidad to Tobago and this year's race was held last Saturday. The race starts in the city of Port of Spain, Trinidad and after doing a small circuit shortly after the start, the boats then head for the first Boca (a narrow stretch of water between the island of Trinidad and a smaller island where the current runs very strong at around 6 knots on the incoming and outgoing tide.

The first Boca is around 4 nautical miles from the boatyard where we are and the Boca is only accessible by boat. With both the Revelations and our dinghy on the hard, we were desperately looking for a way or lift to the first Boca. The night before, we started asking around if anybody knew of a boat going there - but to no avail. We woke up at about 05H00 on Saturday morning an headed made our way to the waterfront - mere 50 meters from were Revelations is parked. The place was already busy with lots of people and boat activity, all heading to the same destination - the first Boca. But all the boats were privately owned and mostly full and after some 2 hours asking and looking for a way to get there, it appeared hopeless.

Then, at the last minute, a seemingly doped up guy of about 40 years of age arrived with his worn skiff which outboard motor constantly threatened to depart to the after life. A fee of 100 rand was negotiated and we piled in the rough an ready skiff heading to the Boca. When we finally arrived some 40 minutes later, we found the place packed with hundreds of pleasure craft in all shapes and sizes - all ready and waiting for the powerboats to race pass. It turns out that our doped up guy was not particularly under the influence of anything specific, it was indeed his permanent appearance and behavior - damage form years of substance abuse. Anyway, he was friendly and coherent enough to get us there safely.

Soon after arriving, the first powerboat raced passed and Sue managed to get some nice action photographs whilst I was taking videos. But with both eyes on the boats as they raced passed, I did not get one single boat in any of the video's I took (embarrassingly). This video footage is not mine - it was video recorded by another guy on a skiff close to us and on occasion, you will see us in the video footage.

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Recent comment in this post
I laughed my head off, almost p'd my pants! Kept looking for you and Sue, and then....there you were....in a proper skiff...whoa... Read More
Thursday, 17 September 2015 10:26
1774 Hits
AUG
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Trip to town - Apparently not by bus

On Thursday we decided to take the day off and go to town for lunch, few supplies, local sim card, a sander what what machine and to just take a break from unpacking Revelations for repairs to be done.

Very excited for the well deserved outing, we left at 10am for the bus stop just outside the gate at Powerboats where we are on the hard. The bus runs every hour on the hour to town, kinda a straight road. We've used the service the weekend before and were pleasantly pleased with the new, clean, ac bus. Only, on Thursday we waited for an hour and thirty minutes, no bus, in the heat of 35-40°C, feeling more like 45°C, humidity of 80+%, feeling more like +%. It's raining on and off, we are hot and bothered.

Eventually we decided to take a local minibus taxi, .... omw! A 2nd taxi had to be taken to where we needed to go, this time, a local car taxi, omw! We arrived safe to the hardware store, only, we got dropped off on the wrong side of the road, as in highway!

By now we are ready for anything, walking through a field of mud, we jumped the highway safely. Only to find no sander thingymajic. Back to jumping the highway, through the open field. Walked to the Market, it was closed. Sim card, .... long story, by no means off the shelve buy. Anyway, lunch was good ... roti.

Back to the bus stop. We found a bench, next to an older gentleman. Uncle Mikey. We started chatting, his got upper teeth and one lower tooth (from what I could see), this tooth flapped like our South African flag on Revelations in the wind. His 70, saw 3 buses .... just now, 3, ... so we wait. Uncle Mikey gave us a "steeldrum" mimic performance,.... see, he leads the band. He then gave his own performance as leader of the band, to cute, all the steps and rhythm with his arms going much better. He has a flag, no drum.

After an hour, no bus, ... we go back to taxi.

We arrived back at Revelations just after 5pm, drained and exhausted, .......with only a simcard

  1457 Hits
1457 Hits
JUN
03
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Dinghy Ride Around Jacare Village Marina

This morning we decided to lower the dinghy and motor around Ilha Stuart which is opposite the Jacare Marina Village. It is quite a big island of about 6 x 1.8 kilometers, uninhabited and with lush vegetation. The idea was to do it picnic style and have a relaxing day slowly motoring around the island, stopping at various places on the opposite river banks. "Jacare" means "crocodile" and although now free of crocodiles, rumour has it that every now and then a crocodile will make it way down river into the vicinity. Two years ago, they found a big crocodile close by which washed down the river during a flood. so who knows, we might even discover our own crocodile.

Sue packed some food stuff and cool drinks in a cooler bag - with sunblock, sunglasses and all the trimmings we might require, we set off on this outing. From Jacare Marina Village, we slowly motored diagonally across the wide river to the opposite bank and made our way down river to where we need to take a left turn into a side channel. The in and out going tides are quite strong and water flow of 4 knots per hour is the usual thing - four times a day. But it was the phase between low and high tide, so there was virtually no current and since we motored with the wind, it was an easy comfortable ride.

But as we neared the channel which we had to turn into, the water was especially flat and calm - for good reason as it was very shallow and then we got stuck in the mud. We reversed out of the shallows into deeper water and tried to enter the channel from a different position - again we got stuck. The fishermen and people in the couple of pirogue's in the vicinity must have laughed their arse's off as we got stuck in our attempts to enter the channel. So a couple of times, we pretended to sit back and relax as if this was the place we intended to be - right there stuck in the mud.

Unlike the shallow draft pirouqe's and the long tail propellers which they can lift out of the water, our outboard propeller is fixed and sits deeper in the water. After several attempts to enter the channel and failing, we conceded defeat and decided to motor back to Revelations - but this time against the wind and a small chop. Regardless of our failure to go around the island, it was a nice outing, we had some exclusive alone time, shared a couple of laughs (mainly at ourselves) and took some pictures - although it was mostly overcast and this did not lend itself for great pictures.

DinghyRoute

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Recent comment in this post
Great to see you guys!Cheers, Brent
Wednesday, 03 June 2015 18:01
1466 Hits
APR
03
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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 Paraguaçu 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.

  1356 Hits
1356 Hits
MAR
20
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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
  1525 Hits
1525 Hits
MAR
10
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Moqueca de Peixe

Called "Elevator Lacerda" is this public elevator system at street level which for a fee of 15 Brazilian cents (60 South African cents) will elevate you from the lower city to the upper city. The upper city is located on a ridge some 80 to 100 meters high overlooking the lower city and large sections of Baia de Todos od Santos - the huge bay along which shores Salvador is located. The set of four large capacity elevators are always busy with 1000's of people passing through every hour instead of walking the steep inclined roads to the upper city. Today was about the fith time we used the elevator to go to the upper city, we were hungry and was looking for a restaurant serving traditional Brazilian food.

We found this large public square surrounded by a variety of shops selling it's wares to passerby's. It was clearly a very touristy place and many of the shops catered for this, but we did not really care as we are after all also tourists here in Brazil. There were hundreds of people strolling around, old and young, thin but lots of really fat people, the good looking and the sheer ugly. There were also some hobo's around but they all seemed to have some mental issue or perhaps smoked something they should not have - some persistently begging and even demanding money, cigarettes, even shoes or anything else which caught their attention. As if giving you something, some peddlers would shove their goods at you as if for you to take for free - but alas, this is not the way it works. The moment you lay your fat paws on these shoved items, the demand for money starts. So we were strolling around in this area, looking around, inhaling the very essence of the place.

Amongst several other shops and eateries, all competing for your custom, we find this quaint little restaurant in a well maintain old building. The waitress who only speaks Portuguese, really tried her best to get us interested to sit at their tables and order their dishes. I have long given up but Sue continues to look at the menu, also written in Portuguese, trying hard to figure out what the hell we should eat. The dentist and her cousin who kindly translated the procedures for us, recommended that we try one of Bahia's favorite dishes - "Moqueca de Peixe" (loosely translated as "fish stew"). Between the waiter trying her best and Sue, they find the item on the menu and we are ushered to a table and were asked if we immediately wanted our free Caparina's (a popular strong alcoholic beverage). Hell yes - bring them on!

Sitting at a table outside the restaurant in the middle of the square, we watch the wild array of passerby's whilst sipping this delicious but very strong Caparina beverage. It is a surreal situation sitting there observing the activities around us and near impossible to describe in words. But we are at peace with where we are, privileged to indeed have this opportunity (travel the world), quite happy and content to be with each other. Every now and then, somebody very different and even weird would pass by and knowing that there is a story behind each life, we could only guess and speculate about this, what they are about, their lives and the entire experience.

Soon our Moqueca de Peixe arrived, beautifully prepared, served on a piping hot plate and with several bowls of side dishes. The hotplate sizzled all the while releasing it aromatic and spiced up aroma. It looked and smelled good but even tasted better. Moqueca de Peixe is indeed a delicious Brazilian dish which we utterly enjoyed - certainly a dish worthy to add to our growing list of all time favorites! You can look up the recipe on the internet and try it at home - you too will not be disappointed! It is real good

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1646 Hits
MAR
07
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Good times

A week or two back, we sailed to Ilha de Itaparica here in Salvador to go and checked out a sandbank as a possible place for the yacht Entheos to be beached for much needed repairs to her sail drive. On the way there, we took a couple of pictures and some video footage - we have now compiled this into a short movie for you all to see. Hope you enjoy as much as we had a good time.

  1480 Hits
1480 Hits

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