I found this After Effects video template, thought it was funny and quite descriptive of us "Flintstones" trying to sail around the world. Hahaha ....
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.
Since 1995, a local musician has been going out on a river boat every single day, playing the beautiful "Bolero" song on his saxophone here in Cabedelo, Brazil. An entire local tourist industry has developed as a result of him going out playing the same sound track every day for the past twenty years. About 40 minutes before sunset, a number of boats carrying tourists would congregate in front of the riverside restaurants. This is the situation every single day with a couple of thousands of tourists gathering at these restaurants and riverside to listen, photograph and video record the daily ritual. Besides the local restaurants, there are many kiosks and shops open for the tourist congregating for the event. These shops are highly dependent on the tourists the musician attracts and only trade from about 16h00 to around 20H00 each day.
Shortly before sunset, all the blaring music will quiet down and the place will become silent. The musician then start playing his saxophone through a joint sound system shared by all the restaurants. He would slowly make his way through the restaurant to a mooring and then climb inside the river boat to be paddled around the waiting boats full of tourists. The boat man skilfully paddles the boat in the fast flowing river visiting each tourist boat circling as he makes his way. After visiting each boat, the man then paddles back to the adjoining restaurant from where he started and the song ends as the last light of the sun disappears behind the distant horizon. We were in our own dinghy when we video recorded this daily event, the flow of the river was really strong and our dinghy bobbed up and down - hence the jerky video motion.
It was a public holiday here in Brazil on Tuesday earlier this week. Scores of people went away for a long weekend, businesses closed for several days, there were much less cars on the road and then people started piling up firewood in the roads. For the past couple of weeks now, I noticed stacks of firewood on the pavements in front of people's houses but thought nothing of it. Unnoticed these piles of firewood grew in size into formidable heaps and the reason became clear late Tuesday afternoon. We noticed many families all moving the firewood from the pavements into the roads, they were clearly intend on making fire. But why and for what reason?
We returned to the streets early that evening and found that these piles of firewood were burning, music blaring everywhere, parts of the road were blocked off, people were sitting around in groups all along the road, celebrating and partying, drinking and lighting fire crackers. We then learned that the local market sold huge truck loads of corn cobs (called "mielies" in Afrikaans) the past few days. As we walked down the road, most of the fires burned with intense heat and some were fairly close to the houses. All along the road, we noticed corn cobs and some people were already toasting them in the fires. We took a couple of short videos as we walked down the one road - here is our compilation.
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.
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.
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.
We did not sail non-stop to Salvador, Brazil - we also had lots of fun along the way. We deployed the dive boards, made a rope bridle which we attached to the yacht, cruising at around 5 knots - we went dive boarding. We video recorded several of these episodes - this one, the camera (GoPro) was turned upside down and we think the video result is quite unusual. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
The internet speed here is Salvador is beyond slow! It takes more than 30 minutes to download a simple text email of around 200 words! So whilst the marina's wifi is down, it is an uphill struggle to get anything done on the website. So although we have stuff to share with you all, it takes forever to get it posted - for example, this video took no less than 7 hours to upload. Then during this time, we had to start over afresh a number of times as the connection was broken.
Anyway, enough bitching! Here is a video of Revelations sailing in the mid Atlantic ocean. The wind was around 8 knots, the sun was shining, the ocean was an amazing blue and the visibility in excess of 50 meters under water. Hope you enjoy! (Near the end of the video, on the upper right side of the video, look for the small fish swimming along with Revelations)
We received a call from ORMS, a Cape Town photographic dealer that our GoPro 4 camera finally arrived and is ready for collection. We also bought a couple of other items when we went to collect the camera. One of these is a handy GoPro remote with a range of 180 meters (600 feet). This will come in very handy when taking pictures from kite flying far up in the sky.