Friday, August 03, 2012

Ilheus - BA Brazil

Coxinha de Aratu

View from the restaurant of the club.
The best acarajé in Ilheus, Dna Judith


My dear friends, I found that our journey from Santo Andre to Ilheus was spectacular! We left Santo Andre when the tide was coming in, and even so, we had at some times only 60 cm water under our keels…At a slow pace we sailed (motored actually) out of reach of the sandbanks and the double reef
… we were looking at a journey of aprox 90 nm. The sky was clear, and the sunset, as usual breathtaking.
 We had the most amazing sailing experience, guided by a full moon.. I still haven’t found the words to describe these magical moments. Cris and I sat outside speechless for a long time. Couldn’t sleep and didn’t want to either. In the distance I could actually  see the Piraja’s (squals) building up, but also in time disappearing. At times the wind disappeared and so we motorsailed until the winds returned.  For the first time I used the Ipod (I always want to hear the sounds of the boat, but since all was so easy going.. why not).
On our port side, the moon was getting weaker and at our starboard I saw the sun rising… what a show..Thinking back of these moments, it feels like I had spend hours in a parallel universe… Great… 
It was abt 8 in the morning, Cris was awake, and I decided to catch some sleep. At that time the wind changed (actually kind of disappeared again), and so we had to use the Volvo sails as well.  Then all of a sudden a very strange noise near the mast as if some screw or nut had fallen out… I guess I was too tired to see it, but Cris noted that the second last full baten connection of the main sail had come loose from its slide… I was able to recuperate the tiny screw (which had fallen on the net) but the actual stainless steel pin was lost. It didn’t really affect our sailing, as I had already the main sail reefed, but I knew that in Ilheus I was going  to get a new pin….
At around 13:00 hrs we turned into the harbor/bay of Ilheus and headed straight for the Iate Clube de Ilheus. (Can’t miss the club,  right next to the concrete grain silos, some boats on moorings). We anchored in abt 2 meter depth, and called the club (they are not really VHF radio lovers), and got them to pick us up. We had a great lunch in their busy restaurant.
After this well deserved meal we decided, although tired, to walk towards to historical town center. You can see, although some improvements are made and underway, that this once booming and rich city is in decay (the boom was at the time from the cocoa business and trade).
In the club we met Marcelo who was kind enough to help me with finding just the guy able to manufacture the new pin according to the specs, and better to be safe than sorry, I had him make two.. Indeed the next afternoon it was ready.
To take in fresh water, we used the club facility (anchoring near the pier and backing up), the tide was not helping us, but we managed. Marcelo also had delivered 100 liters of diesel, which I was able to get into to the right tank, without too much spilling (seriously, of all the things that one has to do on a sailboat, on my top three black list are: 1: changing oil and fuel filters, 2: sort of manually filling the tank with diesel, and 3: anything that has to with toilet maintenance/repairs…).
After lunch we went to the supermarket Itao (great store, no delivery, but taxi stand across the street).  The rest of the afternoon we spend in visiting a cocoa plant (thanks to my former collegues) and had a great tour and so we now we claim to be experts on the ins and outs of chocolate production.
So, groceries on board, fresh water and diesel… we are ready for Itacaré.

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