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Position-Report SOM 10:

In Brasil – from Rio de Janeiro to Santos 18.08.05

Ihr Lieben, dear friends,

And: we were very busy! For the first time our English speaking friends will find an English translation of the German SOM 10. Enjoy reading our short report. Would like to hear from You.

This translation is the result of two caipirinhas, several beers and Martin´s english knowledge – so have fun and enjoy it!

Same question like in Salvador: what to write about Rio? Well, our first step is tribute to formality: looking for the port captain to make our clearence. Then we walk to the the center of Rio, visit a touristinformation in the 9th floor of a big skyscraper where we are welcomed with a cup of coffee whereafter we continue our expedition riding by bus to the Sugar Loaf. But meanwhile it is late. So we are not successful to reach the summit before sunset. But a fantastic view of Rio and the Guanabara Bay at night is the wage for our efforts. Down again we take a taxi back to the marina. The driver offers a sightseeing-tour for the next day - 250 Reais – and finally we agree. We are not sure, if this is a wise decision but this tour gives us a short overview about some highlights: Corcovado, favelas (= slums, in this case I think it is a kind of luxury-slum, no bidonville, solid houses with several floors, connected to electrical power, public water supply, parabol antenna for TV, more than only a few houses are well painted), Macarana Stadion, supposed to be the worlds biggest soccer-arena, and a so called museum for jewels. In truth it’s a jewelry and the people try to sell us some pretty stones. But we successfully refuse all this beauty and do not buy anything. The next stations are Ipanema and the Tijuca National Park. Rio de Janeiro is a real big city but it is amazing green. Everywhere you can find parks, trees in the streets and the steep hills are more or less untouched. They seem to swim like green islands in the city. The Tijuca National Park is a kind of Atlantic Rainforest. It was reafforested in the 19th century as an reaction to the desastrous breakdown of Rios water supply after cutting down all trees. Back in the marina we are surprised to find ourselves in a pontoons party. The folks have organized a barbecue, drinks and good atmosphere. Two of the Brasilians play guitar and sing brasilian songs. Days in Rio are slipping. We are visiting old parts of the city like Gloria and Santa Theresa, which we enter by the bondinho, an old tram, we admire old churches and the modern Catedral Metropolitana, we enjoy special cake at Confeteira Colombo, a café which transmits you one hundred years into the past and only a few yards in front of the marinas entrance we are assaulted by two robbers. This moment was not a lucky one, really, and I lost a great part of my foto equipment. But this experience does not stop our enthusiasm and we continue discovering the city. Three days later I got a new camera and my broken glasses are repaired. We are walking along the beaches of Ipanema and Copacabana, always to late to enjoy the beautys of the beaches (the young and female), and we make tribute to our profession visiting the Botanic Garden of Rio and the site of Roberto Burle Marx, some miles outside the town limits. Marx was an artist and the number one landscape architekt of Brasil. Sitting at the promenade of Copacabana, drinking beer, enjoying sunshine, we had a contact of the funny kind. A young shoe cleaner offers his work. Ankes sandals are not the right shoes for his efforts, but my sailors shoes are the right ones. He wants to clean them. I don´t want.
„There is shit on the shoe.“
„There is no shit on my shoes.“
„True man, there is shit on the shoe.“
„There is no shit. I don´t want my shoes cleaned.“
„Man. There is shit on the shoe. I am specialist for shit on shoes. Look there!“ I look at my right shoe where he is pointing to. Unbelievable, on the its inner side is some brown stuff. How is this coming from? And why is this stuff placed so high near the end of my trousers? „That´s shit.“ „Anke, can you hand me a paper towel, please?” „What for do you want a towel?” „Please.” „That´s shit man.“ I take the towel, take a part of the stuff and hold the nice looking towel to my nose.
„Let it be, that´s revolting.“
„That´s revolting.“
„That´s shit.“
I smell. Don´t smells like shit. Suddenly the boy is gone. „Smells undoubtedly like shoepolish.“ Poor boy. Now I would have allowed him to clean my shoes. (But for free) Well, the shit-on-shoe-show was a good show. But I do not want to give a wrong expression. The cariocas, how the people of Rio name themselves, are friendly and helpful. The optician – Wagner is his first name - offered us a trip around Rio by his car, a young woman supported us for hours to solve the little problem how to buy a cellphone card. Now three weeks are gone. First we planned to stay in Rio for two weeks, but a cold and a kind of brasil-influenca kept us in town. Then there was a further highlight. Just in our Marina Gloria BRASIL 1 was built together and finished. For the first time Brazil participates in the Volvo Ocean Race. Day by day we were fascinated by the continuing works and the development of this racer. When we heard, that president Lula could not come to the inauguration-party because of severe political troubles we decided to cancel our participation too. But returning to the Marina in the evening it is early enough to smuggle ourselves into the fenced area for testing some of the delicious little things, that are offered here.
Then SEARCHER arrives and skipper Alve gives us a lot of information about sailing in the Southern Ocean and at Cape Horn. Finally we are entering one of the ferry boats to visit Niteroi on the other side of Gunaraba Bay. We have heard that here shall exist more buildings designed by Oscar Niemeyer than at any other place in Brasil. But it was a pity. His Museum for Modern Art – it looks like an UFO (a flying saucer) – was just closed. And the other buildings were in construction or construction had not started yet. Lack of money caused a stop of all activities at the Campo Niemeyer half year ago and it had the charme of an odd buildings ruin. Finally we visit Corcovado again, this time using the rack railway, make a second and last visit to the Sugar Loaf and than it is time to say ciao. Next day we start short time before sunset again enjoying Rio´s fantastic silhouette in the evening light. Lack of wind means sailing by engine. We run the machine on low rpm. The time in Rio let algues and mussels and sea pocks grow on the hull. The prop is going bad. During the night wind rises and we set sails. The first morning light enables a nice view on the entrance of the so called Bay of Ilha Grande in likely transparent mists. The name causes a wrong imagination. It is not really a bay of Ilha Grande, Ilha Grande is the shelter of a wider bay behind the island. We find a little hidden bay which can not be recognized from the outside where we drop our anchor. It is a perfect pirates nest. The following days are full of bright sunshine and we enjoy a really beautyful sailing revier. People say there are 360 islands, one island for one day in the year. And lots of bays and anchorages. Impossible to see them all. Some days later we face to Angra dos Reis, the biggest town at this bay. Dropping the anchor at the pousada of Klaus, local representative of Trans-Ocean (a German club for cruising sailors), we meet BREAKPOINT and ATLANTIS. What do you expect except days of talking, drinking and churrascos. Tom, skipper of BREAKPOINT outet himself and now he has to show his capabilities as a grill master. And he is doing a good job. Some days later we start together with BREAKPOINT to continue our discovering tour in this fascinating bay. At the little island Buzios where you can anchor at daylight but has to look for a better sheltered place for the night, we take our dingi and sail to one of the rocks for snorkling. Later back in the dingi I run the outbord motor.
„Anke, you can lift the anchor.“
Some tears at the line:
„Impossible, it is fixed somewhere. Why did you open it?“
We use a foldable draggen at the dingi. I don´t like this type of anchor. The whole time our dingi was hold by the anchors weight only because it closed its flukes sinking down in the water. Once diving near the anchor I rised it and the flukes opened again. The anchor was laying on nice sand, but now it has hooked somewhere. No choose. I have to dive. I do not use lead and tear myself in the deep using the anchor line. The last fathom is the worsest because I have problems to compensate the pressure. My diving glasses are leaking and the high speed going down in this way makes me problems to. The anchor hooks under a rock. I rock and move it, but no success. Ächz, I have to go up. Next try, rocking, moving, no success. Next effort. Try to turn my feet down and to move the anchor in different kind. Touch an urchin. Lucky guy, no harm for me. But no success again. Ächz. Again. After half distance the anchors line tunrs round my right leg. Arrrg. Keep calm. Free the leg and go to the surface. What a shit. Some deep breathes and diving down again. This time I am ready for anything, whirling around mayself, stand myself on the ground accelerate my body to the ground and have no bouyancy for a short moment. This time I succeed and free the anchor. Puh, geschafft.
Heading on to Parati, a pitoresque little town laying southwest in the bay. Sitting in a bar I let my thoughts go and come to a classic philosophic result: „That´s the life I had imagined with South America - sitting in a nice bar where they play jazz or old south american bar music, eating some tiny little things, drinking an icecold beer or cocktail, otside the bar sun is shining and (this bar has many bottom up doors, no windows) and all this beautiful looking morenas with swinging hips passing my view outside the doors.“ In front of the doors a man is wearing a ladder and two corpulent tourists are coming up the street. Well, also Bruce Chatwin uttered once that he was writing reports but they content always some little fiction. Expressed otherwise: no paradise on earth is perfect. But I think its allowed to dream a little of the missed morenas.
We sail on to two little fjords nearby. Waterarms deeply cut in the land with mangrove swamps at their ends. There are a lot of small anmimals but also sandflies are waiting for victims. Together with Tom and Tatjana we start a dingi expedition into the mangroves. They are delighted and hurry for a meal of fresh blood. Next morning we watch hectic activities at BREAKPOINT and indeed Tom and Tatjana are lifting anchor. Put to flight by miriades of mosquitos. Their mosquito nets were not fine enough. Our nets were tight but on the outside is black of this little monsters. Better we go to flee to. Breakfast we can take on our way! After reaching the Atlantic Ocean we get good winds and rise sails. BREAKPOINT is sailing one our off but it is obvious that the distance is decreasing. Then sailing neraby we watch the main sail rising on BREAKPOINT. Now we have to do stronger efforts to keep the distance. All the stuff at the hull is a brake and limits our speed. Well, you know, one yacht is sailing, two yachts are a regatta. We spent the night at Ilha das Couves and next day we go by machine to Ilha São Sebastiao, called Ilhabela – beautiful island. No wind at all. Find free berth at a mooring of an exclusive club with fantastic facilities. Sauna, tennis court, swimming pool, little beach, restaurant and a sushi bar!!!!!! In Germany this kind of yacht club you only can dream from. Now refuse is impossible, now we seduce Tom and Tatjana to their first sushi dinner. First they show some distancy but than both are very pleased and Tom invited the new term fish chocolate. Here our ways divorce because we are heading to Santos to make some repairs and maintenance. We reach Santos resp. Guarujá on the opposite side of the river in the very early morning. Thick fog in the air. A fascinating impression and one can imagine ghosts slipping on the river. We fix our lines at Supmar (spoken: supimar), a families boatyard. Now three weeks are gone and we are still staying there. New wooden bulkheads for the companionway and the long wished new and hopefully watertight aluminium sliding hatch is ready. We got a day tank to serve the oven and a lot of further things and equipment. We are busy too, except we make some churrasco with our new brasilian friends or we are invited to accompany them for lunch or dinner. Nice and friendly folks. Marcello offers his Volvo car for free use and in Dieters apartment we can use internet ... and welder Pedro from Punta Arenas, Argentina presents us a lot of cakes before beginning his work. Meanwhile we are very pleases that we decided to let all this works make here. Again an again we are fascinated of Brasil and the possibilities all over the country. Well, now is written enough. In two days we will start to reach Porto Belo.

Best wishes to everybody, where ever you are, have good times and fair winds

Martin + Anke
SY JUST DO IT, Guarujá, Brasilien

PS.: Yesterday we had a spezial talk. Our parents uttered sorrows about conditions local hygienics and sanitaries. True, you can find some very strange places, for example in some of the back yard bars in Salvador. But normally conditions are good and there is existing a wide range with no limits up. The most impressive sanitario we found in the restaurant at the Bahia-Marina, Salvador. More a living-room than a toilette, well designed in all parts, with fresh flowers, you only miss a canape. Or you find highly designed sanitaries at Soho´s and Madame Butterfly, both japanese restaurants. And at the rooms of the Barracuda-Redstaurant at Marina Gloria in Rio toothsilk was offered! Same extraordinary conditions we saw in the kitchens. Pretty and clean on a high standard you often miss in Germany. Sthe staff is working with mouth/breath shelter, handkerchieves and hair nets! So nor reasons to worry about, we are living undangered.

235: Churrasco in Klaus Pousada, Tom + Tatjana + Anke preparing the event
236: A tiny island – Buzios
237: Lagoa Azul (Blue Lagoon) at Ilha Grande after sunset
238: Street in Parati, flood is coming into town
239: Facing the mangroves of Saco Mamangua
240: Sushi bar at Iate-Club Ilhabela (How to make fish-chocolates?)
241: Foggy entrance to Santos/Guarujá
242: Pedro + Martin talking aboard the ENDURANCE