Splash, splash, squeal, burst of Australian, outburst of laughter, splash. The sounds of morning on Elinca. Morning for most begins around 9.30 when the boat heats up so much that the only option is to exit the sweaty steel box of the hull and dive overboard into the sea. Much like the firemans pole being more exciting than using stairs, swinging into the water from the spinnaker halyard is much preferred to stepping in from the side of the boat. At times there is a three person queue for the halyard and the best height and distance can be achieved by standing on the pulpit and leaping out at 90 degrees.
This morning Elinca is anchored in a small bay on Ihla Grande… the qualifications for last night anchorage were 1) without sewage pipe, 2) with beach. This bay has the bonus of turtles! We completed the customs clearance in Angra dos Ries after a further 2 hours. Since we last visited Brazil the government had introduced a computerised system that works well for airports but nobody seemed to know how to apply it for boats.. each question needed answering and would not let us continue to the next question until answered…example… Question: how many bags of luggage do you have? Answer: erm one … one boat. The man actually started giggling as he read question 3, ‘What is your flight number?’ before running his fingers randomly across the keyboard and clicking continue.
Then we all bought snorkels, hats and more fishing equipment and set off across the glassy calm waters of Baia de Ilha Grande on the hunt for a secluded bay. On the way across we caught three mackerel, big one. Yes, the long fish draught has ended and we are reeling them in. The ‘come dine with me lamb’ of leg 8 could well become the ‘come dine with me mackerel’ of leg 9. This time we pan fried them in butter and served them up as a starter before a rather excellent mousaka.
On our beach there is a small bar that serves beer and local food. The lady showed us two bushes covered in edible red berries that we would have otherwise assumed to be poisonous, a tree frog and a huge spider. We played boys vs girls football, then quoits with knelt down people as the pins and a huge inflatable pick rubber ring (the aim being to throw the ring over the people). There are quite a lot of other boats in the cove with us and in the little bar we met the crews of two catamarans who had just completed the Cape Town to Rio race. Both boats were crewed by only 2 or 3 people doing shifts of two hours on and four off, or two on two off. We reflected on our relatively luxurious sleep pattern then invited them over for beer and pictures of Antarctica. By the end of the evening we had all agreed to visit Johannesburg at some point and they were fully sold on Antarctica. Jon had also agreed to head over in the morning and fix a broken AIS something which he might well regret now as he is still there. There was midnight swimming and a convenient rainstorm that gave everyone a fresh water rinse.
Today we aim to visit Paraty over the other side of the bay. This little old town is designed so that the incoming tide floods the streets to wash away the sewage. There isn’t any sewage in the streets any more but they can’t turn off the tide so the streets still flood twice a day. It should be interesting.
Clare (the only one not swimming at the moment as the 11 am sun is too strong for gingers)
p.s HAPPY BIRTHDAY to my little brother Andy