Daysail to Ponto Do Curral

A trip had been arranged to Ponto do Curral about 6 miles down river from Galeao.

Ron and Marli went on Sula and I went with my guest crew for the day Marilza who is a friend of Marli.

Our anchorage on the inside of Ponto do Curral.

Ponto do Curral is a narrow spit opposite Morro de Sao Paulo. On one side is the river sea canal where we anchored and on the other side is the ocean.

Günter had to leave yesterday as he needed to reach Porto Seguro in order to meet his girlfriend Marianne. He phoned when not far from Ilhéus.

Hola Günter

Brazilian bikinis are not known for their large expanses of fabric and Marilza's was no exception.

I was told, however that there are ones even smaller than these that are known as "dental floss". My Tilley hat looks pretty good too.

At the entrance to this waterway is a very large sandbank which is mostly submerged at high water. However the river is silting up and the sandbank is getting larger. We went for a walkabout at low water.

Ron landing his dinghy.

It was a lovely sunny day. We did some walking, swam a bit and generally relaxed.

Marilza had to get the bus back to town from a nearby village. She passed dinghy competent crew with flying colours. Here she is driving the dinghy ashore.

Ron's and Marli's parrot "Pirate"

Our two boats remained at anchor over night and returned to Galeao this afternoon.

Jogging - Ilha de Tinharé

Ron called early and suggested a run. He is ex army special forces and very fit. Günter is an accomplished marathon runner. I'm not a runner but went along anyway and managed to keep up. We did about an hour along tracks leading inland from Galeão and came back via the Mirante.

I was a bit hot afterwards, obviously not as fit as I should be.

Ron's girlfriend Marli in domestic mode.

Generei. the chef at a beachside restaurant kindly offered a shower after the run.

Then it was time to clean the dinghy.

Back to the restaurant a bit later for lunch with Marli and Günter. A table was set for us by the water.

This is where one normally sits.

This dish is the nicest food I have had in Brazil. It's called Moceca (I think).

Yum yum.

Thanks Günter for the excellent photos.

Election Rally

Today Galeåo really livened up. Assorted boats arrived with lots of day trippers and one boat arrived to hold a rally in support of a candidate in the upcoming Bahian elections.

Party political worker, Brazilian style.
Unfortunately still photographs do not do justice to her wiggle.

Loud music is played and free beer dispensed.

I'm not sure whether this is a donkey or not.

Ahhh. They love the camera.

Later we dropped off our laundry. Donna Gina (age 73) at the laundry with Ron behind.

Heading back.

Two chefs. Günter with Generei.

A display of Capoeira. A ritual fighting dance. These men are very fit.

The internet cafe in Galeão. We were told it would be open but it wasn't. The owner had joined everyone else at the beach.

Thanks Günter for the photos.

Back to Valenca

Valenca has a population of 82,000 and is the largest town on the Dende coast where we now are. It is the main departure point for tourists wishing to visit Morro de São Paulo. We took another trip there for lunch and some shopping.

This ship is a replica of Niña, one of three in his fleet, and was used in the Ridley Scott film Conquest of Paradise.

A square near the harbour.

The high street.

Chile Mega Store had hired this chap to sing a bit and drum up business. We watched from our restaurant table and he didn't seem tobe having much success.

Most shoppers ignored him.

It is a legal requirement in Brazil to wear motorcycle helmets. What is not clear is how they must be worn and many are worn like this while driving. Off the motorcycle I suppose it's easier than carrying the helmets.

Lunch with Ron (who took the picture), Marli, her friend Marilza, Günter and self.

Ron and Marli.

Roadside fruit vendors.

Dugout fishing canoe.

Trip to Valenca

Ron invited Günter and I to join he and his girlfriend Marli for a boat trip into nearby Valenca.

Günter took all the photos today. Thanks Günter.

Rowing in to catch the ferry.

Ron and Marli aboard the ferry.

Mangroves en route.

It is about a 45min run into Valenca. Here the ferry is passing the outskirts.

Pedestrianised shopping street.

Fresh fruit vendor.

The fish market.

Fresh prawns.

I think these are lobsters.

Valenca viewed from a high point just outside the town.

Lovely tropical flowers.

A huge fig tree towering above everything else.

We had an excellent lunch in a pay by weight restaurant and Ron gave us a tour around town after which we returned to Galeao late in the afternoon.

Heavy Rain

Bad news this morning. My last jar of Vegemite has gone mouldy. Probably not surprising as it was well past the use by date.

Heavy rain during the morning of our first day in Galeao. It is a very sheltered anchorage off the village. Although the village only has around 1900 inhabitants it has about 30 bars/cafes, several stores and an internet cafe.

We went ashore for a walk around the village. This imposing ruin is in an advanced state of decay. It's origins are unknown.

Brazilian ants at work. Their paths are clearly visible.

A view from Mirante Galeao towards Morro de São Paulo.

The church at Mirante Galeao.

Our anchorage from the Mirante.

Main street Galeao.

Thanks Günter for the photos.

Salvador to Galeão

We left early from Centro Nautico on an ebb tide. Conditions at the entrance to Salvador were robust with a 3m swell meeting an ebbing tide.

Conditions improved as we gained deeper water and Kiriwina was able to sail all the way to Morro. The swell remained within a 2-3 metre range. Here Kiriwina is in a trough.

Approaching Morro São Paulo lighthouse. Just prior to this we had a very heavy rainstorm and it continued to rain most of the way in.

Morro de São Paulo from inside the river.

Galeao village from our anchorage where we arrived late in the afternoon. It is situated on the north eastern corner of Ilha de Tinharé and is accessed by a sea canal/river system which is not shown on any navigational charts. We would not have called here at all had not Günter sourced some Brazilian guides with instructions and waypoints on how to reach Galeao. In the event it was quite safe and I never saw less than 4.2 metres depth.

Thanks Günter for the photos.

After we had anchored Ron from the Australian yacht "Sula" came over for a chat and invited us on board for a drink and a very informative briefing on the area. Thanks Ron.

Itaparica to Salvador

There was no great rush to get away. We had decided to sail over to Salvador and anchor for the night off Centro Nautico.

I cleared Itaparica Marina at 14:00, a few minutes after Günter on Cora-Mae. Once we rounded the top of Itaparica island we could see it was going to be a long afternoon. The win was dead on the nose from Salvador.

After two very long tacks and a couple of shorter ones I arrived off Centro Nautico at 20:30 having sailed all the way. Günter arrived earlier and had arranged to use moorings in the anchorage at a cost of R$5.00 and I was all fast on my buoy at 20:40.

Lacerda elevator viewed from our anchorage.

Tacking to Salvador.

Dinghy Cover

My Suzumar dinghy is over 6 years old. There are two problems with inflatable dinghies in the tropics. They become too hot to sit on and prolonged exposure to sunlight causes the fabric to deteriorate and become very sticky. Locals use a product called Super Pasta Fortlimp to clean up the latter.

Yvan and Cristina made me a cover which will solve both problems.

It fits over the tubes and fittings and is secured with lashings.

They included extensive chafe protection.

Leak Control

Leak control above my bunk was only partially successful. Flow was reduced but not stopped. Close examination revealed another hole outboard from the others and in the locker. Rather than just bunging in some sealant I enlarge the hole and seal it with epoxy filler.

Two more holes in the forepeak.

Port pulpit bolt also leaking.

I'm gradually checking the contents of all lockers. It is amazing the number of stainless steel items from quality manufacturers that rust. My Orbis tweezers and Gerber multitool have succumbed.

Ferry to Salvador

Another trip on the little ferry to Salvador. Today, with a lower tide, the coral reef off Mar Grande was exposed.

An incoming ferry rounding Mar Grande beacon.

Exposed coral reef at Mar grande entrance. The passage is not very wide.

Our visit to Salvador was to shop and run a few errands. Günter needed new bearings for his wind generator. We noticed this building dating from 1912. In an early post I commented on how many buildings were in need of restoration. Today we were told that many buildings and vacant blocks in lower Salvador are being bought by investors fro restoration of redevelopment.

Günter on the return ferry.

Another Cockroach

More maintenance. Today I emptied the forepeak for cleaning and leak tracking.

In the bottom of the forepeak was roach #2. Thankfully very dead in a little puddle of saltwater. I presume that at some point he came on board with fruit or vegetables which are normally stored in the forepeak.

It looks as though deckhead leaks are going to be a problem as the teak deck ages. I decided to check as many areas as I could reach. This headlining above the heads clothing locker is very neat but difficult to remove given minimal clearance. There were no leaks but opposite on the starboard side was another leak.

With hindsight teak decking is not a good idea. It looks and feels lovely but during installation a perfectly watertight deck is turned into a sieve as many holes are drilled to secure the decking. These holes are not sealed and the decking screws self tap into GRP. Another problem with teak is that in the tropics it becomes too hot to walk on.

Chain locker. The windlass motor is just visible at the top.

Another teak deck hole. Not visible here but the results clearly are. The hole is right above the motor and ipossible to reach without removing the entire windlass. Salt water has dripped onto the motor causing extensive corrosion.

My solution was to attempt to force some filler into the hole, clean and grease the motor and install a plastic cover (half a large water bottle) to divert water from the motor.

Forepeak showing windlass wiring and a leaking pulpit securing bolt.

Pulpit securing bolt with starboard side light wire. The pulpit was repaired and reinstalled by Northshore prior to delivery in August 2005. It leaked in two ways, through the hole in the deck and through the hollow bolt.

It is difficult to seal as the GRP surface is not flush and the pulpit pads are very small. I resealed it again in Gijon in October 2006 but it still leaked. A proper solution would involve sitting the pulpit on teak deck pads and trying to create a flush surface on the deckhead. Meantime I sealed it again

Cora-Mae back from Salvador

Günther called last night. Cora-Mae would be launched this morning. I agreed to take the ferry over to Salvador and crew her back.

The yard had done a good job and she looked very smart.

Two coats of anti-fouling, the waterline raised 2 inches and the gelcoat polished.

In she goes.

The duty manager at Bahia Marina and one of her crew. Note security badges which staff have to wear at all times. Access to the yard is strictly controlled.

We had a lovely sail back arriving at Itaparica marina at 15:30.


I went to see Ivan and Cristina to check on the progress of my order. They were watching the Olympics opening ceremony from Bejing. It was about 10:30 Brazilian time. I stayed to watch.

The Brazilian director keep crossing to various members of the Brazilian team to chat on mobile phones. He also had a foot fetish and kept zooming in on athletes feet.

After the ceremony finished I collected my new forward awning and the modified aft one.

This new awning will keep the fore cabin cool and allow the cabin hatch to be left open without the risk of a soaking.

More maintenance. On the atlantic crossing I repeatedly had water dripping on my head while I was in my bunk. During a rainstorm the other day I finally traced this leak to a hole that had been drilled in the deckhead when the teak decking was originally installed.

A lot of these holes were drilled and never sealed. Now after 10 years they leak. Repair involves removing the headlining, drilling out and cleaning the hole then sealing it with epoxy

Another two holes sealed and hopefully no more water drops on my head.

The fordeck spotlight (new Sept 06) came with a long life sealed bulb which only lasted about 14 months. I found a replacement in Salvador and installed it today.

Senac Salvador

Another trip on the Kombibus and ferry. I’m becoming a regular.

Kombibus interior. The chap with the green cap is the conductor.

Kombibuses outside the ferry terminal at Mar Grande.

A typical ferry at Mar Grande on the eastern side of Ilha Itaparica. Robustly built of wood with powerful engines, they do the trip to Salvador in around 45 minutes.

Ferry interior. This one can take around 190 passengers. Side screens can be rolled down in case of rain or rough weather.

Approaches to Mar Grande. Much of the eastern side of Ilha Itaparica is protected by a coral reef. There is a small gap allowing access to Mar Grande.

Arriving at Salvador.

Today Günther and I arranged to meet Manfred, a member of Arautu Iate Clube, who looked after our boats while we were away.

As a thankyou we took him to lunch at
SENAC. This is a vocational training organisation operating throughout Brazil which this year celebrates it’s 60th year. On the 11th floor of their building is a buffet style restaurant staffed by SENAC catering students. There are panoramic views over the surrounding area and the food is excellent.

Self and Manfred at SENAC. Beyond Manfred construction work on Salvador Shopping is visible.

Manfred and Günter. Beyond them is a huge billboard featuring Larissa Luz (a Brazilian singer) advertising nearby Shopping Iguatemi.

Afterwards we had a wander around nearby Shopping Salvador. This is a massive mall which when completed will be the largest in South America. It is no different to shopping malls elsewhere but here it offers a chance to walk about in a more relaxed manner without being on street crime alert.

Cora-Mae to Salvador

Cora-Mae needed some work and Günther had arranged for her to be hauled out at Bahia Marina at 09:00.

I went along as crew. This meant getting up and at 03:30 for a 04:00 departure at high water. With very little wind we motored all the way arriving at Bahia Marina at 08:10.

Cora-Mae awaiting haul-out.

The haul-out dock.

Our haul-out was booked at 09:00. This being Brazil we were actualy hauled out at 12:30. Given that this is probably the most expensive marina in Brazil, half a day matters and Günther had to pay everything in advance. A conversation took place regarding a refund for the lost half day. TIB - This is Brazil.

With an increasing wind Günther positined Cora-Mae in the haul-out bay. Before lifting the foreman jumped in to check on the slings. There is no ladder access so Günther and I rode up with the boat.

All OK. Now the lift can begin.

Up she comes...

Now we can get off.

Every year penguins migrate from Patagonia and proceed north up the east coast of South America. Normally, they go as far as Rio de Janeiro. This year, due to stronger winds and lower temperatures affecting ocean currents, some penguins have reached Salvador for the first time. Salvador is also experiencing the lowest winter temperatures for 70 years..

Some have become distressed and are being assisted by the Instituto de Mamíferos Aquáticos.

Café Gourmet Piata

While having lunch today we were invited to sample some coffee produced by a cooperative at Piata, some way inland from Salvador. In fact, Piata is so small that neither we nor the tourist office could find it on a map.

The coffee was lovely. The rep, who was visiting restaurants with his wife and daughter, gave us some samples and came aboard Günther’s boaat Cora-Mae for a vist. We were invited to drop by for a tour if we ever made it to Piata.

He gave us a ride into town in his pickup.

Lewmar Main Sheet Track

It was a very low tide this morning and the sandbank was exposed a lot more than usual. I dinghied over for a walk around.

Closer to the water it was more a sand/mud mix and fairly soft.

Looking back across the sandbank towards the marina around a mile away.

A dormant Petrobras drilling site. There are quite a few of these scattered around the bay.

Sea urchins cover themselves with shells when the tide is out.

Back on board I set about rigging the main sheet car. This Lewmar product was fitted new in July 2006 and has been washed regularly in fresh water since.

Some sheaves were a bit sticky and when I pulled it apart there was very heavy galvanic corrosion. One screw broke. This is pathetic and is caused by placing aluminium next to stainless steel without some form of insulation.

This mess, on a product sold for ocean use, only became visible after dismantling. It can be prevented by proper insulation which Lewmar have neglected to include.

There is an after market product called Lanocote but it is not available here. It is a grease like paste which if applied between unlike metals insulates against galvanic corrosion. Lewmar could do with some.

I cleaned and reassembled the car using lots of grease. An e-mail to the original supplier produced no response so the next step is an e-mail to Lewmar.

Mast Track Gate

One definition of cruising is doing boat maintenance in exotic places.

The mast track gate on Kiriwina is a primitive arrangement.

The gate is held in place by one screw which, unless the track is blocked by a piece of cloth, invariably falls down the track to the bottom of the mast when the gate is removed. A place from which it is very difficult to retrieve the screw.

This arrangement has clearly caused problems in the past. There are now 5 securing holes of which 3 are stripped.

Over several hours I managed to recover 9 screws using a long piece of wire.

Gate in place with the top mainsail car in position ready to hoist.