Cairu to Galeão

To catch the beginning of the ebb tide we weighed anchor at 05:45 and had a quick passage back to Galeão where we anchored at 07:20.

Later we took a launch into Valenca for shopping and lunch.

It had been a very enjoyable two weeks in Boipeba. Very difficult and hazardous to get to by yacht but lovely once one gets there.

Boipeba to Cairu

We left Boipeba pool at 14:10 with the tide in full flood. It was a strong spring tide and I could not pull the anchor up by hand. It was necessary to use the windlass.

At 14:45 we crossed took the dogs leg turn across the river towards the cliffs. My sounder read 0.4m which meant 1.3 meteres of water and as close to going aground as I can get without actually doing so. A few minutes later just after the cliffs Kiriwina slowed as she ploughed mud on the bottom. She kept going though and reached deeper water.

Rio do Inferno was cleared with a sigh of relief at 15:20. Kiriwina is right on the limit for safe navigation of this river. She grounded on the outbound trip and touched bottom today. In the event we didn't take Ron's shortcut. I wouldn't have anyway but Ron decided against it as well. This river is subject to silting and depths constantly change. I'm glad I did it but I think the margin is a bit tight for Kiriwina and would be more likely to take the seaward route if I went again.

At 17:30 we anchored off Cairu for the night. There is no problem navigating from the Rio Inferno to Cairu on a rising tide as there are only a few shallower patches. However to do even this section without local knowledge is still very hazardous. I had recorded a GPS track from the launch when we visited São Sebastiao a couple of weeks back. The assumption being that if a river launch drawing 0.75 can get through at low tide Kiriwina drawing around 1.4m should be able to get through on a 2m spring tide.

Beach Day and Rally

Looks like my house batteries are fading after less than one year. The green charge indicator is not showing even after two hours of charge.

A routine check revealed that the bilge was unusually full with the stern gland being the culprit. An occasional drip had become a stream of drips. All was well after tightening.

Yesterday a Brazilian yacht "Tao" from Salvador came in across the bar. We had a drink with the crew before they sailed at high water. It was interesting chatting about how they dealt with the security problems of living in Salvador.

After another afternoon on the beach boats began to arrive for another political rally. We went into town. This was a big rally and the town centre was packed. Supporters are shipped in by boat and overland for some political speeches lasting less than an hour after which there is general merriment until everybody goes home. Tonight departures were delayed due to a very low spring tide.

Rio do Inferno - Survey

Ron wanted to survey a shortcut for the return trip to Galeão. We set off in my dinghy. About halfway along the Rio there is a large island and the shortcut lies to the south of it.

View astern in Boipeba pool looking west towards a large drying sandbank.

The theory is that if there is water at low tide then both boats will be able to get through on a 2m tide. However this presumes that the survey is actually at low water and that the tide is actually 2m. By going through on a rising tide, Ron with a 1.0m draught and me with around 1.4m, should not have any problems, however I am minded to favour the slightly deeper regular route.

Mangroves in the Rio Do Inferno at at low water on a spring tide.

A sandbank in the Rio do Inferno which must be crossed at high water.

For some reason my little Suzuki 2.2 outboard becomes problematic when used on a long run such as this. It does not seem to like running hot and when stopped takes a long time to restart.

Afterwards we surveyed the bar to seawards and recorded a GPS track.

The beach was very busy today with lots of day tripper boats. We had lunch in town with Giles from "Menkar" and when we returned he sailed south for Ilheus crossing the bar at high water without incident.

"Menkar" dried out at anchor.

Spent another relaxing afternoon on the beach highlighted by a rather foolish tourist who decided to try to swim across to the spit at Pontal on a full ebb tide flowing at a rate of more than two knots. The distance was only about 200m but he had no chance and was swept out through the entrance to be rescued by some incoming fisherman who put their boat at some risk in order to pick him up.

The toilet pump was reassembled and is working just fine complete with a large buildup of expoxy reinforcing around the cracked inlet tube.

Pump Failure

Water started spraying from the toilet inlet water connection. Tightening the clips made no difference and closer inspection revealed that the moulded inlet connection had cracked. Uh oh! This might be a serious problem.

This pump is readily available in North America and Europe but not here. In the event I ground a groove around the crack and roughened adjacent surfaces before building up an epoxy collar around the crack. Hopefully this will work.

Another lovely sunset this evening.

Rainy day

Heavy rain today. The good news is that I finally seem to have plugged all the deckhead leaks as there was no sign of any water ingress.

Giles got off the sandbank and moved into the pool. He was still in a shallow area and dried out at low tide.

Self ashore before the rain started.

Beach Picnic

Today we decided to walk around the NE coast of Boipeba island to Moreré stopping en route for a picnic.

Marilza sporting a different bikini.

The walk took us mostly along the beach with a few deviations across country. This is a lovely part of the island.

Picture postcard Brazil.

Picnic time.

When we got back the pitfalls of navigating without first surveying the route were demonstrated by Giles on the french yacht "Menkar" which was high and dry on the sandback separating Rio do Inferno from Boipeba pool.

The girls went for a swim.

We sat and chatted to Giles who told us "Menkar" is a shoal draft yacht designed to take the ground which he does frequently.

A new water tank passing by.

Later we all went ashore for dinner in town. Self. Ron and Giles at the restaurant.

Marli and Marilza looking gorgeous.

Our route.

Lancha Rapida - Valenca to Boipeba

Another fast ride in a lanch rapida. Marli's friend Marilza who was spending a day with us joined me for the trip.

We spent the rest of the day on the beach.

Ron preparing for some kite surfing.

Marilza and Marli

They don't like getting their hair wet when swimming.

It's a tough life being an ocean vagabond. However, one learns to deal with it.

Lancha Rapida - Boipeba to Valenca

This was a different way to travel by boat. A number of fast speedboats with engines up to 150 HP ply the route from Valenca to Boipeba. They travel at between 25 and 30 mph and take 45 minutes fro a trip which took us about 10 hours. The fare is a steep R$30 for non residents of Boipeba.

I needed to do a bit of shopping and stayed overnight at a hotel in Valenca.

Beach Walk

This morning I threw copious amounts of water onto the deck to see if my recent repairs to the deckhead finally stopped the leaks. It looked good. No sign of any leaks.

I reassembled the wardrobe and refitted all headlining. Whoever drilled all those holes in the deckhead should be made to sleep under a dripping tap.

Afterwards I went for a walk along the beach. The seaward entrance to Boipeba and the Rio do Inferno is very narrow and lined with concealed rocks to the south and a high sand spit to the north. Because of the bar to seaward and narrow entrance Boipeba pool anchorage is completely protected from the sea. However the tide does rip through at up to 2.5 knots and there is only room for 3 or 4 visiting yachts.

At high tide the seaward entrance is passable but a keel yacht would need a very accurate track to follow as at high tide it would be very easy to end up on the rocks or sand spit if one strayed from the narrow channel.

Entrance showing disturbed water over the rocks and sand spit to the north.

"Pirata" surveys Boipeba pool from a sheet on Kiriwina.

Shift Ship

Spring tides are approaching and Kiriwina is getting close to grounding at low water. Around noon I moved her further to seaward into deeper water.

I completed sealing all holes in the port deckhead above the galley and wardrobe. Mayoral candidate and incumbent Hildecio is holding a big rally in town tonight. Boats started arriving mid afternoon.

After it finished many boats returned along the Rio do Inferno. No mean achievment considering it was on an ebb tide in the dark with no navigational aids or lights.

Later in the evening Ron and I went ashore for a drink. Here he is in full swing.

Later we went to a disco on the outskirts of Boipeba village. This had the usual feature of very load music but also a feature I hadn't seen before. It was absolutely dark, pitch black save for a tiny light near the bar tills. Very odd, one couldn't see anything or any body.

I ended up walking back to town alone at around one in the morning. You wouldn't do that in Salvador.

More deck leaks

I discovered that water was leaking into the wardrobe. Finding and fixing the leak required the entire wardrobe to be dismantled. This took quite a while but was possible without harming any of the joinery.

Water stains inside the wardrobe.

Wardrobe headlining showing leak stains.

The cause was the same as elsewhere. ten holes had been drilled through the deckhead, most for no apparent reason, and at least three were leaking. This is insane as a perfectly watertight structure is turned into a colander.

A watertight deck turned into a colander.

I cleaned and prepared the holes for epoxy filler.

Later I dinghied over to the spit at Pontal and gave the dinghy a good scrub as the bottom had become heavily fouled.

Boipeba village near the ferry dock.

Boipeba Pool

Again at low water we took the dinghy and surveyed the route from our anchorage into Boipeba pool.

It is necessary to follow a curved sandbank around to port, head towards the seaward entrance then go 110 degrees to starboard into Boipeba pool.

This earlier aerial photo shows the two sandbanks on the approaches to Boipeba pool. These banks have shifted and are now larger than those in the photo.

High sand spit on the northern side of Rio do Inferno near the entrance.

Beach bars adjacent to Boipeba pool.

Ron's boat aground at low water on a sandy bottom.

Praia do Pontal - Boipeba Pool approaches

Seaward entrance to Boipeba. From the river one must go around the end of the sandbank before turning to starboard into Boipeba pool.

At 13:00 I weighed anchor and anchored in Boipeba pool 30 minutes later.

Sunset over Kiriwina in Boipeba pool.

Canavieiras to Boipeba

The passage along Rio do Inferno to Boipeba is challenging and very risky if careful preparations are not made. Ron had made the trip before in a river launch and recorded a GPS track.

This morning we took the dinghy at low water and followed this track for most of the river. I recorded my own GPS track and Ron took regular soundings with a marked stick. This is a very tricky river with lots of shoals, no chart and no navigational aids.

After a short run ashore to have a quick look at Canavieiras we set off at 15:00. Kiriwina seemed to be running normally with a clean propellor.

Floating oyster bars at Canavieiras

The shallowest section is a bar at the beginning of Rio do Inferno. Ron crossed without difficulty but Kiriwina suddenly grounded in a depth of 0.9m. After 5 minutes of astern, forward, astern, forward and assisted by a rising tide she managed to pass over the bar. Fortunately the bottom was mud.

Kiriwina grounded shortly after this photo was taken.

A river launch passing close to port. She also must stay very close to the optimum route.

After the bar she stayed afloat but was several times within a centimetre or two of going aground. It is necessary to accurately follow one's GPS track and keep a close watch on the depth sounder.

Mangroves along the river. It is not yet high tide.

The gas boat, again passing very close.

Approaching the cliffs where the route makes a dog's leg 90º to starboard.

In the dog's leg with the sounder reading 1.4 metres which is 0.5 cm more than Kiriwina's design draft.

At 16:50 we anchored in the river about a mile from Boipeba pool in 3.3m of water. reaching he pool involves careful navigation around two shifting sandbanks which we will have to survey before proceeding.

Seaward entrance to Boipeba in the distance.

Galeão to Canavieiras

I had stored a GPS track for this route when we went to São Sebastiao last sunday.

We left Galeão on a flooding tide at 12:40 and it was simply a matter of following the track closely. Although the Canal de Taperoa and Canal de Tinharé, through which we passed, are mostly deep there are shallow patches where deviating from the track would result in a grounding. Kiriwina seemed to be a bit underpowered so it was not a fast trip and the engine raced from time to time.

A palm lined beach en route.

Following Ron's boat.

Overtaken by a commercial river boat.

It was possible to sail from time to time but mostly the wind was on the nose. After anchoring at Canavieiras at 15:40 I dived down to find the propellor badly fouled with barnacles and other growth. It got a good clean.

Floating oyster bars at Canavieiras.

Afterwards we dinghied across to one of the floating oyster bars. There are oyster farms nearby so the oysters served are about as fresh as you can get. One could have oysters raw with lime juice or cooked with cheese. I had both options.

Relaxing in a hammock at the oyster bar.

São Sebastiao

We were invited by council candidate Paulino aboard the boat Obrigado Meu Pai which he had chartered for the day to take supporters to a political rally in São Sebastiao at the south end of Boipeba island.

Our boat Obrigado Meu Pai

Our skipper

A beach en route.

Candidate Paulino with Ron.

Marli wearing Paulino campaign stickers.

It was a lovely trip down the river with a lively party atmosphere. We left at around 09:00 and stopped at Cairu en route to pick up a pilot.

Approaching Cairu

Dende Palms along the way.

Ron and I took hand held GPS's to record a route for possible future use.

The pilotage out of the river and into Camamu bay was quite dramatic with rocks close on both sides.

Exiting the river.

It would be possible to navigate Kiriwina here at high water but in order to cross the reef strewn bay to Camamu more detailed local knowledge would be required.

More reefs approaching São Sebastiao.

There were lots of other political boats and a large rally ashore at São Sebastiao. We had a picnic on the beach, walked round a bit and then sat in the shade watching the world go by.

Marli preparing lunch.

A view overlooking São Sebastiao

The main street.

The trip back to Galeão on a flooding tide was a fairly boozy affair. I had a steer of the boat en route and we got back around 21:00.

Loading the boats for the trip home.

Our full boat.

Ron having a steer on the way home.

Another Political Rally

On sunday it rained heavily and revealed that I hadn't fixed the leak in Itaparica. This one is proving very difficult to find.

Life in Galeão is pretty quiet during the early part of the week but livens up as the weekend approached.

Today saw another political rally involving the schools in Galeão. There are no cars here but a truck bought over for the campaign served as a stage.

The local school children had a huge fancy dress party complete with school band. At the end of the rally they sang the national anthem and paraded down the main street. The purpose of all this was difficult to fathom as most of those present were not able to vote.

Parade down the main street.

We even had fairies.