|Pachuca on her mooring at Ilha Bella|
The wind was up, gusting to 30 knots at times, which suggested that the wind had backed more to the NE as predicted. It was good that I had made it in while the wind was still from the E.
After some breakfast I did some calculations on the passage from MdP to Sao Sebastiao here in Brazil:
- The passage took 10.6 days or 255 hours
- Average Distance Made Good was 104 miles per day
- Average Speed was 4.3 knots
- The engine was run for a total of 30 hours for an average of 2.8 hours per day
|Tanker moored near us on way for loading|
|Familiar Hull Form|
|Secure Dinghy Dock, Zodiac at End, Pachuca in Background|
The fast progress amazed me and I must attribute it to much good fortune with the wind. Jorge had told me several times that the prevailing wind on this passage would be from the south, yet for weeks the grib files showed moderate northerlies along the Brazilian coast arising from a persistent High out to sea, and I had been pessimistic.
The 2.8 hours per day on the engine did not surprise me. Toward the end I was running the engine more than 2 hours per day in order to keep up with the demands of the refrigerator and radar as well as the rest of the equipment. If I excluded the extra hours of running time to get up the channel the average at-sea running time was 2.3 hours per day.
I still felt numb and washed out so I would have a quiet morning bringing some order to the boat. In the afternoon I would launch the Zodiac inflatable and visit the club house.
I dealt with that soggy tangle of rope on the cockpit floor and coiled everything up around winches or hung them off rails. I didn't mind them getting wet in the rain - in fact that's what I wanted in order to purge the salt out of the ropes - but I also wanted them to dry fairly quickly. My wet weather gear had already had a dose of rain to get the salt off so I hung them out to dry. I also opened all hatches to ventilate the boat.
At 2 PM after a very deep nap I got up to prepare for going ashore. The outboard motor would not start, which did not surprise me. I replaced the spark plug with a new one, drained the fuel out of it, and put in a fresh batch. Then I noticed that when I opened the fuel tap fuel would dribble down the shaft. I got it running, but it would cut out after a while and always there was the smell of fuel and the water was discolored with it. I haven't had much experience with working on outboard motors, though I imagine that they are very simple machines. However, wasn't game to open it up in the back of the boat knowing that there is no way that I would be able to replace fuel lines, gaskets, seals, etc. At 3.30 PM I was rowing ashore with my papers in my back pack and staring at the useless outboard motor.
I rowed to the left side of the marina because that is where all of the boat traffic was. It was a bad choice because I found myself and the heart of the local fishing fleet. These fishing boats were not in the large industrial class of those in Argentina. They were smaller - some as small as 25 ft - and probably operated on a small scale. It was a quaint and interesting area, but I was outside of the yacht club and when I tried to get in I ran into a very heavy duty security setup. The guard knew only Portuguese so we had a very difficult time communicating. Fortunately one of the staff who could speak some English stepped in and we had a great conversation before his bus came. By then the guard, who had seen my Aussie passport and boat papers, must have been convinced that I was legitimate, made a call and let me in. One thing the fellow told me before boarding his bus was that clearance services are available 24x7 for travelers such as me, but normal business hours are 8-4. And yes, there is a ferry to the mainland.
Soon I was doing what I had set out to do: officially registering with the club that had generously provided the mooring. And what a hoot it was. There were about 5 guys in the little office. One could speak a little Spanish, another knew a tiny bit of English, but we could all gesticulate and draw pictures. At one point we got seriously hung up on the meaning of one of the questions. I started to get the feeling that it was asking for my address. "Donde Vivo?" I asked and they lit up with the Portuguese version of "Yea Man, you got that right!" It was a really fun group effort and finally the information was recorded and I signed the documents. I was told that there was no problem with my staying at the mooring 3 or 4 days, which I figured that I could stretch to 5 or 6 if required. I was then led to the actual office where a girl photocopied my passport. When I returned to the group to present my photocopies I was given a hand filled ID card that would allow me to get in and out of the club premises, but that would not be necessary in the future because I know now that if I go to along the right side of the marine I'll wind up at the dinghy dock in the heart of the marina next to the office with those helpful and good natured guys.
I rowed back to the boat in the dark thinking that two practical things I had done were to dump some garbage and return with another 20 liters of fresh water. I would go ashore early (weather permitting, because it was raining pretty hard as I wrote this at 6 PM)and try to find my way to the mainland in order to get my clearance. One problem is that I have no Brazilian currency. I had not brought any Argentine pesos with me because I figured that the Brazilians would not be interested in dealing with them. I had a few US dollars and my Visa credit card. I was hoping that I'd find an ATM in my walk to the commercial heart of the community to catch the ferry.
I was satisfied with the outcomes of the day. My first impression of Brazilians was as good as I had hoped it would be. They were relaxed, cheerful, and humorous. But it is early days. I'll know more after I've moved around a bit and executed my clearance.
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