Friday, April 12, 2013

One of the myriad of oil wells we had to dodge on the way up the coast.
They are really well lit though so no problems dodging and they don't move!

We are currently in Salvador in the Brazilian state of Bahia. 
Salvador at our dawn approach

Notice the skinny little apt. buildings.
 If you look at a world map, Salvador in at the bottom of the bump that sticks out to the east on the Brazilian coast.  We had a difficult passage hear from Rio.  It took us 2 days to get around the cape about 60 miles east of Rio and then along the way the head of the genoa let go and the sail started coming down.  We managed to get it furled up before it make a mess and then headed towards land so we could fix it.  It ended up that the stitching in the webbing that connects the sail to the halyard had all disintegrated (due to uv wear)and it just let go. Once we got it down in a very calm anchorage we decided to put up the yankee instead of trying to fix it while we were anchored.  We stayed overnight in the anchorage and got a good sleep.  It had been quite rough and we had been beating into the weather so there was a lot of  bouncing and pounding going on so sleep was hard to come by.  Once we left we were glad that we had not tried to fix the sail at anchor because it took us 2 days of stitching with an awl, hammering it into the thick webbing, pushing the needle through using a palm and then pulling it out the other side with a pair of pliers, to fix it.  
Check out these homes built into arches under a roadway, very clever how they have painted the outline of the house on the cement wall. 
One of the other boats that left St. Helena at the same time as us decided to head north a few days after us.   They have a 60 foot boat so caught up and passed us on the 11 day passage.  Richard and Cathy on Mr.  Curly are great company and we had fun yesterday seeing some sight and doing some shopping together. Salvador has an upper and a lower town and last night we went up the vertical elevator to the old town and had dinner and saw some of the magnificent buildings that have been beautifully restored.  
All along the Brazilian coast the cities are nestled along the flat stretch of shoreline between the mountains and the sea and this results in densely packed high rises squashed together.  When we were at sea we saw the weather pattern that is common along this coast in actions.  The  rain clouds gathered in front of the mountains, the lightning flashed and the thunder crashed and the rain bucketed down. . There was not a drop of rain that reached the  boat which was about 5 miles to sea. 
Barry forgot to wear long pants, he only had shorts on, so he was not allowed to go to see the Capitanie de Porte, so I had to be the Captain for once in my life, I was in my glory!

Checking in, in Salvador, the cranes were unloading wheat from a container ship. 
We weren’t really planning to stop here but it is an very interesting place and a rest was needed and the wind was not going to be in our favour so a stop was called for.  We are on a mooring buoy and have access to land though a marina so life is good.  Our next leg will take us up and around the corner, or the bump and we will stop just at the top of the bump and clear out of Brazil for Trinidad.  We have about 2300 miles left to go but we have almost 6 weeks before out lift out is scheduled so we should be able to make that no problem.  
This is going backwards but I have some lovely pictures to share.  We spent Easter Sunday wandering around deserted downtown Rio. 
 We visited three different churches, the first was a old Catholic cathedral with marvelous wooden chairs instead of pews and the most ornate ceilings I have ever seen.  

The organ was playing and it was decorated with flowers just awaiting the worshipers. 

 We stopped in at a Protestant church whose service was just about starting.  They had a lovely series of statues of a congregation outside the entrance.  We headed off to the new avant garde Catherdral, which I did not find very appealing.

I just love this twisted reflection of the bell tower in the high rise close by. 
 It is an open air building that seats 20,000 but the street people were gathering outside under the tower and the police were very much in evidence to maintain the peace!!!! We sat inside and listened to a Catholic mass in Portugese for about 15 minutes.  I was hoping the choir would sing and that the acoustics would astound me.  They eventually got up  but they were very ordinary so we left. 
The opera house

Here are some great shots from the anchorage just under Sugarloaf. 
The planes had to bank over the harbour in front of Sugarloaf to make the approach into the airport.