Friday, May 27, 2011

Yacht Club Bahia.

We had a good sail to Salvador,  and reached a deserted bay infront of the Yacht Club with only a couple of locals fishing.  We picked up a mooring,  hoping it is the right one, and hoping it is strong enough to allow Catlyn to hang onto it.  We dropped the dinghy to find out where our welcome drinks were,(Ha ha)  being spoilt in Pier Salvador, you know. An English speaking security girl at the desk showed us to the office of this impressive yacht club,  where we changed to a lot of sign language again, to complete all the forms,  while sipping slowly on a welcoming cup of Brasilean espresso.  ( now I realise where all my energy came from, walking about 8km non stop today..)
We caught the red bus saying Aeroporto, only $R3 per person and enjoyed the sight seeing for about an hour,  bobbing happily along in our soft blue seats. The benefit of public transport....that works and are safe !!

With the instructions of extending our Visas for a further 3 months in our pockets,  we were ready to extend our stay in Brasil for another 3 months.  What happened to the time?  We are already 2 and a half months in this country.

 I took the opportunity to mail my letters to my family at the Correiros,  costing about R50 for 4 quite thick ones....slipping in a surprise into each envelope. Luhan and out for the post man!

Off we went to the Police Federal,  where we completed the forms, showed the boats` papers,  and got our passports stamped!  It was so quick, with all the friendly faces trying to help us, even some people in the queue were assisting.  Joe only had time to buy a packet of caramel pop corn for his constant hunger before we hopped onto the bus again. The boys got off at the Yacht Club,  because a very big Olympic size pool, and a delicious cheese burger and pool tables were awaiting them.
 After being stuck on Catlyn for a couple of rainy days, they enjoyed the freedom and space!  Johan and I were off to Customs, to get Catlyn legal for the next three months.  We've heard of another yacht that didn't do the necessary paper work of extension, and was fined 10% of the value of the boat, just by being a couple of days late..ouch!
Lucky for us the office was closed for lunch until 14h00 and it gave us enough time to slip into the Kilo Restaurant (many of them available all over)  for juicy fillet mignon and salads.  I do think it is a much better way of dining than our buffet.  I know that we always think, paying the amount for a buffet, that we have to eat more than enough of everything to get our moneys` worth.  At the kilo restaurants,  you dish up exactly what you are craving for, and what you intend to eat, and pay for the weight of your plate of food.  No food goes to waste, with all the excess you dished up, just in case you had the way, it's paid for, remember.
With two tummies too full, any way, we went to Customs.  Another short and sweet experience.  I quickly had the time meeting Christina from the French boat, Stella-Mari lying at Aratu.  They are two elderly sisters sailing the world since 1978,  working on and off in France or Tahiti,  to keep them sailing until now.  How I wish for a glass of wine and time with these two ladies...
The next stop was the Port Capitane.  Very quickly they made copies of our docs and we were on our way!  On the bus this morning, I saw a lot of people in this particular street, with all the shops having Promocao (promotions).  Johan and I decided to walk the road,  because Marco was in desperate need of some clothes.  We were spoilt in the past by Andria, (a friend)  who saved Michiel`s outgrown clothes for Marco. We had very excited two boys when we arrived home with surprises in our shopping bags.

Exhausted, with the overload of caffeine gone long ago,  we arrived at Catlyn still safely secured onto the mooring. The sea is quite choppy with fairly big swells,  so we are rolling a bit.  I can understand why mono-hulls won`t like it too much here when the weather is slightly rough.  It feels like we are sailing all the time.  The water is exceptionally clear,  and lying at about 11meters depth,  we got the watermaker going and we are definitely gonna try fishing as well.  A lot of spear gun divers are in the water...

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Yacht Clube da Bahia

After more than two months we are realy getting itchy! Besides our engine (sail-drive) not being her real self yet, we`ve decided to pick up the anchor, and sail to Bahia Yacht Club close to the Yanmar dealer to pick up whatever spare parts we can get, and sail down to Morro de Sao Paolo. On our way up north again, we will pop into Itaparica and hopefully fix the sail-drive. We contacted Yanmar in South-Africa, and with Wayne de Kock's speedy help, we have hope. According to him it can only be one of two things..the first one we have checked..oil seals. The second can be the O-ring between the two sections of the leg. He sent us a list of parts we will need. O-ring, silicone, a new rubber protection boot and rubber vulcanising glue. We`ve emailed a Yanmar dealer in Salvador and found all the parts within no time, which we are going to collect. My trust is in my two new mechanics, proving to be so handy!

Oh yes, after about three weeks we received our package with the DC meter! It came from Nieuw-Zealand via UPS, and was `hi-jacked` at customs. After many translated emails and the lovely Natalie from the guest house and internet cafe (Pousada Muito Mais), phoning and trying in Portuguese, the message was clear. In Brasil, it doesn`t matter whether you receive a parcel that is old stuff or newly imported stuff or just an old repair, you must pay up the duty and then you will receive your parcel. No questions about it! So we did pay about R1000 for our fixed DC meter, which is now installed and working again.

The boys are busy lifting the anchor, and I better hurry!

Ps. Welcome to our new followers! Michael from Anico, we hope you are well! Allan and our lovely Ursh, thank you for joining, and we can`t wait to meet you with your yacht, Windward somewhere on the Big Blue!

I`ve got mail.

I received my first letter from South-Africa!  My darling daughter Janli, just know how to get the blood through my veins, popping red love to her and the Universe!  Thank you! Thank you!  I am going to sit in my favourite spot on Catlyn`s bow,  and listen to your voice... we are sailing to Bahia Yacht Club.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

When the Boer and the French join forces...

I sat down for a while watching the three little boys playing in the sand,  and I closed my eyes listening to the sound of their young innocent voices...  Two little black hair French boys and one blonde freckly South-African boy.  At some stage they left the trenches in the sand and took up the guns...

`Don,t die, Darling,  don`t die!  Live for our children!` This was the last dying words of Franz Ferdinand in 1914,  when he was assasinated in his wifes` arms in Sarajevo.  But his wife, Sophie died even before him without him realising it,  and World War 1 started.

And here I was sitting for a moment watching and listening to the sound of young humans running around with their plastic guns,  fighting a make belief war. The enemy was somewhere in the distance and they kept running next to each other, aiming and shooting somewhere...

My head was spinning,  my mouth whispering in a silent prayer...
`I won`t die, Darling, I won`t die! I will live for our children!  In this world we can teach our children the love and the peace,  and the playing together without seeing any differences...

With a pot of pop corn jumping off the lid,  I live to tell...                                                               

Yanmar SD20 Sail-Drive.

Remember we beached Catlyn about a month ago to replace the sail-drive oil seals on the port engine. Also remember that this post is only my feminen knowledge and input and observation over male shoulders looking at this big monstrous machine.The seals are in the sail-drive leg just behind the propeller to prevent salt water entering this leg and I hope also to prevent oil from leaking into the sea.  We thought this problem was solved by replacing the seals, but alas. Johan noticed salt water in the oil again, giving it a milky color.  So we beached again,  putting Catlyn`s belly gently down onto the sand.  Itaparica is absolutely suitable for this excercise,  we even saw a mono-hull beaching here!

As soon as the water level dropped a bit,  we started scrubbing and it was shocking to see how dirty Catlyn was in only a months time. Maybe it was the warm water,  maybe it was the brown rivers or maybe it was lying in Pier Salvador where a lot of boats were on the beach doing repairs and polluting the water.  She had her first oil stains clinging to her like a penguin covered with black suffocating oil.The barnicles were clustered all over her belly,  and she is definitely going to need a big anti-fouling job in Trinidad!

With Catlyn on the sandbank, Johan realised that the problem isn`t with the oil seals, but the leak is higher up the sail-drive.  The leak must be somewhere at the joint in the upper section of the lower leg...or that is how it looked like.  This didn`t look like a job squashed into the couple of hours of low tide on the beach. Tomorrow, Monday, Johan will phone Yanmar in Cape Town.  They replaced a safety membrane under guarantee October last year,  and did some stuff on the sail drive.  I will keep you posted...

See the fresh oil running down the leg.

Ps.  We`ve met Bert and Michelle from sailing yacht Snatch in Port Owen, last year. They will be sailing to Salvador in September 2011.  Thanx for joining us as followers,  we look forward to your participation as we know that you are long time sailors!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

A very wet Itaparica

We left behind the luxury of Pier Salvador Marina,  and we motored to the grey skies above Itaparica.  It was good to be back and to see all the familiar yachts in the bay.  Marco was extremely excited to see the big catamaran,  Grainedo with his three French friends aboard.  Next to us we were delighted to see the first South-African yacht in Brasil.  But the rain kept us all in our yachts,  not daring to get soaked on our dinghies.  Hopefully tomorrow will have some blue skies.
We tried to be as invisible as possible on Catlyn,  when the second day of staying aboard came.  We played cards,  read a lot,  tried to get onto facebook when the internet was good,  and watched movies stretched out in the saloon.  Marco got inspired by us,  and decided to write his own pages on our blog.  Make sure that you don`t miss out on his world!

Ps.  Thank you to our three new followers,  We are looking forward to your input. Theophile from Grainedo is one of them ,  and the other are welcome to let us know about you.

We are still waiting for the you....YES YOU.... to add yourselve to our Followers section on the righthand side. Please.... !!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Fighting a Female Battle.

This is it!

If you can't fight them, study them! I needed to know why this little creatures fly pass the big juicy body of my husband lying right next to me, naked and not even covered with the sheet,  and then circling me covered here and there,  to find any open spot of flesh,  and then piercing me to suck my  blood.  Just like an irritating fly, no wonder the Spanish and the Portuguese call them "little fly".  I imported some Peaceful Sleep from South Africa (the little bugger's paradise),  and put packets Aromat back onto the shelve to make space, (pity)  but still no peace in my sleep,  while the nagging buzz of a female mosquito ready to produce eggs swept over me. Can she not sense the horrible timing of two females producing eggs, connecting tonight? Not even Tabard, or the expensive fancy stuff my visiting sister in law, Elize left on our boat are smelly enough to keep her away from my soft flesh. It only keeps my dear husband away, and I don't want to do all the time, you know...
Last night was "my" last straw or blood...  I woke up in the dark by that sound!  It was somewhere in the area of my head, and I got so upset that I smashed my poor eardrum.  Now not only the damn mosquito was singing, and I struggled to get to the LED light switch.  I didn't even think about the battery bank, only concentrating and trying to fix my gaze on this tiny black blood sucking insect. Johan lazily woke up after my first clap into the vast air,  and the girly mozzie flying away. Now it is war!!  "Where is my glasses?"  Johan shouted  in a toned down voice not to wake the boys,  flying his hands in the air. He swaps!  Too close!  He swaps again!  Too far!  "Wrong glasses!"  Forget about the mozzie,  we have to find the right glasses first,  while this girly mozzie is still laughing at us in a buzz, with her eggs waiting.  Why can't she just be the sweet tooth like her male and mine only sucking on the beautiful sweet nectar of flowers and chocolates?
I read:  She loves clean people! I didn't shower tonight,  just did the wishy-washy number, but to no avail.  "Dirty Harry" next to me was still  sound asleep, and only after the buzzing and me scrambling,  he woke up to be my Knight in no armour, to start searching for our (k)night eyes...
I read:  She likes thin skin!  This is going to take some time,  and it made me wonder...  is that why I don't have any bites on my Red Wine belly softness?
I read:  She doesn't like yeast!  Ah,  that is why she hates Johan's  South-African Beer Belly!  It makes me wonder whether she sucks the Portuguese women in Brazil,  because they also love their Beer, Scol.  Would she mind a touch of Lemonade to that yucky bitter taste?
Making our bed this morning I enjoyed taking pleasure in leaving her skeleton on my wall, but I must admit that I understood and empathise to that dedication of a mother to look after her children,  so when her splash on the wall is all bloody and red, (my blood) I knew that you were very close to being a good mother!

Ps.  Maybe I am just not hot Tobasco will have to do...

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VERY IMPORTANT MESSAGE. PLEASE HELP US. Dear blog readers !!! We know you are out there, reading and enjoying our blog. For us to enable the odd advertising income from Paid Advertisers, we need you to add yourselves as a "Follower" to our blog, proving to prospective Advertisers that our blog generates traffic. Currently we only have our Visitor Calculator to monitor the visits to our blog and are currently on an average of 70 visits per day. It is really a very EASY process to become a Follower. You don`t need a gmail email account to be a follower, you can use any existing email account and register with "Google Friend Finder". Just click the ~Follow~ button on the right hand side of the blog above the ~Followers~ section and it will take you to the next page to start the QUICK process. We thank you and can´t wait to welcome all our new "Followers". Obrigado !

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Busy week at Pier Salvador.

We enjoyed a good week at Pier Salvador. When it was not raining we took the opportunity washing and cleaning and the boys were in the engine room servicing both Yanmars and cleaning out mouldy lockers.  I realised once more that we still have too much clothes aboard,  and after washing all the clothes out fresh,  I vacuumed them in airtight bags and packed them away.  The only clothes left in our drawers are really the one's we are wearing.  There is no need keeping some for a maybe day...
I found some little white creepy crawlies in the boat, to my disgust, and the great search began for this little creatures, and how to get rid of them quickly!  I found the souce!  On the shelf where we keep our hats and caps, and the black carry bags for our shopping I found a lot of them.  I realised that we have been carrying them into the boat every time we went shopping.  All the croceries were packed into my black carry bags and then I store my bags on this shelf.  Now we do not bring any shopping or black bags into the boat before is is rinsed or wiped and the bags got a squirt of incecticide!  After visiting one of the shops again, we noticed all these little white creatures crawling on their shelves.  Thank goodness for these little ones,  our friends, the Germans tried to drown a mouse on their boat somewhere.
The boys had a great time with the shore power plugged into Earth! The X-box and the computers worked overtime,  and we didn't mind them crawling into their cabins whenever they could. Marco even organised a sleepover! He arranged his bed to make space for his sleepover friend, watching a movie late evening,  and ordered me to bring them some ice cold "hot" chocolate. He also sneaked a packet of sour worms in for them.  There was great excitement about his first sleepover on Catlyn!  Unfortunately his friend sneaked out during the night to his own cabin...and changed into his big brother again...
I skyped a lot this week,  and it feels like I have family again,  and Janlie and I made up for lost time.  I was wisked to Stellenbosch and all the student fun again!  Thank you for technology.
We visited the biggest shopping mall in Salvador,  Salvador Shopping.  The trip with the bus was a delightful experience and when we returned with the bus late that evening we decided that it is absolutely the most enjoyable way of travelling in Salvador. I found a new flat sheet for our bed,  and I had to resist not to buy some shoes!  Maybe it is because I haven't been in proper shops for about five months,  but I couldn't stop admiring the shoes.  I felt like buying some and mail it to S.A.
It is time to start shopping for the next couple of months again,  because we are emtying all the stuff we brought from S.A.  We are on the last bit of  "papmeel" and it is quite a scary thought not having our staple food any more. We searched all the shops but I am afraid that their "farofa"  has to substitute. More disastrous than everything is that our red wine is running out...

Ps.  Marco is trying to get a tooth for the Tooth Fairy or Tooth Mouse...we'll see which one will be able to get to Catlyn.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Pier Salvador's Mother's Day

I woke up this morning to an ordinary day, boiled the kettle for coffee,  got the washing going,  saw to Marco's ear ache and in between  received a kiss and a hug  from my three men aboard.  We decided to go for a walk in the area, Ribeira.  Mothers were treated with gifts and flowers,  a lot of them dressed in red, and the restaurants were packed, with people still queing outside.  It was wonderful to see people from another world loving the special person in their lives.  Why can't we all live together in love all over the world over all nations, with the same love and respect we treasure  for our mothers? Will tomorrow just be another day again?
Still enjoying the atmosphere of Ribeira,  a car stopped next to us. Sandoval, from Pier Salvador! He picked us up, went back to Catlyn to fetch Marco, feeling off the weather,  and we went along with him, not knowing where we are going,  and with him only telling us that he wanted to take us on small city tour,  He toured the city Salvador with us, and I was delighted to find civilisation. Big shopping centres, lovely apartments, car dealers,  everything I was wondering about.  Marco even spotted two Mac Donalds! We stopped at Perini,  an upmarket shop, like Woolworths Foods,  and I couldn't resist to buy some cauliflower and broccoli, at R30 a piece.
We were impressed with the new Salvador.  He turned into a private estate at Alpha Ville and took us to his home. We met with his whole family and shared their lives for the day! They treated us to a barbeque,  with the delicatessen of chicken hearts on a skewer and drum sticks.  We learnt how to prepare Farofa using Fahrina de Mandioca,  a black root made into a flour.  Marco met Susi, the cockatoo and in a mix of broken English, Portuguese and sometimes even a bit of proper Afrikaans, after a couple of local Scol (beer) we chatted the night away.  What we couldn't understand we googled on the translater with the laptop lying next to the salad.  After dinner we visited George, SA ( thanks to Google) and showed them our home, and a touch of SA,  after learning that his son,  Tiago thought we are going to be black..  You should think that after the World Cup Soccer,  that people would know about our handful of white people in SA too, but alas. We invited them to come and visit our beautiful country one day.
The evening was ended with Sandoval teaching Joe to make the traditional Tapioca pancakes. It is a dry white starch mixed with a bit of salt and fried in a pan like a pancake,  and devoured with butter and cheese. Johan even filled his with the left over salad and Joe tried sugar without the cinnamon. We kissed each other good night, souls meeting, souls sharing and souls remembering...
Thank you Sandoval and Jenne and family for this memory.

Ps.  My Mama,  Happy Birthday for tomorrow!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Pier Salvador Marina

The boys enjoyed the last chance in the swimming pool at Aratu,  before we set sail for Pier Salvador Marina.  With no wind to help us, we could only rely on the tide to push us forward.  We passed another marina and were confused as to where this Pier was. Just then our Skipper complained that he always had this vision of sailing into a marina and girls with flowers in their hair came to welcome us. Joe and I tried to make eye contact with the people on the jetties to help us in the right direction, but were only answered with expressionless stares.  We slowly moved forward towards more yachts in front of us,  and eventually I saw some flags from all over the world flying on a roof top ahead of us. 

 Scribbled on the side of the wall, I could just make out the letters spelling, Pier Salvador.  We were at the right place.  Approaching slowly we thought it is going to be just like our previous experiences, where you have to drop the anchor somewhere and hope it is in the right place, or pick up a mooring, and hope it doesn't belong to someone else,  and then you have to find your English way in a Portuguese country, with all your documents to the "Secretarier"  to let them know that you would like to stay for a while.  But we were waved in,  not by two girls with flowers in their hair,  but by two very friendly faces and they helped us with all the lines. And on the jetty,  the owner of Pier Salvador Marina,  Sandoval Matos,  welcomed our family with a hand shake and wonderful broken English!  I was still in awe at how quickly the spoken word can have such a nice turn out,  when a girl walked towards us with four tall glasses of "limao" (lime) juice!  And then I could just see some angels smiling somewhere...

We decided to stay for a week, at about R240 / 54 Reals a day.  The Internet is super fast,  and Marco is enjoying the shore power for his X-box.  But there was more install for me!  A big automatic washing machine at the Marina, available for use!  A day before Mother's Day,  I received this wonderful gift from the Universe!  Being without this wonder for 5 months,  I know someone was smiling on me...

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Aratu, 3-5 May

We spend three nights at Aratu.  If you stay more than three nights, there is a fee,  so we spend three awesome days on holiday off the boat.  We enjoyed the crystal blue swimming pool and deck chairs,  and I couldn't help but sit with my book on the thick soft chairs on the veranda.  It was lovely to be spread out...a child in every corner of the pool, or somewhere having a cold drink, or me just reading a book without the constant presence of another human being.  We miss space sometimes...

 The dinghy's Yamaha engine is not spitting out water,  so it is time for a service.  The three mechanics got to work,  only to realise that the spare impeller we bought in Cape Town was not the right one!  So much for exchanging it quickly.  But they cleaned the pipes and the engine is spitting out some water again.  As soon as we are close to Salvador again,  we have to find a spare.
We enjoyed the internet access,  and every one spend time on Facebook,  or sending e-mails or getting my blog up to date again.  The German yacht was also in the marine,  and we looked forward inviting people who can speak English, for some South-African wine.  Michael and Regina from Anico,  shared their travels with us.  But we are off again...

Sailing the Baia de Todos dos Santos.

We left Itaparica for the Bay dos Santos.  There is a couple of anchorages that we decided to visit.  While the rain was showering down every now and then,  the wind gave us a pleasant sail.  Our first anchorage was between Bom Jesus and Ilha do Antonio.  What a beautiful anchorage among a couple of local yachts and on the other side a German flag on a yacht.  In front of us was a lovely resort with thatched roof chalets,  and we were looking forward to a civilised drink at this stunning place.  But just as we were getting the dinghy ready,  the Germans came over and told us that it is a Private Club.  They've tried to go for a drink but was politely told to go.  So much for civilisation!  Joe explored the island with the canoe, and only came back two hours later,  canoeing all around the island.  In the mean time Marco decided to construct a tent for some shadow on Catlyn with the sheet,  and we enjoyed a cool drink in the brown shade. 
We lifted the anchor for the next anchorage at Maria Guarda.  We passed an industrial area with the smell of oil thick in the air, and huge tankers waiting to be filled up with fuel.  We anchored close to a village,  but with the dirty water and the noisy people and dogs we decided not to spend the night.  We moved around the corner of the island to find another yacht from England, and decided to join them for the night.  I sat up until 24h00, listening to people in a church.  I could only understand three words,  Jesus, evil and a lot of Haleluja's....but I enjoyed the peace of listening to the sounds of people praising...and said my own prayer for my family sleeping,  and the rest of my family somewhere far away...

My rain catcher.

I decided to show you a photo of my rain catcher.  I don't know how a proper one should look like, but I know how one should look like that is working beautifully!