Itororó waterfall, Matarandiba island, near Itaparica

Caramor - sailing around the world
Franco Ferrero / Kath Mcnulty
Tue 28 Apr 2015 19:47
13:01.3S 38:46.9W

We have spent the last three nights anchored off a beautiful beach where the Itororó waterfall drops into the sea. Although Matarandiba island is connected to Itaparica by a bridge, there is no way over from the beach to the road.

The isolation and lack of distractions has enabled us to get on with some essential work. The water is calm and clean so every afternoon we have been for a swim. The water is at the temperature I take baths back in Wales! We then go for a shower at the waterfall to cool down. The small beach is home to thousands of tiny crabs with oversized claws. If we move, they disappear down holes in the sand. Their main activity seems to be waving their large claw at all their neighbours.

There is a sign on the beach which says: "Our land, forests and animals do not pollute, humans do. Be an animal!", despite this there is a lot of litter, we filled two bin bags.

From time to time, fishermen paddle or motor past, in dug-out canoes or small open boats, some with huge stacks of shrimp traps. We wave and they always wave back.

One morning we watched a dug-out paddled by three teenagers enter the shallows down from our beach. We heard a small explosion and realised they were blasting the fish. They collected the corpses and went further down to repeat the operation. We were surprised, this method of fishing is completely unsustainable as it kills everything and is illegal in most countries.

Later, a lone adult visited the scenes of the morning carnage. After that there seemed to be a free for all and dynamiting became the normal fishing method.

The rain has returned, heavy showers with lightning and thunder, mostly in the early morning. It pours through the hatch above our bed and one of us has to get up and close it. The rain doesn't cool the air, it makes it more humid and we sweat like Scousers at a maths test. The showers will last a few days and then it will be sunny again. This time the rain brought thousands of small flying insects desperate to get onto Caramor, luckily the mosquito mesh kept most of them out. The next morning most of them lay dead on the deck.

On Saturday morning three shiny jet-skis arrived on our beach. The men wore white rash vests and the fair-haired girls matching bikinis and sunglasses. They took turns water-skiing towed by a jet-ski.

Around mid-day, a dug-out was paddled purposefully across from the mainland and landed on the beach, it was the first time we had seen fishermen land there. The two men stuck a long pole deep into the sand and made their canoe fast to it. They were within metres of the trendy people yet not a word was exchanged between the two groups. It was as if a glass wall divided them.

The canoe returned slowly across the channel, as they passed us they waved. Soon after we hauled up the anchor and caught the afternoon sea breeze back to Itaparica. As the jet-skis roared past two of the drivers waved.

Tonight we joined Tomi, Steffi and their Brazilian friends for a pizza. Tomi and Steffi spent a number of years living and working in Salvador twelve years ago and still have many friends here. Poor Joselito was stuck at the end of the table with us, a captive audience for our Portuguese. He did ever so well! He even got my jokes. Joselito is a hobby fisherman, he told us that blowing up fish is illegal in Brazil. "There are laws in Brazil but nobody respects them, it is possible to phone in to denounce illegal activity."

Tomorrow we will return to Salvador.