Ilha de Santa Catarina
We left Sao Francisco do Sul last Wednesday afternoon unsure what to expect but hoping for a good wind from the east. Our recent experience has been of winds lighter and/or more southerly than forecast. After a couple of hours motoring there was a nice wind for sailing on a comfortable reach. In the night we had thunderstorms and another couple of hours motoring in damp conditions for the on-watch crew. Approaching our destination - Ilha de Santa Catarina - the wind backed to the north so we anchored at a suitably sheltered anchorage on the mainland - Praia do Fagundes. It was a good place to rest up and dry out on Thursday but strong southerly winds were forecast so on Friday we moved just a short distance to anchor at Jurere on the northwest of Ilha da Santa Catarina.
Southerly winds approaching - Praia do Fagundes
We are now in the state of Santa Catarina, having by-passed the short coastline of the state of Parana on our way to Sao Francisco do Sul from Ilhabela. Ilha da Santa Catarina is a 30 mile long island connected to the mainland in the middle, where the state capital - Florianopolis - is situated, by two bridges, one of which has been closed and under repair for as long as people can remember. The island is hilly but also has low-lying areas of mangroves and a big lagoon. The ocean beaches are good for surfing and the channel between the island and mainland is very shallow, good for fishing and home to many seabirds.
Jurere is an odd place: a cross between Milton Keynes and Eastbourne, but its beach is a useful landing place
As well as doing some sight-seeing here we need to visit the authorities and "check out" of Brazil before heading south. Our next destination is officially Uruguay, some 650 nautical miles away, but depending on the weather we may well put in to Rio Grande do Sul, the most southerly Brazilian harbour.
Over the weekend we were helped by Marco, a friend of Tio (who helped us in Ubatuba), who kindly picked us up and showed us around, helping us get important things like a gas cylinder refill, engine oil and filters. Marco is a keen sailor and with his wife Daniela and 3 young children enjoys some gentle cruising in the local area. It's still winter here so although there are many local sailing boats on moorings, we've encountered few out and about.
On Monday we caught the bus from Jurere to Floripa (vernacular for Florianopolis) in order to visit the authorities, which must be done in the right order. We managed to deal with Immigration and Customs (only open in the afternoon) but could not do the Captain of Ports (who only open until 1130 in the morning). This morning we missed the bus, which unknown to us had been rerouted because of roadworks. By the time we realised we would have been too late for the Capitania, so we decided to move the boat nearer to Florianopolis now that the southerly winds had subsided. We are now anchored off the small village of Santo Antonia de Lisboa, where Marco keeps his boat, and we shall investigate the buses tomorrow. Fingers crossed.
The fort on the north-west tip of the island, with Jurere in the background
The forecast looks good for a departure on Thursday.