Brazil - Fortaleza Update

SV Meshugga
Nicholas & Deidre Mace
Fri 17 Feb 2017 13:41

We’re still in Fortaleza. Nicholas got the generator and halyard electric winch fixed yesterday - took 5 days. We have a refrigeration technician coming this morning. We hope it is just a gas top up. We had hoped to have our fridges and freezers serviced before we left Cape Town……... If a simple repair or gas, we then plan to leave Fortaleza tonight. If not, we might be here a few more days. We have turned our very old Freezer (the one we use as a drinks fridge) back into a freezer. Unfortunately it does not have great insulation, so we have to run its motor 3 hours a day, which will be havoc on the batteries if we leave without the proper freezer working. But at least the generator is now working again, and it is Plan B if the local refrigeration technician cannot repair the freezer.

No-one here speaks English. Thank goodness for Google Translate !!!!

The marina is a joke. They have these huge concrete pillars, and whatever walk way they once had is now gone, so we drop the anchor, reverse towards the pillars and tie the stern to two pillars. And then use the dingy to get ashore. Lucky for us, there is a small section where the old walk-on has not sunk (with 3 yachts), and a yacht left which was moored there. We quickly moved to their spot, so we now have water and electricity from the shore. It has helped HUGELY as with the generator not working, and running the motors for 4 hours a day was noisy and consumes a lot of diesel. Also, without the generator - we have been unable to make water (since Fernando), so have been using it very sparingly. Now with water from the shore, I’ve been able to do all our laundry, wash the boat etc.

We went sight-seeing a couple of days ago.
Fortaleza is a huge city. I think bigger than anything we have in South Africa. Loads of skyscrapers, a gazillion cars and people everywhere. The city is a mixture of First World buildings and run down Third World very poor broken dirty buildings, streets etc. People are either very smartly dressed, or in dirty rags with a lot of begging. Generally very much like South Africa. We are vigilant as we’ve read on the cruiser forum Noonsite, that muggings are common, especially at night. The Marina Park Hotel which is were we are moored has armed guards !!!! The Hotel is a 5 star hotel which we have free use of. Stunning pool area with bar, a couple of restaurants and wifi which we can access from Meshugga.

I can now understand the charm Fernando de Noronha has for Brazilians. With over 200 million people mainland is hectic. In contrast Fernando is an idilic get away.