logo Mina2 in the Caribbean - Where's The Ice Gone?
Date: 19 Mar 2010 11:08:00
Title: A Wet Dream Come True

Date: 18 March 2010

Position: Marina Da Gloria, Rio De Janeiro -  22:55.16S 045:10.19W


It’s just as well that our dream arrival into Rio harbour happened when it did. The night before we arrived there was the most fantastic storm. It dominated the headlines of the Rio papers. Our friends in Rio were concerned for our survival thinking we might be in the thick of it out to sea. But, happily, we weren’t, and the Impossible Dream became reality as Mina2 sailed into Rio harbour in full sunshine.


It didn’t last. The storm clouds re-gathered and for our first two days in the “Cidade Maravilhosa” it has bucketed down with heavy rain almost continuously. Had we arrived in these conditions we wouldn’t have even seen the Sugarloaf Mountain on our way in.


Our humour has not been enhanced by our location. In Rio itself, there are two marinas. The Iate Clube de Rio de Janeiro, which is the Brazilian equivalent of a combination of the Royal Yacht Squadron and the Hurlingham Club. Very luxurious with every possible amenity and in a prime position in the shadow of the Sugarloaf Mountain, it is also very exclusive, and they do not welcome visiting yachts unless you are a member of a foreign yacht club with a reciprocal relationship, and not one British yacht club is on their list, or unless you are introduced by a member, and we don’t know any.


Which leaves Marina Da Gloria. And glorious it ain’t. We were ushered into one of their visitors’ berths which is attached to a rickety pontoon. The water is disgustingly dirty and stinks. The place is infested with rats, both dead and alive; the live ones running around on the rocky ledge just in front of the pontoon and the dead ones bloated, rotting and floating around the boat. Apart from loos and showers there are almost no facilities – not even a bar to sit in front of with a caipirinha whilst fashioning the next blog. To add to the frustration we found out that had we known just one member of the exclusive Iate Clube, the first three days in the lap of luxury would have been free, and thereafter the charge would have been just 1/6th of the extortionate price we are being charged in the cess pit. And it’s bloody raining.


What has more than made up for the disappointing weather and the even more disappointing marina facilities is the first social interaction we have had for a long time apart from the friends we’ve sailed with.


Almost on our arrival we met up with Scott (Aussie) and Fabi (Brazilian) Murphy on their catamaran, “Miss Bossy” (one of only three other foreign yachts we have seen in Rio). Having had almost nil sailing experience apart from a short Day Skipper course, they bought Miss Bossy in the same marina in Greece where I over-wintered Mina2 a year ago and, just the two of them, decided to go for it. We have been sailing in the same waters as them for months, out of the Med, Cape Verde then the Atlantic crossing over to Brazil. This is the first time we have met although we have been communicating by email having been introduced through this blog. They are both thriving on their extraordinary adventure. Respect.


Then their have been our land-bound friends in Rio. Maria’s first cousin, Vivien, who lives here and came on board for a drink with her son André a couple of nights ago after which we went out for dinner. And likewise Lilian, sister of the unfortunate Christine who joined us from Ilhéus to Caravela but failed to make it to the Rio entrance, who we met this evening with her daughter, son-in-law and delightful grand daughter, Lucille, Zulu, and Sofia. They took us to a wonderful restaurant overlooking the Sugarloaf mountain. So it’s been busy, busy, busy on the social front.


In between social engagements, and not having had the weather for sightseeing, we have done not much more so far than spend almost an entire day trying to top up the Brazilian SIM card which drives our internet connection (but now we have it I’ve been able to get another fix of The Now Show and The Archers). We also went to an excellent Historical Museum housed in the old city armoury. We were intending to visit all the sights in the old part of town yesterday but found a large political demonstration taking place and the whole “Centro” closed off by riot police. So lots to do yet.


Photos will follow later.


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