Moth Causes Pandemonium

Mina2 in the Caribbean - Where's The Ice Gone?
Tim Barker
Fri 3 Dec 2010 12:37

Date: 2 December 2010

Position: São Francisco do Sul 26:14.594S 048:38.468W


After a lazy day in Ilha Bela we set sail on Tuesday for the two day 235 mile passage to São Francisco do Sul.  We were sailing along about 40 miles offshore when into the cockpit swooped a massive moth. As it fluttered around, the drunks went berserk waving their arms around and shrieking like a bunch of girls. Anyone would have thought it was a vampire bat. When it settled underneath the sprayhood for a bit of a rest Lawrence said “Why don’t we put it in a box and stick a pin through it” but we left it alone until it took off again and flew out to sea to an almost certain death.



Monster moth comes to visit


This particular part of the coast is renowned for its lack of wind but we were lucky enough to have sufficient breeze to sail most of the passage. But it remains cloudy and cool and once out of the sight of land it was, as Richard said, pretty much the same as sailing across Lyme Bay. Pleasant enough nevertheless.


São Francisco do Sul, 10 miles up a wide river, is one of the oldest towns in Brazil. Settled in 1660 by whalers from the Azores, many of the buildings, particularly on the riverfront  are old and attractive reminders of the town’s colonial past. It has been made a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the buildings are being slowly renovated. We arrived in torrential rain, anchored off the riverfront and went ashore in the dinghy for a long and rather good lunch of moqueca (fish stew) to get out of the rain.


We are now in the build up to Christmas and the very green town council has adorned the riverfront with elaborate illuminated Christmas decorations all fashioned from discarded plastic water bottles. They included, rather incongruously in a place where the average temperature on Christmas day is about 30ºC, delightful little snow men standing on beds of artificial snow.


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São Francisco do Sul and their Christmas decorations made from recycled bottles


The drunks have taken to caipirinhas in a big way on health grounds. Tom, the dentist, said that in the quantities they were drinking, they would be provided with their five-a-day, the sugar would provide them with all the energy they needed, and there would be little chance of contracting scurvy. They needed no further encouragement.