Escape from The Marina From Hell

Mina2 in the Caribbean - Where's The Ice Gone?
Tim Barker
Thu 25 Mar 2010 16:07

Date: 24 March 2010

Position: Itaipu – 22:58.33S 43:02.85W


Monday morning, and the daunting task of getting all the ships paperwork brought up to date; revising the crew list with the Policia Federal and then clearing in and out of Rio with the Port Captain. Typically their offices were miles apart. Thankfully I had the help of Scott & Fabi from “Miss Bossy” who also had to get some papers sorted. They knew the ropes – and the language. I honestly don’t know how, or whether, I would have coped without their help. The whole process went quite smoothly for me, taking less than two hours in total. It went less well for Scott & Fabi who were sent off to Immigration at the international airport where they were kept waiting for four hours before Scott’s visa was stamped with an extension.


Scott & Fabi had also put me in touch with a diver who was meanwhile scraping the weed off the bottom of Mina2. He did an excellent job as our cruising speed under motor went from a sluggish six knots up to our customary seven knots after the operation.


We had intended going into town in the afternoon to look around whilst changing Maria’s flight ticket to Buenos Aires. But we had been told by the marina that we had to hang around as they were relocating our pontoon and we had to be there to reposition Mina2. It would all be done by 1330. It wasn’t. There would be a delay until 1430. 1430 came and went. Eventually at 1600 we were told they couldn’t do it that day – it would be done the following day. So one day had been wasted and we were expected to waste half the following day as well, apparently.


That evening, the water in the marina which is rank at the best of times started smelling strongly of sewage. The smell was so overpowering that it kept me awake most of the night. The rats must have loved it but we’d had enough. The following morning, I told the manager exactly what I thought of his appalling marina. He agreed with everything I said before refusing to discount his extortionate charges, and we left. We motored out of Rio harbour to a delightful anchorage off a small fishing village, Itaipu, about seven miles away.


As we arrived, a man in a canoe circled us like a shark. Once the anchor was down he introduced himself as Bruno from the beachside restaurant “Pli Onboard”. We’d heard of Bruno. A cheerful and highly entrepreneurial young man he not only ran his excellent restaurant but also provided visiting yachts with anything from supermarket shopping, to fuel, ice, takeaway meals, drinks - whatever you wanted. He gave us a menu to peruse and we later called him to order an excellent lunch of fried lula (squid) and beautifully light deep-fried cheese pasties, delivered once again by canoe.



Quality lunch delivered by canoe


Later in the afternoon, “Miss Bossy” arrived in the anchorage. They too were planning to leave at first light for the 60-mile passage to Ilha Grande.


We awoke Wednesday morning to a calm and windless day. It would be Perkins Power that would get us there. But we needed to make water and the route hugged the coast so there was plenty to look at along the way.