Easter Weekend and the Anchorages Get Clogged

Mina2 in the Caribbean - Where's The Ice Gone?
Tim Barker
Sat 3 Apr 2010 21:51

Date: 2 April 2010


It is the Easter weekend, and rich Brazil has come out to play in the Bahia da Ilha Grande, filling the fabulous shore-side houses and re-commissioning the enormous number of motor yachts which fill the marinas here.


Having negotiated Mina2’s home for the winter and got all the documentation in place, we were free to spend our last 36 hours before the end of our epic cruise. Good Friday morning and we knew that the more picturesque anchorages would start filling up by lunch time – so an early start.


First stop were the Ilhas Botinas which are a couple of postcard pretty tiny side-by-side islands each with a few perfectly positioned palm trees and surrounded by clear warm water, corals and an abundance of tropical fish. As it was only 0730 when we arrived, we were the only boat. Perfect. Down with the dinghy for a Kodak moment, on with the snorkels to swim in the tropical aquarium, then back onto the boat and weigh anchor for a Beach.



Ilhas Botinas – all alone


The DS has a passion for beaches and she had been complaining that in the country with some of the best of them in the world, she had enjoyed remarkably few of them. The hot one in the area is Praia do Dentista (Beach of the Dentist??) on the south side of Ilha Gipóia. It was 0900 when we slung the anchor down and there were only three other boats there. We swam ashore, and the DS was happy walking down the deserted palm-fringed beach, for a while. A couple of motor boats approached the bay, anchored, and got their ghastly noisy Scoobidoo’s down and started shooting round the anchorage. The DS was now unhappy.

“How are we going to swim back to the boat without being run down? Haven’t they anchored too close to us? Can’t they see the anchorage is almost full? “


Remarkably we managed to swim back to the boat with all our limbs intact. Within minutes the horizon was filled with the bow waves of motor yachts all converging on the anchorage. One by one they winkled their way in, set their anchors, broke out the beers and cranked up their stereos. Having persuaded the DS that with no wind and no tide, no one was going to drag their anchor and cause irreparable damage, we settled down to a morning of people-watching.  By lunchtime, there were conservatively more than a hundred boats in the anchorage – you could almost walk across the bay on the decks of plastic. What amazed us was that any boat over 10ft long had at least one professional crew on board. By the time you got up to 50 ft, there were half a dozen of them rushing around doing God knows what. On Mina2, with two Skippers on board, no one does anything.



Praia do Dentista – so many boats you can’t see the beach


Before we got hemmed in for the night we decided to move on.  But as we went from one anchorage to another, we found them all full to bursting. Moving round to the north side if Ilha Gipóia, remarkably we found a delightful anchorage with no one else there at all. My log says “Anchored in 11m at 22 deg 02.35S 044 deg 21.88W. Only boat. How lucky is that?” We were to find out.