Sailing to Fernando do Noronha

Lynn & Mike ..around the world
Mike Drinkrow & Lynn v/d Hoven
Wed 26 Mar 2008 14:05
05:09.82S 33:37.81W    Leaving Jacare:
We left Jacare yesterday morning for the 230nm trip to the island of Fernando do Noronha. Our friends Jacki and Dick have had to delay their trip and so we are skipping Natal and going directly to the island. We enjoyed our week on the Pariaba river, despite very high humidity and the nasty mosquito's - who seem to get an insatiable taste for my blood. On Easter Friday we also said goodbye to Willy who headed back to family and work commitments in Cape Town. The highlights of our stay were, the visits to the beach where we did a little body surfing in 32deg water, the extremely icy, cheap beer available everywhere, the free Wi-Fi on the marina, and of course listening to the bizarre evening ritual of the lone sax player in a boat, playing Ravel's Bolero. Coenie has now got his own version which he plays on our Vuvuzela (frightening!)
While in Jacare we visited Joao Pessoa, the capital of the Pariabe province, which is large and very poor city of about 2 million people. We went there to change money, which was very frustrating, as only one branch of the Bank of Brazil can do forex and then only US$ cash. There is one other bank (HSBC) where you can draw cash from your visa card. As none of us speak Portuguese, and no one there speaks English, this was a bit of a challenge. This is not a city I would recommend to anyone to visit, however I must say that the locals are extremely kind and helpful, and on more than one occasion when we were trying to find something, and communication was difficult, they simply walked us to our destination - often a few blocks away.
Sailing out of the river back into the sea, we noticed a lot of plastic bag pollution, and saw a huge dead turtle float by (bloated and smelling disgusting) in the middle of it - perhaps it had eaten one of these bags?! It is a very good thing that South Africa has tried to cut back the use of these bags - they are a terrible form of pollution.  But now we are out in the big clean ocean, swimming off the scoops and enjoying the fresh air again. As we are on the edge of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) there are a lot of very large black thunderstorms about. These storms can contain strong variable winds, and a huge amount of water. When one hits, the sky goes dark, the sea gets pummelled flat and we all run out in the rain for a nice refreshing shower. We should be collecting this water to drink, but have been a bit lazy so far. All well on board, as usual, Mike and Coenie are fishing, and I am playing games.