The passage up the coast to Recife was uncomfortable and the best we could
do was to motor-sail on a close haul. The first three days were not pleasant
but during the night of the 27th/28th, the sea had gone down and we were
able to motor-sail on a close reach. Surprisingly, we made up quite a bit of
time during the night which enabled us to arrive at Recife around 4pm.
Voyageur arrived just before us but because they needed to come into the
marina at high tide, picked up a buoy just outside of a marina, further up
the river from Catanga Yacht club, our destination. They arrived lunchtime
At low tide, along with the rest of the fleet, Tucanon sits on the mud,
despite drawing only 1.3metres.
Not all of the boats have access to a pontoon on which to step ashore,
probably half of them need to use their dinghy to reach land. Fortunately,
we can use our passerel to get onto the floating pontoon. The folk on Basia,
which is berthed next to us, but bow to the dock wall, has to step onto our
boat to get ashore. Because we are stern to the wall, we can use the
passerel and get on and off the boat with ease.
Next day, during the afternoon, we caught a bus to Recife shopping, a
gigantic mall, located several miles from the marina.
We spent some time looking for a plug which resembled the European
electrical plug but was a different shape and finally bought a selection of
electrical items which Dick was able to put together so that we could
connect to the shore supply.
That night was the WARC reception at Catanga Yacht Club where we were
entertained by a brass band accompanying dancers who performed a variety of
traditional dances which required three changes of costume.
We received a drink on arrival which flowed continuously throughout the
evening along with a never ending supply of finger food. However, once the
dancing was over and the formalities had taken place, the hot food was made
available followed by a selection of delicious desserts. Once again, another
successful party and an evening full of fun.
At 8am on the morning of the 2nd March, we, along with about 25 other WARC
participants, set off on a city tour. The buildings, like so many we have
seen in Brazil, were beautiful, many remaining in shabby splendour but a lot
had been and were being renovated. Historical buildings that had previously
been used as a railway station, a warehouse, a prison, were now
multi-functional, incorporating, cafÃâs, boutiques, restaurants, craft shops
At the end of the trip, we asked to be dropped at a restaurant and all but
three of the people on the tour went into a Kilo restaurant which was still
open even though we didnât arrive until after 2pm. A Kilo restaurant offers
a selection of self service salads, meat, fish, fruit, ice cream and
desserts. The plate is weighed and the cost of the meal relates entirely to
the weight of the food.
It is very hot, 31Â at 8am. According to our tour guide, the normal working
day for a Brazilian starts at 6am, before it becomes too hot. Noon until 2pm
is lunchtime. Knocking off time is 5pm or 6pm. One wonders how anything
actually gets done outside of the air-conditioned shops as just sitting
still causes the perspiration to flow into oneâs eyes.
Thursday was the first day that the fuel was due to be delivered; four days
had been ear marked for refueling all the boats. Initially the fuel was due
to arrive in the morning so we stayed in the marina complex and went for a
swim in the larger of the two swimming pools. Around 4.30, the fuel truck
arrived. The fuel, once decanted into barrels, was then taken by boat, to
commence the refueling operation.
The carnival started on the morning of Friday, 4th March although we didnât
get involved on that day. We went into Recife the next morning and to Olinda
on Sunday. âCarnavalâ is all about the people. There were never ending
processions in Recife by lorries, all with live music, blaring at decibel
levels which blasted the ears to such an extent that they hurt. In between
the lorries, people paraded and danced, many wore fancy dress costumes, head
dresses or masks. Most of the lorries, which cannot be described as floats
in the sense we know them, didnât appear to have a theme. However, one
âfloatâ on behalf of a political party, did look more like the type of thing
we were used to seeing, everyone on board dressed in harlequin costumes with
the exception of some elderly, grand dowager who wore a long gown and was
dripping with jewelry.
In Olinda, we joined a party of several hundred people in a closed bar
where, for a prepaid sum, food and drinks were served all day long. Arriving
at 10am we partied all day, live music setting the pace. At 4pm, the
allotted time for our bar, we followed the banner and our band out into the
street and joined the parades. This had been going on all day long, one
group after another, people milling in the street, many dressed in fancy
dress costumes, others with masks or gaily decorates hats. We had a ball.