Dick and Irene Craig
Mon 7 Mar 2011 14:07
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 next day.
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 etc.
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.