12:00 N 61:46 W (Brazil to Grenada) and completion of Circumnavigation

Conor & Marion Wall
Thu 28 Mar 2013 19:50
Having said our farewells to the crew it was time for Toucan to start moving northwards towards the Caribbean.
Inside a very ornate church, A lady dressed for CARNIVAL and one of the costumes used in the CARNIVAL
From Salvador to about 500 miles North of Salvador there is a south bound current against and the prevailing winds are often from the NE so there is normally a hard slog to windward for this part of the Brazilian coast. However when we left Salvador we sailed hard on the wind for two days and arrived at our first port of call, a town called Maceio, without having to tack. Maceio did not have much to offer but the anchorage was secure and calm and there was a very interesting museum in the town as well as a large supermarket and an excellent shop that sold fixings. Just what I wanted as I needed a large washer to repair another one of those swivel Yokes that make the steering work. This time it was the electronic pilot hydraulic ram that failed. All sorted with a washer.
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Old and new on opposite sides of the harbour
We rested two nights at anchor and continued our Northward direction to a little place called Soape that the pilot book recommended as an pretty place but when we arrived there the Brazilians were turning this lovely anchorage into a container port and there were dredgers digging like there was not tomorrow. We continued instead along the coast to Recife. Recife is actually quite a nice town with a lot of history although like all towns in Brazil has an element of nasty people out to steal and make the yachtsman's life difficult. Here we were obliged once again to do the dreaded Customs and Federal police check in and once again this turned out to be a very long process with the officialdom. There was a small dock with basic facilities in the large river that forms the port and on the opposite side of the river to the Town so we were out of reach of the bad elements.
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First the locals then the Cruisers. Toucan and friend (both lifting keels) get a good clean and change of worn anodes.
Once again we only stayed here for two nights before moving to our final port in Brazil. We arrived in Jacare on the 28th February and stayed for almost a week. I was able to beach Toucan and give her a haircut and shave down under and also change some anodes that were all but expired.
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Brazilian graffiti old and new.
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Party on our last night in Brazil. Three other cruisers departing the following day with sore heads.
We did our final check out from Brazil on the 6th March and were glad to be on our way to the Caribbean. The distance was just short of 2000 miles and it was to be our fastest passage in our round the world and will possibly be our fastest passage ever. We covered the 2000 miles in just over 10 days with our record day being 210 in the 24 hour period from noon to noon. We even had to slow down in the 24 hours before arriving at Tobago as we did not wish to arrive at a strange anchorage in the dark and as it was we were putting our anchor down just as dawn was breaking.
The Tobago anchorage was Charlotteville and the village of Charlotteville is possibly the last unspoilt village in the Caribbean where people are friendly and get on with their business as if there were no tourists amongst them. No inflated prices, no hassle fro anyone, just nice friendly people. What a contrast from brazil.
Being silly crossing the line at the end of circumnavigation.
We managed four nights in Tobago before setting out on the last passage to complete our navigation. We arrived in Grenada after a night sail and crossed the magic line. No bells ringing, no whistles but we did celebrate with three other boats that also completed their encirclement a few days before us and whom we had been in contact with for many months prior to arriving in Grenada..