Syracuse -> Porto Paulo
The past few days we have been getting ready to leave Syracuse. We filled up with water (3 trips in the dinghy and a long time standing at the tap filling our five 20 litre containers) and did some final bits of shopping. We also cleaned the hull. We had some horrendous growth at the water line due to heavy concentrations of salt in the bay. We soon realised it was below the water line too so rigged up a scrapper on a pole so we could scrape further down. Given the state of the water in the anchorage we really didn’t want to have to get in the water.
The alarm went off at 05:30 on Wednesday morning and after breakfast we were out on deck and raising the anchor. Once the anchor was raised Stephen motored forward, with full revs on the engine we were doing 1 knot. This was not good. We motored round a bit and eventually got the speed up to 2.5 knots. We discussed what to do and decided to go back and re-anchor, it would take too long at that speed to get anywhere.
We then went to the marina by dinghy to see if they had a diver we could hire to scrape the hull and propeller. The marina informed us their diver would be back tomorrow, however this would mean a 2 day delay and cause us to miss our weather window to leave. The marina were very good and found someone else who would dive, an Egyptian living in Italy. We arranged we would pick up Mamoo (spelt phonetically not sure how you spell his name) at 16:00 to come and scrape the hull. Stephen went over early and Mamoo was already there and waiting clearly eager for the work. Mamoo did a really good job of scraping the hull and propeller - we could hear him scraping away and heard a different tone when the hull was clean. It took him one and a half hours. Mamoo was clearly exhausted after the dive so Stephen “rewarded” him by taking him to a friend’s boat so he could clean their propeller. He was absolutely delighted to get the bonus work.
Thursday morning was déjà vu. The alarm went off at 05:30 and we were under way by 07:00. This time we got up to 6 knots easily, so off we went South to Porto Paulo. The first thing we noticed was that the engine was not over heating – clearly the inlet was partially blocked before the “scrape” and hence it would only cool the engine under light loads. Another lesson learnt.
Once under way Yoyo was perfect. She came and sat in the cockpit and never tried to explore anywhere else, simply moving around to find shade. We also saw a very large pod of dolphins, unfortunately they didn’t come and play with us today.
A few of the dolphins we saw
Yoyo making sure Stephen helms properly
The view from our anchorage for the night. The water is much clearer - we can see the bottom!
It took 3 attempts to get the anchor to set. The first time we hit weed instead of sand, the second attempt we think we didn’t put enough chain down and just lifted the anchor as we motored backwards (we do this to test that the anchor has set). On the final attempt all went perfectly.
We initially arrived at an empty bay – the perfect tranquil setting. Later 3 other cruising boats joined us. It’s still absolutely quiet (unless we discover a beach night club later tonight of course!)