Salvador to Cabedelo

Donald Begg
Sun 10 Mar 2019 13:31
We cleared formalities at Salvador on the morning of the 25th February and sailed from the marina just before midday. The voyage up to Cabadelo took four days, the first three of which were somewhat tedious and uncomfortable, the former because there was little wind, the latter because what wind there was was on the nose. So we motored or motor-sailed. The chop was quite steep, and at times we were slowed to 3 knots despite having revs for 6. On the fourth day the wind veered and picked up, so we regained some honour with a decent sail.
The chief characteristic of this route is fishing activity. The edge of the continental shelf causes the depth to drop from fifty to several hundred metres in the space of a mile, around twenty miles offshore, and this is where the fishing appears to be at its most productive. We soon learned that the boats trawl, troll, and lay traps just inboard of the shelf. The boats are well lit, the traps are not, a yachtsman’s nightmare. At night the position of the shelf is well marked by the line of fishing-boat lights. One mile further out to sea and the sailing is clear.
Cabadelo is the port at the mouth of the Paraiba river. We came up the ship-channel on the morning of the 1st March, into the river where the water suddenly turns from blue to brown, and then a further three miles up, in between the mangrove swamps, to the marina in the village of Jacare.
462 miles from Salvador, a slow passage.