11th April 2011
Ilha da Cotia
I forgot to mention in our last blog, hat when we arrived at Praia do Engenho anchorage on Friday there were two other boats anchored nearby. A catamaran and a mono-hull: the mono-hull flying a Danish flag and the cat a German one. We had no sooner anchored when a duck was launched from the mono-hull towards us. We were most surprised to be welcomed to Parati in Afrikaans!! Gert is a Capetonian from Noordhoek who sails out of Denmark! Later Tom from the German boat swam over to say hi. He and his lady, Suzie have just got back from cruising Argentina and Paraguay. They say Argentine is beautiful!
We left Praia do Engenho anchorage in Parati on the 9th. We set sail Westwards around the coast.
Our first stop was at Praia de Lula. We had no sooner anchored about (1100hrs) and one of the day trip boats full of people screamed past us and dropped anchor about 2 meters from us, did a “hand-brake” type turn on its anchor so that its stern was to the beach, a duck is quickly launched and a line taken from the back of the boat and tied to the rocks on the shore. These guys are amazing the way they handle these huge boats. On top of this they are coming to a standstill in about 1- 2 meters of water. They then pile the elderly and non-swimmers onto rubber ducks and row them the 2 meters or so to shore. The rest either stay aboard or swim ashore.
We entered the water for our snorkel. It was pretty but there is really nothing captivating in these waters so far! We were in the water for about an hour and as we made our way back to the beach we discovered there were now 5 huge day sailors anchored off the beach. Amazing!
From there we sailed across the bay to 3 islands that are marked as good dive spots. By the time we got there the weather was changing; the wind had come up and the seas were choppy. We took a look then headed for the shelter of the larger islands and the bay!
We did a brief recci of Saco de Velha then sailed round to the lee side of Ilha de Cotia. A very pretty, protected cove, with a tiny little beach. When we anchored there were 3 other boats, by nightfall there were at least 12 boats. Obviously all had run for shelter from the storm. The busiest anchorage we have stopped in so far.
Weather was perfect in the morning and we once again set off for Ilha dos Meros. The water was perfect and the visibility excellent at about 15 meters. There were two dive boats also anchored there apparently doing some dive course. We snorkelled and it was wonderful to see everything in clear waters. Some large fish but all too fast! Their “instinct” or whatever you would call it is amazing. When you swim without a spear gun they swim close to you only moving away when you reach out to touch them. As soon as you have a spear gun in your hand they make themselves scarce. One wonders about a “mental communication” that animals may use that we have lost in our “progression” .
A slow sail back, past Parati-Mirim a long beach split by a river. Sailing along the windward side of Ilha da Cotia, we spotted another perfect little beach house you could “force” us to have J
On the way we spotted Yacht Iza also heading for the anchorage at Ilha da Cotia and we joined them for the night. This time it is just the two of us here. We swam and explored the beach before settling in for dinner and an early night. On moonless nights it’s so dark, all you can see is the anchor light on the top of the mast of the boats around. No shore lights to cast a glow anywhere.
I have some competition in the form of another “woman”. It seems little Nina has captured my Captains heart. She at 3 years old and will be 4 in five more sleeps! J Is just a little monkey of note! She swims like a fish, has no fear what-so-ever and is constantly on the go, either climbing the shrouds, the forestay, the mast or the stack pack. When she is not climbing and swimming she loves dress-up and is often in fairy dresses and the like. My Captain’s face is a permanent grin when she is around. She happily takes his hand and leads him off to see something or another. Zoe, her big sister is 7 and quite the little lady. Just as independent, she jumps into her rubber duck and rows over to the nearest beach or to come and say hi. She too, swims like a fish and we just love her stories of their daily adventures. What they found and saw and what Nina has been up to. They play beautifully together.
Last evening when we got back to the boat we enjoyed sun-downers while watching the Iza family play games. It wonderful to see how children adapt to their environment! All four of them playing hide and seek and catches and other games, with peals of laughter and screeches of excitement. They had us chuckling away. The girls’ inventive hiding places, on top of the stack-pack of the sail. They are so little when they lie on top they disappear. We just loved Nina’s “counting”. She does really well to 14 then is 16, 19, 20, 26, 29, mumble, mumble till “ready or not here I come.
A beautiful day awakened us. More on where we go later!
Sigh ok we’ll take it if we have to J