24.01.09 – Porto Belo

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At 1400h we dropped anchor in the first bay of Porto Belo. Full of motor boats, pirate ships, floating prawn restaurant, plus the odd fishing trawler and 2 cruising boats – Mallard (bob and bette), and New Dawn (kyle). The former are old friends by proxy from the Patagonia Net and we exchanged greetings. Dave, now in serious training for walrusburger cuisine, did a splendid caulking compound of spam kedgeree which we washed down with some of the firewater. We still haven’t cleared in but Mallard hasn’t either, and they told us of one boat which has been here a year without papers. Today is Saturday and Porto Belo isn’t a port of entry anyway, so there isn‘t much we can do for the moment.

We return the guest book to Eric and Chris’ floating café and take our leave. They are putting a Tainui plaque on their bulkhead, along with the hundred or so others. As we farewell Mallard I ponder the immediate intensity of cruising relationships. An intimacy sealed with the briefest of contacts, carried forward without effort until whenever we next meet.

55 miles to Sao Francisco del Sul with a light breeze dead on the nose. Rolly seas. A 2 Kwells morning. I spent the day watching a new toenail grow. It is a proud little fellow. I showed him the rest of my foot: one day all this will be yours, I said. He blushed.

Belo009The aerial antics of magnificent frigate birds are spectacular to see. They are sharp, streamlined and business-like, catching booby vomit before it hits the water. Totally at home in the air they have pathetic little feet and can hardly walk. There’s something to be said for sticking to one’s element. For us to chase frigate birds, albatrosses and storm petrels, the accoutrements we humans need don’t bear thinking about.

It being 5 o’clock somewhere, and Sunday afternoon to boot, we tipple a little. Dave is upset that there are no umbrellas for the glycoprep but shows a brave face. We are hard on the wind doing 7 knudos with yankee and main. 22 miles to San Francisco del Sul.

We could not get to Yate Club Capri – near the bottom of a spring tide we took the ground in the approach channel. Soft sand. With darkness upon us we anchored outside the approach in 4 metres soft sand. 20 knots of E wind, so plenty of chain. We spent a rolly but secure night in this broad river mouth, with pleasing rain squalls. Accompanied by Lonesome Valley, Dave did his caulking compound again. And a great success it was.

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