Month: June 2013

Fernando de Noronha and Departure…..

June 30, 2013

Fernando de Noronha and Departure…..

June 30th, 2013 (Western Hemisphere) Time: -2 on GMT

When we first arrived here on Friday night, all was calm. Saturday however was a holiday here and the party boats came out in force.
The music was bizarrely loud and the stereo speakers were blow out years ago. Frankly, I have no idea how the tourists could tolerate it as at 100 yards, I couldn’t.
Another interesting thing. This is the first place I’ve ever been that when you wave to other boats passing close by, they don’t wave back. Quite strange actually.
Fortunately, the music mayhem only lasted a few hours and all of the boats ran off to Golphino (Dolphin in Portugese) Bay to show the tourists the Spinner Dolphins this island is famous for.

The topography is stunning, the infrastructure, not so much. At the next internet opportunity, I’ll post some photos retro to this blog and let you all know.

We did go ashore yesterday and found the party atmosphere wasn’t too our taste. Something about men over 35 in Bikini speedos and women who are way overweight in string bikini’s didn’t quite appeal…:-) Welcome to Brazil! The tourists at this time of year are predominantly from South America. There were 40 Police in force to watch the drunken behavior.

Today, (Sunday), things were MUCH quieter and we took a dinghy tour along the north side of the island. There are some lovely beaches, but alas, I think the hotels have seen better days. We went swimming with some Spinner Dolphins 50 yards from the boat, using the dinghy and a local paddle boarder came over to tell us it’s “not allowed” to swim with the dolphins. When the Dolphin Police show up, I know it’s time to go. This same syndrome exists in Niue and Tonga and it’s frankly unpleasant. What they really mean is, “you can’t swim with the Dolphins unless you pay for a boat ride with us”. Before his arrival, Nikki had some nice opportunities to swim quite close to the Dolphins who seemed to enjoy the experience as well. We noticed lots of the tour boats having their clients swim with the Dolphins as well.

According to the charts, you may not anchor anywhere on the island except where we are in San Antonio Bay. Of course…the local tour boats ignore the rule. So much for Eco Tourism in the world today as we know it. This is actually quite common; it’s about money and turf; a shame.

The island is also ridiculously expensive. Think prices in Hawaii! So, we were a bit disappointed in the people, food, prices and infrastructure, but again, the island itself is stunning. It reminds me a bit of Ua Pou’s spires in the Marquesas, the foot print of a Yasawa in Fiji and the general feel of Kelefisia in Tonga.

A mixed review, but I’m glad we stopped. We’ll be off tomorrow morning to Forteleza, Brazil on the main land. This will be my first ever stop on the continent of South America. It’s a funny thing that I’ve been to three South American countries and never yet set foot on the continent itself. Cindy and I went to the Galapagos (Equador), flew to Easter Island (Chile)from French Polynesia and now I’ve sailed all the way around to the East coast here in Fernando de Noronha (Brazil).

S/V “This Side Up” is ahead of us and in radio contact so we hope to get a full report on the Marina in Forteleza. We here the docks are horrible, we must Med Moor (which I hate to do), it’s expensive (but negotiable) and if we don’t stay in the Marina, expect problems with locals coming out to steal things off the boat. The shopping is supposed to be quite good. So it will be food, fuel and most likely a short stay as we then cross the equator and head toward the Amazon!

We’ll be departing around 9 a.m. local time tomorrow, July 1st.

Scott and Nikki

Ascension Island to Fernando de Noronha (Brazil)…..Day 6.7

June 29, 2013

Ascension Island to Fernando de Noronha (Brazil)…..Day 6.7

June 28th, written from the anchorage on June 29th, 2013 (Western Hemisphere) Time: -2 on GMT

Yesterday morning, we set the full main and genoa on a port tack beam/broad reach. The wind predictions were from the NE, but a few hours later, the rains
came constantly all day and the winds went to the NW!!! That made us very close hauled, but laying the island. Eventually, the winds actually went WEST and we had to
motor through those areas. The swell was from three directions (shades of the Indian Ocean), but we knew it would be a short lived and local phenomenon.

We approached the island around mid night and fortunately, the skies we’re clearing, the wind down to 3 knots and the swell quite comfortable.

This island is a National Marine Park of Brazil and as such, there is only one place on the island we’re allowed to anchor. San Antonio Bay is actually a pretty little spot and reminds me of a Yasawa Island in shape and size like we found in Fiji as well as the spires of Ua Pou in the Marquesas. Add a little Kelefesia from Tonga and you have….Fernando de Noronha.

“This Side Up” arrived the day before we did and did some engine and traveler repairs. Despite a light air prediction, they headed out for Forteleza this morning which should be a three day, two night sail. We’re anxious to hear about their experience as the marina there has “mixed reviews” to say the least.

It is Saturday here and we hope what we’ve found is the exception rather than the rule. There are 15 party boats out. Some playing music that is so bad and so loud a 13 year old would cringe. The speaker system sounds like something out of the 1930’s and I have no idea how the tourists aboard can tolerate it. It is giving me a pounding headache and I’m 100 yards away. No one aboard could possibly carry on a conversation. We shall see…hopefully, it’s a Saturday affair.

We’ve also noted that fireworks, even in the middle of the day are shot off near their small marina. Again, we have no idea why? It’s not a visual delight and the noise is….well, just that – noise.

The reputation of this island is “Eco Tourism” at it’s finest and we can certainly see why that should be. There are apparently some world class white sand beaches here and at Isla Rata, one of the supposed world’s finest surfing spots. I doubt there would ever be a crowd at the break, that’s for sure. This entire island is only 5 1/2 miles long and at most 2 miles wide. The water is 80 deg F (27 deg C) and the air is 87 deg F (29 deg C). We’re only 200 miles south of the Equator. We’ll cross the Equator after we leave Forteleza.

We got a pretty good nights sleep and we’ll try and go ashore later this afternoon.
Don’t be strangers and drop us a note!
More from Fernando as we discover…
Final Stats: 1237 miles sailed on a Rhumb Line of 1100 miles. We averaged 7.75 knots for the sailed mileage. The trip took 6 days 14 hours. And remember, “Your mileage may vary”….:-)
Scott and Nikki


June 29, 2013

TIME: 2013/06/29 03:36
LATITUDE: 03-50.06S
LONGITUDE: 032-24.43W
CLOUDS: 100%
BARO: 1015
COMMENT: Beach House -ANCHORED-Fernando de Noronha Island – Brazil – 6 days, 9 hours

We just anchored next to s/v “This Side Up” and it’s 12:30 a.m. local time. We’ve had rain ALL DAY and it has stopped here at the anchorage.
We had a nice sail despite the multi direction swell and humid damp conditions.

We’ll update the blog in the morning when we rise!…
Safe and Sound,
Scott and Sleepy Nik