This week we have been taking life fairly easy in the knowledge that we will soon be moving on.

Normal everyday life takes that bit longer when you’re on foot, so a trip to the bank can turn into a half day excursion and supermarket shopping rules any other job out for the day! Thank goodness we bought a good collapsible trolly back in Brighton or we would never be able to move trays of beer, water and all the food from the taxi to the boat.

This being our last week here, we decided to take the dinghy out for a trip across to the other side of the river. The mud flats, uncovered at low water, need careful negotiation. There are some channel markers, each of which are topped by a white crane, using the height as a fishing vantage point.

No seagulls to be found here, instead these elegant cranes.

No seagulls to be found here, instead these elegant cranes.

Our progress was slow. So we guessed we must have a lot of growth on the bottom of the boat, or the double hull was full of water again…….both turned out to be true!
Making our way sedately across to the opposite bank, we stopped off to take a look at the only available fuel pontoon at a private yacht club. We were assured that there would be enough water at high tide for us to be able to pull up and fill up ……. we’ll see!

Fishing boats across from the Iate Clube

Fishing boats across from the Iate Clube

Lining the river bank are fishing boats in various states of repair and readiness. Behind them are the ramshackle huts and houses with people getting on with daily life. Fishing here is by net from any size boat from a canoe to the big blue one below. People also wade in the water to set their nets or stand on the back of a punt and cast a circular weighted net, out over the shallows.

One of the working boats.

One of the working boats.

Once again the difference of wealth and poverty are thrown into sharp contrast, however, the fishermen we passed gave us a cheerful wave and looked happy to be there.

The contrast of Recife. Riverside shanties with tower blocks behind.

The contrast of Recife. Riverside shanties with tower blocks behind.

 

Following our suspicion that we were carrying a bed of mussels on our bottom, we hauled the dinghy up onto the pontoon for a closer inspection. The dinghy is too heavy for us to lift at its lightest, but with growth we discovered carpeting it’s bottom, we had to use the mast winches and a halyard to flip the beast onto its belly. Once turned turtle, we started spraying and scraping a solid inch of tiny mussels off the hull and tubes.
As the song goes ‘Mad dogs and Englishman go out in the midday sun’ …. so we started scraping away at midday…….I put a T shirt on, but failed to stop the tops of my legs burning. Sitting down was tricky for a day or two!

The tiny mussels that covered the bottom of the dinghy.

The tiny mussels that covered the bottom of the dinghy.

Finishing off the job.

Finishing off the job.

All clean, we hoisted her back into the water and then up on the davits, where we took the bung out and emptied gallons of fresh water out of the hull space. Marcus sealed up three redundant screw holes that we think must be the source of the ingress, and she is now tightly secured and ready for the next leg of the journey.

On Sunday we took advantage of the cycle route again and this time headed into the Old Town, where we stumbled on an impressive craft market…..

Street craft market....Carnival decorations still up.

Street craft market….Carnival decorations still up.

…..and a Judo club setting up in the shade of a tree!

Open air Dojo.

Open air Dojo.

Our cycle route took us through parts of the city we would never have seen……. Parks are a big Sunday attraction for families and we passed two large ones that were really busy. We pressed on following the coned off lane until we realised that the cones were being packed up at the side of the road! We decided to head back the way we had come, as we hadn’t a clue where we were….on turning back, the signs for the cycle lane clearly said from 0700 to 1600. Oops………it was ten past four! ………..It felt a bit like Hansel and Gretel following the pieces of bread, as we followed the stacks of cones on the pavement to get back to known territory!
We eventually got to the river and made our way along the bank towards the Iate Clube. Fishing is a major source of employment and food, so this man was just getting on with it, even though he was in the middle of a city!

Fisherman mending his nets in the middle of Recife!

Fisherman mending his nets in the middle of Recife!

Our route followed the river and we passed even more people fishing, this time by wading up to their chests in the water and stretching a net between them in the tide. I think these are shrimp fishing and their catch is floated next to them in a bucket standing on polystyrene.

Fishing in the fairway to the Marina.

Fishing in the fairway to the Marina.

The shallow waters are teeming with shrimps, mussels and cockles and fishermen have to be aware of the motor boats who love to speed up and down the channel.

Motor boats don't slow down for anyone!

Motor boats don’t slow down for anyone!

And so, after successfully retracing our steps, we returned to the boat having taken a little more exercise than we set out to do.

Returning after our epic tour of Recife.

Returning after our epic tour of Recife.

We have enjoyed our time here in Recife, but it really is time to move on.

2 Comments

  1. Hi ya, fantastic blogging. Best you start off North ASAP before the football supporters arrive. Keep safe.

  2. Hello you two,
    Im so enjoying the Blogg..! what a wonderful life you’re having. Let me know when you’re approaching Tobago, its the only place Monarch goes regularly, should be able to hop on the weekly flight, dinner on me..!
    Ready about..!!
    lotsa luv..

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