We finally left Recife on Wednesday 12 and said farewell to Marco Antonio, who had taken us under his wing……..he got our laundry done, our hatches fixed, our drinking water sourced and dived in the murky waters to scrub our bottom!

Marco Antonio having survived diving in the murk of the marina.

Marco Antonio having survived diving in the murk of the marina.

After stopping for fuel at high water, we set off for Cabedelo, 80 miles north of Recife and in the next state of Paraiba. Because  of our clean hull, favourable winds and north flowing current, we found ourselves going too fast to make the river mouth an hour before high water, so we headed off shore and reduced sail during the night. It was good to be at sea again.

Approaching Cabedelo

Approaching Cabedelo

Just as we made our approach to the river entrance we got our first real taste of a Brazilian downpour……just like a British summer’s day really, so this was a fitting sight to greet us!

A good omen!

A good omen!

The river was full of activity with a ferry that looked a bit risky and pleasure boats with music blaring and sightseers having a good time.

The car ferry.

The car ferry.

Who's watching who?

Who’s watching who?

Having negotiated the entrance and wound our way through the narrow channels, we arrived at Jacaré.

Moored on the Welcome Pontoon at Philippe's in Jacarė Village Marina

Moored on the Welcome Pontoon at Philippe’s in Jacarė Village Marina

Jacarė is a small fishing village that lies up stream from the port of Cabedelo.It is a far cry from Recife. Everything is very homespun and there is a tranquility that we definitely missed in Recife. The ‘marina’ consists of two jetties that the French owner, Philippe, put in about 15 years ago. We have water, shore power and there is wifi up at the ‘barn’ along with a bar and showers……..what more could we ask for?

The road to our pontoon.

The road to our pontoon.

Up stream a little is another ‘marina’ called Peter’s Pier. We called in there to find out prices and whether we could recoupe a little by mooring out in the river. He had no space, so he took us along to Brian Stevens, an Englishman who settled here over 30 years ago and remembers when there was nothing here but the fishermen and him. It turns out that Brian is from Sevenoaks and went to Tonbridge School!!

The 'barn' where we gather for sundowners each evening!

The ‘barn’ where we gather for sundowners each evening!

We have spent our time getting to know the area and took the bikes up to the local town for a shopping trip. How is it that the few things you need always seem seem to double by the time you get to the till?!
The roads around here are sandy and full of pot holes …..a little unnerving if the tyres slip just as a car seems to be heading straight for you, avoiding a pot hole! There is a very old train line that passes through the village and for the princely sum of R$0.50, or 12.5 pence we can travel into the city of Joao Passoa or along to Cabedelo. The taxis are much more expensive and having got ourselves to Joao Passoa by train on Saturday, for the ‘sabadeno’ or little Saturday the taxi cost R$50 or £12.50 to bring us home. Sabadeno is basically a square with free entertainment, surrounded by stalls selling street food and ice cold drinks. You are provided with a stool by the vendors and can sit and soak up the atmosphere…….which we did.

The older people enjoying a dance in front of the stage.

The older people enjoying a dance in front of the stage.

A far away look with far away memories?

A far away look with far away memories?

The weather has been incredibly hot with occasional rain, but thankfully there is usually a breeze blowing down the river so ‘mad dogs and Englishman’ do their Noël Coward best to carry on as normal! We have played boules a couple of times……

The pétanque terrain .......

The pétanque terrain …….

….and it’s good to cool off in the pool between ends!

.......and swimming pool!

…….and swimming pool!

Here are a few photos of our new home for the next week or so.

The road to the village ....... we do get rain too!

The road to the village ……. we do get rain too!

Security gates open on the pontoon!!

Security gates open on the pontoon!!

The barn from the pontoon at  low tide.

The barn from the pontoon at
low tide.

View up stream from the mooring.

View up stream from the mooring.

On Sunday last week, Brian invited us to join him for a day at his Granja or country house. The house lies about 30 minutes drive from Jacarė and his wife came to pick us, another single handed yachtsman from Wales and her daughter up. The Granja lies in about three acres of land and has a veranda that runs right round the house. There is a swimming pool with barbecue area and a covered games area with pool and table tennis tables.

After lunch at the Granja.

After lunch at the Granja.

Brian and his wife had house guests from England who had built there own catamaran 15 years ago and landed up at Brian’s yard. They promptly sold their cat and settled in the neighbouring city. They now are living back in England, but are out here on holiday. Once we got chatting we found yet another coincidence……..their daughter and family live on the old sugar beat estate in Little Dunmow!……I grew up in Great Dunmow a few miles down the road.

 There are about 5 or 6 French or Belgian boats here, a couple of German boats and us. We have made friends with them all and on Wednesday night six of us went with the manager of the marina to a local restaurant that had a live ‘Forro’ band playing. The line up was an accordion player, who played at great speed and incredible rhythm, a drummer, who played a large drum balanced on his knee which he tapped one beat with a stick on the bottom and a soft headed beater on the top which syncopated with each other. The singer was a cheerful man whose body was full of rhythm ….. he played a triangle like no one in England could imagine. The rhythm he produced was enough to dance to on its own!

We had a great evening, but unfortunately during the night I realised that perhaps I should have had steak like everyone else instead of the prawns!!! Food poisoning is no fun wherever you are and after the loo blocked it was no fun the next day for Marcus either!!
There was nothing for it but to dismantle the pipes and try to clear the blockage of the past seven years (and one night!). I was not in any state to help, but true to type, two of our new friends, Ray and Hans, came to help and give the wisdom of their experience. It’s amazing how supportive cruising people are …… one of the worst jobs on a boat and there they were more than willing to help.

Three men and a pipe!

Three men and a pipe!

To put your mind at ease, Mummy, I recovered by Saturday and I can now get into my tighter clothes with ease! Every cloud has a silver lining!!

1 Comment

  1. Rosie & Les Jones

    A big hello from Rosie (Harriet’s Mum) and Les Jones. We were chatting with Ross Butler in the Greyhound, Charcott, and your name was mentioned (there’s a Waitrose with a wet fish counter in Edenbridge now – so I asked whether he’d known your shop …. and he said you’re a good friend, and gave me your blog name).
    Les’s father was torpedoed in 1944 and was picked up by a ship which dropped them off at Recife, where he spent several weeks before being taken up to Miami then New York.
    Great to know that you’ve made it over there.
    Our very best wishes to you.

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