Yes we’re still here!

We are hoping that FedEx will deliver Marcus’ bank cards and driving licence by the beginning of next week. Some lugubrious Swiss keep regaling us with tales of three weeks waiting for FedEx to deliver, but we remain optimistic!

Since the last blog entry we have joined in Birthday celebrations and a local Saint’s day street festival, said goodbye to friends and been busy with mending and making.

The Sunday before last, we went to Brian’s Granja to celebrate Arthur’s seventh birthday.

Arthur's birthday at the Granja.

Arthur’s birthday at the Granja.

Arthur's birthday card.

Arthur’s Pirate birthday card……….

Arthur in Pirate scarf before I added gussets!

and Arthur in his Pirate head scarf before I added gussets to make it bigger!

It’s great to go there and forget all the jobs that always seem to be nudging you on the boat…….

Marcus with his feet in the water and his head in the stars!

Marcus with his feet in the water and his head in the stars!

Marcus with his feet in the water and his head in the stars![/caption] Another barbecue by the pool with presents and birthday cake with the added excitement of watching Brazil play in the World Cup on a portable TV balanced on a stool. In Brian’s world……..where there’s a will there’s a way!

We returned to Jacaré in time to join in with the festivities for São Pedro. Being a fishing village, St Peter is a very important saint. The whole village turned out to celebrate. They had decorated the street in-front of the Fishermen’s Association and set up a stage for live music. Locals set up stalls selling beer and hot food. It’s amazing how free of restrictions life is here and how resourceful people are when it comes to throwing a party.

The village festival ..... street food on a stick.

The village festival ….. street food on a stick.

Hot chip fat on the corner of the street. Health and Safety!!??

Hot chip fat on the corner of the street. Health and Safety!!??

The World Cup has dominated our days. The TV is set up in the bar area and all the Yotties gather for the matches. There has been a lot of European interest and we support one another’s countries quite happily. We went to a local bar to watch the Germany v Brazil match with our German friends, Claudia and Michl……..possibly not the best match to try to soak up the Brazilian fanaticism for football!!

On the days when there has been no football everyone has been getting on with jobs and preparing their boats for their onward journeys. We managed to complete the second section of our sun canopy, which involved laying the material down in the bar area and a lot of banging to get the eyelets fixed to the edges. Hopefully we can get the third one completed before the final on Sunday as we won’t have this sort of working space again for some time.

Just when you think everything is going well, Island Kea likes to pull you up short!

One evening we had just got into bed, when she set the high bilge alarm off. There is no ignoring this alarm ……… it’s a big red fire bell! We checked the water levels to see that we were in no immediate danger and the next morning set about trying to sort out the problem.

After numerous circuit tests we concluded the problem was with the bilge pump itself……strange, as we replaced it in Porto less than a year ago. The access to the bilge is extremely tight so this was a job for ‘someone’ who can squeeze into small places. After some time squirming my way around and under various pipes and hoses we managed to remove the failed bilge pump and took it along to the ever resourceful Brian. He sold us a new, slightly less powerful pump, which we fitted the next day whilst he has the old one in pieces in his workshop. Looking at the burnt out brushes and melted housing, Marcus says it looked irreparable, but Brian is confident he can repair it and we’ll keep it as a spare. In England we have got so used to replacing broken things with new, that we have lost the resourcefulness and skills to be able to ‘mend and make do’ that are so alive and thriving here in Brazil.

Brian is our Hero! and on Saturday we went along to his office for a surprise 77th birthday tea party.

Brian's 77th birthday.

Brian’s 77th birthday.

He is a truly inspirational man. He has been an RAC rally driver, long distance small plane air race pilot, inventor, engineer and boat-builder …….. among other things. He settled here after sailing across the Atlantic in the 70s in a 90 year old boat with his family of 5 children, his first wife and three friends. When they got here, they adopted a two year old boy who was being treated for the effects of polio by Brian’s wife, who was a physiotherapist. At this point in the story we learned that his wife was blind!!

I don’t think we will meet anyone quite as remarkable as Brian again and we feel privileged to know him.

If anyone, thinking of crossing to Cabadelo, is reading this blog, make sure you come soon and look up Brian at his boatyard in Jacare. He has recently opened his office as a ‘common room’ for sailors and he is busy putting together a Yotties Guide to Jacaré, Cabadelo and João Pessoa. You won’t be disappointed!

Bilge pump re-installed and all the electrics rewired, I turned my hand to making Marcus a pair of ‘mossie’ trousers. Claudia gave me a great tip…….make a pattern from an old pair of jeans and keep the waistband and fly to sew the new material onto… worked!!

Blue for a boy ....Pink for a girl!

Blue for a boy ….Pink for a girl!

After adding front patch pockets and cargo pockets, Marcus is now mossie proof for the evenings in light-weight cotton! Following my success with his pair I decided to have a go at making myself a pair, but with no old jeans to cut up, I used the same pattern….. I had to do numerous ‘trying ons’ and restitches………women really are a completely different shape to men!

This last week has seen the departure of Claire and Allan on ‘Moonstone’ and Sonia, Brice, Awen and Arthur on ‘Chintouna’.

Chintouna leaving Jacare

Chintouna land her crew leaving Jacare

It is sad to say goodbye, but we will certainly meet them again on our way around the Caribbean.

As I said at the top, we are waiting on FedEx to deliver before we can move on. We have a tracking number and the last time we checked, the package had got as far as Memphis Tennessee! so Russell and Vicky’s efforts on our behalf, to set up an account and take the cards to the depot for posting, seems to be working. In retrospect, it would have been a good idea to set up an account before we left to make moving mail beyond Europe as easy as possible for family and friends!

Meanwhile………. new people are arriving with tales to tell and we are now going to be able to stay and watch the final of the World Cup…… life is good and there is plenty of time before we want to be in the Caribbean.

Jacaré is a great place to be ‘stuck’!

STOP PRESS ….. FedEx has delivered Marcus’s cards, so it looks like we’ll be moving on on Wednesday or Thursday. Well done FedEx….posted in England on Monday……arrived in Brazil on Friday!

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