Day 62: Checking out of Brazil

Egret arrives at its last stop in Brazil - Florianopolis

Position: 27° 36.29S 48° 33.55W 
Distance travelled: 4799.26 nm from Gibraltar
Average speed: 7.3 knots
Conditions: Following seas 4-6′, apparent wind 4.5 knots

Scott and Mary Flanders left Gibraltar on 16 September, and we’ll be following their journey every step of the way, thanks to this unique online “blog”. For the first instalment of their diary, click here .

Egret left Ilha Grande – the centrepiece of Brazil’s cruising area – on Tuesday after spending a few days there and we’re currently trying to find a berth in Florianopolis, our last stop in Brazil before hitting Argentina.

The first yacht club was closed so Egret is anchored beyond the two bridges in 12′ of water. We will start the customs cha cha shortly.

Today we saw our first albatross? ever. Today’s albatrosses are the black-browed albatross or black-browed Mollymawk. The wingspan of mature birds reaches nearly eight feet. Today’s albatrosses were about five feet. The large seagoing gulls we took so many pictures of in the national park are the masked bobies with their bright yellow beak and olive green feet, also a first. Also, we have seen miles of plankton floating on the surface. The first we saw was after passing a ship. We were thinking very evil thoughts about our large brethren pumping their bilge into our ocean but later saw it everywhere. Where the plankton has congregated into thick piles it looks like fine ground yellow corn. Egret’s stabiliser cooling pump sea strainer is clogging fast. This says a lot for keel cooling the same pump.

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The below was written earlier this morning inspired by the sunrise.

What a beautiful day! Our little white fiberglass home is lit up in the just risen sun. In spite of the miles she still sparkles. The seas have behaved this entire trip, pushing Egret at record speed towards her next destination of Florianopolis, Brazil, just 50 or so miles ahead. Florianopolis is Egret’s next of many little cruisers’ challenges. It is an island off the mainland connected by two central bridges across a shallow bay. The Ilate Clube de Santa Catarina (YC of St Catherine) is located at the north inside tip of the island. It is small and didn’t welcome the cruising guide’s author in his small sailboat like an arriving prince so we may have a somewhat distorted view of the YC. A YC or marina in Brazil represents security.

The YC alternative is follow a winding course through the shallow bay and anchor just north of the northern bridge. This means leaving a dinghy somewhere. All three of the Egret crew must present themselves at customs, immigration, etc. A dinghy here is worth perhaps several years’ wages to a possible sticky fingered local. Even Egret’s small dinghy with patches and outboard motor cowl taped with gorilla tape after our little misadventure in Italy. So, what do we do? Don’t know. We’ll do something.

Picture: Egret off the coast of Brazil



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