Tag Archives: Brazil

One waterfall that tried to reach the sky

Lemon-yellow butterflies fly across our way. They are not in time to dodge the speeding car and hit the glass, poor kamikadze.

The strict guard meets guests on the entrance to Information centre.

We drive to the center of the national park Chapada Diamantina to see one of its natural wonders. It takes us 1,5 hours. Finally, we are on place on the bottom of a huge slope. We are glad to get out of the stuffy car and start ascend.

Despite the rock that is pretty steep, we go up fast. On way outrun several touristic groups. I enjoy this fact silently – hate to trudge in a crowd.

On every step we catch shots of stunning beauty: picturesque rocks and hills, separated by valleys covered with scare greenery.

In almost an hour we reach the top but it’s just beginning. In front of us – kilometers of walk through the plateau. The only person who we meet is a vender. In the middle of nowhere he offers his “bebidas geladas” – cool drinks to exhausted after ascend tourists. I feel a bit pity about him – sitting there, fanned by winds, burnt by sun, alone, greeting rarely passing hikers.

In an hour I listen to natural sounds thoroughly, in hope to hear the sound of falling water.

But nothing.

Soon the wind brings to us sound of voices. Looks like we are close. Here’s the river that creates the waterfall, narrow stream descending to an abyss.

We are on the edge. Under our feet – grand valley, canion of Valle de Capao. Rocks like monstrous skyscrapers raise on both sides of it. Above the valley trembles a little peace of rainbow.

Flow of Cachoeira da Fumaça – Waterfall of Smoke – or disappeares far underneath, or, taken by sudden wind, raises in miriads of microscopic bubbles.

The height of the rock – 353 meters, and before discovery of Cachoeira da Araca in Amazon Smoke waterwall was believed the highest in Brazil. Hikers, who have come to admire the natural wonder, with fear reach the edge to look down.Far-far underneath there’s a tiny lake. Probably, it becomes bigger in rainy season. But now nothing disturbs its calm surface. The stream of the river is so weak that can’t reach the earth, falling into billions of drops.

Curious tourists from time to time try to climb higher on a rock, ignoring the tablet: “Nao transito” – “Don’t pass”. Responsible guides from time to time ask them out of there, explaining politely that someone not so phisically fit and fearless can fall down from the height.

But one prohibited spot I can’t but not visit – the place where the river turns into waterfall. I saw two reckless men, standing on a very edge in a cloud of water dust. To dive into magic stream of Cachoeira that, against laws of nature, flows from earth to the sky, I go too.

Chapada Diamantina: For courageous priest wind sings

Staying on an edge, we all imagine: what will be if we step forward. Will fall down like a stone or haver above the earth taken by wind? Despite the fact we all studied physics at school, we dream. But not dare to make the ultimate step.

Towards the top of Morro (Hill) Pai Inacio leads natural staircase, formed by huge stones. Climbing up, I regret that don’t remember names of minerals that are tread by my feet. They present a huge range of colors – from tender pink to raven black. I wrote about Soviet geologists for two years – should remember something…

But memory is so selective.

Surroundings are just stunning – valleys look like shots of Miyadzaki cartoons. And I look as its heroine, persistently ascending a huge single rock. Far away there’re others like sisters and brothers, built by enormous plasts of yellow soil.

Tres irmaos - Three brothers

Before I reach plain platform of the top, I observe the road I arrived. A couple of kilometers of dust road – typical for Chapada Diamantina. Can’t say it’s a pleasure to go through it. But for national park this’s much better than asphalt.

Wind starts its song of the height. I stop to listen. Here on top of Pai Inacio it brings news from all over the world. It chants and wispers, and lures to follow its whips.

I don’t. Or I could repeat sad story of Father Inacio, whose name holds the hill. The missionary had been bringing “God’s word” to indigenous people of Bahia – this was his way to civilize and educate new world. But Portuguese troops, who invaded later to Bahia, had different methods – massacres.

As a protest to this, Father Inacio jumped from the rock that we climb now.

Pai Inacio

About this legend reminds a huge cross on the top of Pai Inacio – in honor of merciful and reckless priest. Wind here is even more powerful. His gasps are so strong that can easily through me down.

Tho, looking on a valley from the height, I feel that I can not fall but fly with the wind. Maybe, Inacio thought the same…

Trail to Pai Incio is closed after 17-00, so it’s impossible to watch the sunset from the legendary place where wind talks. It doesn’t make me sad – there’re many slops around))

Mermaids of Chapada Diamantina

Cloudy. It’s been raining at night cats and dogs. We were glad that the previous evening had covered the tent. Dream was awesome : )

We’re in Chapada Diamantina, national park that occupies 1500 square meters of the state Bahia.

Chapada means a region of steep cliffs, usually at the edge of a plateau. Diamantina refers to the diamonds found there in the mid-19th century”, says Wikipedia.

Chapada is a place for reunion with nature, to restore (or find) peace in soul and forget about problems of big city. And my next posts will be devoted to this amazing park.

Yurassic park of Chapada Diamantina

22 meters – is it much or not? Depends on what we’re talking about, right?

If we speak about Poco do Diabolo (Lagoon of Devil) and 22-meters- high, I guess, that will be too much. Don’t worry I didn’t jump from it.

But Crisa did : ) 20 years ago.

This time we turned on common sense and jumped from a rock much smaller.

The lagoon is created by river Mucuguzinho. It runs from mountainous part and that’s why has vivid temper. Summer sun dries it a bit, and waters loose its abundance. So we were able to walk on its stones.

To get to the lagoon, we passed a couple of hundred meters of the river. This is a kingdom of lizards. They are like gems, sparkle on the sun with their colourful skin: azul blue, emerald green, desert brown (that reminded me about gekkons, who lived on my terrace in Namibia).

We crossed numerous waterfalls. In spring (September – October) they are so mighty that would make our walk impossible.

The “softness” of local nature, despite daily rain, gave us chance to climb the waterfall that falls to Poco do Diabolo. Now the stream occupies only a half of a riverbed. The waterfall hit me but its force wasn’t enough to push me down.

That also could be impossible in spring. In time, when nature is awaken from winter trance, Poco do Diabolo really deserves its name.

In the wake of Jorge Amado

Brazilian coast, without doubts, is one of the most beautiful coasts in the world.

Paradise of Mangue Seco

Last weekend we went to Mangue Seco – tiny beach village with only 300 inhabitants. Idyllic piece of Earth, covered with white sandy dunes, is separated from “other world” by two rivers. One of them – Rio Real (Real river) – creates the natural border of two Brazilian states – Sergipe and Bahia.

One of rivers between two states

Despite its distant location and small size, Mangue Seco is well-known all over Brazil. Here the soap-opera – adaptation of the novel “Tieta do Agreste”, by the Brazilian writer Jorge Amado, was shot in 1996.

We spent four hours, driving from Salvador to the border of Sergipe. But this long way is definitely not a waste of time. From Salvador to the small town of Praia do Forte (I wrote about it here) runs Estrada do Coco (BA-099), or Cockonut Road. It deserves its name – there’re so many palms, surrounding the road that we hardly could see the coast of Atlantic ocean.

After Praia do Forte the famous road Linha Verde (Green line) starts. It goes north through the state of Bahia till the border with Sergipe. And was improved much for the last 10 years, my friend told me.

We passed several “views” – “miradors”, which Linha Verde is famous for. On one of them we found sacrifices of candomble followers.

Candomble is a religion, mixed with black magic. It’s widely-spread and passionately practiced all over Bahia. These beliefs and rituals were brought by African priests, who were transported to Brazil as slaves in 19th century. I will definitely write about it later in this blog.

Gifts not for humans but for spirits. Quite similar to our funeral traditions here, in Russia.

One of most typical features of candomble is sacrification. Usually every ritual is followed by assasination of an animal: hen, cat …

Despite all the interest to candomble, this aspect nor me, neither my Brazilian friends approve.

As you already know, I prefer to use animals as photo models : ) And this I successfully had done in this trip too.

Horses are widely used all over rural Bahia. This horse we met near road restaurant.
This gata linda (beautiful cat) lives in a hostel of the village Mangue Seco.
Local birds are skillful hunters! They come to the tide in a group, waiting for the moment, when the ocean will bring little crabs siri to the shore. Then simultaneously they turn and pursue defenceless creatures the beach, where it's harder to find shelter.
This bull watched me in the evening. After tourists left the coast of Mangue Seco he and his family came to the beach.

To get to Mangue Seco we needed to pass the river. In a small village was almost noone. A man on a peer, two boys playing in the water and a fisherman.

The owner of the motorboat asked 50 reals for transportation to the idyllic piece of Earth. We waited for a while in hope someone else will arrive – to share expenses. But noone came…

Mangue Seco hid behind the white sandy dune. There’s a pousada (hostel) right after the restaurant on the shore. Several boats hung on water during high tide, laying down on a sand during low tide.

After 20-minutes-long ride we were finally on desirable shore. We took our a bit wet stuff out and started out lively walk to the ocean. Some tourists prefer to hire a boogy – light car that is used to drive on dunes. But we decided that 10 minutes ride is not worth 25 reals.

Boogy drivers feel all right to climb any dune in Mangue Seco.

It was Saturday, and the beach of Mangue Seco was lively. People rolled in ocean waves, fierce and wonderful as any ocean wave is. Others relaxed in hammocks – such a lovely invention of humankind.

Cris remembered that 20 years ago there was a camping on the beach of Mangue Seco.

– There’s no camping anymore, – told us a woman, who lives in a house near the beach. – But you can camp right here, on the sand. This is what three couples did who stayed on New Year.

In the house of the family that lives on the coast of Mangue Seco.
Little host of the hospitable house

And this is what we did : ) Another news – and this time good ones – were that till 18-00 the beach would be only for us. Everyone leaves the coast of Mangue Seco till evening. Except us.

Our 'baraca' with a view on the ocean : )

I needn’t say that the sunset was gorgeous that day! By the way, don’t believe pictures in souvenir shops on main (and the only) square of village Mangue Seco. They show sunset about waters of the ocean – that never happens, ‘coz West is the other side, behind the shore))

Main and the only square of Mangue Seco
Real sunset of Mangue Seco.

One of the main entertainments of Mangue Seco – boogy drive through picturesque white dunes. Staying on a beach, we heard excited cries of passengers, when boogy climbed up the dune or rushed down it.

We didn’t even try to resist temptation – and hired a boogy by ourselves.

The driver brought us to the point, where inicial shots of the novela were shot. Those dunes and palms are well- known by the whole  generation of Brazilians.

Bad news are that sand slowly invades the neighbor territory – approximately 5 cm each year. So, who knows, maybe, in several dozens of years little village of Mangue Seco won’t exist…

Almost PRO-sandboarder.

We decided to start preparations for “total desertification” now, and learned sandboarding. Sincerely – after snowboarding and surfing it’s slow and boring.

Romantic spot of Mangue Seco - Romeo and Julietta.

At the end of the second day of our stay rainy clouds started to gather on the sky. Wind got stronger, and sand rose around our tent. We couldn’t open the hatch not having in minutes a pile of sand inside.

Ocean roared and came close to wooden tents on the shore. It was getting darker and darker, clouds veiled the sun that was still high.

Unhospitable shore

And we decided to leave. I still shake out of all my things sand of Mangue Seco.

Tie up a knot and make a wish

Near Farol da Barra a young woman came to me. In her arms – necklesses for sale.

I have a present for you, – she said to me. And gave me a bright strip of cloth. “Lembranca do senhor do Bonfim da Bahia”, said words on it. …Remind the Lord of Bonfim of Bahia.

The girl turned the ribbon around my wrist.

I will make three knots. And you will make three wishes, – she told to me.

But my thoughts were far away, and my “wish list” was empty that day. She, seeing me confused, tried to help: “Saude? Amor? Felicidade?” She spoke Portuguese to me, and I hardly understood her.

I just nodded. My mind was empty.

In two days a guy stops me on the same pass, leading to the entrance of Farol da Barra.

I have a present for you, – he says. And stretches his arm with yellow ribbon in it.

Yellow. Color of sun. Make three wishes…

He talks to me in Portuguese, and I talk back to him. He doesn’t give me advice. This time I know what I want.

I want to be happy.

I want to warm people with my heart and smile and feel this warmth back.

And I want to know all corners of my home – planet Earth.

P.S. Those colorful ribbons people bring from Igreja de Nosso Senhor do Bonfim in Ribeiro, in the west of Salvador. Wind from the bay waves thousands of bright strips, tied on the fence around the church. Each color means something: blue – health, saude; green – happiness, felicidade…

Igreja de Nosso Senhor do Bomfin. Photo is taken from here: http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_vNPcde7Zd8k/TS3hiosvcAI/AAAAAAAAKTI/Nbc8TbEe3fQ/s1600/igrejasenhordobonfim.jpg

Take a ribbon, make three knots and keep in mind three wishes. And believe in kind spirits of Salvador.

P.P.S. I apologize for publishing a photo that is not mine. Unfortunately, at this moment I don’t have a photocamera. But I do my best to solve this problem : )

Salvador: sad story of Mary Lou

Eu tinha uma galinha,

Que se chamava Mary Lou

Um dia fiquei com fome

E papei a Mary Lou

Mary Lou, Mary Lou,

Tinha cara de babaca.

Mary Lou, Mary Lou,

Botava ovo pela cloaka.

This silly song we sing on the lighthouse, Farol da Barra. I live close to it and go there to watch the sunset.

Fort of Santo Antonio and Farol da Barra. This lighthouse is the first in Brazil and the oldest in the continent.

And I’m not the only one, many people gather there every evening. Brazilians admire natural beauty. And watching a sunset over Atlantics turnes to be a part of an everyday schedule.

Sunset in Marina Bahia

Salvador is a city of churches. Numbers I was told vary from 360 to 500. I don’t know which information is more precise. Still – there’re many of them. Every day of the year you can visit a new one : )Salvador is a city with population of 2,5 million people. It lays on shores of Bahia de todos os Santos – Bay of all Saints. There’re several islands inside the bay, including big and populated Itaparica.

The sandy coastline is occupied by tourists that arrived by charter boats. They get drunk rapidly and play loud music.The beach is full of people – they hide in a shadow of umbrelas – the sun doesn’t pity anyone. Average temperatures in Bahia in summer is somewhere around 30 degrees. Paradise after nasty and cold Saint-Petersburg : )

Salvador from the Bay of All Saints

Salvador has a soul and I guess it can become one of the cities I would love to come back. It’s up to my wind ))

P.S. The silly song is a story of a person who had a chicken named Mary Lou. Once he got hungry and ate his chicken. Such a sad end : )

Praia do Forte: diving without getting wet

Well, I’m not going to write about aquarium, where you can be introduced to sea life. I’m speaking about wild and free nature.

On Friday Rafael and Larisa invited us to their countryside house. 100 kilometers from Salvador – and we found ourselves in an idyllic piece of the coastline, Praia do Forte. This place is famous for its turtles. There’s a sanctuary “Projeto Tamar” for sea creatures right on a shore, its walls are washed by the ocean.

Wild turtles also come here to nest. But it happen in one short period of the year – and unfortunatelly not at current one.

View from a bedroom.

We stayed in a cosy house with tile roof and brick walls. Stony passes lead to mango trees and outdoor shower. On backyard – barbeque stove and sofas.

Mango trees, coco palms, flower bushes help to create privacy and intimacy across neighborhood. From the street houses are fenced, cars are parked nearby. But from backyard there’re no fences, just a huge lawn with shadows, where all owners of the condominium have access.

This lawn is crossed by passes. ringed with stones. They lead to the ocean – it’s less than 10 minutes walk.

Watch your head!

Coconats are dropped all over the place. Most of them are cracked while falling, and sweet water seeped from their inside. But we had Crisa! In climbing a tree he can compete with a monkey : )

High tide or "alto mare" can reach palms on the edge of the beach

Around 10pm the ocean was turned backwards by tide. Waters ran away from a coast. I went into former ocean bottom, aiming on sparkling wave foam far away from the shore. At the moonlight I wandered on naked reefs.

At night reefs talk. There’s a slight whisper all over vast coastline that, due to whimsical natural ruthms, appeared to be nude below the bright full moon.

At darkness I noticed a flashlight. Someone was going along tideline. I hurried up to reach the mysterious person. But when I came closer, he turned off the light and stopped. I saw just a silhouette in 30 meters from me. We both we standing silently, without movement, our feet gently touched by the ocean.

The next day I learned who was my secretive companion: while low tide I met a guy with a bag full of crabs…

Locals use natural wonders for profit. They collect crabs in low tide and sell them on a market.

The most interesting part waited for us in the morning. Sealife laid open in front of us, lit by sunlight. So I could have a more thorough glance on it.

Walking in low tide, don't step on a sea hedgehog. There are as many of them in reefs as birds in trees.

Playful fishes don't care about tide. They fill comfortable even in tiny pools of shallow water.
I liked these spotted slugs very much. When someone touch them, they release a cloud of iridescent substance.

How amazing these creatures are! This is just a small part of that beauty that possible to see in Praia do Forte. And what’s even more amazing is that it coexists in harmony with humans who discovered this little paradise.

Brazil is…

First impression can define attitude for a long time. No matter if we speak about a person or a country. So – that’s my first impression of Brazil.

Coast of Recife in low tide

Brazil is …a coconat milk that is sold in small quiosks along the quay. Near each of them there’s a huge pile of coconats. They are not brown and hairy, like I used to think, but green and bald. The vendor with precise, a bit artistic movement cuts a piece of it and puts a straw in the hole. So we can drink sweet liquid from inside.

Crisa's climbing a coconut palm. Had seen this photo, his 11-years-old niece quickly found a definition: "Macacinha!" By the way, I tried to climb by myself - it's really hard!

Brazil is …a frogs’ concert in the dusk. These specific music attracts many of show-white herons. They pass gracefully above us, holding their long necks mounted like letter “S” and stretching their thin legs backwards.

Sunset over Recife - from Cabanga Yacht Club

Brazil is …an 8 kilometer long beach. I didn’t want to put it as a first point of my narrative, it’s so trivial, but of course this is all Brazil about. At day it hosts voleyball players and leisured citizens, who mostly come here to sit in the shadow and have a couple of beers. Cadeiras e guarda-sols – chairs and umbrellas is possible to rent from savvy locals, who have piles of them, waiting on a beach.

When you lay in your chair, listening the roar of tide, and hear bell ringing, you know – that’s an ice-cream van. Venders on the beach sell simple and extremely tasty dishes. Like queijo quente – melted cheese with spices and honey. Bet you haven’t tried it even in France.

At night, filled with moonlight, beach belongs to romantic souls and less romantic runners and families with children and dogs. Souls, who come in a couple, spend lond time just wandering along the coast, diping bare feet in calm ocean wave and wet putty sand. Lonely souls sit on a sand and stare at the darkness of the ocean, building cloud castles in their fantasies. Children consruct castles from more practical material – sand, dogs bark, runners run.

In Recife seaside is pretty shallow, and tide is powerful. Sometimes, when tide comes, the beach disappeares under water. There’s no place on a beach for anyone then, except the ocean.

High tide in Recife

Brazil is …rich and poor. Thousands of imported cars on streets of megapolises, fashionable appartments along the coast and modern shopping centres. Along with favelas that host thousands of unregistered people, who live in self-made law, or, better to say, without it. Now things are getting better, government tries to organise or resettle favelas. An idea, what has happened in this social gutters and how it was fought, I got from movies “City of God” and “Tropa de Elite”.

This favela on river Capibaribe, Recife is currently separating. People are given new appartments on preferential terms.

Brazil is …helpful people. When you ask direction on a street, you, surely, will hear the answer back and, probably, get a ride or even be escorted to the place. Most likely, some random passers-by will hear your question, addressed to someone else, and join conversation in order to help.

Brazil is multicultural and multinational country. This Muslim (?) monument was the first thing we saw on arrival to Recife.

Brazil is …the bright sun. It’s truly impossible to stay without sunglasses in a daytime. Hot air on streets shimmer and tremble. In surrounding of concrete boxes we feel ourselves like in the Mediaeval kitchen.

I knew that Brazilian summer is hot, as long as winter – quite rainy. Well, when we had just arrived to Brazil after Atlantic crossing, Recife in November (that is almost summer in southern hemisphere, as you remember) met us with heavy pour. While trying to throw  anchor, and later catch a bouy on a mooring we got completely wet. Warm welcome : )

Another "warm welcome": Recife is famous for its shark attacks.

Still my exploration of Brazil has just started! Two days ago we arrived to Salvador, ancient capital of Brazil and the most “African” city of this country. So – see you soon on these pages!

My brief glance on Formula 1, Sao Paulo

My father was a fan of Formula One. He read same-name magazine, knew all pilots – old and new, and studied schemes of tracks all over the world. Day of race had been always a specail day for him, and he was awaiting for it long time before.

I didn’t share this passion, as that was with interest to soccer. But when I ended up in Sao Paulo, actually, the only thing I really wanted to see was a track of F1. This trip was devoted to my father.

All that I’ve heard about Sao Paulo before hardly raised curiosity.

“… the largest city in Brazil, the largest city in the southern hemisphere and South America, and the world’s seventh largest city by population”, with 11 million people, according to Wiki. By the way, Moscow is on the sixth position. And Sailnt-Petersburg – only on 40th (thanks Gods!).

In Sao Paulo business and money are concentrated. And it’s logical that this city was chosen to build a track for F1 race.

We went to Autodromo Jose Carlos Pace on Friday, when practice has started. Sao Paulo never sleeps, so traffic is pretty heavy on all hours of the day. Going in a thick car stream, we had heard squeak of F1 bolids long before we saw the autodrom itself.

Pre-race mess has already overwhelemed the place. Road policemen whistle, regulating a mass of cars. We’ve been searching for a parking place for about 20 minutes. Not only all of them are occupied – mostly by police and services, but also it’s prohibited to stop in an area close to the autodrom.

No parking!

Car dealers prepare their stages along the road, girls from support teams crowded nearby. Vendors sell earplugs and tickets on ridiculous price, probably, fake – 50 reals against 150 reals of official price in a ticket office. (150 reals = about 70 euros). That’s just to see practice. Tickets on a race itself go up to thousand reals and are sold long time before the event.

Ferrari team goes for free

Cars sweep behind the wall with deafening swish. Despite high prices, people wait in line in order to buy a ticket. We pass  them, and head to policeman.

– Is there a place outside to have a quick glance on a track?

Police is nice and doesn’t send us to hell straight.

My team has found a hole in the wall to have a glance on a circuit

 Unfortunately, all holes that were made by curious citizens and tourists do not give any decent view. Moreover, dozens of policemen all around apparently do not encourage this kind of activity. So we went home.

The race is today at 14:00 Brazilian time. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) got his 15th pole position after qualification in Brazilian Gran Pris – and with that has beat a previous record of 1992. Pilots will make 305,909 km on a 4309 m long circuit – and that’s 71 circle. This is the last race of 62d World Championship Formula 1.

Atlantic crossing: the last dash

Day 12, 11h of November 2011

11-11-11 – symbol readers would point out that this day is special, ‘coz happens once in 100 years. Along with 10-10-10, 09-09-09 and so on. Hollywood’s been even faster: they have already released a movie “11-11-11”.

Despite its symbolic significance, the day is nasty. We go 8 knots. Final ETE (time left before arrival) – 83 hours. This number drops, when wind picks up and the boat accelerates, then GPS shows that we’ll reach land in 3 days. That’s impossible, of course.

But we have a slight hope to reach Recife at Monday’s night. And that’s more optimistic prognosis than before. In Recife we’ll have no troubles with arrival at night, Chris has been to this port before.

We need to go 230 but take the course 10 degrees to the right. Otherwise, waves are pushing the boat too hard. They still hit the board from time to time, throwing flyfishes on a deck. When big wave comes, the yacht digs in it with her starboard, scooping poor creatures like a spoon. I just picked up and threw back to the ocean a small family of them. But I’m afraid, too late…

In the morning a huge black cloud came from the east. When I crawled to the deck, it was pouring rain, and Chris in waterproof jacket was waitng for sky to clear in order to return to the course.
Now clouds are gone but ocean’s still anxious, and I hear terrible noise of waves, spliting by the hull and crushing behind the poop.

I recall my cruise in South Africa. We went to see Great White sharks in Gaans bay. The weather was fresh and waves high. Despite that wasn’t my first time in Atlantic, that was the moment, when I first seriously thought about crossing it one day…

We’re both a bit fed up with crossing. Despite our attempts to keep the boat tolerably clean, it grows dirty from day to day. While such a waving it’s impossible to give it more thorough care.
What really makes me mad is taking shower while waving! Even despite small size of a bathroom, each time I get plenty of bruises. After that I usually slip on a floor – and it doubles my madness.
I do not even complain about normal sleep and shower – I just dream about them.

Food problem doesn’t exist for me – I lost my appetite at the beginning of the crossing. Still sometimes it shows signs of life. Like this morning. I was trying to adjust the course, and my stomach started to complain. I hadn’t ate for 18 hours.
– Well, – decided I. – Before I eat weather goes to hell.
And made myself a sandwich with cheese and Nutella.

Again we had feathery passengers this night. This time they brought “a friend”. That last one had troubles with landing on a tent. His companions made it even more complicated, stretching their necks and trying to bite him. I heard their grumpy, creaky voices above my head. As if that were crows of the sea.

Day 13, 12th of November 2011

After choppy and cloudy previous day the sky cleared up at night. Recently full moon lit out way like a giant streetlight and didn’t give me a chance to admire starlight.

New moon goes down already after the sun wakes up. I has just turned the engine off – and my ears are filled with sounds much more pleasant: waves’ splashes, wind, murmuring in wind generator, and gentle slides of jars in a cupboard. Still – it’s almost silence after engine’s roll.

GPS keeps the same number of hours for the whole day – 38. That shows that our speed is not stable. We’re already not so “fast and furious” how we were a couple of days before.

Today we saw the first ship in last 10 days. It was “Krystal” from Panama, cargo ship. She passed very close to us. Soom there’ll be many of them – back to big human’s world.

I asked Crisa:
– How do you feel, coming home after 4 years journey all over the world?
– Very good, – just was the answer.
It’s hard to understand, when you’re not there yet.

My mind is chameleon, it adapts any situation I get into. There’s no alien in this world for me. Just more or less favourable.
I was always extremely curious about how other people live, what do they think about, what do they feel. And what would I – if I were them. If I were you.
That’s why couchsurfing – it’s not only about sharing and making friends. It’s like trying someone else’s skin. I hope I do not scare anyone: I’m eager to share mine if something : )

Being comfortable everywhere and with anyone makes me feel somethimes that there’s no special place for me…

Day 14, 13th of November 2011

I feel as if my memory has been erazed. I can’t recall even the last months of my life. I exist only here, in this moment, between ocean and sky.

Night was beautiful. Wind that had been growing in strenght for the previous day went to rest. We turned the engine on again, its whir accompanied charming night. The moon, still full and noble, borrowed its mysterious whine to ocean waters. Trembling and shimmering, they hid some unknown life underneath.

At day wind picked up again. Chris has unreefed the mainsail, and we go 6 knots.

Just a moment ago we passed an unknown object in water. These hardly defined things that due to ruthless fate found their way to the ocean make me anxious: I feel – they shouldn’t be here.
Well… should I?

Today I saw dolphins again. And even made a photo – frist one in 4 months of sailing. I was standing on the fore. They went in front of us: as if “Vagabond” was a truimph carriage and they were four strong chargers.

From time to time I inspect th deck and throw back to the ocean flyfishes that occasionally ended up here. I still hope I’m not too late to save someone’s little life.

GPS points 21 hour till arrival.

Day 15, 14th of November  2011

…12 hours before arrival.
The last day of the journey is the hardest one. It’s as if you have already stretched your arm but lack a couple inches to reach desirable aim.

The tricky part is that the finish line of one journey is always a start point of a new one.

…3 hours before arrival.
– Brazil! – said Crisa and fingered a thin strip of land on the horizon. From here we can already see high buildings on a coast.

Happy Captain : )

…30 minuted before arrival.
And hour ago I took a nap. When I was back to the deck I almost dived in halo of colour. Dark cloudy sky and turquose water of a shallow bay created an incredible ansamble.


…Arrival, around 14-00.
So here we are. After 15 days and 2000 miles behind we arrived to Recife, Brazil!

Ocean is like life: if you’re in, you’re not able to quit. And you keep going.