Thursday, August 21, 2014

Vitória & Vilha Velha, Espírito Santo, Brazil

A 3 days sail from Buzios, approximately 188 nautical miles to Vitória, the capital city of Espirito Santo state in southeast Brazil. On this passage, we sailed with the spinnaker. Love the colours of the sail. Pretty isn't it? Would you believe that this is the first time we've sailed with it? (since I got onboard that is). Wind in the Indian Ocean is so erratic that we never had the chance to deploy it.

We also caught a 5kg mackerel! Woohoo! We hardly catch anything these days, so we were delighted to have fresh fish for lunch!

We picked up a mooring (S 20.18.053 W 40.17.314) opposite the Iate Clube do Espirito Santo on 21st August 2014 and spent 8 days here. Clearing in was a bit of a hassle as the Capitania (Port Authority) and Policia Federal (Immigration) are not close to each other. The Capitania is about 20 minutes walk but we had to take a bus down to the Policia Federal.

Our stay in Vitoria was most eventful. Our crew Fred, a local Brazilian made arrangements with his friend Loriana for the local TV to interview with us about our journey around the world. It sure was an interesting experience. We had a TV presenter and a camera man on board. I wish I had put on my best outfit, but I was only in shorts and a raggedy t-shirt. The interview was aired in Portuguese. A little embarrassed to share the video, but here are some photos instead.

Goodbye TV Crew
Vitoria is well developed

A couple of days after the interview, Alex and I decided to take the dinghy for a ride around the riverine island. The main island is surrounded by Vitoria Bay, which has many beaches, mangroves, granite formations and other smaller islands.

On our way back, we noticed Raptor was a lot closer to the beach than we had left her. It was clear that the mooring we picked up had either broke or drifted. The wind and waves were not in our favour as we had to pound against the waves to get on board to re-anchor. 

Raptor was getting too close to the beach for comfort. Once we secured the dinghy and started the engine, I untied us from the mooring. Unfortunately the mooring ball went in between our hulls and got caught under us. After some shouting and a panic attack (on my part), Alex was able to kick it free and immediately maneuvered us away from the beach. This time we decided to anchor much further out. (S 20.17.875 W 40.17.137).

One of the nice trees on shore
We visited the Parque Pedra da Cebola in Vitória. The park was named after a rock that looks like an onion.

We also visited the Garoto Chocolate Factory in Vilha Velha. Founded in 1929 by a German immigrant named Henrique Meyrfreund. Garoto is one of the biggest chocolate manufacturers in Latin America and exports to around 40 countries.

We can't say we're fans of Garoto because we love our Swiss and Aussie chocolates too much!

We were invited to lunch by our new friend Loriana at Restaurante Pilao Enseada located along the waterfront. Here we tried our first Moqueca - a Brazilian fish stew made with fish, onions, garlic, tomatoes, cilantro slowl cooked in a terra cotta casserole. It was delicioso!

What a wonderful spread!
Thanks Loriana ;)
Speaking of food, decided to end this post with a photo of my favourite snack in Brazil. I wish I could have one of these now! A big cup of Acai! Yum! ;9

My favourite snack!

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