We really can't believe that we have spent over three months in Ilha Grande, and that we are now preparing to head Northwards ! The weather has been a lot cooler, with low fronts and rain every 4/5 days, but it is still a whole lot more pleasant than winter in the Cape!
We left Jervon in Abrooa, and came around to ICAR again on a wet and miserable Monday,to give us the rest of the week tocheck out with the authorities, as we had a feeling that it would again take a ridiculous amount of time! We were right, but at least this time we were prepared for it! We now KNOW why the Amazon rain forests are under seige ! Its not hard wood that they need, its the paper they need to fill in and photocopy all the Policia Federal and Receita Federal forms !!
On Tuesday we caught the bus in to Angra, armed with copies af the required forms which we had downloaded from the website. We then went to the stationery shop to buy the required DARF form( yes, thats what its called!), and headed of to the Policia Federal, only to be told we were in the wrong place, as in the last two months they had opened a "new" facility, down at the Warf. This new facility was actually a run down building staffed by the same obnoxious people we had to deal with when we first arrived! After a while Mary was presented with a voucher indicating that she should now go to the Bank of Brazil, pay R$67, and come back with a rainforest of copies. I was told I must go to an internet cafe to get my form, then pay by direct transfer, and come back with the same plethura of paper. We did not need the DARF form, but had to use the new payment form given to Mary. When I queried why we were being told to do things separately, I was given short shift by an arrogant official who said it was "Impossible" and I must go to an internet cafe!It It transpired later that their system had crashed half way through our process !
So we headed back to the boat determined to get every thing sorted, and copied, and paid for the next morning, so that we could get on with our provisioning.
The bus ride in was interesting! It was so full, we had to get in the back door, which at least meant we could not pay, as this is done up front! A gallant Brazilian gave up his seat for Mary, but it might have been because the small family sitting on the seat in front of her were sobbing their eyes out , and suffering some very traumatic and private family grief, and the poor fellow could'nt take it! While I hung on for my life to the overhead handrails above the aisle,the liitle girl wedged into the seat at my knees, spent most off the trip puking into a leaky shopping packet, and in serious danger of spilling the contents all over my only Porto Capitano smart clothes ! All the while, Barricello Bus Driver was trying to break Aryton Sennas ICAR to Angra record ! We tumbled out into the hottest day we have had for a while, and learned that the Bank only opens at 10.00am.!!
Determined to stay cool, we then found a Xerox shop, got all the copies, waited for the bank to open, paid the R$134( R532), and headed back to Policia Federal. This time we were met by sweetness herself, who must have been embarrassed by her boss the previous day, and she ushered us down the passage to a fellow who had us stamped , approved and extended until November in less than an hour ! Time to get to Porto Capitano before 12.00!! We made it with two minutes to spare!! Relief turned to despair when we read their new opening times ! Mondays 13.30-15.30, Tues-Fri 08.3--10.30! From 24hrs per day to 2 hrs for only5 days, shows an interesting approach to productivity and customer service! Once again, our simple checking out will take three days, even when we know the ropes!
Spent a frustrating Thursday trying to get to the bottom of my genset ptoblems. The general consensus from all the local experts, including that my Nuclear Power station friend, Celso, is that the reiring done by B M Power in Cape Town , is not exactly in accordance with the Mase Specs, and that either the number of turns on each section of the rotor, or the guage of wire used, is incorrect I will probably have to take it out in Trinidad, and leavehere for a few weeks to be rewired.
Left the boat at sparrows this morning, in the pouring rain, to pay my last respects to the Porto Capitano. Now one has to dress up smartly for this very important man, who is only availailable between 8.30 and 10.30. Its quite a tricky challenge to board ones tender in pouring rain, land on a beach at spring low, drag the tender 40 mts up the beach, secure it, walk 300mts to a bus stop, catch one in rush hour, get off in Angra, and walk another 500mtsin pouring rain to the BIG mans Headquarters, and........still look dignified and respectable..... and more importantly, remember to be respectful!! Surprise , surprise! I was stamped, cleared for Salvador, and back in the rain within 5 minutes !
I was so chuffed that I ducked into the fish market to by a Kilo of Queen prawns for supper, which we will be sharing with Michael Martin, a new American friend, who has just launched his steel DeVilliers 45 ft yacht, and who will be sailing up the coast to the Carribean, with his lovely Brazilian wife Larissa, during the same time period as ourselves.( de Villiers trained under Dudley Dix I believe, and when Mike sent him photos of Sheer Tenacity, he replied saying "they are damn fine boats!"!
We plan to do a shore power battery charge here, top up with diesel, and head back round to Abrooa, for a re union /farewell party with Jervon, before waiting for a good weather slot to leave for Rio, where we will spend a couple of days at the Club Naval Charitas, in Nitaroi. After that we plan to head for Buzios, Abrolhos, Victoria, Camamu and then only Salvador.!
When we finally say farewell to Ilha Grande, I guess it will be like leaving home again! Officialdom aside, it has been a wonderful introduction to the cruising lifestyle, and an experience we will never forget!
Cheers from ICAR!