February 2005 - Brazil
Brazilian culture is a rich mixture of European, African
and Latin American, all of which can be seen in its world-famous
Carnival. It is this Carnival which brings many sailors to
Brazil, those who arrive from the north sailing for Salvador
in Bahia, while those coming from the south have the opportunity
to see the greatest show of them all in Rio de Janeiro.
In between these two cities, to the north as well as to the
south, stretches a long coastline of varied scenery and just
as varied climate and weather conditions. There are interesting
places to explore all along the coast, but perhaps the best
cruising ground is the area between São Sebastiao Island and
Rio de Janeiro, which has many protected anchorages and attractive
scenery, slightly marred by the increasing number of oil rigs.
The River Amazon also has an appeal for some cruising sailors
and it can be navigated for well over one thousand miles giving
the opportunity to see some of the interior of this huge country.
For many sailors the first taste of Brazil lies 250 miles
offshore on the island of Fernando de Noronha, while another
Brazilian outpost in the Atlantic is better avoided, the St
Peter and St Paul rocks near the equator, where landing is
only possible in the calmest of weathers.
Yacht clubs are usually welcoming to foreign visitors, with
the exception of the Rio Yacht Club, where visitors are not
at all welcome. Clubs with a large fleet of yachts, often
motor yachts, have good repair facilities or access to them.