After 13 months sailing across the Pacific, Indian and South Atlantic Ocean the World ARC 2016-17 fleet of 16 boats are back in South America, at Salvador da Bahia in Brazil. Sailing around 3660 NM from Cape Town on the longest leg of their circumnavigation, the fleet broke the journey in St-Helena for a 72 hour stopover before reaching Bahia Marina. The boats experienced a very nice, quiet and easy passage despite very light winds from St Helena to Salvador. Most sailed all the way using their parasailor, wing to wing sailing with main sail up, genoa out and gennaker on the other side days and nights for 4 days in a row! After 13 days at sea since St Helena the Hallberg Rassy 46, Trillium was the 1st boat to make landfall at Bahia Marina followed by Mearra Nieida and Firefly.
All the boats were berthed on the same pontoon stern to the dock using either their own anchor or lazy lines, enjoying being back on shore. The marina offered all the facilities and services required by our sailors after such a long passage, time for them to go into town and enjoy the preparation of the world famous Carnival of Salvador. On arrival participants had a quick overview of the city before the crews headed to clear in with our World ARC agent to Immigration, stopping on their way back to the historical centre and get local information at the tourism information centre.
As part of the programme for the stopover, participants went to the Cruising Briefing given by Eduardo Moura ex-president of the FENEB, Sailing Club Association of Salvador da Bahia providing them good tips for sailing around the Bay of Todos os Santos visiting Ilha de Mare, Ilha do Frade, and Itaparica and also going up the Praguacu River to Maragogipe. Participants were also briefed about visiting the beautiful Island of Fernando de Noronha, a National Park that offers great scuba diving.
At the end of the week having most of the boats together at Bahia Marina, participants met all together at Café Do Forte for a get together and Prize Giving for Leg 15. Traditional Brazilian drinks, Caipirinha were served on arrival to our participants, when a group of young dancers performed Capoeira inviting them to join and take part to the show while the Bahiana gave the local bracelets tying 3 knots around their wrist making 3 wishes! After a good night where Trillium took 1st place, followed by Mearra Nieida and Exocet Strike in the monohull division and Katarina taking 1st place in the multihull division, participants went all together into town for dinner.
The following morning World ARC crews joined a City Tour starting at Barra lighthouse which served as the mark of the finish line they crossed on arrival. The bus drove pass the Dique Tororo bassin and Itaipava stadium finishing the tour walking around the historical center Pelourinho visiting the Sao Francisco church and the Museum of Misericordia.
The fleet is now ready to start their free cruising period taking them up to a rendez-vous, 390NM North from Salvador, in Jacare Marina Village, Cabedelo where they will spend the Carnival before departing for the last leg of World ARC 2016-17 to Grenada.