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Sweet Dream - Saturday February 8, 2020

Landfall! Salvador, Brazil! Of all the places we’ve travelled to with the World ARC, this one, for some reason, seems the most exotic. We arrived at the fuel dock at 09:45. Called the marina on vhf...called the fuel dock on answer...called Rally control...instant response from Manuel, the most excellent of the yellow shirts! He called the fuel dock for us and rallied the marina staff...everything smooth as silk! We approached the fuel dock...a gentleman came out and took our lines. Despite our complete lack of Portuguese, we managed to give our girl a fine happy hour, which she really needed after all the flat calm passage days of motoring, then we moved over to the pontoon of Terminal Nautico marina. A welcoming committee met us, took our lines, Manuel himself ran the bowline from the dock to the bow and secured the front of the boat. Nice welcome from Sergio, Jacque, and Manuel. Then our agent arrived, took away the paperwork and passports. Before we were even settled, he was back and we were legal! Big shoutout to Abdalla, our agent for making our entrance to Brazil so smooth. After a lunch and toast to Neptune in thanks for safe passage I took a nap and Lars walked to town with Manuel. For supper we visited a restaurant nearby where we were met with the Salvador people eat midday...not in the evening. Oh well, we had enough to satisfy us, a lovely cold gin tonic with rosemary and mint...not a combination we’d ever had before, but perfect for the sultry 100 degree 100% humidity evening. We sat in the terrace overlooking the marina and enjoyed watching the local boats come in, lay along side the concrete quay...what a fantastic display of boat handling....these guys don’t have bow thrusters...they manoeuvre with just the engine and crab walk their boats against the wind and current to the quay, discharge their passengers then nose their way to the raft up area. That’s a whole ‘ other bit of fancy seamanship. Then joyous shouts, boat guys scrambling and boats are snuggled tied together in strings from four to eight in a row for the night. Now a small word about the amount of surge, swell, wakage, current and general water movement in the harbour; in short , it’s a wild dance.....we are constantly pulling up the two front mooring lines. I’m convinced after nearly 30 feet coming in that we are just pulling the mooring up. The local boats steam through and into the harbour at warp speed...chief among the wake makes are the navy boats...real jerks..showing their macho idiocy by driving their small craft back and forth as if they were towing a skier. The wakes they make send us rocking and rolling like in a force eight wind at sea. I have things stowed more tightly here than when we are passagemaking! Oy vey! We have the big springs on the aft...we stretch them to their limit, then bang back into the dock...moving at least ten feet in each direction. No amount of taking in the bow mooring lines makes any difference. It’s become the “national pastime” to stand on the bow and pull in the lines. Only to find fifteen minutes later hit the dock with the stern and compress the fenders again. Never a dull moment on the Sweet Dream in Salvador, Brazil!


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