After arriving in Salvador, spending a full week programme at Bahia Marina, the 13 yachts of World ARC started their free cruising period taking them 435 NM North to the state of Paraiba in Cabedelo for the rendez-vous on 28th of February. After receiving good tips and advices from Eduardo Moura, ex-president of the Sailing Club Association of Salvador during the cruising briefing, the boats started to explore the Bahia Bay going to Ilha de Mare or Ilha do Frade for lunch, stopping for the night in Maragojipe on the Paraguasu River or at Itaparica Yacht Club to enjoy some pizzas ashore.
Mearra Nieida decided to proceed 60NM south of Salvador to Morro de Sao Paulo and down to Barra Grande, enjoying “absolutely beautiful, crystal clear water” being the only sailing boat at anchor in the bay. Meanwhile the rest of the fleet started their passage to Cabedelo on a beam reach sail for “one of their fastest and most pleasant passage” as Trillium would say, joining Resolute II and BlueFlyer who were already there sailing directly from St-Helena.
For the first time on World ARC, yachts ensembled at Jacare Marina Village in Cabedelo on the river of Paraiba in time for the beginning of the Carnival. The first boats were welcomed by Francis, Nicolas and Domenico the three French managers of the Marina who allocated berths to each of the boats during slack tide. Once docked participants had time to relax and enjoy their free time using the facilities of the marina, as well as visiting the city of Joao Pessoa or Cabedelo using the little train stopping in Jacare. By the 24th February all the boats had arrived as the surrounding cities prepared to welcome hundreds of thousands of people for the Carnival.
This year participants went on a little bus organized by the marina to the historical centre of Joao Pessoa to discover the atmosphere of the Carnival made of live music called blocos, costumes, street food, caipirinhas and people dancing on the streets.
The following day another bus departed from the Marina at 1400 to drive the 140Km down South to Recife for another kind of Carnival. Participants arrived just at sunset when the city was dressed up and stages set up on the main square, with thousands of people walking the streets dancing and singing the traditional music from Recife, the Frevo different from the Axe from Salvador or the world famous Samba from Rio. Brazil is truly a country of diversity!
There was also time to relax and a crew dinner with live music was organised.
Finally on the last day of the carnival participants took the bus to Olinda to take part to one of the most traditional carnivals in Brazil. The bus left at 0800 from the marina for a full day out partying on the very busy streets of Olinda following the bands. After a long day, participants had an early night already in anticipation of the start.
On their last day, participants had to go to Immigration office to clear out internationally from Brazil before attending to the skipper’s briefing for the next and last leg of World ARC 2016-17, taking them 2250 NM North to Port Louis in Grenada where the first boat is expected to arrive on 13th of March.