Brasil 2022-23 Diary/Photo Journal

Week 003 of August 21 - August 27, 2022

As if spending two weeks in the northeast of Brasil was not enough, we began this week preparing for another small trip, this time by boat, or rather, by yacht.  We had fun gathering with friends and checking on Cindy and then it was all about 'camping' on the water.

Oh, and a little celebration for our 20th Anniversary!  It's quite appropriate for us to be on this adventure in Brasil during our Anniversary because we celebrated our 1st Anniversary while traveling the U.S. with Cindy, some 19 years ago. 
  

One evening in particular, we spent with friends enjoying a special 'wine and dinner' event.  Kike (a cool story about him here: https://www.solsearch.us/saII-diary-page-3.htm), imported Spanish wines and the wines were paired with various dishes throughout the evening.  Gerson enjoyed the wines most of all and me, it was all about the food, which was delicious.


Just a small bbq and some laughs:
Bea, Cassio, Rodrigo and Anna

Wine and dinner enjoyed by:
Anna, Gilberto, Isabelle, Kike, Oswaldo, Cassio, Louise, Gerson, Rodrigo


 
Checked in on Cindy
So far, so good

 

Our focus this week was a trip by boat from Pontal, across Baa de Paranagu, up through Canal do Varadouro and out to the Atlantic Ocean - a trip that would have us cruising through a channel that divides Parana State from Sao Paulo State.  Even though the trip was only for a few days, we made the most of our time.

We drove to Kike's family's beach house in Pontal do Sul to stay the night before embarking the next morning.  Pontal is a go-to beach community for Curitibanos and seems to have retained its 'beachy' charm with sand roads and tropical foliage. 


View coming into Paranagua/Pontal

Road into Pontal



View to Kike's house from the beach

View to the BBQ kitchen and beach

View to Ilha do Mel

Kike and Isabelle delighted us with their homemade pizza with a secret sauce and fresh ingredients, cooked in their outdoor pizza oven.  This separate BBQ kitchen is probably the most used 'room' on the property!


Gerson quickly found the hammock

Need to look before you sit in outdoor areas
Local mosquito catcher


Kike manning the pizza oven

The delicious result

We had a slow morning due to the tide not cooperating until the afternoon, so we casually made our way to Cassio's boat while Kike launched his boat.  Both essels sleep four people and are equipped for overnight stays; however, Cassio's Azimut Atlantis 44 was exceptional.  With two sleeping cabins, two bathrooms, lower kitchen and upper kitchenette, huge bow deck, large stern deck and comfortable lounge area, we truly were yachting in style. 


Cassio's Yacht, Energy I, and our home for a few days

Grazi, Gerson and Cassio enjoying being under way

Gerson and I making the most of the lounging spaces


Kike and his brother Dudo's boat - the Katusha
Kike, Dudo, Isabelle and Lu

Dudo and his wife, Lu

 

Our first stop was for lunch because we were on the water for all of 30 minutes and had to stop for fresh fish and shrimp served at Restaurante da In on Ilha das Peas.  We anchored off shore and the restaurant provides the shuttle to the shore.  Little did we know our shuttle Captain was all of eight years old and handled the boat like a pro. 



The route we took

Ihla das Peas

Grazi and I having fun being
shuttled by our young Captain


View to Restaurante da In

Local fisherman setting his fish and crab bait line

When you crave fresh seafood, even the bait line looks tempting

The way they have fished for generations

 

Half the enjoyment of lunch was watching the local fishermen come and go, watching our young Captain make his pickups and just taking in the moment in time. 



 
Not sure what Gerson was trying to say
but it was funny

Lunch was great, and the Caiparinha, outstanding

Off on our 3-day tour (Gerson, Isabelle, Kike,
Grazi, Cassio, Dudo and Lu



 
Just a fun selfie|

Quite the mix of vessels

The Captain making another pickup

Cassio's yacht is almost as stunning as Cindy

 

We lingered a bit but alas, we needed to cruise to our first 'camp' off of Ihla do Pinheiro or as the locals call it,  Ihla dos Papaguaios or "Parrot Island".

Gerson enjoying the bow view of
the canal
We found our spot for a little 20th Anniversary reflection

Cassio and Grazi - happy to be anchored at Ihla do Pinheiro

The Red-tailed Parrot or Amazona Brasiliensis, once endangered, is making somewhat of a comeback, with its numbers in the Parana State being stable.  Every evening, the parrots return (seemingly in pairs), and raise the decibel level of the island considerably.  It was fun to spot the incoming flyers and see if we could get a glimpse of their bright colors before they slipped into the forest canopy.


Red Tailed Parrots - known for the red
tail, purple cheeks and bright green body

Cormorants share the island


Enjoying the parrot show

Unknown bird as colorful as the parrots

Sunset over the canal

Our 20th Anniversary (August 25th) celebration consisted of an evening with friends, lots of laughter, good food, a quick Anniversary toast and back to the laughter - just perfect.  We were gifted with a quiet night and calm water so a good sleep was had by all.  As we had to delay our departure in order to coordinate with the tide, we took advantage of the warmish morning and played in the water for a bit. 


Our 'Breakfast Club'

Morning paddle and swim



Lu and Dudo

Lu in a world of her own

Gerson took a spin on the SUP and decided to do his best Super G meets X games launch from the paddle board and of course, my camera was there to capture the moment.

Favorite pictures:  Gerson on the SUP
and the small balance mistake *lol*
Super G was launched
   

With the rise in tide, we set out for Canal do Varadouro, a combination of a natural channel and a manmade canal originally dug out in 1820 and officially government-built in 1952.  This six-kilometer channel has been a necessity for the communities of Paranagua and Cananeia in order to have access to merchants, sell their goods and to transport passengers. 


Typical fishing village and
fishing boats used

Taking in the sights

Palm tree hanging on for dear life


Another typical 'taxi' vessel - rudder is
controlled by a foot pedal

Loving the canal views

Town of Ariri

There were a few anxious moments wherein the water was less than two meters (about six feet) deep and with Cassio's heavy boat having a draft of about 1.5 meters, we tip-toed along.  Fortunately, with Kike and Dudo leading the way and warning us of shallower water and with Cassio's eye on his depth gauge and patient maneuvering of his boat, we only tapped the soft mud once and no discernible damage.


Small village church

Typical fishing 'cage'

Local School 'Bus'

Beautiful area



Views of the canal and
Ihla do Superagui (land along the ocean)

Small village on Superagui

Canal do Varadouro separates the Ihla do Superagui from mainland of Parana, thus the island is not considered part of the continent.  Ihla do Superagui is actually a National Park and includes Ihla das Peas, Ihla do Pinheiro (and Pinheirinho Islands), Rio dos Patos Valley and the Canal do Varadouro.

As the area's main commerce is seafood, we happened upon two young men returning from fishing.  We waved them over and after a brief negotiation, purchased some of their fresh catch. As part of the deal, the men paddled their early version of a SUP over to their home, cleaned the fish, and returned in a short time with our soon-to-be dinner, which was delicious.

Two fishermen with our fresh dinner
Cleaned and washed
Having some fun with the fishermen
Gerson could not wait to start the BBQ

Not long after securing our dinner, we looked for a place to anchor for the night.  Not being familiar with the area and not sure of the tidal effect on the depth of the channel, we inquired of some locals about the best place to stay afloat overnight.  Two men in a boat named "Magaiver" (loved the name - version of MacGyver), led us to a perfect deep spot that allowed us access to Superagui. 


Helpful locals and "Magaiver"

Setting the anchor lines without
getting wet.


We used a "SUber" for transport from the boat to shore
Cassio, Dudo, Kike and Gerson kept the rest of us dry

Gerson crossing over to the ocean side - beautiful area

Carrapeteiro (or Caracara Branco) - local falcon

Beautiful island flower

As soon as we set the anchors, we were off to visit the island.  With most of us not wanting to get wet (as it was late in the afternoon and just starting to get chill), we made use of the stand-up-paddle board and used "SUber" to cross to the island.  A 100 meter (about 300 feet) walk through the trees and coastal scrub brought us out to the Atlantic Ocean and a view of a beach that went for miles and miles.  Actually, the Superagui wide open sandy shoreline is approximately 40 kilometers long and is a beach-walkers dream.


Superagui beach views

The Super-crew: Louise, Isabelle, Kike, Gerson,
Lu, Dudo, Cassio and Grazi.

Nice way to travel along the beach

Always the surfer, on the lookout for that perfect wave


Couldn't resist the selfie

Beautiful shoreline and vulture
on patrol


As evening crept in, it was time to fire up the BBQ and take in a beautiful sunset.  We enjoyed our version of surf and turf with the fresh fish and carne kebabs.

Gerson in his happy place Atlantic Ocean to the left and Brasil mainland to the right
what a sunset

The next morning had a little tension due to waiting for the tide to rise and to hire a 'guide' that could direct us through a narrow channel that opens out to the Atlantic Ocean.  Not being familiar with the area and not knowing the deeper part of what we learned was a relatively new, nature-made ocean access channel (the old access was further south), we looked for and found a couple of locals to lead us to the open waters.  Needless to say, the money was well spent as they guided us through the part of the channel that was a few meters deep.


Planning our escape with
our guides

Making it through the first part
only to face the breakers


Gerson taking a turn at driving

Where the locals hang out

Getting through the narrow channel was the easy part, with the hard part being the crossing of the waves that were breaking along the shoreline.  Following Kike, Cassio's boat handled the sizable surge well enough, but not without our holding our collective breaths and me taking a dive to the safety of a cushioned seat as I was tossed backward on one particular steep wave.


Coming into view of Ilha do Mel
and its lighthouse

Other small islands dot the waterscape


Fortaleza de Nossa Senhora dos Prazeras de Paranagua
on Ilha do Mel

Coming into Paranagua port

Great place to hang out

Coming into Baa de Paranagu, we cruised by Ilha do Mel and found friends that had sailed over for the day.  In no time, we were anchored and either "Dubered" over (or in Gerson's and my case, we swam) to the sailboat for a bit of B&B (beer and bullshit). 


Meeting up with friends was a bonus

This time we had a "Duber" pick us up
(Dudo was our transport)

Gerson and I had fun joining the group
the water way


We could only visit for an hour or so as we
still had to 'park' the boats in their respective
marinas

We took a leisurely cruise back to the marina where Cassio dry docks his yacht and the clean up and packing commenced.  It was quite the feat to maneuver the large vessel around the marina entrance maze, but Cassio managed it with ease and in no time, the marina personnel were unloading our goods. 

Gerson in his favorite viewing spot
The marina and its entrance maze

Quite the contrast in vessels

Cassio's Energy I

Local fisherman's bounty

A bit of dinner was enjoyed in Pontal and then it was all about a hot shower and a warm bed.  What a fantastic week with terrific people.

And what made it all the more special was Gerson had dreamed of this trip since he was young man, surfing off the coast of Ilha do Mel.  Another dream realized.

 

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