April 23, 2012-Marina at Sao Luis
Marina Aven at Sao Luis, Brazil
If it wasn’t for the bare-chested brown skinned man on the back of the beached catamaran emphatically waving us on with grand sweeps of the arm we wouldn’t have come here; we would have turned back like we did the night before when the water depth reached nine feet. That was low tide. This morning, at high tide, with 15 feet more water, we got half a mile further, and now it was less than nine feet again.
And why we let him persuade us I’m not sure; we were about to run aground, it was close to the absolute top of the highest tide for two weeks, and we had no idea where the channel was. A hard grounding would have been a disaster, but he persuaded us and we didn’t even know him. Some kind of Lorelie I guess.
Are we fools?
Maybe, but it had become an act of faith. Two other people, knowledgeable people, said we could go into the marina at Sao Luis. They said we would be in the mud and have to dig our way in with the keel, but we could do it. They said that at low tide we would be sitting in mud up to our keel. And they said it would be nice. I wouldn’t be kidding if I said we were totally skeptical. But we could see the marina just ahead. It it didn’t look like much, but Sao Luis was supposed to be a nice town and the alternative, to leave Sao Luis and head north wasn’t at all attractive either.
Then this guy urged us on. He really urged us on.
Yeah, we must be fools.
We went. We literally ploughed ahead.
And thirty minutes later we were tied along side another deep keel cruising yacht at what must be the funkiest little marina in the world: Marina Aven, Sao Luis, Brazil
And to top it off, for six hours out of every twelve, we are totally beached. This marina is subject to 15 foot tides and the water is only eight feet at high tide. So at low tide we are seven feet higher than sea level. And, because of these tides, we can only leave at 9:00 tomorrow, plus or minus one hour, or we stay here for two weeks.
wingssail images-fredrick roswold
However, the town is nice, the people here are really friendly, we already got water, food, fixed the mainsail, equalized our batteries (again), had dinner out, and today we’ll get diesel and do a tour of the town, maybe have a long lunch in the historic central district. It will be a quick visit, due, again, to those tides, but worth it we think. We wouldn’t have missed this for anything.
And tomorrow we’ll be ready to head north; at 09:00, plus or minus about an hour.
And, here, other than getting these astonishing photos, is the best part: We have a tip about another interesting place that nobody goes, and which requires another act of faith, but will be really worth it.
Tomorrow we head to Dos Lincois.
Click here for more Marina Aven photos.
Fred & Judy, SV Wings, Sao Luis, Brazil