Vagabund Log

Tips for sailing the Brazilian Coast






(Ivan C Perdigao has compiled these tips. This information is

used at your own risk and the interpretation thereof is the sole

responsibility of the captain of the ship)


Sailing leg from RIO to BUZIOS (87,5 nm)

 From RIO to CABO FRIO it is an almost due east course after you leave Guanabara Bay.

I've given you two main routes to cover this stretch: one runs close to the shore (to avoid

a current that runs from CABO FRIO to RIO) while the other course runs a little way from

the shore (and against that current). This current is not very strong. You may choose one

or the other course depending on the sea condition and on your preference to sail farther

from the coastline. When reaching CABO FRIO you should be prepared to face stronger

and variable east/northeastern winds that frequently blow around this cape. From CABO

FRIO to BUZIOS the prevailing winds are from northeast but you may sail/motor against

them the 20mi distance to CABO BUZIOS. Alternatively you may choose a cruising date

when no northeastern winds or only mild northeastern winds are forecast for this area.



Stop at the Iate Clube Armação de Buzios , tel 55 22 26231493 - VHF Echo 43, channel 16 or 68


They have mooring buoys, or you can drop anchor there. Fuel and water are only available by auxiliary dinghy service (you can do it yourself or hire someone to do it for you) Buzios is a little but charming village. Worth staying at least for one whole day and night.


Walking at night on Rua das Pedras is a nice thing to do. In the very tourist centre of the village things tend to be more expensive but if you walk two or three blocks way of the fancy area you will find more reasonable prices. You may stay longer if you want to visit Buzios many nice beaches. Be ware of the northeastern wind. If there is a forecast for strong northeastern you might want to be aboard for the possible dragging of your anchor (if you are at one of the club mooring just be sure that your particular mooring is strong enough for you boat under strong winds, by asking a club staff). Do not leave Buzios for your next leg towards Vitoria unless you are sure that there is a sufficient long weather window, without northeastern winds, for you to reach Vitoria.


Sailing leg from BUZIOS TO VITORIA (192 nm)

The suggested route goes around Cabo São Tomé, passing well clear of this cape and also clear of the many oil platforms laying to the east of the cape. Be aware of the intense traffic of oil field service ships while crossing the cape waters. Be also ware of the fishing boat floating nets that are frequent in this area and are not always properly marked with light or even with blind buoys. If you see fishing boats there is a good chance that there will be floating nets in the vicinity. Some fishing boats use long fishing lines equipped with fishhooks; they are marked with a single buoy at the surface. They are called “espinheis” and you need only to avoid passing too close to those buoys.


Take great care when entering the Vitoria bay. There is intense traffic of boats there. In the Vitoria area the northeastern wind is frequent and it normally blows harder at the end of the day. So it's a good idea planning your arrival in Vitoria for daylight and, ideally before 4 pm. That's a long shallow line of sand just before the entrance to the Yacht Club so be sure to follow strictly the suggested route when sailing this area (between waypoints GALHET and INDIOS).






Vitoria is the Capital City of the Espirito Santo State. In Vitoria you better stay at the Iate Clube do Espirito Santo :


Tel. (27) 3225-0422, VHF  “FOXTROT 23”, channel 16 or 68.


If you choose to be at anchor in the vicinity of the Yacht Club pay attention to the anchor setting: there are grassy bottoms that will hold poorly. Also, the strong northeastern that blow sometimes can drag your anchor. There are all kinds of service in this Yacht Club, including fuelling and shipyard services. The next port where you will have such variety of services will be Salvador, so get here all the special things (except food supplies and water) you need for the stretch up to Salvador. Would you need a good advice on marine or maintenance questions or services, ask for Mr. Fabio Falcão ( This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ) he is usually at the club boat yard. The club has a nice restaurant but you will also find a Good Shopping Center, Super Markets, Restaurants, Laundry Machines, Hotels and many other facilities at walking distance from the club. Due to the usual wind pattern in that area you will probably stay in Vitoria for several days until a sufficient long period without the northeastern winds will allow you to sail for Abrolhos. This can take as long as two weeks or even more, depending on the period of the year and on you’re personal luck. The winter months are the most favourable to sail north.





Sailing leg from VITORIA to ABROLHOS

Again, do not leave Vitoria to sail the 170 nautical miles to Abrolhos unless you are sure to have a sufficient long weather window without northeastern winds. Leaving the Yacht Club be sure to follow the suggested route: there are many obstacles in the way out, until you get free of the port area. Pay special attention to the maritime traffic, which is intense in the bay. The Abrolhos bank has many unchartered coral “heads”, mainly over the shallow areas. We suggest that you sail by the suggested route as it runs over safe ground. If the atmosphere is calm or it is blowing from the northeastern sector follow route number 3 which will lead you to the anchoring area south of the main island. If there are substantial winds from the southern sector proceed to the north of the  main island by sailing route number 4 and set anchor there. ATTENTION: if you are using the Brazilian Marine Map 1311 you should be aware that the satellite positions according to Datum WGS84 must be corrected some 280 meters towards NW to be correctly marked in Map 1311.






The Abrolhos Archipelago is a National Marine Park. Special rules apply. It is forbidden to fish. It is forbidden to land in any one of


the islands without being accompanied by the Marine Park rangers. The Lighthouse is crewed by the Brazilian Navy personal.


As you approach the anchoring area you are required to call the Lighthouse and identify your boat. Call “Farol de Abrolhos" on


VHF Channel 16 and allow some time to get an answer as the crew might be not in the radio station at the time of the call.


You will be required to pay a tax of R$ 27,00/day/person (Brazilians) or R$ 54,00/day/person (foreigners). Children under 12 and elders over 60 are exempt. The tax should be collected aboard by park rangers that will come to your boat in dinghies. The tax will entitle you to be escorted by the park rangers in a small trip on the Siriba Island. The main attraction in Abrolhos is the snorkeling which you can do by yourself as long as you do not carry fishing apparatus. However, during winter months due to the sea bottom “sweeping” caused by constant winds the water might be not as clear as it is in the summer.





Sailing leg from ABROLHOS to SANTO ANDRÉ

While leaving Abrolhos we suggest you to follow the proposed route which is clear of the coralline shallows that might be present


in some areas around the Abrolhos Islands. When you reach the waypoint “APXSAN” in the suggested route you can proceed two


Ways: (1) wait there for some local boat to help you follow the entrance path until you get to the anchoring area in front of the


Restaurant GAIVOTA; be informed that the best time to enter this bar is some 30-60 minutes before high tide. Thus it makes sense to carefully plan your departure from Abrolhos in order to avoid waiting a long time in “APXSAN”. You can try to get help from a local boat to guide you inside by calling Aloisio, the owner of GAIVOTA RESTAURANT tel (73) 3671 4144. (2) You can motor your boat through the bar entrance by following carefully the suggested route while keeping a good look at the way. Start at 30-60 minutes before high tide.






Santo André is a place worth visiting. It is a small village placed in beautiful scenery. Small charming restaurants and nice calm beaches are all at walking distances. Anchor in front or in the vicinity of the GAIVOTA restaurant. You better set two anchors: one By the boat bow and another by the boat stern. Tides are important in this place resulting in water currents up to 4 knots, changing directions at each 6-hour interval. As the wind tends to be constantly blowing from the same direction, there will be times when the current will be countering the wind causing the boat to “sail” around the anchor. Anchor dragging is a possibility so it’s advisable to set two anchors with sufficient length of chain to hold the boat. Aloisio and his wife, owners of the GAIVOTA, are very friendly and they allow you to use their facilities to take a fresh water shower or to fill your fresh water jugs to replenish your storage. The GAIVOTA has also a convenient area for you to park your dinghy. Pay attention to the forecast current speed when you plan your dinghy trips to and from the boat. You might want to have your dinghy motor on in certain occasions, depending also on the distance you have to travel with the dinghy. It is a good idea to ask Aloisio to have a look at your boat and, in the case of anchor dragging, have someone helping to reset the anchor.


From Santo André you can walk some 2,5 km on the road towards Porto Seguro, take the ferry to cross to Santa Cruz Cabralia (a 10 min ride in sheltered waters). In Santa Cruz Cabralia you can get into a regional bus and ride for some 60 minutes to Porto Seguro. This is a nice region historically important because it was there that the first Portuguese sailors set foot in Brazil in the Year 1500. If you need fueling while in Santo André you can get it from the closest gas station that is located in Santa Cruz Cabralia. Cab services are available. I'd plan some 3 to 4 days stay in Santo André. Ask Aloisio for local interesting places.





Sailing leg Santo Andre to Ilhéus

The Port of Ilhéus is safe and very easy to get into with any weather but the mooring becomes extremely uncomfortable if the wind comes from northeast. Hence it is advisable to check the weather forecast before leaving Santo André. Ilhéus is nevertheless a historical Brazilian town worth visiting for two days. The cruising distance Santo Andre - Ilheus is of 106 nautical miles. While programming this sailing leg one should take into account that the advisable time to exit Santo Andre is somewhat around the high tide hour when there is no strong tide currents. Catamarans with their lesser draft than monohulls could possibly depart by the ebb tide when there are not strong currents either (check the tide table). Calculating with a mean boat speed of 5 knots it would take some 21 hours to cover the 106 nm. On the other side of the trip, although there is no problem to enter Ilhéus Port by night, it would be best to plan arriving during working hours, in daylight, because this would allow a contact with the local Yacht Club " Iate Clube de Ilhéus" to let the crew disembark at the club premises. You can spot the club by its geographic position LAT 14°78'. 54 LON 39°03'. 67. Drop anchor in front of the club being ware of the right water depth for your boat.



Ilhéus is a historical town turned known worldwide by the Brazilian writer Jorge Amado in his romance " Gabriela, Cravo e Canela” telling the history of the golden era of the Cocoa plantation in this area. The local Yacht Club, " Ilhéus Iate Clube" is a small, nice and simple one. People there use to be very friendly and let the visiting crews use their facilities (there is a restaurant, showers, toilets and a limited number of marine services). The club phone number is (73) 36343560 and they answer the VHF radio at channel 16 or 68, but do not expect to have someone fulltime at the radio and probably no one that can speak English. You can instead of trying the radio or telephone contact, board your dinghy and go to the club-floating pier, disembark there and go talk directly with someone there.  Near the club there used to be a simple pier supplying water, ice and fuel to fishing boats. Depending on your boat draft and the tide situation you may use that. There is also a land gas station near the club in which you can buy fuel with your own transporting jugs. In the same manner you can supply fresh water from the Yacht Club facilities. You will better enjoy your visit to Ilhéus if you could previously read the Jorge Amado romance; the English edition is called " Gabriela, clove and cinnamon". Ilhéus has a bunch of interesting places that are related to the facts described in Jorge Amado romance. You can easily walk from the Yacht Club to the center of the town where most of the points of interest and the town main commerce are. If you had not read the romance try to visit first of all the local touring office to be informed of the main historical facts and to get an idea of the points to visit (Nacib's bar, Maria Machadão cabaret, Jorge Amado house, the old cocoa trading port, the ancient ice cream shop, being some of them). Across the bridge leading from the old port to the airport there are two or three touristic bar/restaurants facing the bay that are worth eating at. The easiest way to get there is by cab. It is also nice to visit the Itacaré village, some 60 km by road from Ilhéus. There is a permanent bus service between the two places. It takes some 1h40min for the bus to reach Itacaré. Itacaré is a small ancient fishing port at the bar of Rio de Contas river. Itacaré is located in one of the rare areas in the northeastern coast where there is a kind of mountain range, covered with Atlantic Forest. This renders the place a coast similar to that of the Baia da Ilha Grande, with nice small beaches placed at foothills with plenty of fresh water creeks. You can hire a touristic guided tour to do nice land tracks to some of those beaches or you can simply stay near the village where there is a small nice beach (Praia da Concha) served by beach bars and rustic restaurants. If you are addicted to the nature you might want to sleep over in one of the small guest houses in Itacaré (or even in the more expensive hotels) in order to do more land tracks or to hire a canoe and sail up the Rio de Contas for some few miles.


Sailing Leg from Ilhéus to Camamu (Alternative break in Itacaré).

This is a 61 nautical miles leg, which at 5 knots would take some 12 hours to complete. You can plan the departure from Ilhéus at any time of the day but you better plan your arrival in Camamu around the high tide hour to avoid the currents and the consequent wavy seas at the entrance of Camamu bay. There is no draft problem in the sailing channel to enter the bay but you must stay strictly at the proposed route to avoid shoals and other underwater obstacles that exist close to the sailing channel. Alternatively you might break the cruising trip to Camamu by entering in the small Itacaré bay with your boat. The entrance is narrow but short. Its advisable to enter this small bar with calm seas and at the high tide (best time is one hour before the full high tide so should the boat touch the sandy bottom you will have rising water to make it free. I think that under those circumstances you should have no problems with the Catamaran (under engine, of course). Plan your entrance beforehand examining the charts or the Brazilian cost guides. See what to do in Itacaré in the section " ILHÉUS". The distance from Ilhéus to Itacaré is some 30 nautical miles.



Camamu Bay is the third largest bay in Brazil. Its surroundings are scarcely served by roads, which gives the place the serenity of a quiet isolated water banks society. Most of the villages around this bay are only served by boat transportation. The bay is the mouth of the Marau River. At less than 0.2 nm from the mooring point that is at the end of the suggested route to Camamu (WP SABIA) there are two small and humble restaurants that you can reach easily with the dinghy. They are at a point called Goió and serve fresh fished lobsters and seafood. Right in front of the anchoring WP SABIA, practically on the beach, there is the house of Onília. The legend goes that Onilia, now a very aged black lady, has been the girlfriend of the famous airplane pilot Antoine de Saint Exupery an adventurer who wrote in 1943 the best seller "O Pequeno Principe" (The Little Prince"). Saint Exupery used to land in a small airfield right behind Onília's house. This airfield caused the place to become known as "Campinho" (in portuguese an airfield is called "campo de aviação", hence the name "Campinho", or small airfield).  Another nice progam is to navigate up the river Maraú with your own sailing boat (using motor power) until getting close to a small waterfall called Cachoeira do Tremembé (also known as Cachoeira Veneza). This is a 20 nm trip. When you get very close to the waterfall you may drop anchor and go to the foot of the waterfall in your dinghy. It is a very nice spot and has a small (although not cheap) restaurant. Start the trip with the tide going up and return with the tide going down. The sea charts for this region show a proposed track to sail this trip. In the middle of the way you may stop at the Maraú Village. From the proposed mooring (anchoring) site WP SABIA there is also the possibility of disembarking with the dinghy and doing a trip on foot all the way to the touring village called Barra Grande, placed at the entrance of Camamu Bay. The track is very beautiful, mostly along the beach, some 6 km long. By the middle of the way you must cross a small river, which is done by using local people canoes  (cheap rates). It's only some 50 meters across but it adds to the charm of the trip. In Barra Grande, a touring destination, you can go to a restaurant and, if you are tired to walk you can get back to WP SABIA by sea, paying the fare to one of the local transportation motorboats. Before departing for this land track ask local people for the route to follow (it is not complicated but has one or two intersections that you must be aware of). It is a good idea to have a handheld GPS to register the track on the go to make it easier to return. Another nice thing to visit is the handmade wooden working boats shipyard in the Cajaíba Island. The better way of doing that is to rent a local motorboat because the way to Cajaíba has many shallow & unchartered waters. If you decide to rent the motorboat it would be a good idea to add a visit to the Ilha da Pedra Furada  (Island of the Pierced Rock). It will cost you about the same price for the boat rental because people there tend to price the boat by the day and this little island is worth visiting. If you are willing to do all that was proposed above you will need some four days in Camamu. For someone that is fond of nature I'd say that it's well worth the time spent in this place.





Sailing Leg from Camamu to Morro de São Paulo

This is a 43 nm sailing, which can be covered in about 8 hours at 5 knots. Best time to leave Camamu Bay is either at the high tide or the low tide hours to avoid strong currents at the exit channel. There are no major problems to enter Morro de São Paulo but it is advisable to get there in daylight.



Morro de São Paulo is a famous touring village with beautiful beaches, many hotels, small guest houses (called "pousadas" in Brazil) and restaurants. The place used to be very primitive and calm but in recent years has grown somewhat crowded. I'd say it deserves a visit of some 4 to 6 hours, to see the village, walk the nice beaches, have some drinks and food, all during daylight. Avoid anchoring near the village pier where there is a constant movement of service and touring boats. To visit the place the best thing to do is to anchor in front of the village Gamboa do Morro (WP GAMBOA in the proposed route) and going to the beach with your dinghy, talk to some of the small business tenders there to have them watching your dinghy, and then taking one of the many small motor boats that do the regular transportation to Morro de São Paulo. It's like a ten minutes boat trip. Take care when anchoring in front of the Gamboa village because there are some spots where the bottom is too hard for the anchor to get a hold. Test the anchoring before leaving the boat.If you want to be in a quieter and more charming place after coming from the visit to Morro de São Paulo, take a short sail with your boat from Gamboa to Praia do Curral (WP CURRAL on the proposed course) just across the channel. Take care to avoid the shallow that exist near this path. Curral beach is a very nice place to spend the night at anchor. Curral beach is also the departing point to a trip that I consider really worth doing. It is sailing through the inner waters around Tinharé Island up until a tiny village called Canavieiras does Tinharé, also known as Canavieirinhas. It's a 15 nm trip through very calm and sheltered waters, ending at this paradisiac little village of Canavieirinhas. Some 9 nm from Curral there is a village called Cairu where one can stop to have a quick look at that old and quiet small place. In Cairu one should not miss the opportunity to visit the local monastery. The route from Curral to Canavieirinhas can be programmed by examining the good marine charts. The eletronic chart called CCD Gold Plus is a very fine one, covering not only this area but the whole Brazilian sea waters and has many useful informations for the cruising sailor. This chart has the proposed route to navigate from Curral to Canavieirinhas. From Cairu to Canavieirinhas there are some 6 nm in channels that could be tricky to boats with substantial drafts. I think that for a catamaran it should be no big problem to navigate there. Nevertheless, in two occasions when I went to Canavieirinhas with my 29 footer sloop I prefer to call a guy named GENI who is a local fisherman living in Canavieirinhas who offer to be the pilot of your boat to get it from Cairu to Canavieirinhas. The advantage of hiring Geni is that then you'll have a local person to give you information about the area. Geni's wife is a good cook and you can try some delicious local food in her house, or you can have fresh oyster and beverages in a floating bar belonging to Geni's daughter. Last but not least, I strongly recommend you to hire Geni and his motor boat to take you in a trip through mangrove lined narrow waters from Canavieirinhas to the open sea close to another old fisherman village called Velha Boipeba. Ask him to take you at the right time to cross the mouth of the so called Rio do Inferno into the open ocean waters up to the natural clear water pools formed during low tide (some 1.5 nm from the coast line). In the way back ask him to disembark you at a beach where there is a shack serving tasteful lobsters. From that beach you can walk back by the shoreline to Boipeba, sit there and have some local food before navigating back to Canavieirinhas. Geni's private phone number used to be (75) 9996 1653. There is also a public phone in Canavieirinhas through which one can ask to talk to Geni : (75) 3653 2066. When I was there I used to take one day to navigate from Curral to Canavieirinhas, visiting Cairu in the way, a second day to do the trip to Boipeba and return to Canavieirinhas and a third day to return to Curral. So, if you are willing to take all the trips here suggested you will spend some 4 days in Morro de São Paulo area.


Sailing leg from Morro de São Paulo to Salvador.

This is 37.8 nm navigation without any problems either in the exit from Morro de São Paulo or the entrance in Salvador. The bay serving Salvador is called Baía de Todos os Santos and is the largest Brazilian bay and the world's second largest. The main mouth of the bay is wide enough so to let you sail in with any tide heigth, however due to the huge amount of water circulating as the tide goes up and down, it is more comfortable to navigate the bay mouth during either the low tide or the high tide when the waters will be still. Salvador is a busy marine port so you should be aware of the ship traffic all the time. There are two main berthing areas for the recreational boats: the first one is close to the center of Salvador, having two separate marinas, a public marina called Tenab (used to be called Cenab) and a private marina called Bahia Marina. They are closed one another and Bahia Marina is better equipped but more expensive. Bahia Marina phone (71) 3320 8888. Tenab phone (71) 3242 3180. Choose from one of this two if you want to visit the city and if you are staying aboard. To leave the boat unattended for long periods you might go to the second mooring area, which is the Aratu Iate Clube, placed inside Bahia de Aratu which is a bay inside Baia de Todos os Santos, completely protected from the weather. The downside is that it stays at some 25 km north of Salvador downtown by road. Their phone is (75) 3216 7303.


Nautical trips worth doing in Todos os Santos Bay include the following:


1. Visit to Itaparica village. Itaparica Island is right in front of Salvador. It's some 12 nm from Bahia Marina to Itaparica Marina, just around the northernmost tip of Itaparica Island. Itaparica is a historical city, linked to the efforts to expel the portuguese from Brazil during the battles for our independence. It's a very quiet and pleasant place where you can walk along the beaches and enjoy the local food. Arriving to Itaparica try to find Peter and Annelise Plankkenhorn; they are a couple of german sailors that lived for a long time in South Africa and sailed around the world choosing finally Itaparica to settle. They have a small Guesthouse called Vistamar Itaparica, at Rua Luiz da Gan number 80, phone (71) 36311076, at walking distance from the Marina. They are a very friendly couple able to give you many good tips  not only on Itaparica but also on the Todos os Santos Bay area. You can say that Ivan and Egle from the TAAI-FUNG sailboat have recommended them to you. Just across the street from the Marina there is a natural water fountain of best quality from where you can get as much water as you want for free. Between the Marina and the water fountain there are shower/toillet cabins at very reasonable price where you can have a shower with the pure mineral water from the fountain.



2. Trip from Itaparica to Catu. This is a 15 nm navigation on the sheltered waters of the channel between Itaparica Island and the land west of it. Try to drop anchor at a place called Tororó where there is a small waterfall (almost dry in the dry season) with a small beach. A good place to rest, take a bath and a beverage on board  (there's no bar or restaurant). Continuing the navigation you will pass under the Funil bridge with a clearance of 18 meters (if you have a mast height less than that, obviously). At almost the southernmost tip of Itaparica Island (close to where the channel encounters the open sea) stands the village of Catu. Drop anchor there, in front of a beach on which there are a couple of upcoming fresh water fountains, some of them emerging directly from the beach bed. It is possible to sail from this point to the open sea and many friends have done this but I do not recommend such move because the mouth of this channel is shallow and full of sand banks and coral heads. 3. Trip up the Paraguassu river.  If you have returned from Catu to sleep one more night in Itaparica Marina, plan to sail up the Paraguassu river, which you can do most of the time under sail. The best time to enter this river is when the tide is starting to rise so you have plenty of time to go up river with the aid of the tide current and to come back with the ebbing tide (the trip on the river itself is some 12 nautical miles up to Maragogipe village and more 3.5 nautical miles from Maragogipe up to the ruins of São Francisco do Paraguassu Convent). You can plan a stopover in Salinas da Margarida before reaching the Paraguassu river entrance. In Salinas da Margarida, a small fishermen village, you can take your dinghy and go to the village pier, in front of which there is a bunch of small restaurants serving seafood and local plates. Please use the local charts to plan your safe route. Keep in mind that Todos os Santos Bay has many shallow coralineous areas. Always watch the water depth on the chart when sailing inside Todos os Santos Bay. The trip up Paraguassu river is nice even if you are not interested in visiting the old Maragogipe village. I recommend however that you visit the ruins of the Convent. They are an impressive witness of the rich era of sugar cane plantation. Ilha do Francês, some 9-10 nautical miles up river is a crossroads to the trip. If you let Ilha do Francês to your starboard you will be going to Maragogipe; if you let it by port you will be continuing on the Paraguassu river to Convento of São Francisco do Paraguassu, some 3 nm away. The Convent has a pier where you can tie your boat to visit the place. Behind the ruins there is a small village, São Francisco do Paraguassu, worth a quick visit. In the way back down the river you will find places to drop anchor and stay the night if you want to do that and one or two restaurants where you can have a meal. Ask for information in Itaparica Marina, before you leave. 4. Other Programs. From the trip to Paraguassu you may either return to Itaparica Marina or sail directly to Salvador, depending on how many days you plan to spend in this area. There are many other nice places to visit with your boat inside Todos os Santos Bay. It would take a lot of time to name them all, so I suggest you ask around to local boating people where to go depending on your preferences for particular environments. While in the Marina in Salvador you might go on land tours to interesting places on the coastal areas north of Salvador like Praia do Forte, for instance. Ask local people or the touring offices in Salvador.


Sailing leg from Salvador to Maceió

This is a 268 nm cruise, which can be covered in 54 hours at 5 knots average speed. Both the exit from Todos os Santos Bay and the arrival at Maceió are straightforward sailings. You may want to leave Salvador in the hours around the high tide or around the low tide just for the sake of avoiding strong tide currents but one can as well leave the bay at any time of the day. No tide current problems will be felt arriving at Maceió but do take good care with fishermen boats and nets when getting close because they may be carelessly fishing without warning lights. The proposed route ends at WP MAC3, which is some 0.2 nm from the anchoring area. Drop anchor near the local nautical club named Federação Alagoana de Vela e Motor (look for a boating shed more or less at coordinates S 09 40.43; W 35 43.25 at the right hand end of the beach). The place is somewhat shalow, so do your tide calculations to avoid touching the bottom in the low tide. The beach in front of the Federação is quite dirty and muddy, so you better tie a plastic bag around your feet for disembarking. Try to get there during daylight in order to be able to talk to any one at the Federação and be allowed to enter there with your dinghy. If you want to make a previous contact you can use the phone number (82) 32234344. People at this club are very gentle and you should have no problem to be allowed inside and to use their (humble) instalations including showers, toilet and bar/restaurant.



Maceió is the Capital City of the Alagoas State. The local boating fleet is very small and consequently they have no facilities to neither provide fueling directly aboard nor have they facilities for more intrincate boat servicing. At walking distance from Federação there is the charming Pajuçara Beach and a little further the equally charming Ponta Verde Beach. In both those beaches you may promenade, eat local and international food, rent a local sailing “Jangada” for a short trip to a close by coral reef where you can swim in clear water with colour tropical fish. I think that stopping by for one or two days in Maceió in one's way toward the northeast is a nice means of breaking the trip while getting the chance to know one more of the Brazilian coastal cities.


Sailing leg from Maceió to Recife.

This is a 120 nm cruise taking some 24 hours to complete at an average speed of 5 knots. The proposed route takes you to WP REC6, which is the beginning of a shalow and narrow channel leading to the nautical club where you may stop. This is a very nice and complete nautical club called Cabanga Iate Clube de Pernambuco, or shortly “Cabanga “.The channel leading to Cabanga is marked with poles painted red and green and has some 0.7 nm of extension. This channel has a depth of 2.7 meters at the HIGH TIDE so you must do the tide calculations to decide when to invest into the channel to get to the Cabanga. It's advisable to calculate your trip from Maceió in order to get at WP REC6 by daylight, preferably one or two hours before the high tide to guarantee a smooth passage by the channel. You can navigate directly into the club premises and do the necessary arrangements for your stay after disembarking or you can contact the club by VHF channel 16, VHF channel 9, or by the phone number (81) 3428 4277. Cabanga has a complete set of boat repairing and servicing facilities, showers, toilets, swimming pools, tennis courts, restaurants. When arriving you must procceed directly to the club Nautical Office to get instructions about your stay there. This Office is also able to give you general touring informations on Recife as well as information on the rules and fares for your future passage to Fernando de Noronha.



Recife is the capital city of the Pernambuco State and is the most important city of the Northeastern Brazilian Region. There are not many places to sail to inside the sheltered waters of Recife. The best thing to do there is to get information on the main touring points of interest like the historical hills of Olinda, the historical “Marco Zero” where the city was first founded, Boa Viagem Beach, etc. It's also worth walking through downtown Recife and witness the Dutch style architecture. The Dutch Prince Mauricio de Nassau ruled Recife from 1630 to 1654 and there are still today marks of the Dutch rule in the genetics of the local people and in other cultural aspects. Recife is a good place to perform maintenance in your boat and to buy boating supplies.


Sailing leg from Recife to Cabedelo

This is a 81 nautical miles trip that can be covered in 16 hours at 5 knots. You can enter the Cabedelo port and sail up the Paraiba River to reach the anchoring spot at Jacaré at any time; nevertheless it is easier for the first timer sailor to get there with daylight. Around the anchoring spot (WP “JACARÉ” in the proposed route) there are many alternatives to stay, either at anchor or at Marina Jacare Village (check many information’s about the place going to:, a site also in English).



The Jacaré anchorage is placed between the Port of Cabedelo, the main port of PARAÍBA STATE, and the city of João Pessoa, the capital city of the Paraíba State.  Jacaré is a touring spot for the João Pessoa inhabitants. There you find several bar/restaurants, a river beach and a good shipyard belonging to an English chap : Brian. Brian's shipyard is well known by foreign sailors and is well adapted to service leisure boats. Everyday at the sunset there is a show where musicians play the Ravel Bolero while the sunsets behind the hills. While in Jacaré it is worth visiting João Pessoa town and beaches, which can be done by walking to the nearby road (some 1 km walk) and there take a local bus to João Pessoa (some 15 minute bus ride). It is also worth taking the nearby train service to visit Cabedelo, its beaches and rustic restaurants on the sand serving seafood and local delicacies. When in Cabedelo take a time to visit the Santa Catarina fortress, an ancient fort built to keep the river Paraíba entrance in the Colonial days.


Sailing leg from Jacaré to Natal

This is an 84 nautical miles sailing that would take some 16 hours to complete at 5 knots boat speed. It can be done at any time of the day but it is always better to plan an arrival in Natal during daylight hours. Just take care when approaching the entrance of the Potengi River because there you might find many local fishermen that are normally not used to follow sea rules of passage and may also have fishing nets right in the way of the incoming boats. You will drop anchor near the Iate Clube do Natal (WP NAT4 in the proposed routes). You can make contact with Iate Clube do Natal through telephone number (84) 32022586 or via VHF channel 16.



Natal is the capital city of the Rio Grande do Norte state and one of the best leisure spots of the Brazilian shore. The Iate Clube do Natal is a very welcoming club and there you can find facilities like a swimming pool, toilets, showers, bar and restaurant. While in Natal take time to visit the city beaches, the Reis Magos ancient fortress, take a 6 km walk on the north beach all the way to Genipabu sand dunes. Visit the north Pitangui dunes and lake. Visit the south lakes of Urubu, Bomfin and others. Go south to visit Tibau do Sul and Pipa  (stay overnight in Pipa, make a walk through the beach between Pipa and Tibau do Sul). If you have an extra time take a longer trip north to the Galinhos village, a quiet charming little place by the sea.


Sailing leg from Natal to Fernando de Noronha

This is a straight route of 204 nautical miles that will take some 40 hours to complete at 5 knots. The anchoring area is around WP STOANT in the proposed route. This anchoring area is located in front of the island port of Santo Antonio, where you may disembark using the dinghy. Alternatively you can disembark on the sand beach facing the port facilities. Care must be taken with the anchor setting because the area has many flat rock bottom mixed with loose sand, and the boat will be loose on high seas if the anchor drags while you are visiting the island. The best thing to do is to dive to inspect the anchor setting to be sure that the anchor will be set in a nice and good crevice in the bottom rocks. If you don't feel like diving the 10-meter depth in this anchorage you can hire people from the island to do that. It is wise to plan your sailing in order to get to the anchoring spot during daylight. The anchoring in the Santo Antonio port may be inconvenient and even dangerous during the months of December to march when high swell waves might be present driven by northeastern summer winds. Avoid visiting the island by boat in these months unless you have reliable weather forecast information for the period you will be there.


Fernando de Noronha

Fernando de Noronha is a Marine National Park on an open ocean archipelago with clear waters, placed close to the equator line. Visitors are required to pay fees to visit the island. There are many wonderful trips inland and on the sea in Fernando de Noronha. To know more on the island touring possibilities and history go to the site