Itaparica Island – by Karin (the Mom)

We left Salvador to go to Ilha Itaparica – one of the renowned islands in Salvador Bay.

It usually takes 2 hours to motor to the island, but the wind was from the right direction and, of course, we sailed 🙂  It took us about 4 hours to reach the anchorage of Itaparica Town. This counts as one of our shorter sails.

Another reason for going to Itaparica was to meet up with the Mambala one more time. We were starting to describe them as OUR French family 🙂




RIGHT: Karin, fixing the Genoa sail and Sophia enjoying the fresh air. It was a lovely sail – wind and hardly any swells.









LEFT AND BELOW:  We just HAD to explore the Island immediately. As we strolled through the town of Itaparica, it felt so clean and fresh. Suddenly, we realised what it was. No Graffiti !!!


BELOW: A lovely Bell Tower. Once again, it is possible see the effect of the black mould due to the high humidity.

DSC06802BELOW: If you read this sign in Afrikaans, 1994 must have been a very poor year!




We made Karin J stand against this tiled wall because she just blended in so nicely. Her minion shirt is just the right colour, don’t you think?


This is Franci standing in front of a cage with a type of a “cart” inside. We don’t know the significance of this phenomena, but we did see a busload of tourists stop especially to admire it.

 All I could find on the internet was that The Battle of Itaparica was fought in the then province of Bahia, from 7 January to 9 January 1823, between the Brazilian Army and Armada and the Portuguese Army and Navy during the Brazilian War of Independence.



Interesting sign in Portuguese. It is next to a Cycling/Pedestrian road. See if you can understand what to do.DSC06828


Marike and Sohia look really relaxed here, walking next to the sea. It is very deceiving. What they really feel, is HOT!! HOT!! HOT!!!!






The “Fortaleza São Lourenço.There is just something about canons that make a good photo.


DSC_0612RIGHT: Frans standing on the beach videoing us. In the background you can see the Brazilian’s choice pastime for an afternoon. They love sitting around, drinking something cold and alcoholic. This photo looks more idyllic than in real life. The beach is quite polluted and this specific place had no atmosphere that could entice us to join.






RIGHT: During low tide the sand bank sticks out completely and then those red and white sticks become the goal posts for a soccer game.








Returning to Shang Du at sunset. This was taken from the dingy.DSC_0155








Just a little off-shore, in the middle of the bay, there is a sandbank that only appears at low tide. Here you can see Frans walking and Sophia playing in the water.

The ideal place to go clam-hunting. Our French friends on the Mambala invited us to dinner and they planned to have clams on the menu. When they told us they were going to dig for them at low tide, we were very keen to join them.




The next two photos were taken with the video camera in its underwater housing. Frans didn’t realise that the housing had condensation on it, making all the photos a bit surreal.

This is Marike with Lila. The beach looked like a badly ploughed field after we were done with digging.

I loved it. It was so therapeutic and rewarding. You bury in the sand with your hands until you find a little lump. Viola!! Another clam for dinner.






A very interesting crab, found in the shallow water







A delicious dinner with our friends Marc and Anaik Le Fur on the Mambala. A great evening and great company. Notice the globe at the table, enhancing our conversation on where to go next.



Here are the children, having their dinner. From left to right : Marike, Karin J, Sophia, Lila and Basil. Not visible is Anette, Franci and Milon.



All eight of the children crammed into this berth to watch a movie. Here, they are still getting ready. Amazing what boat children can do.

Let to right : Basil, Sophia, Marike and Anette.


I want you to keep in mind that the Van Zyl children cannot speak French and the Le Fur children do not speak English. Yet, they played games and dined and “talked”.








LEFT: Grocery shopping. Everything you buy, you have to carry.

BELOW: We were delighted to discover a fellow South African.

Natalie runs this Chocolate Shop and is married to a Brazilian. Our girls reckon that she makes the best chocolate milkshakes EVER. They make all their own chocolate, harvesting the cocoa from trees growing in the back garden.

They showed us the fruit with the cocoa beans in it. It has white flesh around the beans and does not smell of chocolate at all 🙂

Her husband, Daniel, runs a “Bed-and-Breakfast” called the “Pousada Muito Mais”, which translates to: The Inn of Much More.






RIGHT: Back at the boat. It was so good to be anchored in clean water again! Here I am scraping the hull. I do the top areas and Frans the parts where you need to hold your breath for a really long time.


ABOVE: Sophia loved the clam digging so much, that she insisted on going back the next day. After bringing back a bowl full of clams and keeping them alive in salt water for the whole day, she couldn’t bring herself to cook them.

The rest of us all voted for eating them with dinner, but Sophia abstained.




It must be hard to find a more generous man than Daniel, Natalie’s husband.

He offered to share a bunch of bananas with us for our journey and ended up giving us the whole bunch. The bananas are also from their back garden. The process of picking the bunch was fascinating. He tied plastic bags to the two ends, especially to the bottom part, as it oozes out a very yucky, sticky, purple goo that will NOT wash off.

This was early in the morning, just before we were about to set sail. The fact that Franci is wearing a jacket, does not mean  that it is cold. Franci’s internal thermometer has always been a bit broken 🙂




The only photo that we have of the whole family. Daniel, Natalie and their adorable baby son.


BELOW: The bananas only ripened like this after a few days, but I wanted to show how we strung them up in the cockpit. This is the best way to keep a bunch of bananas.


BELOW: Time to leave!!!

“Our French Family” came to see us off in their dinghy. They kindly took some photos of us setting sail, as these are the hardest photos to get. You cannot photograph your own boat while leaving.

Left to Right: Marc, Anette and Lila (the twins), Anaik and Basil. Milon stayed behind on their boat.


We set sail for Devil’s Island…………AGAIN.

This time there would be no unexpected detouring. A journey of 1847 miles lay ahead. But…….. we had lots of bananas 🙂


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    • Marï Coetzee on November 5, 2015 at 8:38 pm
    • Reply

    Ek is so bly dat ek uiteindelik op julle webwerf en blogs afgekom het. Ek swem elke oggend saam met Hilda in Yzerfontein,en dan vertel sy ons waar julle al in die wêreld is. Dit is ń ongelooflike ondervinding. Ek is net so lief vir seil. Ons het gedurende die Wêreldbeker krieket in 2007 vir 5 weke die Karibiese eilande geseil met n “tallship” en al die eiland besoek. Geen mens wat nognie daar was sal verstaan hoe idilies dit is en die warm water en wit strande is onbeskryflik. Geniet elke oomblik en “travel safe” Ek geniet julle blogs en fotos. Doen so voort. Yzies groete

    • Trish Roberts on November 7, 2015 at 2:27 pm
    • Reply

    Fascinating reading! You are having such a great adventure! love the tiled wall and love the minion shirt too!! Lotsa love xx

    • Sean Wright on November 7, 2015 at 10:32 pm
    • Reply

    Hi family
    Many thanks for keeping up the discipline of blogging. It makes such interesting reading! Two quick ideas:
    1) Are you able to update your route map with your progress as well, say in another colour? That way we will be able to contextualise, well geographically anyway, where you are and what it means when you say that you had to detour etc.
    2) We live in Wellington New Zealand, southern most part of the north island, and it would be wonderful to see you. Can always accommodate you guys for however long.

    Love to you guys from the Wrights (Mel, Amy, Claire and I’m sure Matthew and Kieron too)

    1. Hi, Sean
      It’s great to hear from you
      When we get to New Zealand we’ll definitely take you up on your offer!
      On the ‘Route’ tab, there’s the planned route at the top, but under that there is an actual route map as well (and it’s even up to date at the moment 🙂 )
      All the best
      – Frans

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