From Angra we worked our way via anchorages at Islas Gipoa, Sandri and Cedros to the beautiful colonial town of Paraty. On the way we passed Brazil's two nuclear power stations, some of the least obtrusive we have seen anywhere, mere geometrical shapes among the green back drop. Much of Paraty has been preserved from the days when it was the port for the export of gold back to Portugal from the mines further inland. It lost its commercial importance long ago, which has preserved its architecture and made it an attractive tourist destination now. Spring tides flood the cobbles of the lower streets of the town, while the doorways are set just high enough to keep the water at bay.


 Paraty was also the only place other than Rio where we found significant numbers of foreign cruisers. Six nations were represented among the cruisers anchored in the sheltered SE corner of the bay a convenient dinghy ride from the town's main dock. Here we also met our Brazilian friend, Mario Maia, who was preparing his boat to go away cruising. Mario cheerfully provided directions, help and interpreation for all the foreign cruisers. As a former racer himself, he also encouraged us when we mentioned that we had heard about the Semana de Vela at Ilhabela and thought it might be an interesting event. With his help we sorted out our entry and revalidated our rating. Suddenly we were all set for a race fix and getting more excited by the minute.



Just before we left Paraty, Mario kindly took us on a day outing to a local waterfall, the lower cascade of which is a natural water slide. We followed this cool dip up with a visit to a cachaca distillery, which had reinstalled the traditional machinery and used a water-wheel to power the machinery. Cachaca is a spirit distilled from sugar, like rum, but the taste is quite different and there are many varieties, some of which are closer in taste to whiskey. We followed all this up with a typically Brazilian meal. Having made up our minds to do the regatta, we made our way very gently south, far more gently than is our usual habit, visiting Ubatuba, Ilha dos Porcos, with its former penal colony and the east coast of Ilha Sao Sebastiao, better known as Ilhabela. We knew that we would need all the rest we could get when we got to the Ilhabela Yacht Club to make our preparations for racing.