Published: October 18th 2010
October 15th 2010
We made it
Ok what is the best way to cross an ocean when you have plenty of time and you don't feel like watching 2 in-flight movies and to 'enjoy' a luke warm breakfast just before stepping onto an African tarmac?? Then you take the luxury of taking a cargo boat to cross the Atlantic Ocean. Instead of an overnight flight it takes just 15 days.... Ok, our boat took 15 days, but that was because the only option to embark our boat was in Buenos Aires, eventhough we would pass 3 Brazilian ports before crossing the Ocean to Dakar, Senegal.
The Repubblica del Brasil
A bit about our boat, the Repubblica del Brasil. Saling under Italian flag with a mixed Italian - Philippini crew (28 heads in total) and the cook was definitely Italian... He couldn't make Asian food, which the Philippini crew (and later on us as well) regretted. Nice guys and especially the steward, Pio, did a great effort to keep us happy. We were actually not only the two of us, but also 2 other couples (one German and the other Swiss). These 2 couples went seperately by van through the America's
for more than 2 years each. Guess we could learn a bit from them.
The ship was ~200 meters long, cruising with a speed of 18 knots (~35 km/h), 8 decks loaded with cars and some containers. Quite a lot of VW pick-ups, Citroëns and Mercedes. We don't have the exact figures, but more than 700 VW pick-ups were loaded in the boat in Buenos Aires, and they covered only a few decks in the boat....
One week cruising along the Brazilian coast and 1 week really crossing the Ocean. So what do you do on such a boat: BEING STUFFED!!!!!
: 3 meals a day. Thanks God the breakfast was light, but lunch and
dinner had 4 courses each, with at least 1 if not 2 proper pieces of meat, served with a jar of chilled wine. Ok, we like to eat, but knowing the fact that exercises are rather limited? You would feel really stuffed whole day long. After 3 days we convinced ourselves that the indoor-cycle in the gym room would save us, so tredding pedals each day cleared our concience when again we digged into the Italian food.
Besides eating, well....
- a quick walk
on the deck, but after seeing this more than 3 times it tends to become a bit boring.
Agi's embarking in Buenos Aires.
- During the first week you can watch the birds sailing alongside the ship. Try to spot some dolphins or the spray of a distant whale.
- Just to spend the time we requested a visit to the engine room and so we did. Ok, we're both not that technical, but impressive it was. The Swiss guy kept going on and on with questions. He loved it, guess he's an engineer...
- Try to organize an Equator party, but then to figure out that we would cross it early in the morning and to pop champagne at that time ...hhmmmm. But anyhow, then 2 bottles we put in the fridge in the kitchen disappeared, so no champagne to pop.
- Have a BBQ, including a whole stuffed piglet and GOOD steak. We all slept bad that night: too much meat.
But please don't get us wrong. We loved the trip. During the first week we were always looking forward to go on shore-leave. Eventhough we didn't make it in Paranaguas (the customs people in the port didn't have the list with our names on
View from our cabin
Still in Buenos Aires.
it, so we couldn't leave the port) or Santos (we arrived late in the evening and leave early next day. Next to Santos' port are slums.... not that safe). But Rio de Janero worked out fine: we had there ~4 hours, so together with the Germans we headed to Monte Christo by taxi. We did our obligatory pics. Took a next taxi to Copacabana beach (great views....) for our obligatory Caipirinhas. Not bad at all.
The second week was just chilling and relaxing. Figuring out when to go to the indoor-cycle is actually a pretty hard job. Reading, playing a game or two. Just nice.
There are more photos below