After eight and a half days at sea Adele arrived in Rio late last night and we were soon ashore for a taste of the local firewater!
At last we’re in Rio having clocked just under 3,500nm from Stanley in The Falklands! We got here late last night and now we’re anchored right beneath Sugar Loaf Mountain, recovering from a quick run ashore last night to the local yacht club. It’s taken eight and a half days to reach Rio from South Georgia and last night saw a mixture of emotions – relief from a long upwind session, the excitement of arrival and a sense of achievement with lots of spontaneous hugs and kisses on board. Maybe a tear or two?
From the emptiness and magnificence of the ocean we are now under the flightpath of the local airport, the drums and rhythm of carnival roll across the glassy calm, helicopters flit about and the roar of the city begins to rise as the heat builds over the land.
No sooner had we dropped the pick last night than a launch arrived from the famous Iate Clube do Rio de Janeiro Rio (that’s the yacht club) with Tom ‘The Pom’ Richardson and his wife Carlotta aboard. They’re great friends of Nigel and Michel Ingram and Tom will be well known to the maxi crowd from the 1970s – he used to run Huey Long’s distinctive Britton Chance-designed Ondine.
Tom’s a kind of Mr Fixit here and has been able to pave the way for Adele’s arrival and help plan Jan-Eric and Jennifer’s schedule from now on in Brazil. The first thing he organised was a quick trip to the yacht club, where we were served the national drink of Brazil – caipirinha. This delicious but ‘lethal’ cocktail is made from cachaca, a dreadfully basic local fire water, lime, sugar and ice and it doesn’t take many to get you in the mood. Just two last night was enough send us off to very deep sleeps indeed. I was staggered to hear from Tom that the yacht club was previously a flying club, with an airstrip in the ‘back yard’ and slipways for flying boats. I began wondering if I’d already overdosed on caipirinhas.
For Jan-Eric and Jennifer’s guests the end of this extraordinary adventure is in sight and there are all sorts of e-mails and phone calls going on to check flights and hotels. I had a job remembering my mobile phone number and with e-mails being accessed, websites being checked and things being downloaded we are re-entering the real world and, as someone said last night, ‘re-toxing’.
Unless something crazy happens here in Rio – which it probably will – I’m signing off from this blogging episode which I hope you’ve enjoyed. It’s sure been fun doing it and I’d like to thanks Jan-Eric and Jennifer for making it happen. I would also like to add a special thanks to a special crew who have done wonders to keep this show on the road. Here they are looking all spick and span as we make our final approach to Rio!