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Fernando de Noronha - April 2010

By Sue Richards last modified May 02, 2010 06:13 PM

Published: 2010-05-02 18:13:08
Countries: Brazil

This is a "must see" island; a good port of entry (from a convenience point of view). But costly.

Anchor off in 10 to 14 metres of water in hard sand (some rock).

Go ashore avoiding the many long floating mooring warps left by the multitude of dive boats which operate from 0700 each day. In the harbour the warps become worse, nothing short of a cat's cradle.

Clearing-in

Report to the office at the root of the mole. The official will take from you an anchoring tax (Taxa de Preservacas) of Euro 80. You will then pay an additional Taxa de Aucoragen of Euro 70 per day per person, making this a very expensive island.

The Polica Fereral will then come to the same office to complete all paperwork making this a most convenient, if expensive, place to enter Brazil.

We are always told to be well dressed to meet Brazilian officials. Two arrived in identical garb. Carrying all official papers and stamps in a supermarket carrier bag. They were both wearing flip flops, shorts, sleeveless tee shirts and baseball caps back to front. Be very clear about you next port and expected date of leaving Brazil. You can always change your mind, but they cannot deal with "maybe here and maybe there". Your date of departure must be a maximum of 90 days away.

Facilities

Haul Out - None, local fishing boats haul out on the beach.

Water - From taps at the back of the beach - only one is high enough to get a standard 25 litre container under.

Fuel - By jerry can only from the filling station across the road from the Tourist Information.

Money

The Port Official gave me a map of the island, called a taxi, told me where not to anchor (everywhere except where I was) and loaned money to other boats who needed local currency. The day after my arrival he drove me to the airport to the cash machine. There is another cash machine at Alamada do Boldro but it seldom works. The machines at Banco Real in the main town of Vila dos Remedios does not accept foreign cards.

Internet

As you leave the pier, bear left across the road to a group of buildings, keep to the right and you will come to Musea Tubaroes, which is a shark museum and cafe bar. They will let paying customers use their Internet when it is working. WiFi is unknown on the island.

Food

Approaching the main town the road forks left and right. Take the left fork and after 100 metres there is an open air fruit stall and two supermarkets. Walk around all three before you buy anything as the quantity and quality of fresh produce varies hugely from day to day. Remember this is an island of 3,000 people, 200 NM from the mainland, so don't expect anything to be cheap.

Transport

The only thing on the island which is cheap is the bus, which will take you the full length of the island for Euro 1.50. Hitch hiking is the norm - everyone gives a lift.

Attractions

In the square above the harbour is a Tourist Information office. No English is spoken. Do not arrive on this island without a working knowledge of Portuguese or at least a good phrase book.

The island, the wildlife and the coastal scenery are a dream. Baia do Sancho (accessed down vertical steel ladders) is said to be the most beautiful beach in Brazil. I agree.

Shark Museum - One member of staff spoke excellent English and everyone there was more than helpful.

Anthony Swanston
SY Wild Fox

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