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BRally January 2013: Why not include Southern Brazil on your cruising route?

By Sue Richards last modified Jul 16, 2012 09:32 PM

Published: 2012-07-16 21:32:27
Topics: Rallies
Countries: Brazil , South Africa

This report was provided by Silvio Ramos of SV Matajusi, a circumnavigator who left Brazil with his RO 400 "Matajusi" in January of 2009. He will be completing his circumnavigation with this first edition of the BRally.

BRally – Brazilian Rally (January 2013)

This is a new rally developed by cruisers, to encourage more cruising boats choosing the Cape route back to the Med to visit Brazil on the way.

Circumnavigators are now congregating in Thailand and Malaysia, unsure of their next leg due to the Red Sea being blocked by pirate activity. These boats only have three options; put the boat on a ship (with costs in the order of US$20.000 to US$ 60.000), go via South Africa, or sell the boat without completing their dream.

The great majority of boats that choose the Cape route, do not go to Brazil, with less than 5% going to Fernando de Noronha, less than 2% going to Salvador, and almost none going further south and thus missing out on some of the best Brazil has to offer in terms of good anchorages and site-seeing.

In conversations with many of the boats I met along the way, the main reasons they don't come to Brazil are:
1. There is no good, reliable information for cruisers coming to Brazil. The information that exists is mostly negative.
2. Events that appear to be piracy in Brazil, such as the one that resulted in the death of Peter Blake.
3. The perceived impossibility of returning from the south to the north, namely with the current and wind on the nose.
4. The complexity of the entrance and exit documentation process.
5. The hassle of having to repeat documentation at each port visited.
6. The lack of exemption taxes on replacement parts purchased in the country.

The BRally will aim to develop an easier documentation process, so that (as with many other countries that welcome foreign boats), officials from Customs, the Navy, Immigration and Health will come to the boat together.

As a quick and temporary solution, to assist with gathering information about Brazil, places to go and not to go, when to go and when not to go, piracy, local culture and other relevant information, the site http://www.brazilianrallymatajusi.blogspot.com.es/ was developed and will continue to be developed during the next few years. On the site I have addressed each concern reported to me by fellow cruisers over the years and which helped me decide that many boats who would not visit Brazil alone, would probably go with the BRally group.

The best local navigation guide for the Brazilian coast is now available in English (Cruising The Coast Of Brazil – Marçal Ceccon), and will be updated to ensure the latest information is available to cruisers. The guide need to be requested (conact me) and will be delivered in Cape Town at a cost of US$50.

A project to encourage more foreign boats to visit Brazil is being developed by myself and fellow cruisers from Brazil. We are working with nautical vendors to promote improved services at competitive prices to cruisers who need to do boat maintenance. The project is also negotiating with the authorities at coastal cities, to facilitate the documentation process and boat provisioning, a need for every cruising boat. In addition, the exchange of information between local cruisers and foreign cruisers coming to Brazil is being promoted by our group, which will allow for a lot of knowledge sharing between the two groups.

Brally is a group of round-the-world cruisers sailing together to a new destination, the 4.000 mile long, beautiful coast of Brazil. The group is growing all the time with the joining of other cruisers that hadn’t yet decided what to do and where to go after SE Asia. Our group now has over 20 boats!

With the intention of providing my cruising friends with some memorable experiences in Brazil, I am making an effort to get sponsors to pay for the receptions to be given at each port and to dress the group with a BRally uniform, including shirts and hats with the project logo, so they can remember for many years the welcome they received in Brazil.

Our long term goal is to promote a change of behaviour within the round the world cruising community to include South Brazil on their cruising routes so they can report the good experiences on their blogs as positive information about Brazil, and thus promoting other cruisers to do the same. It is also to educate the Brazilian authorities as to how the reception given to visiting foreign yachts could be greatly simplified and thus encourage more cruisers to try Brazil out for themselves.

All boats, any size, any nationality are invited to join us on the Brally adventure. Simply e-mail me to find out more details and to register. Registration and participation are free.

For more details contact me at matajusi@gmail.com.

Silvio Ramos
SV Matajusi
www.matajusi.blogspot.com

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