Saturday, October 30, 2010


Friday night in Rio means only one thing- party-time. Paul, the hostel owner took a group of us to experience the nightlife, Brazillian style, in an area called Lapa, known for its bars and live music.
Here after 10 p.m. the streets close to car traffic, and the people, the music and the drinks rule the night.
Imagine the sounds of homemade drums, eukelelies, and Portugese, mixing with vendors, hustlers, young people, old people, even babies, and you have just scratched the surface of Lapa. This wild scene goes on for street after street after street and continues until 5 am. I'll say a bit sheepishly here that we were not able to hang all night long and after a few beers and appetizers headed back to the hostel. The amazing thing is the whole thing didn't cost us more then $12.Its been a while for us, but I know a night like that in the US would be much more devastating to the wallet.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Oi = Hi

Sitting inside our hostel suite, overlooking the sprawling city of Rio de Janeiro, we are taking the day off from sightseeing. Yesterday we explored the Tijuaca Rainforest, where Christ the Redeemer statue looks out over the entire city of Rio. The views are literally breathtaking: a 360 panaroma of the entire city, harbors, forests, favellas, mountains, and islands.  This rainforest was replanted in the 1800''s and now hosts and incredible array of orchids, birds, anteaters, sloths, and monkeys. Walking through this jungle  is not recommened... so we had to do it. There are steep paths that cut thru this lush bush that open up onto views of the Christ statue that can only be seen off the beaten path. We didn't see much in the way of wildlife, as most of it comes alive during the night. Our only heart pounding encounter was with a wild monkey, who did not appreciate being video taped. We respectfully, and quickly backed up the trail, at the sight of  his powerful muscles.

 The trek off the mountain took about 3 hours, and dumped us out in the middle of a bustling city street in the middle of rush hour. Here the primates were just as wild, if not more so, then our forest dwelling brother. Travis communicated with the natives using sign language, and repeatingly saying "LAPA,  LAPA",  which was the name of  the bus stop we hoped to find. Everything turned out fine, as we finally elbowed our way off the jammed packed bus, and onto the jammed packed street and side walk, where we were able to plot our course towards the youth hostel in Santa Tereza. Still unsure of our current position, we spotted our landmark; a white cat perched serenely near his dog house (?), just as we saw him earlier in the morning.

The final leg of the trip was a steep climb up the winding streets of Santa Tereza, where we pitched our tent under a mango tree in the backyard of the overcrowded youth hostel. This arrangement saved us a day of searching for accomadations, as everything was full due to the holiday weekend here in Brasil, and pleased Paul, the hostel owner who wanted to experiment with tent camping. He gave us the night for free, including breakfast, and called us his prototype.This was only for one night, after which we were to move into the "honeymoon suite". Being grateful for this arrangement, we drank a bottle of wine,  made instant bean soup, and laughed about one hell of a day in Rio.

Thursday, October 21, 2010


Our  new packs are loaded with the simplest of necessities for the ten day trip to Brazil we are about to take. We are taking as little as possible, both in an effort to avoid checked baggage, and to keep mobile  while we are exploring parts of this fascinating country.

The majority of our stay will be at a temple near a National Forest in central Brazil, and the other will be youth hostels on the beaches of Rio. We are soooo excited!

Thanks to modern tech, we will be checked in for our flight before ever leaving the boat. Thanks to our friend Glen, we will have nothing to worry about on the home front, as he will stay aboard with Billy and Chopper while we are gone. Thanks to my (our) parents this trip to Brazil, part honeymoon, part research trip, is really going to happen.

Next post will be from the beaches and jungles of Brazil. Happy Thursday to you too!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Walking on Water

So much has happened in the last few weeks, including our intenet limit running out, hence this post from a local dive in Annapolis, where its loud and smells like fries. What other things happened? OH just a little something like our first solo sail aboard Me Voy! Did you get that? That's right, that hulk we've been working on now for four (!) years, has finally taken us for a ride! There is so much more to say about this, mostly things like " wow", and " best day ever", and "is this really our boat?" and so on. But, since there are no words to adequately express our amazement at this now beautiful and functional boat, lets just let the pictures do the talking...


That day was trully AHSUM. We realized while sailing that it was our one month wedding anniversary and almost a year since we brought Me Voy to Baltimore. Here I must mention that this was all possible thanks to T's hard work on Mr. Perkins, who now purrrrrs in the engine room, and came in very handy when the wind died on our return home, and made docking, dare I say it, easy.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

It was a coldish Sunday morning that we met Mike and Rebecca from ZERO TO CRUISING for breakfast at Fells point. They were tied to a sea wall on their way to the promised land- that is- they are headed south. Like their name points out they went from knowing nothing to (safely and successfully) traveling the watery road on their sweet 32' Cat. They seem pretty set up to us, and there is no way to even compare the size of their vessel to a 32' monohull! It was pretty inspiring meeting some real people who were 'do in it'. Made this whole dream of sailing away seem totally possible, and lit the fire under our arses to work even harder on both these boats.