Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Brisa - Ilha Bela

Evening view from the deck (facing Caraguatatuba)

Today's post is a continuation of yesterday's ramble on about Ilha Bela, quite possibly the most beautiful island in the world (bring on the hate mail from Hawaii and most of the Philippines).  As I mentioned yesterday, we were hosted by cool friends who know how to waterski and sail, and paddleboard and windsurf.  This means that our first day had to include water sports.

One of our host's friends--in fact a childhood friend who learned to sail with our host-- brought around their shared boat in the morning. This motor boat is named "Pedrinhas" or little rocks (not sure why, must ask) and is one of those giant inflatables with a canvas roof and just enough comfort (a cooler with cold drinks) to make it tons of fun. The idea was to teach my kids to waterski.

In order to lay the groundwork, the hosts each sent out their kids to ski. All the kids are around age 6-7, and the two who went first have gone skiing multiple times. I was wondering how they were going to get my kids up on two skis at this age...but then I met the toboggan. My word for it.

The toboggan was a board about 1 1/2 foot wide by 3 foot long. It looked like a flat board with several handholds on it. At the front of the board there was a small pole for the kids to hold on to, instead of being pulled directly by the boat. The toboggan was attached by another cord to the boat. It's best to show it like this (sorry I cut off my kid's head, but you know my addiction to my kids' photo privacy):

It is something so simple, so old style and so wonderful for the kids to learn. Look at how stable my son's legs are! And the long board allowed the father of the learning kids (one kid is just 5 years old) to surf along behind. More than anything, the father on the board was psychological not physical support. My son quickly got rid of BH so he could surf by himself. First time, and he was up.  L-O-V-E Brazil for this stuff. And also many thanks to our host who had an endless wealth of patience, encouragement and applause for my boys.

Our host on a first run with the smallest kid

In the end, one of my sons was too scared to go. Not of the waterskiing part, really, but being alone behind the boat. What if he fell off in the middle of the channel? Would we come back from him? Reason was not playing into his evaluation and so we let him not go.  Then we all jumped in the water ourselves and bobbed around near some beautiful rocks:

When we pulled the boat back into the small boat ramp, a huge sea turtle bobbed up next to us. It must have been 2 feet long. I was so surprised I didn't have my camera in hand.  

Our host and his friend went off for a paddleboard while we went up for some cold drinks and a dip in the pool. And that is pretty much all we did that afternoon. And that evening (plus an exhausting, haha, barbecue). Sure, we could have gone hiking. We could have gone out for Jeep ride, or gone to the beach to watch the sunset. But we stayed out on the deck and enjoyed.

Seriously, would you leave?


On Sunday, we slept late and the more intrepid then went for a sail in tiny sailboats or windsurfers. The wind suddenly died as it sometimes does in the channel and they all spent an extra hour out waiting to be towed in by the local sailing club. "Falta da brisa" --  a lack of breeze. A relaxing afternoon and then we realized we would have to leave. No one wanted to go. Alas, São Paulo awaits and we took back the ferry under a full moon. See you soon, I hope, Ilha Bela.

Tomorrow I am going to talk a bit more about the port that is capable of ruining this island paradise. If it is one thing this country knows how to do, it is ruin the perfect beauty of its coast (Rio's favelas, a port in front of Ilha Bela). It just makes me sad. Yeah, yeah, it's all in the interest of progress and the economy. I get it. I don't have to like it.

No comments:

Post a Comment