Fernando De Noronha — Where Sea Life Actually Rules the Sea

Not much renders me speechless. In fact, until Fernando do Noronha’s wildlife had me staring like a toddler at an aquarium, the only other time I was genuinely unable to speak was when an old friend, who apparently lost her mind, introduced me to the 250-pound pig she keeps in her house in New York City with her family. Sorry, I digress . . ., the sheer beauty of Fernando De Noronha, together with its most abundant and well-protected sea life I’ve ever seen, was truly mesmerizing. Unfortunately, this also reveals a significant bit of blogging malpractice.

The Approach

As we approached Fernando De Noronha, our crew of six was tired and ready for some rest at anchor. We’d traveled safely from St. Helena, but as described in earlier posts, we started to stress out about the spinnaker halyard. So, seeing the island was a huge relief . . . .

. . . . even if it appeared as a giant phallic symbol on the horizon.

There is one anchorage, which was lovely, but expensive.

Brazilian Navy- Strict Guys In Tight Shorts

In fact, the Brazilian Navy protects this anchorage vigilantly. They rushed out after we anchored to ensure we weren’t too close to the area where the dolphins like to rest. Once we got on shore, they informed us that we must not have any contact with the sea life (turtles and dolphins primarily) and that if we are approached by the sea life, we must exit the water as rapidly as possible. In the best English they could muster, they made clear that violations of these rules would be subject to strict punishment.

Blogger Malpractice

And this leads to my blogging malpractice. I have no pictures of the bay showing the numerous turtles and dolphins. I so wish I had some photos of the dolphins that tried to play with our dinghy and seemed to think that every effort we made to avoid them was a strategic move in an epic game of tag. The turtles lazed about as if this were a screen saver at Pixar. Seriously, I wish I had some photos, but, as you know by now, I suck.

Check Out This Video

Since I lack any pics or videos of the dolphins, let me refer you to this video. The YouTube channel Sailing Yacht Florence is great, and we had the pleasure of meeting Matt and Amy in St Helena and then again on Fernando de Noronha. They are fantastic and practiced and chronicling their travels. The dolphins start at about the 5-minute mark.

Also, you can see Wild Rumpus in the episode about their departure from Fernando De Noronha in the video below at about the 4 minute mark.

The Island

Unfortunately, nobody on board spoke Portuguese, and the customs official did not speak anything other than Portuguese. He was, however, skilled at using Google translate, so we muddled through the initial paperwork and fees easily enough. He then informed me I needed to wait for immigration. An hour or more later, a police officer arrived and drove me along with another yachtie to a police station on the other side of the island. There, we went through the immigration process.

Most people on Fernando are vacationing. I was told that it was like the Hawaii of Brazil. But, vacationers and locals alike had one unifying quality . . . none spoke English.

The beaches were uniformly beautiful.

And all had some form of wildlife. Although you cannot see it in the picture below, the black clusters of what appear to be rocks at 10 o’clock (think of a clock- the top is 12, one click to the left is 11, then one click to the left is 10, etc.) in the bay are actually clusters of resting sharks.

The locals appear to have some provisioning issues much like the locals on St Helena. When provisions came into the stores, they rushed to the grocery and got what they could because no more would be available until the next ship visited.

And, as far as I could tell, they have virtually no crime. Which, given the size of their courthouse, is really for the best.

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