In contrast to the panic I’ve had at all the previous stops (scheduled, and unscheduled), here in Salvador I’ve been able to take a more relaxed pace. I’ve been able to absorb some of the music, food, and culture that makes this 400 year old city a special place. Besides, it’s so hot that it’s hard to keep up the work momentum…..good thing we fixed the boom and deck in the Falkland Islands as doing those repairs here in the heat would have been absolutely miserable!
However, there are still a lot of small details and maintenance to attend to. I’ve been servicing our winches, moving our mast step in order to rake the rig more, getting some minor sail and canvas repairs done, etc, etc, etc. Ashley Perrin arrives today, Jason and Steve arrive on the 8th, and they will be a big help in making sure that Ocean Planet is ready to rock and roll for Leg 5.
For those of you who have been following the Around Alone official website (www.aroundalone.com), you should have enjoyed yesterday’s April Fools’ stories. By now you should know that my “recording contract” was a joke. I can only wish it was true! But it is true that I have been able to play at a few little clubs or bars on some very nice instruments and have had a rewarding response. If you’ve heard me play on my small portable “boat guitar,” trust me that I sound a bit better with a good amplified instrument….;-)
I’ve done a lot of walking in the evenings on the streets of the “Pelourinho” the beautiful historical area of the Salvador city hills above the marina where we are moored. There is music and drumming every night in many locations, and people from all over the world to talk to. The past couple evenings I’ve spent some time with a very well read 56 year old “Rasta” named Antonio who is writing a book (by hand) on a long passed-away woman of local historical significance. He has been helping me learn a tiny bit of Portuguese, the official language of Brazil, and on Tuesday he took me to a Reggae music show at an obscure location that I never would have found or dared to enter on my own. Very intense, dark, spooky, and wonderful, and in great contrast to the Bossa Nova and Brazilian folk music in the streets not far away. But contrasts abound here, that’s for sure.
So I have been wandering, thinking about everything, and wondering what the future will bring after the Around Alone. But first, we must safely finish.
Here in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil, I have an appreciation of how far I have traveled, but also how far away from home I still am.
Attached pics: outdoor cooking, drumming in the streets, smiling local, backstage with local reggae star “Alumino” and his international band (guitarists from Argentina, and Japan!).
Bruce and Ocean Planet