If there are any US citizens on board that do not have a Brazilian visa, forget about Fernando and Fortaleza. I have been to Ascension a few time, but it is really not worth the effort (just my opinion). You need to apply for permission to stop in Ascension when on St Helena.
Fernando is a great stop, but can be quite expensive. The diving
is good, but in general it is a tourist island with prices associated with tourism. Last time I stopped there they had no customs
and immigration and would not allow us ashore as we had not checked into Brazil already. This appears to change all the time as previously I had stopped there with my last port being St Helena and it had been no problem going ashore.
I have stopped at Fortaleza many times. The marina is really crap (falling apart), but I do not know if it has been revived or not over the past year. The Marina Park Hotel is located in a slum area but the city itself has some really good restaurants on the waterfront strip which also has a market every evening on the beachfront. Just use a taxi from the hotel to wherever you go. Mooring
at the Marina Park Hotel marina is enter the marina and you need to drop your anchor
about midway between the pontoon and the sea wall, then stern to towards the pontoon. The pontoon is metal and the surge is bad at times, so do not go against the pontoon as it will do some serious damage to the stern of the boat
. Put your dinghy
in the water and pull yourself in the dinghy
between the boat and pontoon.
There is a good current
running up the northern coast of Brazil - between 3 and 6 knots! If you are lucky and catch the ITCZ at the right time, you can make the trip from Brazil's Natal, all the way up the coast to Grenada
in 9 or 10 days. This is why I only stop in Fortaleza if I really need fuel or provisions or need to put a crew member
off the boat. Otherwise I skip the place.
You must remember that all my trips in the past have been deliveries and not a cruise
, so I have not wanted to linger too long in a place as the quicker I get to my destination
, the better it is for me.
If you are in Cape Town
, you can give me a call and we can meet up briefly - I have PM'ed you my cell number.