Our friend from Portugal, Gonçalo
Rosa, invited me to join him for a shelling trip to Natal, north
Brazil. He flew directly from Lisbon and I met him at the airport.
We rented a car and drove to the beach so we could start looking
for shells from fishermen and to dive as well.
|Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil by
Natal is a reasonable large city,
usually full of tourists this time of the year (summer). Because
there had been several problems with local flights lately (3 to
6 hours delay) most tourists were from abroad, lots of Europeans.
We had a small dredge for use on
fishermen's boats at depths from 5 to 10 meters. Although it worked
very well, we did not find many shells, except for some very small
species. This time of year, use of hookahs from the boat is prohibited
in order to protect lobsters. So we only snorkeled in shallow
water to 6 meters, but collected some nice shells anyway. We did
a night snorkel, but the tide was coming in and it felt like being
inside a washing machine. There were also too many small swimming
blood-sucking crustaceans which were attracted to our lights and
bit us a lot.
The weather in Natal was nice, no
rain at all. The average temperature was 35°C (95F), so air-conditioning
was needed all the time in the car and at the hotel. It is a nice
place to spend a few days resting on the beach, but not in our
case, of course. After all, beach means work for us!