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Ricardo Guerrini on 15/3/2008
Bill lyons,thanks for the tip about "bat crab". Marcus,Icouldn't find anything handsome at"gostoso beach",maybe you changed the picture !

Matt Blaine on 19/01/2007
Hi Marcus, Nice pictures if a beatuiful place. What a contrast to the ice storm that hit the mid US last week! Matt

Bill Lyons on 18/01/2007
Hi Marcus. Nice Pictures! Looks like your trip to Natal was productive. The "big crab" is Carpilius corallinus, found throughout the Caribbean where it is locally called the "bat crab" because the figure on its back looks like the "bat signal" in Batman. Check it out. Bill

Natal, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil by Marcus Coltro

see photo presentation
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 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!


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