29-Jan-2006 -- The first intercontinental ocean crossing with the new "Confluence Boat" from Valencia (Spain) to South America went well, and this morning at 07:00, shortly after sunrise we are already approaching the anchorage area of Rio de Janeiro.
On the control console you can see the radar with built-in GPS and electronic mapping and the ECDIS screen (Electronic Chart Display), which makes navigation really easy and safe. My deputy, Chief Officer Eulogio Paguntalan from the Philippines, was assisting me.
The visibility is unfortunately not the best one, but as the confluence 23S 43W is fairly close to the shore, we could of course see something:
Looking to NW, we see the coast east of Rio de Janeiro. There is Praia Itaipuaçu, and the prominent conical mountain we see here is NOT the famous Morro Pão de Açúcar ("Sugar Loaf Mountain"), but Alto Moirão, or, - in order to avoid confusion -, pragmatic as the Brazilians are, its second name is "Falso Pão de Açúcar".
Looking to East there is a small group of islets, named Ilhas Maricás. To the WSW we see two small islands, Ilha Redonda and Ilha Rasa.
As cargo operations will not commence prior tomorrow, Monday morning, we had to proceed to the waiting area and drop anchor. I was advised by Rio de Janeiro Port Authorities to choose a position north of Ilha Rasa.
For the sake of good order let's get acquainted with the real "Sugar Loaf Mountain" as well. Morro Pão de Açúcar rises from the west side of the entrance of the bay around which Rio de Janeiro is located. This bay, namely Baía de Guanabara, is bordered by some spectacular rocky mountains. Many people not too familiar with Rio de Janeiro do believe that the famous white statue of Christ, 38 metres in height, and spreading his arms over the city, is situated on the summit of the Sugar Loaf Mountian, but this is an error. The statue stands on Pico de Corcovado, about 6 km west of "Sugar Loaf Mountain".
The last picture I have taken I believe does not need much explanation:
It shows the by far most famous beach in the world, extending SW of the "Sugar Loaf Mountain": The Copacabana!