S/V Tiger Lilly

Rig heavy, reef early, and pray often; for God does not assure us an easy passage, but He does promise a safe anchorage...

02 January 2018 | Clan Jeti Anchorage, Georgetown, Penang Island, Malaysia
03 November 2016 | Singapore, Southeast Asia
02 October 2016 | Kumai River, Borneo
24 August 2016 | Rindja Island, Indonesia
22 July 2016 | Fannie Bay, Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia
14 June 2016 | Pancake Creek, Queensland, Australia
13 June 2016 | Pancake Creek, Queensland, Australia
11 June 2016 | Burnette Heads, Queensland, Australia
07 June 2016 | Mooloolaba, Queensland, Australia
11 May 2016 | Colmsie, Brisbane River, Queensland, Australia
23 December 2015 | Brisbane, Australia
13 August 2015 | Whangarei, New Zealand
07 August 2015 | Whangarei, New Zealand
23 July 2015 | Whangarei, New Zealand
12 April 2015 | Whangarei, New Zealand
11 February 2015 | Whangarei, New Zealand
25 January 2015 | Whangarei, New Zealand
24 September 2014 | BORA BORA, French Polynesia
23 September 2014 | Bora Bora


06 September 2013 | SOURE - RIO PARA
Tom and Lilly
Greetings from Belem, Brazil in the heart of the Rio Amazon's Delta region - just south of the Equator.

Soure, on Ilha De Marajo, was our first port of call in Brazil. It is a delightful little country town with friendly, welcoming people. After our first walk-about in town, we stopped by a mom and pop corner store to get a cold drink before we rowed back out to the boat to get some work done. While we were sitting at a table enjoying shelter from the brutal early-afternoon sun, the store closed, a barbecue was fired-up, and a buffet was laid out; then a three-piece ensemble set-up and began playing the distinctive Samba-like beat popular in the Amazon's Delta region. The store owner's extended family came in from their work with the fishing boats and tending water buffalo and cattle; the Thursday afternoon fete was on - and we were invited to the party! No one spoke any English, and we don't speak Portuguese, but we had a good time listening to their music, enjoying the food, and drawing lots of pictures and waving our hands in sign language to communicate with our gracious hosts. So much for working Tiger Lilly's Project List! The day before that we spent the entire afternoon watching a troop of cowboys from a cattle boat swim-in 50 head of tough, cantankerous, Brahma range cattle; all individually lassoed and "persuaded" to jump off the side of the boat into the fast-flowing river, and then up onto a ramp from the beach to the slaughter house - and their fate. The way these young fellows could swim, and lasso, and pass lines was absolutely amazing for a seaman to behold! That was our first day in port, resting up after a challenging sail down the coast from French Guiana.

Lilly sez: Well, actually, WE were not resting up, I was cooking and cleaning while HIMSELF spent the afternoon in the cockpit, binoculars up, giving a Howard Cosell like play-by-play description of the river rodeo / round-up. So you see, even a regimented fellow like Tom-Tom the Sailor Man, can learn how to take a break and enjoy life on the Rio Paracauari.

Soure was going to be just a short rest stop along our way south down the coast; but on the way up the Rio Para the side of our custom Strong Track, which holds the full battened mainsail on the mast, blew out in two places - we had a problem that had to be fixed before we could go back to sea. Soure is in the middle of the remote Amazon Delta, and not a place to get yacht repair parts; we were going to have to go to Belem to be able to jump through all the necessary government hoops to get a replacement sail track shipped in. So we motored another 50 miles up the wide Rio Para to the big City of Belem - the large capital city of the Amazon Region, and home to 1.5 million Brazilians. Belem was not in our plan at all, but now we will have to stay here for a few weeks to make our repairs.

Since leaving Trinidad in April we have cruised almost 2500 miles along the Northeast Coast of South America; calling at Venezuela's Rio Orinoco Delta, Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana and now Brazil's Amazonia. We have explored hundreds of miles of tropical canos and rivers, and beat to windward well over a thousand miles down the coast. Spaceship Tiger Lilly, and Providence, have taken very good care of us in some pretty remote places; and we are fortunate that the sail track failed so close to an area where we can make repairs - it could have been much worse. We have really enjoyed the last six months cruising in South America; so much so, in fact, that we have used-up a large portion of our 2013 cruising schedule along a relatively small area of a very long coast. Also, the passages have been slow - as we sailed against the Southeast Trade Winds and the strong Guiana Current. Of course, the adverse wind and current came as no surprise to us, but the time has certainly slipped away. As we enjoy Amazonia, an exciting and interesting place we are glad to have the opportunity to visit, it has becomes apparent that the weeks are marching by and we need a new plan; we will not make Uruguay for Christmas, or Cabo de Horno for the coming summer cruising season. The question now before us is do we want to spend another year in South America? We have decided to sail back through the Caribbean to the Panama Canal (via the ABC Islands of the Netherlands Antilles) and head into the South Pacific in January. We will keep the Cape Town to Rio run in our back pocket for when we come around Africa in a few years, as we still want to see Patagonia and the fiords of Chile.

There is a saying in the Navy that goes, "Time, tide, and formation wait for no man!" While we have not seen a formation of Naval ships in quite a while, we certainly have seen ten to twenty foot tides here on the Northeast Coast of South America, and the calendar on the bulkhead tells the story of the weeks of 2013 flying by. Lilly sez: When you get to Tom-Tom's age, it seems that time is just not on your side - he is NOT buying any green bananas anymore! But I must say that he still is one very tough old sea dog offshore and in his element. OH MY GOSH! I just don't know how he does it. Now, if we could just channel some of that energy into other areas!

As we enjoy Amazonia, an exciting and interesting place, we are anticipating the Netherlands Antilles, Cartagena, the San Blas Islands, a transit of the Panama Canal, and then on into PACIFICA in 2014. As our French friends would say VWA LA - It's a plan! Lilly sez: Hmmm, an easier route - which virtually ALL of our cruising friends have recommended for some time now, by the time we get to Africa, we - that would be ME, mostly - would be more experienced and more help to HIMSELF and Tiger Lilly in the high latitudes down south, AND if we go to Southern Brazil later we would not have wasted the $200 worth of electronic charts HE just bought to sail from Rio to Cape Horn. OK, I am game - let's go to the PACIFIC!

Yogi Berra once said, "If you don't know where you are going, you might not get there." Ok Cupcake, we have a plan, and we know where we are going. Good order and discipline, domestic tranquility, and a sense of destiny, once again reign aboard the Good Ship Tiger Lilly!

To see Tiger Lilly's photos of SOURE, BRAZIL, click on the PHOTO GALLERY link at the top-right of this page and follow the logic tree as follows: Main / Ports of Call / South America / Brazil / SOURE - see you there!
Vessel Name: Tiger Lilly
Vessel Make/Model: 1977 CSY44 walkover hull #55
Hailing Port: Green Cove Springs
Crew: Lilly and Tom Service
Lilly is a retired business woman, and was previously a professional athlete. As one of America's first professional female triathletes, she was a pioneer in woman's sports. [...]
Our kids: From 1987 to 1991 Tom circumnavigated the world with his family. Daughters Dawn and Jennifer were ages 11 & 13 when they departed on a 4 year, 40 country / island group, Trade Wind voyage around the world, and 15 & 17 when they returned to St. Petersburg, FL. During his high school [...]
Tiger Lilly's Photos - Main
Approximately 100 Asian elephants live in and around the Trincomalee Landfill in northeast Sri Lanka. These huge creatures eat plastic strewn trash and garbage because they have been driven back from their natural habitat by the encroachment of farms.
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124 Photos | 4 Sub-Albums
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1 Photo | 8 Sub-Albums
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4 Photos | 7 Sub-Albums
Created 23 August 2010