Remember the Rainforest 1
was a distance of a few nautical miles, and low, and, near the coast are countless islands. The ever-growing vegetation, in the immediate vicinity of the sea,
especially the red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle, L.), offers by far a beautiful aspect; but when you get close, thick clouds of mosquitoes are swarming, which apparently lay their eggs in the mud of the coast and multiply incredibly. Around noon we reached the latitude of Camamu,
from where the coast and the interior lands begin to rise, to the south of the mouth of the Rio das Contas, where the last branches of the Serra do Mar end, extending from the Porto Seguro captaincy, to a height of 200 to 300 feet. We expected to anchor in Ilheus Bay before sunset;
but just as we saw the four islets in front of us, a strong southwest wind forced the schooner to traverse all night in front of the bay.
Islands of Ilheus Bay
The largest of these islands resembled low-crowned hats: the largest, to the north, is overgrown; the smallest, as well as the others, are lined with grasses and shrubs, containing some rocks.
Between the two largest, there are, on the bottom of the sea, reefs, where the waves break violently. The port entrance is between the northern island (Green Island) and the mainland. The Rio dos Ilheus launches into the cove, making a great southward curve and forms, in the northern part of the port, a narrow tongue of land, in which is situated the village of Sao Jorge dos Ilheus. There we anchored, at dawn on December 13, at the depth of two and a half bracas.
Sao Jorge dos Ilheus today
The position of Sao Jorge dos Ilheus is very beautiful everywhere. The sandy end of the land, on whose western bank the town is built, is adorned with a profusion of undulating coconut palms, manifesting the particular charm to the palm tree, as always, wherever it appears. To the north, rises the tongue of land in a hill covered with closed forest (called by the navigators Focinho de Cao),
and on whose top the Church of Our Lady of Vitoria dominates; to the west the gaze lingers with delight on the extensive lagoon-shaped water mirror of the Rio dos Ilheus
surrounded by graceful green woods. To the east, you see the ocean in its majestic expanse, rolling its waves along the low coast, which extends, now in a straight line, now cut into shallow coves, here with low cliffs, where it is lined with lush bushes. Ephedras, Pisonias, Crotons and Hamelias, or by groups of the small coconut palm of the beach, the ariri (Cocos schizophylla, M.), presenting bright white sands, sometimes moist green fields. Those who appreciate the charm of this lovely landscape, and remember that as early as 1540, had been founded