Alejandro Avampini
Get to know Lagoa de Ibiraquera, a paradise in southern Brazil that very few people know
Alejandro Avampini / Blog
Oct 24, 2021 14:56

A place on the side of the famous BR101 route that runs along the beaches of Brazil from north to south, has little-known secrets yet. This is one of them.

For a year I lived in a farm with one of the edges of the land on the Lagoa de Ibiraquera, state of Santa Catarina, Brazil, a lagoon meters from the sea. At that time I had the possibility to register some photos to write this article. Although it was not a very productive year photographically, I took some shots that seemed essential to portray a place and a moment in my life. The charm and nature that this water mirror awakens is fascinating.
A quiet place, if there is one, a rough neighborhood, between inns, small hotels, cassava plantations, oxen and the native fauna, allows a rhythm of life in keeping with the times of the land. A destination that guarantees peace and harmony without major pretensions. At the end of the day, what are we going to take ... I choose experiences without many lights, but with more stars than many luxury hotels.

Every evening the white herons, ibis and other seabirds return to their nesting place, no matter if it is winter or summer, they all return to Ilha da Batuta, where no one lives. An island right at the artificial mouth of this lagoon, 300 meters from the coast, on Barra de Lagoa beach. At the time the sun rises or sets, it is an impressive spectacle, with thousands of birds coming or going in flocks and the “Serras do Tabuleiro” mountains in the background, creating a gradient of dark tones that decorate the image and they give depth to every shot.

The side of the lagoon where the SC-434 route passes that enters Garopaba from the BR-101, has 2 options for lovers of kitesurfing and windsurfing, a little school that operates throughout the year. In the summer season it summons dozens of vacationers who arrive with their own equipment or rent, to enjoy navigations from end to end of the lagoon. I know one of these Porto Jerivá schools, managed by Gonzalo and Tatú, two good vibes Argentines who founded it more than 15 years ago.

Ibiraquera, belongs to the municipality of Imbituba, and not only has the lagoon. Considered one of the best beaches in Brazil, for the practice of windsurfing and kitesurfing, Praia do Rosa annually receives Brazilian championships in both categories. Also the marine area of Ibiraquera is noted for its environmental preservation, it is part of the Sanctuary of the right whales, every year between June and November this species of whale comes in its annual stage of reproduction and breeding and is protected through this legislation.

Lagoa de Ibiraquera is also famous for fishing for pink shrimp. Local fishermen say that the shrimp are bigger after feeding on the coasts and moving around the lagoon, looking for the exit to the sea. During this nocturnal journey of the shrimp, the artisanal fishermen go with their "gererés" species of small midiworlds and catch them. They use flashlights illuminating the background 10 or 20 cm from the surface, they identify them by their particular brightness and when they are dazzled they remain immobile, at that moment, they catch them one by one.

This lagoon was originally freshwater, an incredible reservoir of drinking water. But in 1918, given the proximity to the sea, of just 40 or 50 meters, they decided to make an artificial channel and join it with it to make the seawater enter and thus gain a space for the fish to spawn, sheltered from the turbulence and being able to fish without having to overcome the breaker of the marine coast. An initiative designed for economic development, in calm waters they can cast the nets from canoes or on foot. Controversial decision that some ecological associations do not justify because they not only lost a gigantic freshwater reservoir, but also modified their entire ecosystem. The freshwater fish died and gave rise to fish that adapt to a water that, without reaching the proportion of the sea, is salty.

One, two or more times a year the channel closes, due to the sand that sediments with each incoming wave. In the rainy season from autumn to mid-spring, the Ibiraquera Lagoon gains water and increases the depth level. Until reaching a maximum mark that again mobilizes the association of fishermen and residents to open the channel again, everything depends on the rainfall regime. There are times when it rains little and others when it rains non-stop for weeks.

The moment they connect the lagoon with the sea, the pressure of kilometers of water begins to widen the small open channel and in a few hours it becomes an unbridled flow of water that drags out everything that a while ago floated without current. in confined waters. Many years ago, the opening dragged several people who were hundreds of meters from the place, bathing quietly and ended up on the beach of the sea ... Nothing happened but from that negligence, preventive measures are taken, starting with the dissemination in the media communication and social networks, when the channel is going to be opened.

Its depth is very shallow, especially if the channel is open. It reaches less than a meter at 500 meters from the coast, for this reason the fishermen do not use oars, but long rods that nail and force against the bottom to propel the small boat, towards where they want to go. They look for the schools, observe in stealth and approach little by little. They detect them because the fish as they swim, remove the surface of the water. When they are at a distance of three or four meters, they throw the net that here they call tarrafa and then they collect with a line that they hold in their hand. The Lagoa de Ibiraquera is actually a lagoon complex, there are 3 joined lagoons, because in sectors its shape narrows a lot and the banks are facing each other with a proximity of 40 meters, that is why they are known as Lagoa de Cima, Lagoa do Meio and Lagoa de Baixo, which is the one with the artificial mouth to the sea. A bridge joins the first two and standing on it, I took this last photo on a quiet night with a full moon.

Blog / Alejandro Avampini
Oct 24, 2021 14:56


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