Trindade e Martim Vaz

O texto abaixo foi compilado a partir do Jogo NationStates, que você pode acessar aqui: Nation States – Create your own nation
Durante minha passagem pelo jogo, em que num contexto bem humorado eu e outros jogadores simulávamos as mais bizarras nações fictícias, criei um país fictício, o Principado de Trindade e Martin Vaz.

Numa forma de homenagear estas que são as mais belas ilhas brasileiras, abaixo segue o perfil da fictícia nação, para rir e se divertir.

Hello, I am from Brazil and just want to say a few serious words (not too serious at all…) about my passage here in this game.

My nation’s name is inspired by the farthermost Brazilian islands: The Archipelago of Trindade e Martim Vaz. I intentionally misspelled the name in the game to show it is an imaginary version of the archipelago.

Trindade e Martim Vaz is the most distant Brazilian maritime possession. We have four (4). The other three (3) are:

Fernando de Noronha

A wonderful, environmentally protected, tourist destination. Few people are allowed to visit each year at expensive prices. One of the most beautiful places in the world. You can swim with dolphins in crystal blue waters. Discover 21 clean beaches with white sand. Dive with hundreds of fish. It’s a piece of heavens.

Arquipélago de São Pedro e São Paulo

A military base set over rocky islands in the middle of Atlantic. Inhospitable to the extreme. The basic purpose is for environmental, geographical and climate research. Military area. Nothing to see there, dude.

Atol das Rocas

As the name says, it is an Atoll. Not easily accessed. Protected for maritime life. Together with Noronha, it’s classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.

Note: Abrolhos is not exactly a ultramarine possession as many people think. It is an archipelago near the coast.

Trindade e Martim Vaz

Ilha de Trindade
Ilha de Trindade

Ilhas Martin_Vaz
Ilhas Martim Vaz

Imagine a pile of inhospitable rocks forgotten by the Sea Gods in the middle of the Ocean. The trip to reach there lasts eight (8) days by ship from the nearest coast with favourable weather. Impossible to berth. The ship stops near and you finish the trip in a helicopter. Welcome to the Trindade Island, the last Brazilian frontier… (sounds cool)

But it is not the end of Brazil! More 48 Kilometres to west there are the Martim Vaz’s Islands (I note the “m” in the real name). However, they cannot even be a frontier. Huge stone spikes cut the Atlantic Ocean in an iceberg like shape. Five major spikes form the islands. Impossible to reach by ship. Brazilian government forbids any attempt to go by ship because it is too risky. The only available way is by helicopter, coming out of Trindade Island.

Looks like something really cool. If they were not just 0,3 Km². Trindade Island is larger. About 9 Km² But it is also made of stone spikes. A very rough terrain. Some small beaches give access to a tiny liveable place. In short: they are a tiny minute small wee microscopic archipelago.

Now the question: why the hell would someone want to establish sovereignty over a so messed up place? The answer is: who knows? But some Brazilians dudes do.

The main reason we still hold sovereignty over this territory should be to ensure control over a huge extension of territorial waters. This little archipelago is in ultramarine waters, too far from coast. By holding it, we have also rights to explore any riches in the ocean. We also can tax any ships which travels through that territory. But NOONE dares to travel there! Well, they may be some useless rocks, but they are OUR rocks!

Therefore Brazilian’s Military Force, in order to ensure domain over Trindade e Martim Vaz, established a Naval Facility were brave sailors relay their positions continuously, surmounting all kinds of hardships and hindrances for the safety of our Nation.

Hm… Well… In fact, it’s just a couple cottages. Only 32 sailors be there each time. (It does not fit more. I told the Island is small.) But we are there! It must count for something!!!

The names

Trindade Island is named over Catholic beliefs. It would be translated as Trinity’s Island.

Martim Vaz’s Islands are named as a tribute to the first sailor who tried to reach the islands. Obviously his ship sunk and he died in the attempt. As any other ones who tried reach it later. There were not many tries, since it is a stupid idea. So, to tribute the first stup..(cough, cough) brave explorer, that small group of islands received his name.

The good part

The only good part in that crappy place is the fauna and the turtles! (among with all other species, for sure, but they are cooler: they trip around the world and still remember where these tiny islands are located) Since all difficulties to reach there, turtles are free to reproduce. Trindade Island is the last untouched place in Brazilian territory where turtles may reproduce without any concern.

It holds the biggest (and, so, most important) breeding area for Green Turtles of the world. Something really worthy to protect. :’-) This is the reason I choose Turtle as the “national animal” for this game. Besides turtles, there is some cute birds and sea animals. In Martim Vaz’s Islands there is nothing besides endemic spiders, low grass and a kind of crustacean.

The vegetation is poor. Grass and fern. Human’s guilty. The island was completely deforested by Portuguese sailors to sell the wood. Since the island was the only place that species existed, it was extinct before could receive a name. Brazilian mariners are today trying to reforest the island with similar trees. The seedlings are already growing.

(How the hell did those spiders arrive there?)

Daily life in real Trindade

I told you there are some mad dudes who live there. But I did not told you they almost fight to go there! Brazilian government pay a high price to settle that Naval Facility. About R$ 15.000,00 a day (US$ 8.000,00). This is the cost for maintenance of the ship, helicopter, fuel, payments for all sailors and equipment for research (and, of course, survival). This is not too high for survival. Although Trindade is an inhospitable island, the climate is quite good. The main reason they want to go there is because it is a very good way to make some savings. They receive larger wages to stay away from their families up to four (4) months and have nowhere to spend it! It is a good business. Let’s see some daily pictures of the brave Brazilian sailors.

Graça Aranha

Graça Aranha is one of our oldest ships still in use. It set sail for the fist time in 1974. It has the smallest crew (116 men) and reach the top speed of 10 knots (20 km/h). Normally it travels in 5 knots (10 km/h), to avoid overheating the engine. We do not substitute him because, well, we do not have money to buy a new one, neither to build another… It also has the smallest helipad of all Brazilian’s Fleet. It requires accuracy and skills to land an helicopter there! In each trip, the helicopter is responsible to deliver the supplies to the island, carrying all kinds of materials, so 135 taking offs and landings are done in a single day.

Graça Aranha
Graça Aranha: Brazilian’s ship responsible for the maintenance of lighthouses

Posto Oceanográfico da Ilha Trindade

The Glorious Military’s Oceanic Post of Trindade Island is the Brazilian’s greatest achievement in its Military’s logistics, researching and construction. It shows off our utmost potentials and ensures our domain at open seas…

Posto Oceanográfico da Ilha Trindade

Ok, I know, it’s… it looks like… ah… well… hm… Ok, ok… You know… Oh f*ck…

This is the temporary home for our sailors. The primary role is to ensure sovereignty. The second is to allow research in marine life, meteorological research, measure and record tidal changes. It also helps the TAMAR Project to protect marine life, in special the turtles. The cotta… (cough, cough) Naval Facility is composed by the dormitory, the joinery, the little greenhouse (were buds are raised up) and minor technical facilities.

The staff

All images are from real mariners!

End of jokes. Now serious (really).

It is quite difficult to an underdeveloped country, with corruption spread all over the State’s civilian institutions to do these things. Our military receive almost no funds to protect the 5th largest country. Over 8.5 Millions km² of area, 7491 km of coastline. Way bigger than USA without counting territorial waters. The struggle of our military is too hard. About 370.000 men/women. Our expense is about US$ 16 Billion/year.

Compare yourself: USA’s force has more than 1.400.000 guys and spent over US$ 530 Billion/year to protect a smaller area.

As a Brazilian, I joke about my own country. This is how we treat it here. But in the end, those guys in the middle of ocean deserve and receive our most respect. We are proud of their achievements. They may not send men to the moon, nor have the best equipment, neither even (sometimes) minimal conditions to work. And still, they protect our patrimony. Even with all things against them, they never give up.

Vista da Ilha Trindade
View of Trindade Island

It may be not the greatest place in the world. But that tiny piece of land is ours thanks to them.