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Barrel On The Dordogne Courtesy Fabrice Colas And Phillipe Garrigues Photo Courtesy Ricardo Werneck from Visions (ed Nick Carroll)
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Amazon Basin, Brasil

The Amazon Basin has over a thousand known sources emptying into its main river and hourly pours more than 500 million cubic metres of water into the Atlantic (more than all the rivers of Europe combined). The total drainage area exceeds 2.5 million square miles, nearly half of South America. The many tributaries and estauries of the Amazon vary dramatically in size, shape and especially color. Sharp contrasts occur at the meeting of rivers: muddy browns, crystal blues, and the jet black of the Rio Negro.

With the dry season drawing to a close, and the full moon setting in the west, a great roar, poroc-poroc in the native Tupi Indian dialect, can be heard throughout the Amazon's mouths. With the rivers at an absolute minimum, it is not surprising that the vast Atlantic tides hurl the waters straight back with destructive and devastating fury.

The pororoca has been sighted throughout the basin, from the tiny village of Sao Domingos do Capim in Para state, to the feared monster of the Rio Araguari in Amapa state's jungle depths. Amapa's capital, Macapa, lies on the Amazon's shore, south west of the expansive Canal do Norte, where the width of the pororoca extends to 16km. From this port boats are the only access to the remote channels around Ilha Mexicana and Ilha Caviana. The pororoca has even been sighted over 200km inland on the small Amazon tributary, the Rio Guajara.

With a maze of river channels, a diverse array of deadly creatures, and bank debris hurled upriver in excess of 20mps, the concept of hunting down the pororoca is a truly phenomenal prospect.

Courtesy Loren McIntyre, National Geographic, v142, 4
A pororoca roars up the Furo do Guajuru, a vast channel cut through Caviana Island in 1850 by the tide itself.

'There's nothing that compares with this! in the ocean a good wave might last 30 seconds, but the pororoca you can surf for like six minutes or more. It's a dream come true!'

Double Pororoca Surf Champion, Ricardo Tatui
'It's something rare and something that's ours. Before, the pororoca was considered dangerous, now it's a tourist attraction!'
Para State sport's secretary, Francisco Fernando

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