Headline news is that we are safe and sound in Mindelo, Cape Verde after a 7 day crossing from Santa Cruz, Tenerife. My brother provided with me with two facts about the Cape Verde islands that I know you will expand your useful knowledge bank.
- There is one goat for every two people.
- There are no mosquitos.
He may of course have made this up for amusement sake so do check!
The last seven days have been full of contrasts.
• Force seven winds, big seas, scraps of sail and the occasional wave into the cockpit v flat calm and engine on
• Unexpected and an unwanted saltwater shower as a load of water came through one of the hatches v planned delightful freshwater shower after 7 days at sea
• Struggling to keep cereal in a bowl as the boat lurches v mango, pineapple and orange fruit salad for breakfast sat in the cockpit
• Sleeping for 3 hours maximum v a delicious 12 sleep hours undisturbed on arrival
• Cold beers with friends on arrival on a floating beach bar v tea in a mug on passage at 3.56am
What was our longest crossing so far like? The first three days were pretty uncomfortable and not at all what I’d signed up for. It was ‘darned’ unpleasant at times. Not your gin and tonics with nibbles on the poop deck at 6pm in your little black dress kind of sailing.
Being the pragmatist that I am, its all a bit more experience in the locker. Grace got us here safely with not many breakages. It’s certainly the most sustained period of hardship that she’s been put through in our ownership. However, the passage is all ancient history now. I still find it remarkable how quickly moods and situations can change.
We’ve been to the immigration office this morning and then to the police, so we are officially allowed to be here now. Also collected the first passport stamp of the trip. The town feels distinctly African, we are no longer in Europe. There’s an outdoor market which sells everything from sugar cane to second hand engines to phone chargers.
Re -provisioning with fresh fruit and veg looks eminently straightforward. The supermarket is not so super. Somewhat more frugal than the ginormous CarreFour in Santa Cruz.
Christmas kind of passed us by. My Christmas present to Dave was to let him sleep in and have an extra hour of kip before swapping watches. When he reciprocated the gift, it was the best present ever. We have Cape Verde radio on and I’ve just listen to my first Christmas track this festive season. Can’t say I’ve missed the ‘in your face’ aspect of Christmas.