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.

  1. There is one goat for every two people.
  2. 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.

6 thoughts on “Contrasts

  1. Jock Andrews says:

    Hey D & H – Happy last dregs of 2016 and splendid salutations to you for the coming year! Reading yer blogs and enjoying the adventures vicariously, although the idea of being biffed about in the big ol’ briney appeals only in weirdly masochistic way…
    Here in damply winter’d North Wales I have been joined by that Linn to see in the New Year with prosecco & cake, and she’s making me type as I’m supposedly the ereowwdite one. We have, I’m sure you’ll be glad to hear, been rufty tufty & active by being at the climbing wall today (yes, Linn! Imagine!) but the result has been that we needed assistance in opening the said prosecco.
    Anyhoo, just sending love to ya across the froth-flecked waves – enjoy some bobbing in safe harbour before the next chapter of Grace’s adventures – thinking of you both & Happy New Year!
    Linn & Jock x x


    • grace of longstone says:

      Cheers guys. Sun has been high in the sky today. Beach with clear blue water. Lunch with friends. Sweet. Plan is to start gearing up for the big crossing to Barbados in the next few days.
      Hope the sun shines and the walks are cold and frosty in Bristol and N Wales. X


  2. Biddy says:

    Great to hear your safely back in port but very disappointed to hear you didn’t wear your little black dress Helen during the crossing. And after taking the time to pack it too !

    Well done sounds amazing and quite an achievement. Well in the spirit of contrasts my Friday morning at 10.40 is I’m still in bed with big mug of coffee, radio on, cat curled up next to me and good book to hand, children abandoned to the world of technology as I’ve allowed the new Xbox (Xmas present) to take them hostage Vs mad bag packing and PE kit finding and pack lunch making and shouting to put shoes on and more shouting to get in car and school run followed by lots of emails and screen time sat on big bum to fulfill work obligations!

    Might have to pay ransome soon to free them from X box and try and be good parent and take them swimming.

    Lots of love must look on map and see where you actually are!!
    B xxx


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