Category Archives: Cabo Verde

Getting to know a bit of Cabo Verde

the "Fontaneiro" - the water house in Palmeira, since more than 10 years the desalinations plant delivers water to everyone
the “Fontaneiro” – the water house in Palmeira, since more than 10 years the desalinations plant delivers water to everyone
the fisherman come back with theirs day's catch...
the fisherman come back with theirs day’s catch…
immedeately there is a huge crowd of people...
immedeately there is a huge crowd of people…
and with a lot of bargaining the fish are handed over to their new owners
and with a lot of bargaining the fish are handed over to their new owners
we say bye bye to D'Jai
we say bye bye to D’Jai

We spend a few days getting to know Palmeira and Espargo which is a bit bigger than Palmeira and maybe already could be handled as a small town. In Espargo we are happy to be able to draw local money and to buy a local SIM, to be able to download and write emails at least and we learn that there is free WIFI on the Plaza. In Palmeira we watch the locals getting water at the fontaneiro and the fishermen selling their fish at the dock where we always park our dinghy.

For new year’s eve we are invited by our french neighbors Claude and Arlette and enjoy the varieties of french boat cuisine. The intention was to share what we both had planned to make, but of course Arlette had prepared in a french way several courses while I had only prepared one. So we spent the whole evening eating and chatting and both Reto and I we were most surprised about the french that Reto spoke! In the 3 years living in the french part of Switzerland I never heard him speak like that!

we arrive at the unhabited island of Santa Lucia and really - there is no one except us
we arrive at the unhabited island of Santa Lucia and really – there is no one except us
the beach is endless and no people anywhere around
the beach is endless and no people anywhere around
Reto cleaning the hulls below the waterline - the last time it was done in Greece and that's why the amount of algae and mussels are impresssive
Reto cleaning the hulls below the waterline – the last time it was done in Greece and that’s why the amount of algae and mussels are impresssive
Mindelo harbour
Mindelo harbour
the covered market in Mindelo
the covered market in Mindelo
Mindelo from further up
Mindelo from further up
once again heading upwards on the old roads..
once again heading upwards on the old roads..

Then after almost one week on Sal we move on to some other islands. Our target would have been Sao Nicolao but with 20 knots of wind we moved on to Santa Lucia which was more save and we could put out 80 meter of chain since we were the only ones in the bay. Enjoying the clean water we let our water maker run and Reto started to clean the hulls.

Then the next day we continue on to Mindelo on Sao Vincente and we find a nice spot directly next to the Marina and close to our american friends Carole and Jim who we met in Palmeira the first time. Thanks to both of them we feel immediately at ease in the anchorage.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

we were most impressed by the visit in the church (thanks to Carole and Jim who took us with them) - people were all warm and friendly and the service was exceptional - Music over music, a complete band and the slides at the front showing everyone what to sing!
we were most impressed by the visit in the church (thanks to Carole and Jim who took us with them) – people were all warm and friendly and the service was exceptional – Music over music, a complete band and the slides at the front showing everyone what to sing!
Angela soaking the pretzels in the caustic before putting them into the oven
Angela soaking the pretzels in the caustic before putting them into the oven
our She San in Mindelo anchorage, behind the marina and the city centre
our She San in Mindelo anchorage, behind the marina and the city centre
we almost feel like in Pirates of the caribean
we almost feel like in Pirates of the caribean
view down while we are heading up on the old road of Santo Antao
view down while we are heading up on the old road of Santo Antao
once on the highest points of the road we almost get the feeling as if being in the Swiss Engadin ;-)
once on the highest points of the road we almost get the feeling as if being in the Swiss Engadin 😉
then on the way down we admire the slopes and terasses
then on the way down we admire the slopes and terasses
and the slopes become steeper and steeper
and the slopes become steeper and steeper
and greener and greener
and greener and greener
all the way in the northeast is  Ponta do Sol, here the sunset is beautiful
all the way in the northeast is Ponta do Sol, here the sunset is beautiful
also it is a fishing harbour, but the fishing boats...
also it is a fishing harbour, but the fishing boats…
...are only used from June to August due to the massive swell the rest of the year that makes it unpossible to land...
…are only used from June to August due to the massive swell the rest of the year that makes it unpossible to land…
the valley of Paul, one of the greenest spots in the cabo verde islands
the valley of Paul, one of the greenest spots in the cabo verde islands
and a lot of plants are grown here, starting even in the bed of the little "river"
and a lot of plants are grown here, starting even in the bed of the little “river”

Sunday morning we join Carole and Jim going to the local church and for us it is a marvelous experience, there is a band with E-Guitar and drums and the words are projected on a screen so everyone knew what to sing. We were explicitly greeted as guests and invited for the coming week and people came up to us and were extremely warm and friendly.

When going around with our bikes we got another feeling. In Sao Vincente and also in Santo Antao we had the feeling that our bikes were most wanted, and although they are already more than 10 years old we had many envious looks. Therefore we would not advise exploring Cabo Verde as individual tourists especially by bike.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the other hand the landscape of Santo Antao is really spectacular, we drive up and down the old road from Porto Novo to Ribera Grand and on to Ponta do Sol where we stay for the night.
In Ponta do Sol we enjoy having our bikes stored away safely and not being the only tourists we feel not any attention on us.

Unfortunately Reto gets sick, so we skip some of our plans, get a transport to the valley of Paul, but also there we cannot freely enjoy the biking.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Back in Mindelo we start with the final preparations for the journey across the atlantic and start to stock up with fresh fruit and vegetables. We learn that from now on, you buy what you get, not what you want – you do get many things here, but sometimes either quality or the prices asked are horrendous. The onions were sold out last week, then they were at 4 Eur/kg, in the meantime they come back to 2 Eur/kg… So I take my time and have a lookout for the best quality at the most reasonable price.

According to the wind we should be able to leave on the weekend as the wind will pick up again.

Sailing from La Gomera, Canary Islands to Sal, Cabo Verde

So finally we were ready to leave the Canaries and the wind went into the right direction to make it possible, so we left La Gomera on Monday the 21st of December at noon.

the south coast of La Gomera, Playa de Santiago
the south coast of La Gomera, Playa de Santiago
two rainbows ;-)
two rainbows 😉
Reto enjoying the sun while making water
Reto enjoying the sun while making water

With quite a lot of gusts and turn in wind direction coming out of la Gomera’s valley’s we fought our way south until the presence of the islands became less, the wind more steady, but also the waves a lot higher. For the first time in the Atlantic we had not only the waves from the wind but also a huge swell coming from the north atlantic depressions and at this moment for us from a different angle than the wind, so it became really choppy for the first time. We even started to feel a bit sick from time to time, something that normally we don’t feel at all…

The salt water started to find different ways of coming into the cockpit, from the back, through the air and also from our drain hole just before our salon door. We learned that it is better to keep that one closed if we don’t want to get our floor inside constantly flooded.

the ripped off reef line needs to be brought into the boom again
the ripped off reef line needs to be brought into the boom again

Then the second reef line ripped off, but we were still going almost 7 knots in average even with the 3rd reef. The reef line was brand new and being used for the first time, so we thought that we have bought a poor quality material. Only one day later we recognized the point of chafe that was also already destroying the 3rd reef, and finally could start to fix it and prevent this to happen again.

for christmas the salon table finally is cleaned up and the little plastic tree and the three artificial candles help us to get a bit the christmas feeling
for christmas the salon table finally is cleaned up and the little plastic tree and the three artificial candles help us to get a bit the christmas feeling
when Reto wakes up for taking over the watch the "presents" are ready next to the tree ;-)
when Reto wakes up for taking over the watch the “presents” are ready next to the tree 😉
again we are making water, this time while it is raining
again we are making water, this time while it is raining

Then we celebrated christmas with our 30 cm red and green christmas tree and our 3 artificial candles. It was better like that since we had to learn that also on a catamaran things will fall if not fixed well enough.

We had great weather during the whole trip and almost all the time at night the moon was lighting up the sky and the sea.

Then we had to decide to either speed up, in order to arrive after 5 days in the evening or to slow down and take our time to arrive only the next morning. Since the wind became very little we decided for the second less stressful and safer option.

 

 

 

 

we always have dreamed of such a catch and then it is two at the same time! one outside the water they start to loose their bright color and turn dark
we always have dreamed of such a catch and then it is two at the same time! one outside the water they start to loose their bright color and turn dark
then we park the both dolphin fish hanging on the david for the dinghy engine - at least the david seams useful for hanging up some fish...
then we park the both dolphin fish hanging on the david for the dinghy engine – at least the david seams useful for hanging up some fish…
and now the work starts: taking out the inner stuff, cutting out the filets, taking off the skin and then...
and now the work starts: taking out the inner stuff, cutting out the filets, taking off the skin and then…
many hours later we enjoy the first pieces of one of the most excellent fishes that we have ever eaten!!!
many hours later we enjoy the first pieces of one of the most excellent fishes that we have ever eaten!!!

While we were just “hanging around” and waiting that the wind will pick up again, I was just taking a nap, when Reto screamed “fiiish, fiiiish!!” . So I immediately ran upstairs and saw that he is on the left fishing rod, but in the same moment also the other one makes the noise of having a bite. So I start taking in the other rod and we indeed had two catches within one minute. To get them on board takes then a bit more time, and we soon see what we have got there: two dolphin fish, one is 1 m long and 5.6 kg, the other one 1.20 m and 8.5 kg. It was clear for me what to do in the next couple of hours… 😉

in the morning we are just before Sal and Reto puts up the Capverdan flag together with the yellow quarantaine flag
in the morning we are just before Sal and Reto puts up the Capverdan flag together with the yellow quarantaine flag

Then the next morning we arrive in Palmeira on Sal, Cabo Verde after almost 6 days and 769 miles.

we are happy to have arrived well and enjoy the last Cruzcampos, soon we will get the Sagres ;-)
we are happy to have arrived well and enjoy the last Cruzcampos, soon we will get the Sagres 😉
the Mercado Municipal of Palmeira, which takes not too much effort to be seen...
the Mercado Municipal of Palmeira, which takes not too much effort to be seen…
Palmeira beach with the bay full withboats, all the way upfront on the left hand side a beautiful catamaran ;-)
Palmeira beach with the bay full withboats, all the way upfront on the left hand side a beautiful catamaran 😉

Thanks to the help of D’Jay who shows us the way into the anchorage with his dinghy we get a nice place to put our catamaran close to the beach and the village. Soon we drink our arrival beer and just sit there and look at our surroundings. We realize, now were not any more in Europe, this is Africa!

And then we find out that in Palmeira on Sunday it is party time, so even though we are more than tired from the trip we enjoy our first local cabo verde village party with a lot of music and dancing 😉

The next morning we officially clear in and chat with the friendly police officer and one again I have the feeling that it does help a lot being able to speak to local language ;-).

We immediately feel well here and look forward to pass the next weeks here on Sal and the other islands. Where and when we move on once again the winds will decide 😉