Cape Verde

18th Oct- 27th Oct, 2021

Our passage from The Gambia to Cape Verde turned out to be longer than we had planned. Because of wind direction and current we couldn't point as high as we needed to sail to Sal so we decided to sail all the way to Mindelo instead, an extra 100nm. But it's all good, now we have plenty of time to prepare for our passage to French Guyana. We are also very excited to have our first, for a passage, crew Jan Holtz coming in on Friday to join us

Now time for the Nerdy Stuff

Passage from Banjul, The Gambia to Mindelo, Cape Verde. It took us 4.25 days. And we averaged 6.3 Knots. The shortest great circle distance is 531 Nautical Miles. We sailed 647, close hauled, Nautical Miles to get here. We ran the engine 18.3 Hours (18.4%) during the passage. We got 154.9 Ah/day from Solar, 133.3 Ah/day from Wind, and 39.9 Ah/day from Hydro, a total of 328.1 Ah/day during the passage. Turns out the Hydro bearings are shot. So less from Hydro this time. A lot from wind though, since we sailed up-wind the full passage, and the apparent wind helped with energy generation.

Plan to get the bearings replaced here in Cape Verde.

Four days later we approached Mindelo on Sao Vicente in Cape Verde. We had this beautiful welcome

The very rugged coast on Sao Vicente at the inlet to Mindelo

Mindelo beach

The sea turtles are protected in Cape Verde. You can snorkel with them on a beach close to Mindelo

Colorful fishing boats in the harbor of Mindelo

The beautiful pink palace in Mindelo

So many colorful colonial buildings here in Mindelo

The fish can't get any fresher than this

We had a nice little OCC gathering in the marina in Mindelo, Cape Verde. Crew Horizon, OCC Port Officer Kai Brossmann, Crew Skylarks and Crew Giulia. Always nice to get together with fellow OCC cruisers.

Anders is greeting Jan, our new crew member and very good friend, at the dock

Yay, we have a spinnaker again. Jan transported it all the way from Stockholm, Sweden. Big Thank You

We put Jan to work right away. Spinnaker is going up. All looks good

We had a wonderful two day trip to Santo Antão. Everybody told us " Santo Antão is a must see". And we have to agree! It was spectacular and so magical. Definitely worth a visit. We stayed in a hotel up the Paul valley on the north side, Casa Cavoquinho. The surrounding mountains felt unreal, stunning. The owners, a very nice Spanish couple, organized everything for us. Instead of renting a car we had our own local guide driving us around the whole day to all must see places. We also did some shorter hikes. The second day we did a long hike straight out from the hotel. The hike was amazing , but not for someone with vertigo if anyone wants the contact info for the hotel send me a message.

We had a very early start to catch the 7am ferry to the neighboring island of Santo Antao, for a two day trip

Instead of renting a car we booked our local guide with his van. He took us to all the must see and do places. It was a full day of mixing in shorter hikes

This amazing cobble stone road was built between New Port and Paul, between 1945-1956

It was 36km long, built from two directions/ Which means that the progress was 4.5 m per day if they worked 7 days a week

The west side of the island is so dry. They haven't had any rain in 18 months

Looking down in Paul valley, where we will spend the night

Our first hike, up this planted terraced forest

At the top of the Mirador

These cute kids have the cutest little playhouse

Inside the crater. Here they grow a lot of vegetables and fruits since they have spring water and it's hot

A man is giving his cow water from one of the springs

The road around the top of the crater was sometimes a little scary with big drop offs

You can probably see that when it's raining there is a big waterfall on the hillside. Unfortunately they haven't had rain for over one and a half year

Old meets new, in Riberia Grande that used to be the capitol

We thought this was pretty funny :-)

The pig hotel outside the village

Another of our hikes was along the spectacular north coast

And here is the chicken hotel

Anders and Jan is hiking. Behind them is the village where we had lunch

Another view from our hike. Pretty steep here...

View from our hike. Stunning north coastline

At the end of our hike this picturesque village was a nice treat

Jan and Anette took a swim in one of the natural pools

Comfy in our hotel. A room with a view

Happy boys got their first course for dinner

After dinner the owners handed out shots for us

Our beautiful hotel with this stunning surrounding

Leaving for our second day hike

Typical traditionell old Cape Verde Houses

We walked through huge sugar cane plantations

It's amazing to walk through all the terraced plantations on these impossible locations

We took a wrong turn and ended up walking on one of the Levada. The locals on the opposite hillside where pointing and giving us directions to ensure us we could get through this way

Steep climb

Our goal before starting our descent. How hard can it be to build a village at the top of this narrow ridge

At the top. Happy tired guys with cold drinks

That's one big squash

Amazing to see, and walk through, all these plantations. We could also see how they built the water ways. Very impressive!

We cleared out from Cape Verde in Mindelo. But it was ok to stop over in Brava before our passage to French Guiana. So we set sail to Brava, the south westerlies island in Cape Verde and the smallest inhabitant island. We planned to be here for two nights but because of some weather activities we stayed here for six days. We really enjoyed this small friendly beautiful island.

Anders is enjoying a swim in the 28C water

Sunset in Brava

Our sheltered anchorage here in Faja de Agua, Brava

View over our anchorage and the picturesque village of Faja de Agua

View from the boat over the little town of Faja de Agua
View from the bar

A very strenuous hike up the valley from our anchorage

Beautiful high plateau with it's abounded village

View from the top of the hike. Definitely worth the hike. Horizon looks tiny in the bay

I found a friendly cute donkey

At the top we took the local but s to the main village, Nova Sintra

Anders paid the bus driver. Very convenient and not expensive at all

Now we know how they build all these cobblestone roads

On our way back we took this picture of Horizon in the bay

The local fisherman comes in every day with their catch of fresh fish

These guys with their phones

Posing in front of Horizon at anchor

Jan is waiting patiently for the next flight out of Brava, That will not happen. The airport has been closed for many years.

The runway. They closed this airport very short after it was built. Due to very strong downwinds from the mountains which pushed the planes out towards the water. No planes managed to land. I wonder what happen to the planner of this airport ;-)
Oh well, then Jan has to do it himself...ready for take off ;-)

After a long hot hike we got rewarded with these natural pools. They were really refreshing, like a cold jacuzzi

A selfie over Nova Sintra. Jan and I did a road trip with a private guide. Anders stayed on the boat to make sure we didn't drag, it was pretty windy. This is our excellent guide, Carlos, who we can highly recommend

We visited this fishing village, Lomba Tantrum, on the south coast. On the beach there is around forty fishing boats. The women used to carry 40kg of fish up to the village where we stand. Now they have installed a cable car to transport the fish. This is also a good anchorage in the right winds, not today.

At the top of the ridge there is a viewpoint, overlooking the fishing village of Lomba Tantrum

View over the neighbor island, Fogo. It is made out of one single volcano and is 2829m

On our road trip we met this cute little baby donkey

Panoramic view over the main village, Nova Sintra. Fogo is in the background

We walked to some other nearby natural pools

These natural pools were just amazing. Every now and then a BIG wake came splashing over the rocks and reached far in. You better watch up!

Then we visited the local rum producer. What a Gem! This is a one man "Show". He is doing everything himself, and he has built everything himself. Very impressive

We got to taste the delicious Rom in coconut shells

Another view of the distillery, that he built himself

His own room distillery apparatus

Making bread for the passage

Our last day here in Brava was a holiday, so lots of people were enjoying the beach and swimming

After six days here in Brava we start to feel like home and love this slow relaxed village of Faja di Agua. But finally our weather window looks good. We are ready to set sail towards French Guiana. It will take us around 14-17 days. We hope for a smooth fun sail