Stop in Mindelo, isla de Sao Vicente, Cape Verde.
from Friday 15th November to Thursday 21st November 2019
We arrived early, considering that there were boats that docked on Sunday morning, 3 days after us. Being among the first has a great advantage and a disadvantage, the first that they usually assign you a good place, the second instead of the time you would like to take to be a land traveler, you don’t always manage to take full advantage of it because there is always something to do and someone who comes to visit you or someone from other boats who wants to make friends and with whom you share some coffee, a beer and a lot of chats about sea and wind.
This is the case of Camillo, owner of a 1983 Swan 44 that crosses out of the ARC circuits, a retired architect, now an olive grower in the Garda area and an occasional oceanic sailor; Giorgio, owner of Jan, a new Hallberg Rassy 48 (USA flag), Retired Italian-American cardiac surgeon and now globetrotter with his wife Jan, who not coincidentally gave the name to their boat, and then Ken Elman, a big English man, owner and commander of Caritas, a Contest 50 s, beautiful boat, reveals himself and nice he and his wife, also registered in the World ARC and probably they too will bring their Contest home with a ship.
Next to it we have a small boat, 12 meters long, inhabited by 3 adults and 3 children, aged 4 months, 2 years and 4 years; they are obviously Swedes, or Norwegians, however very Nordic and with very different educational concepts from ours. They argue that only now that children are not in school can they undertake an experience of this type, limited to crossing the Atlantic and staying in the Caribbean, no one knows for how long,Kevin Hirsch tells me about the future, from the catwalk of his Oceanis 40.
I do not fail to mention Davide Zerbinati, since everyone cites him, the most famous technical expert in Italy, aboard his Aluaka, a fast hull of aluminum, Van der staad project of 17 meters, with an unusual and retro tiller, but so it is for life.
The average tourist who relies on agencies to reach destinations more or less representative of the fashion of the moment, knows nothing about the Cape Verde archipelago. The average tourist knows that there is the island of SAL where there are beautiful resorts, and pristine beaches that take your breath away from photos retouched with Photo Shop, and favored by low costs they rush, unaware of what actually awaits them: the undisputed ruler of these places, the wind.
A strong, gusty and persistent wind, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; the wind is never alone, because where there is wind there are clouds and the islands that are 10 including the uninhabited sutia, are characterized by a completely different geological origin from that of neighboring Senegal, therefore African, but by the volcanic submarine crest which gave rise to the Azores and Madeira, therefore they are Montagnose islands, with a peak of over 2500 meters of the volcano (active in periods until 1995), the 2000 of S. Antao and the others with peaks inside the clouds of over 1000 meters .
Then a mountain range emerged from the ocean swept by the wind. Discovered by a Navigator an Italian, unknown to most people, a certain Alvise Cadamosto, at the time, 1462, in the pay of Prinsipe Enrico of Portugal.
Although Italian, the flag that was planted in Mindelo was the Portuguese one and soon the archipelago with indigenous people, animals and plants it contained, became a Portuguese colony. The island that became the capital of the kingdom, however, was Santiago, of the group of those so-called “leeward”, where it blows a little less impetuous, and after centuries of the usual battles between English, Spanish, Dutch and even French pirates, the Portuguese succeeded at great cost to keep the title of “Portuguese overseas province” until 1967; but the Cape Verdeans are a people of great dignity, so much so as to organize themselves casually after 68 in Europe and really believe in the young indigenous forces, so much so as to fight for independence, after the assassination in Guonea Bissau of their Leader Amilcar Cabral, the “CHE” of Cape Verde; independence obtained in 1975. Since then the Republic of Cape Verde was born, with flag and currency, the ECV (ESCUDO) at the exchange rate of 1 euro for 100 escudos, which is equal to 1 dollar for 100 escudi (they like simple things , and the currency exchange must be fast), dollar or euro is the same, but better the euro, they prefer it big time.
Now I have SSB radio communication with the regatta network, I will continue tomorrow.
In the meantime, to update you, we started splendidly with a nice f5 downwind and we are surfing in a generous and warm trade wind, which bothers you so much at the mooring and so much fills you with energy here in the middle.
See you tomorrow
Paolo & Crew