The Cabo Verdes
An Unplanned Visit
It was never our intention to visit the Cabo Verdes but circumstances occurred which meant that we decided to head into Mindelo, to refuel and check all of our gear. Having spent a couple of days heading down towards the turning point for the Caribbean, the decision was made by Jim on Wendreda and myself on Kiah to head to Mindelo. We then encountered a force 8 gale which lasted for several days. Getting Kiah onto a good course that we could sail with no problems took a little while. Sail trimming and setting the wind vane brought about a great sail even in gale force winds with high seas. It is said that wind vanes get better the higher the winds and this certainly turned out to be the case with our Monitor servo pendulum wind vane. I was able to sit back and watch Kiah climb the high waves and maintain our required course (just occassional tweeks to ensure she stayed on the best course with any small wind changes). Luckily, we had high but non breaking seas (lots of spray blowing off the tops of the waves but no heavily breaking seas). After 4 days the storm abated and we were then sailing in sunshine but with still high seas. We eventually surfed down to Mindelo, the seas reducing as we entered the channel between Sao Vincente and Ilha De Santo Antaao. We swept round into the bay of Porto Grande and entered calmer seas. Quite a trip.
We had an interesting visit to Mindelo. The pontoons were secured from local people by bared fences and gates. On stepping ashore to report our arrival to the local authorities, we were met by a local chap at the gate, who offered to work for us during our stay in the harbour. It appears that this is a local custom and many of the other yachtsmen and women recommended that we do take up the offer, to help with the formalities and to show us around Mindelo.
The Port of Mindelo