Finally the winds abated and we decided to make our break for Santiago on Thursday.

Sunshine and sunny smiles as we set off.

Sunshine and sunny smiles as we set off.

It was perfect sailing to begin with, but as soon as we cleared São Vincente, the wind got up and we were back in the same sort of ‘washing machine’ waves that we had, coming down from the Canaries.

We sailed over night and decided to stop in Tarrafal on the north end of the island to break the journey down to Praia.

Our anchorage in Tarrafall.

Our anchorage in Tarrafall.

We anchored amongst four or five other boats and had an early night to catch up on our sleep. Unfortunately we put our anchor alarm on after we had moored, which meant it went off when we swung with the tide or the wind changed slightly. It seems that Jenni and I are the only ones able to detect the alarm, so I was up 8 times in the night to check our position, whilst Dan and Marcus slept peacefully on.

In the morning, I was aware of voices nearby and welcomed the distraction from fruitlessly trying to get back to sleep. Once more into the cockpit, once more!

It turned out to be the local fishermen making their way out into the bay.

Fishing boats heading out into the bay.

Fishing boats heading out into the bay.

Look outs perched on top of the wheel house.

Look outs perched on top of the wheel house.

Each boat had at least half a dozen men on the bigger boat and towed two more in the boat behind……..so many families reliant on the catch. Luckily we don’t have to catch fish to live……we wouldn’t survive!

Later, one of the fishermen came along side and sold us two big red grouper. Jenni is learning as many new skills as she can get her hands on. To add to her newly acquired bread and yoghurt making and knitting skills, she learnt how to gut the fish today.

Gutting and cleaning our dinner.

Gutting and cleaning our dinner.

Ready for the Barbeque!

Ready for the Barbeque!

On Friday, we spotted a stage being erected at one of the cafés next to the beach and thought no more of it. We went ashore and having set off in the little dinghy, that served us so well when the kids were little, we got about 50yds and all got very wet so we turned back to lower the big one!

How ones memory plays havoc with the reality of the here and now……….. being bigger and heavier than back then it was obvious there was no way we could all fit into what is little more than a rubber ring with a floor and say dry!

 Braving the swell and breaking waves on the beach, we were helped ashore by a ‘boat minder’ who said he would guard our boat for a fiver. We have read a lot of bad press about dinghy thefts in the Cape Verdes and so took up his offer.

We wandered around the town, which had wide cobbled streets, not a super m

arket in sight and a lot of small shops that have open doors, but no shop windows, so you have to pop your head in to see what’s on sale.
We returned to the boat and were treated to the sound check for the stage we had seen being put up. The sound check was tame compared to the music that struck up at 10pm and went through until 6am. Sound carries so well over water!
At 10am we pulled up the anchor and set sail for Praia in the south of the island. On the way it was calm enough for Jenni to do ‘the swingy thing’………when they were little we used to strap them into the bosun’s chair and they could push themselves off from the bow, swing out away from the boat and land on the stern

Jenni doing ,the swingy thing'.

Jenni doing ,the swingy thing’.

…….great fun, but again a trick that is easier on a smaller boat and not as a heavier adult!!
After collecting bruises to her feet, knees, leg and a whopper on the back of her thigh, Dan had his go.

Dan's bruise free go!

Dan’s bruise free go!

He’s always been the one to let Jenni go first and learn by her mistakes!!
We got to Praia at about 6pm, just as the sun was setting

Sun set over Praia lighthouse.

Sun set over Praia lighthouse.

and were looking forward to a calm night, before exploring in the morning.

1 Comment

  1. Never forget the dramatic effect of pointing a finger during a photo shoot, (great pic). Take care of yourselves. xx

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