08. February 2014 · Comments Off on Praia, Santiago · Categories: Sailing Blog

 

Our anchorage in Praia harbour.

Our anchorage in Praia harbour.

We anchored in the harbour in Praia, despite the guide book warnings of thefts and officialdom. There were three other boats at anchor and two more joined us including ‘Ash’ the Swedish boat we first met in Las Palmas, with Sven and Kirsten and Frederick aboard. We spotted their arrival from the restaurant where we were eating, overlooking the bay …….. great excitement!

Lunch overlooking Praia Harbour

Lunch overlooking Praia Harbour

After lunch we walked around the town and found ourselves in a pretty run down area, but did manage to buy a bottle of the local grog to give Kirsten for her birthday. It’s a shame, but because of the vulnerability of tourists, I couldn’t get my camera out, so there are no photos.

Kirsten's Birthday Melon!

Kirsten’s Birthday Melon!

Sven, Kirsten and Frederick came aboard and we celebrated Kirsten’s birthday with a birthday melon…….no time to bake a cake! The following day they all came aboard and used the halyard to swing off the front of the boat and drop into the water……..we oldies passed on that one!

'Rope swing' from the bow.

‘Rope swing’ from the bow.

The following day we got a call from Antonio……someone who one of Jenni’s contacts in London said we should get in touch with whilst here. He and his wife, Aidil arranged to come aboard in the evening. They arrived bearing a bottle of their local wine and some bread and cheese. After spending an hour or so with us, they suggested going to a restaurant. So we all hopped into their car and set off. On the way we stopped off at their house. A modern open plan, luxuriously decorated house that they had designed by a friend a year ago. The area around it looks half finished and run down, so stepping inside was a real surprise.
It turns out that Antonio is the minister for water and sanitation for the Cape Verdes and Aidil works for the ministry of education on overseas projects. Jenni always falls on her feet! We spent a lovely evening with them and enjoyed finding out more about the Cape Verdes.
When we got back to our dinghy we found our first evidence of theft…..we had chained the motor, petrol tank and the dinghy to the pontoon, but the long painter that we tie up with had been cut, so we now have a shortened painter and some local has two metres of rope!
Our last day was spent exploring the small island in the bay that had once been a leper colony. It is strange to think that an island in a prime spot has been left to decay. In Europe it would have been developed and made into a tourist attraction, but here there are more urgent priorities.

The ruined chapel on the island

The ruined chapel on the island

We left Praia at 0900 the next morning bound for Brazil.

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