This is too crazy! You should see our boat!...Grain de Sable is not a grain of sand but all DUNE!!!.
And we are still in Sal, Cape Verde.
11 days passed , but we didn,t move anywhere. We wanted... OF COURSE! But straight after our arrival to Cape Verde wind started blowing very strong and did it till now. .(Canary Islands had worse times....it started snowing there!!!)
We had to put a second anchor for feeling safe and relaxed. Weather forecast was showing strong winds for more than a week. Luckily the bay here in Palmeira is well protected and there is no swell at all. With a strong winds around inside the boat was quiet and calm.
But outside ....sand sand and sand!. We managed to keep clean our boat cockpit (buckets of salty water everyday), but the rest of the deck? Forget! Till we not start sailing again or strong rain will come there is no chance to take it out.
But now is clear- we are in AFRICA:)
Little vilage of Palmeira is cozy and very welcome. Locals are relaxed and friendly. Its not dificult to feel confortable here. There are not too many things on shore, .but the basic you may need you.ll find it. Few little supermarkets where the food is expensive and vegetables and fruits are real luxury ( ATTENTION! Any one who plan to sail here , .bUy alll ,,,but allllll you can in Canary islands,,,You will not regret ..believe!!!!)
Also there are some restaurants and bars...and every sunday evening a party in the street where local people from all island come. There are public showers (o,5euro per person), cybercafe where you can buy a local sim card with 2 or 5 gb of internet , fresh water tap to fill cans ( we still have lot of fresh water on board so didnt need to use it yet) and friendly fishermans selling fish near dinghy landing dock.
When we came here we found in the same bay on anchor our friends Rebecca and Arnol with there childs . They were in Cape Verde more than a month already, So next day they showed us thel vilage and introduced us to some locals friends.
Almost every evening we were joining together with other sailors and some locals in a Bar Arminda for a local beer ( 1 e.) or cortado( glass of local rum-0,5 e).
Is not so bad here no?:)
Sleeep a lot, eat a lot...swim..go to shore for a small walk,,,take a cold beer in local bar .make some dinner and invite friends on board or go to other boat......check weather forecast...check weather forecast ..and check weather forecast.....
AND CHECK WEATHER FORECAST!!!
And change the plans constantly (we are already used to that).
After seeing local weather and winds here we decided that we will not sail to Gambia. We want to cross Atlantic, so we calculated that we do not have so much time anymore. Little bit pitty of course, but there will be another countries and another places instead.
We decided we will not sail to Brazil as well. Acording our most recient plans (which of course can change again:))our next destination will be SURINAME!.
Long time ago we wanted to visit this country, so now its the time.
But before we hope we will visit another islands of Cape Verde. Maybe Sao Nicolao?.
It must be really nice and green island. Till the anchor place in bay of Tarafal is just 80 miles, but everybody says here that with a strong winds there are crazy strong gust of winds blowing down the mountain..... You have to put lot of chain and if it is blowing too strong, you cant leave your boat alone.
We will see. Somehow we are tired of all these local winds...wind acceleration zones...and etc..and probably of vulcanoes too... SO if its possible we,ll stop and if not than straight to Mindelo...buy more fresh food...fill the water...and GO!!!!!
You see? we are planning again:)
Anyway here in Sal we are Ok.. Grain is safe and we have fiends around. Day before yesterday after 9 days of very hard sailing arrived our friend Adrian with his friend from Lanzarote! Now is our time to show them a place and make them feel like at home here.
So why to hurry....lets wait for calmer days for leaving....
It was a long time since we were not sailing long distances. It was the first time
that we had to make more than 700NM and somehow I was a bit worried on how we will be able to manage this trip. Too much thinking....
But finally the most complicated thing was to decide when to leave a place because for sailing we make a really good team.
First 48 hours were hard, we had to get use to night watches, not completely full sleeps, our cat (Bimbache) first sailing, wind changes...
But after that we started feeling better, enjoyed sailing and the winds from NE, ENE, E (established Aliseos), tried different sailing options, played with front sails and booms, using mainsail boom like a front boom for keeping the Genoa open, dealed with strong winds from the back (more than 30Knots peaks)...
But when we were 250NM from Sal, the PACTOR III send us a not really nice weather prediction. Grib files showed ENE 25Knots constant (in the reality the meaning of this is much much more than 25usually). So we start sailing faster and we start planning how to arrive in daytime in Palmeira, Sal..
At the end we arrived with daytime. We sailed hard, fast and safe, but not everything was so perfect. We broke our engine bildge pump (already changed), didn’t see too much sun (clouds and wind with sand from Mauritania) and were not able to fish.....
WE NEED TO IMPROVE FISHING!!!!
Bimbache and we need that.
Years ago we were so much surprised to see cruisers couples who were arriving to totally new places and taking day or two staying on boat before landing on coast for a visit.. We could not understand how they can stay still on their boats when we two were dying to see what was waiting us there everytime we anchored .
But now we know. We really know:) Because now we are the ones who are strange. We arrived to Sal…and guess what? We were so tired that all the next day no one of us had energy to go ashore and discover the island. We needed time to relax…take a swim…tidy up the boat , check how is holding the anchor ….and sleep.
SO BUT HOW WAS OUR TRIP?
GOOD! Was a great experience to know our boat better, to try all ways of sailing down wind, to discover best timetable for watch keeping hours and to see that there are still so many things we need to learn about sailing in Oceans…..
During all six days we had all kind of strenght of wind and sea. From almost no wind during the first night till more than 30 knots of wind the last days. Luckily our wind pilot made in Lithuania by Arunas Speicys worked exellent so we did not need to stear by ourselves. We didnt use it too much in previous sailings, so we were worried how it will work with strong winds and big waves from the back. But it made all trip steering without any problem ¡!!
Also there were no sunny days in all trip. Nights were moonless and so dark that we could not see a horizont. After leaving sunny Canarian islands we were missing so much that blue sky and the sun. If not the temperature which was rising up mile after mile we could not believe we were sailing south towards Africa.
One sailing boat, two cargo ships, some birds and dolphins were all what we saw in all 6 days at sea. And the last days it came winds with sand so even if there were more boats around we could not see them anyway.
But apart from that we never felt borring. Probably because we had no time for that. Our watch keepings were changing every 3 hours so during the watch we were checking the boat, adjusting sails , cleaning around, eating reading about Cape Verde or fixing some small things around. The other 3 hours one just wanted to rest and sleep. First two days were the hardest..Our bodies needed to get use to new timetable and movement so we felt more tired and exausted than normal. But with the time we started feeling better. In few days entered the rhythm and the world started looking brighter:)
Our Bimbache got used to the movement easy. Looked like it didnt worry him at all . Just his daily walk around the deck had to finish because more far than the cockpit he was not brave enough to go. What he really loved was to play with his small gummy ball and run behind like crazy when the ball was moving itself because of the boat healing.
But there is one thing he hated. It,s the engine. Straight after we start leaving the pantoon in Hierro and motoring out of the harbour till we raised the sails Bimbache started his loud MIAAAAUUUU concert . And once the engine was off he went relaxed to sleep as if nothing has happened. Lets say its clear that till we have Bimbache on board our engine will have to work as little as possible.
Good for boat good for our pockets:)
And now we are anchored in the bay of Palmeira vilage in Sal surounded by many sailing boats like ours. Our dinghy is in the wáter so lets see what is waiting us ashore. Winds continue blowing very strong here so probably we will spend more time than we planned here.
This is a story about our life journey or better said is a story about our life afloat a sailing boat. Our trips, our adventures, our challenges and problems found on the way. Our everyday life floating and our unforgettable moments of sailing and tasting the worldl!
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"Cruising has two pleasures. One is to go out in wider waters from a sheltered place. The other is to go into a sheltered place from wider waters."
"The lovely thing about cruising is that planning usually turns out to be of little use."
"There are more sharks on the land than in the sea"
If you are going to do something, do it now. Tomorrow is too late.
Don't worry about the world ending today. It's already tomorrow in Fiji.
" Land was created to provide a place for boats to visit."
"A sailor is an artist whose medium is the wind. Live passionately, even if it kills you, because something is going to kill you anyway."
"A bad day at SEA is still better than a good day at work"
"The perfection of a yacht's beauty is that nothing should be there for only beauty's sake."
"Remember 'It was a professional who built the Titanic, It was an amateur who built Noah's Ark"
"Sailing - The art of slowly going nowhere at great expense. "
When life gives you a hundred reasons to cry, show life that you have a thousand reasons to smile.