I am in Mindelo, Cape Verde, and as a fellow sailor passes by, I am reminded why I ‘m here. “Something, somewhere went terribly wrong” and I have made a brief escape from a life that gave me little joy. I’m all the richer and all the poorer for it, and if surmounting difficulties builds character, I’m absolutely full of it…
Hmmm… funny, my friends used to tell me that quite a bit… 😉
Eileen of Avoca is at anchor because the daily marina fee is significantly beyond my means! Would you believe it’s 4 Euro a day just to leave your dingy tied to the pontoon? Fortunately I have friends with deeper pockets than mine (using the marina), and I am able to exploit a convenient loophole by tying my inflatable kayak to their boat.
My companions here are the Bretons: Karen and Gwenael (on a Pogo 8.5) and Michel (on a Benetau First 28, see photograph). Michel is the Frenchman that delivered my tuna to the wrong boat, and I know Karen and Gwenael from when they rescued Eileen from collision with a boat dragging anchor in Sal.
You sure do meet people in bizarre circumstances here. Adding to the posse of francophone’s is Gerard, the owner of the above mentioned infamous yacht (an Ovni 385), that almost rammed Eileen.
Mindelo isn’t a tranquil sleepy town like Porto des Palmeria. It’s the “big city” and it can be dangerous after dark if you don’t keep your whits about you (or happen to be unlucky).
The anchorage and marina are reasonably safe, with paid personnel watching both. But about town things can get ugly, especially late at night. All is not well in Mindelo, as evidenced by quarreling youths openly dealing drugs in the towns main square, but locals tell me there have been encouraging signs of improvement of late.
If you are looking to make repairs in Mindelo, don’t get your hopes up. The small chandler is poorly stocked and it’s four weeks wait for any delivery. I discovered that the zinc anode on my propeller was completely consumed and bought the only replacement available in Mindelo. Two sizes too large, but nothing that can’t be fixed with some help from Michel and a hacksaw!
My water in the propeller shaft problem and lubricating oil persists, and I now know Eileen will need to be lifted if it is to be corrected (thanks Gwenael).
I just hope it all holds together until I reach Trinidad. Lifting in Brazil is not an option and it will be several months before I reach the Caribbean. Fingers crossed that the bearings don’t seize!