Alone Like a Rolling Stone

From dropouts and other birds

If you arrive on the Canary Islands by sailboat, you get the first impression of what is going on in the long-distance scene. On Cape Verde, however, many a boat could tell its story, about dropouts and other birds. Mindelo on Sao Vicente has the only marina on Cape Verde. In addition, the spacious bay is a safe anchorage with little to no swell. There are a few unlit fracks in the bay, so it is not advisable to enter at night. Now in August, the marina is one-third occupied, with at least half of the boats having been abandoned for some time. This has different reasons, on the one hand there is certainly the Corona crisis, on the other hand the rumor mill boils up quite high, but a little truth is certainly in everything. A beautiful wooden ship is slowly sinking because the owner is supposedly in jail for a drug offense and no one really cares about the boat.

The Face

We are moored at the jetty not far from the Floating Bar, which is well visited from the afternoon, by the sailors still present and especially by locals. Again and again there is live music and the people are very relaxed here, as far as Corona is concerned. Whether it is due to Corona or whether the bar closes regularly at 22:00, I can not say for sure, but for us it is of course pleasant. The mask requirement is also not so clear here. Only a few wear them outdoors, and certainly not in the bar. In public buildings and everywhere where security regulates the entrance, masks are compulsory. It may be that this relaxed attitude is due to the high vaccination rate. Unlike in Spain, here everyone who comes is vaccinated. You get a number and are registered one after the other, get your injection and then sit for a quarter of an hour in a quiet room. In our case, this is an elementary school classroom and I take the opportunity and learn the terms hanging on the wall and the numbers 1 to 10 on, Portuguese. So the vaccination, goes here easily and without problems. The next day I feel really bad. Headaches, aching limbs and tiredness put me out of action for a day. The following day I still feel the effects of the vaccination. Once again, Gaby doesn't notice anything. I wonder if this was such a good idea. It should help for our onward journey, but probably not against Corona.

Katinka and the Floating Bar

Since we sailed out of the Schengen area when we  the Canary Islands, we now have to deal with clearing in. The procedure is, all over the world different and so, you have to be prepared for surprises again and again. On Cape Verde, at least in Mindelo, it is very simple. At customs, you fill out an A4 sheet with the ship's data and crew members, and then get your entry stamp in the passport. The whole thing costs 500 Escudos, about 5€. I give him 10€ and he puts it away grinning. What a bird. At the port police, once around the corner, you fill out the DIN A4 sheet with the ship data and crew members, again and deposit there the ship papers, which are handed back to you when you leave. With the hint that there is no work on weekends, the harbor police dismisses me and I can take down the Q-flag and set the host country flag. Now it is first of all a matter of adapting to the pace of the people here. For this we have good support. Peter from the Ivalu and Thomas from the Irmi have been here for a while and know their way around. With Peter we also make our first foray through Mindelo. The contrasts can not be stronger, the gap between rich and poor, gapes here far apart. But our first impression is that the people are cheerful and nice. Despite the many problems that are obviously apparent when you walk through the streets, there is a certain joie de vivre in the faces of the people who live here. I don't have to mention that the living situation has not improved due to the Corona pandemic, but what is noticeable is that far fewer stores are locked and barricaded than on the Canary Islands. Obviously, people are trying to make the best of the situation and make money with what they have always made their money with. We are curious whether our first impression, in the next four weeks, will change.


In the meantime, we are once again busy with repairs. The sheet holder at the spinnaker boom has to be made passable again, some sewing work has to be done on our tarpaulin, the reefing line of the 1st reef is torn, and last but not least the thread of the water filter of our watermaker has deformed so much that it leaked and thus our watermaker is not in operation at the moment. The problem will be to find a suitable filter mount, on Cape Verde, or someone who can recut the thread. 

First relaxing

We will see and keep you, as always, here on, up to date. Until then, fair winds and keep a stiff upper lip.