November 2014: Tenerife / Mindelo
Canary Islands - Cape Vert
Sunday, November 9th 2014, around 3pm, we leave Méléos. They are waiting for a spare part of the motor. Poor them, they are already waiting for a long time. We hope they can come to join us here quickly.
To reach Cabo Verde, it means 820 MN, so we think it would take us 7 or 8 days. Just outside the harbor, there are around 30 knots. It moves a lot. We take two reefs, and use the genoa. Direction Cape Verde. Fortunately after a few hours the wind decreases...
The broad reach wind allows us to arrive in 6 days.
We begin 2 days with the spinnaker alone, then two days broad reach and finish with goose winged sails (butterfly sails).
The highlights were :
- Spinnaker in the water
Passing close by a big cloud, the spinnaker socks gets stuck. Loïc let go the halyard and the spinnaker falls into the water. As we have the motor on, the socks' rope has the good idea to go around the motor's propeller !!!
So Loïc has to jump in the water with his knife in order to cut the rope winded around the propeller... Hopefully there are no sharks ! After working 15 min in the water with 4000m depth, Loïc is tired but... fortunately, the motor goes on on the first time we try.
They follow us two times and sometimes they make big jumps but it is hard to take the picture just at this moment !
Before the night is coming out, the sky is full of stars. Sometimes we see shooting stars. We enjoy this moment. It is so paceful!
Then the moon rises. It is beautiful and its light helps us a lot.
We like to see the plankton lighting when we pass trough.
Night is coming early. At 7pm it is dark.
Louise and Maël begin their shift after diner around 8/8:30pm til 11pm. (It helps a lot Laurence and Loïc to have a little more rest.) Most of the time they are watching a movie on the computer check around every 20 min.
Then Loïc begins his shift til 3am and Laurence finishes the end of the night. After that everybody take some naps during the day.
During the navigation, there are several occupations like reading, doing some bracelets, watching movies, baking brioches, playing cards, having an outdoor shower...
After the two last nights, on the morning, we find several flying fishes on the deck and also a small calmar.
Lucie would love to keep the small flying fish. We have to explain her that after a while, it smells a lot...
We still try to fish even if 3 fishes break our lines with their lures...
We also try with a flying fish on the hook. It works well : we catch a beautiful 60-70 cm sea bream !!!! Party time ! It ends up in a ceviche (with lemon, tomato, oignon and spices) for lunch. It is fresh and good !
- Last morning
In the morning of the 6th day, at around 50 NM of Mindelo, we see again a few boats. Checking coser the AIS we see that one of them is... Lady Pep. Incredible to meet Jacqueline et Terry here !
We knew they left Gran Canaria with all the ARC sailing boat the same day we did, but to meet so close knowing that each boat has his own route, his speed...
We see them at around 100m approaching Santo Antao, Lady Pep with his beautiful yellow spinnaker and us still with our goose winged sails... Each one takes some pictures of the other (we almost see Loïc speaking at the VHF with Jacqueline !).
- Arriving at Mindelo
Between the two islands of Sao Vicente and Sao Antao, the wind is stronger. We sail at 8-9 knots with some picks at 11.5.
Even if Loïc expected it, we are not so cool, the wind is blowing at 36 knots! We finish by a gybe and lower the main sail just behind Lady Pep seeing Mindelo.
We arrive at the pontoon and.... we see
Pti Ket! Carine and Quentin are here since a few days. Around a we tell our stories since we left each other at Madeira.
First of all, Mindelo Marina atmosphere is different from the others.
The pontoons are floating and when the wind is blowing we move.
We also have to pay for water. We have a card which counts the number of liters we use at the pontoon or for the shower. We have to spare the water because the weather is really dry here.
For internet we have 250 MB (you can't download too much) and the connexion is not so good... Fortunately we can buy a 3G key so we can use some more internet and put some information on the website. At home it is so easy to sit on the coach and download some apps or photos!
We arrive at the same time with the ARC rallye. The harbor is full. Hopefully we have made a reservation for our space.
Saturday night a welcome party for the ARC is organized, we enjoy the typical music with a lot of drums.
Jacqueline and Terry tell us their navigation from Gran Canaria with 7 crew members on board. They have a tight schedule full of activities with diners, tours... And on Wednesday they have to leave for the Caribbean. But they have time to share a small glass of wine with us!
On Wednesday at midday it is strange when more than 50 boats leave at the same time!
Some boats leave, some arrive.
Some crew members join with backpacks ready to board on a sailboat.
We feel a lot of excitement, activity : everybody is doing something. Some are fixing, making small repairs, others are climbing at the mast... Some sails need to be sewed, a lot of bottles of water are loaded on board for the big jump...
It feels like living in a small village. People are talking to each other: where do you come from? where are you going? did you ever cross the atlantic before?...
One morning a new boat is mooring at our pontoon... it's Quincy III with Jack (grandpa Jack as the kids say) and Françoise, our neighbours from Rabat! They arrive from Hierro in the Canary Islands. It is funny to meet them here.
To help him with some verifications, Loïc climbs on Jacques' mast.
One evening, going to the shower, on the pontoon, we see a man with his mountain bike arriving on his boat. Loïc stops... looks closer... it is Hans, his ex big chief from Balzers when we were in Mexico!!! Incredible! Loïc knew Hans had a sailing project but to meet him at our pontoon... that's surprising! Next morning Hans comes with some croissants for our breakfast and another night he comes with his wife and his brother to talk a little of his circumnavigation.