In Mindelo on Sao Vicente, Cape Verde- In position 16:53.2N, 24:59.5W

Phil & Nikki Hoskins
Mon 9 Mar 2009 23:12
Arrived Mindelo this morning at 1030. It's changed a lot since 1991 when we last sailed through. It's grown considerably as a small town built around the port which used to be used as a bunkering station on the South Africa run. Population has grown but still relatively poor. Most of the ships and ferries based here would probably not get a seaworthiness certificate in other countries but they do the job of getting the islanders around. Begging on the streets is still quite prevalent and the gulf between the haves and have-nots large.
We are moored in a new marina built only a year ago but still without facilities such as toilets and showers - they are just being completed, apparently after delays from local government red tape.
The voyage itself from Mogan proved to be a mixed bag consisting of lots of wind to begin with bordering on too much, (meaning we were eating the evening meal out of deep cereal bowls), to virtually no wind at all and the last 200 miles was on the motor. We arrived with as much water in the tanks as we set off with, the watermaker working overtime with all the motoring en-route. Its amazing what 5 gallons per hour amounts to when run all day. - a fantastic piece of kit which is just as well as water is a precious commodity in these islands as rainfall is rare. The high spot was of course that tuna which took a liking to our old favourite lure. Pics below taken after the poor blighter was landed. Needless to say he wasn't too happy, and didn't think it was fair to trick him with a plasticy looking small fish with horrible looking hooks attached. What was amazing was that the fish struck just after Nikki had gone off watch and had retired to the rear cabin for sleepybyes. Amazingly she never heard the thrashing life and death struggle taking place just a few feet from where she was asleep, or subsequently the flip-flapping of the angry tuna once it had hit the deck. I was expecting a head to pop up through the hatch at any moment - but nothing until 2 hours later when she finally surfaced mentioning a smell of fish on the boat!
The low point was Phil having to strip down the starboard toilet having tried to flush some wet-wipes away. Idiot! Not pleasant - they just don't disintegrate to get through the small fittings.  Another problem we had to contend with was low starter battery voltage which has plagued us for some time now.
Apart from the lack of trade winds on the route across the Atlantic the other reason for coming here was to seek dental help for a problem molar. Regretfully, after a quick examination from recommended local lady dentist her verdict was that a root filling was required, which would need in all over 2 weeks presence in Mindelo - time we just do not have to spare on this side of the pond. She kindly wrote out a prescription to assist with the discomfort so we could continue on our way. After being concerned over what facilities we should expect we were both impressed by the kind attention and her refusal to accept payment  for her time and for the prescription. Bless her and thank you.
Pics are 1) Young Atlantic Spotted dolphin privately performing for Mrs Hoskins whilst Mr H was asleep  2) Sunrise approaching Cape Verde 3) That Tuna 4) The tuna in philosophical mood following capture.
Ed - Forgot about the squid! After the second boisterous night dawn broke & whilst collecting the skippers toffee wrappers & the odd complete toffee (no wonder he's got tooth ache) plus turning nav lights off etc. two squid were seen drying in the sun on the side decks.  Too rough to cope with sorting out how to cook 'em - maybe another time.........