Arrived in Mindelo, Cape Verde
We’re safely moored up in Mindelo Marina in Cape Verde after 873 nautical miles logged in less than eight days at sea. The wind started light and dropped out a couple of times during the crossing but overall, it was moderate from the North to North-East. Having motored the first three hours to get out of the light winds in the lee of Gran Canaria, we then continued with ‘white sails’, the expectation being we’d hoist the big blue ‘trade-wind’ sail (also referred to as a butterfly or twin sail) on the Monday morning. By that time, we had lost a lot of the places we gained under engine and had our varying degrees of seasickness, then the fun began.
First the spinnaker pole uphaul shackle opened itself, dumping the end of the pole in the water, which then required the sail to be lowered. Unfortunately, the sail went into the sea, which made it heavy and difficult to retrieve, taking time and energy and necessitating putting a sopping wet sail through the hatch of the fore-cabin, not ideal! We had it re-hoisted and flying the next day and it was time to relax and enjoy. However, by 10pm the wind had picked up to a level where the trade wind sail wasn’t the right choice so we decided to drop it, which unfortunately led to the sail in the water for a second time, again drenching the fore-cabin when pulling it in through the front hatch. With seasickness still prevalent and crew morale a little low, there was a majority decision to have an easy day and sail on a part furled jib to allow the crew to recover and then get on with untangling the trade wind sail the following morning, which we duly hoisted and was flying for the rest of the passage – helped during the nights by clear moonlit skies which showed no squalls in the vicinity.
Arriving in Mindelo at the finish line marked by a large rock to starboard and a ‘looming’ headland to port, at 06:55.10 am just before the dawn, we lingered once past until a bit of daylight revealed all the hazards before docking in the marina at about 7:45am.
Pontoon view.. Mindelo Harbour
For the first leg, we feel satisfied with our rationing of food (if anything over provisioned) and water – the quantities that we were using we feel will allow us to last the 2nd leg across the Atlantic without cause for concern – which is always a nice feeling.
Now on with cleaning the boat (and ourselves – there is a certain odour about us) and getting ready for shoreside activities, starting with the Cape Verde welcome party tonight……
Grumpy Mindelo Eagle…