16:34.220N 24:21.724W

If Knot Y Knot
Patricia Day
Wed 29 Nov 2006 19:54


28 November 2006

Very pleasant trip, big waves behind me and wiind about 13-15 knots.

07:30 it was just getting light and sighted land.  I had come all the way along the bottom and was near the V that has to be rounded.  I wanted a cup of tea and some breakfast but that would have to wait until this was negotiated. 

The wind dropped to 8 knots and I was going to have to be close hauled to go up the other side of the V, so I put out the main.  The wind was only playing, it went straight up to 23 knots and  the boat took off; my genoa was out too far for close hauled, but that didn t seem to stop it.  The main had to be reefed back in again.  It was a very windy corner.  The island is just a low mountain range and the wind funnels down the gouges straight at you.  It did not give up and I had to stay on the helm for the gusts and abandon the idea of breakfast.  When I was level with Tarrafal I had to put the engine on, it was dead against and still very strong. 

Guido was out in his dinghy and met me and helped me anchor.  They had only put out 25 metres of chain and he didn t expect me to put out more, but I put out 40 which took me a bit close to the catamarran behind, leave it to settle.  I put the shackle and roped the chain to the cleats which now is standard practice having seen how easily the chain slipped through the locked off windlass in Palmeira. 

I put the dinghy down and checked the prop as the engine did not seem to have much throttle.  Apart from barnacles there was no rope, so I left it.

I had a hot shower, changed into reasonable clothes, did the washing and made pancakes for what was now brunch. 

The Revenue have discussed the situation and decided that there is a difference between running away to sea as a means of tax avoidance and being unable to comply; so they are going to wait for me to return next year; now I have something to look forward to.

I am going to go non-resident, not pay them a penny tax in future.

I will take all my money out of UK institutions, even the 9p in Cahoot, just see what that does to the money markets.

I will go one further and go non-domiciled, I just have to decide where I want to be buried so they cannot get any inheiritance tax either.

There were a few boats here I know, the French Navy cat from La Palma, the two Dutch boats and Mike and Penny on Yvonne.  Mike and Penny were going into town and came over to say hello, I went with them to sign in.  The cotter pin on the outboard snapped and Mike had to row back to do repairs.  Then we were off. 

It is a small town, but again clean and a few shops and a bank with a very new cash machine.  We left the dinghy in the care of a guardian.

We found the port office and did the paperwork.  They take the departure certificate you got from the last port and give you a new one when you leave.  They wanted to keep the boat papers, but we insisted on keeping them and having the departure certificate now, even though we did not give a departure date.  The reason for this is that if the anchorage is unsafe we want to be able to leave.  Dale is still in Sal because they kept his papers and his anchor was so in the surf with the swell he didn t know when he could risk retreiving it. 

The anchorage is sheltered from the NE wind by the mountains except when it really blows, and you need the shelter, the wind funnels straight down the ravines and the book says it is impossible to get to the beach by dinghy under oars for days on end – that would be me then.

We did the town and I was planning to row in tomorrow if the weather is ok and I may change my gas bottle.  The gas is still going, but if Sal and here are so busy with boats Mindelo must be.  Some people went straight there and are doing the islands clockwise and leaving from one of the southerly ones and reports are that Mindelo is very full.  It is only 50 miles away and I may give it a miss, so I want to get sorted here.

I got back to the boat to find some of my washing not on the line and was just in time to see a top disappear off the line, I was just too late to fish it out. 

I re-anchored because I was very close to the catamarran and the anchor came up very easily so was not holding.  I carried on with what I was doing and heard some noise, but did not feel anything.  I went outside and I was a long way outside the anchorage.  I motored back in against 25 knot winds and re-anchored, but the boat was blown sideways.  I could not believe it and the French Navy guy came over to help.  We had another go and I put out all 47 metres of chain.  The wind was alternating between nothing and 25+ gusts. 

I am keeping the GPS on to check the position all the time, with the anchor alarm, after all I am not short of electricity tonight, as long as my wind generator does not fly off. 

I think wind gusts of this strength at anchor are more worrying than when at sea.  This stopping at tropical islands for a rest is a bit of a misnomer.  The islands are not what I think of as tropical, more barren rocks, and the wind gusts make it not restful.  I was more relaxed on the trip across from Sal than I have been since I got here; and I think the same applied in Sal.

I have been promised that Mindelo is no swell and no gusts, perhaps that is why it is crowded.


29 November 2006

Got up and found I was still anchored and in the same place, it was warm and sunny, this is what it is supposed to be like.  Tightened up the nuts on the stem fitting because of the battering the anchor roller had taken and the genoa stay is attached to this fitting.

Made a loaf that wouldn t rise, some pastry for jam tarts that went like rubber and a cake which will not win any prizes, but it will be ok with chocolate spread and a cup of tea.

I topped up the diesel with 1.5litres from an odd bottle that I could then dump.

Mike and Penny came over to give me my shoes I had left in their dinghy and to discuss the awful conditions of last night.  If it happens again and the anchor did not hold we would both just move on.  I have taken a photo of the ravine that causes the problems.  It is only when a NE comes down the ravine and the predominant winds are NE, especially in the late afternoon and evening and it does not die down when it gets dark. 

Dale arrived in the dark from Sal and I exchanged some € for Escudos with him as he had changed more than he was going to need.  I rowed into town.  I met someone and had a chat, but for the life of me I can t remember where he was from, but I would make a good guess that he was French, which does not really pin it down.  I do like this town, there are plenty of little mini-markets and 2 Chinese shops full of bits and pieces.  I exchanged my nearly empty gas bottle and had to have one of their dented rusty ones, so much for getting new bottles in the Canaries.  I think the only decent looking ones in the crate were from other yachts just in from the Canaries. 

I took an egg box and got 12 fresh eggs and a little bottle of vanilla essence that I had searched every Hiperdino for in vain.  There was some of the tinned butter, it was not keep in the cooler, so I just got the one.  I got 3 lemons from the fruit and veg lady, I think they are going to be lemons when they ripen up; they wouldn t get through EEC regulations into the supermarkets. 

I went to the internet café, just to check I hadn t won the lottery, I hadn t.  Went through and deleted all the junk mail that goes to that account and there were a few from real people.

I rowed back to the boat and had a late lunch.  It is very hot mid afternoon and the water is warm.   I have it on good authority, my instruments tell me the water is 25 to 27 degrees.  There are lots of naked bodies around, on yachts and in the water, not natives.  I sat on the back of the boat in the shade and dabbled my toes in the water.  I am trying to see how I can stop the water for long enough to try and reseal the bracket, but I cannot do it in this anchorage, it is not calm enough.   I removed the T shirt and with the aid of the very long thin screwdriver and a torch I stuffed several layers of densotape, revolting, mucky stuff to handle,  in the gap from the inside.  When the T shirt is dry tomorrow I will stuff that back in as well.  That is probably the best I can do.  It might work, it has two chances to my one and the worst is that I get a very gungy mess.

The water is really clear and I can see hundreds of little fishes swimming under the boat.  I decided to get my mask and go and check my anchor, everyone does.  I took the dinghy and got as far as the chain and where it disappears into the depths, it is in 10 metres, and gave up.  I tried, maybe the next island I will be able to do the water bit – I have been saying this since the Balearics and the Canaries. 

I will probably move on tomorrow, so I had better send this to get the position on the map.