Santa Luiza: Williwaws and Pirates. 16:45.1N,24:45.5W
Serenity of Swanwick
Phil and Sarah Tadd
Wed 16 Dec 2015 17:06
This post is a day late due to the fact that uninhabited islands don't have internet access or mobile phone signals!
We had intended to leave Sao Vincente on Tuesday morning, in company with our German friends on ‘Saga’, so on Monday Phil and Thomas went and got our clearance from immigration, and Sarah and Inge went to the market and stocked up on fresh produce. Sadly, Inge has been unwell and made the decision to fly home to Germany, so we had to leave ‘Saga’ behind. On Tuesday morning we moved to the fuel dock at 7am ready to fill up, however the attendant didn’t arrive until 8.30, and there was still no-one in the marina office so we couldn’t check out. By the time we were ready to go it was 9am and we didn’t feel we had enough time to reach our intended destination of Sao Nicolau before dark, so we returned to our berth until the afternoon when we moved out to the anchorage rather than pay another nights mooring fees!
This morning we left the anchorage at just after 8am, and had to motor against the north easterly wind up the Canal de Sao Vincente. At some point we agreed on a change of plan, and headed down the Canal de Santa Luiza at eastern end of Sao Vincente and we are now anchored off the beach at the uninhabited island of Santa Luiza. Our only company is a Swiss 3 masted schooner that anchored about half an hour after us, and a few local fishermen. The fishermen sail across in their lateen rigged boats (wing like sails such as you see on boats in places like Eygpt) and camp in the deserted village here for a few days at a time.
The pilot book warned of williwaws coming down off the hills in this anchorage, but there is just continual wind of over 20 knots and there is surf on the beach, so we are unlikely to be able to get ashore, and will probably continue to Sao Nicolau tomorrow.
During the afternoon a motor fishing boat towing a dingy and with half a dozen men on board came and anchored right behind us, although the anchorage is huge. Three of the men got into the dingy and rowed across to us (while one of them tried to get the outboard to work) asking for cigarettes and offering to sell us fish. The seemed quite good humoured about our refusal, but remained anchored, so we put in place our anti-intruder measures and cleared anything valuable from the decks. Just after dark they left the dingy attached to the anchor and motored off in the direction of some passing fishing boats returning some time later and remaining until about 1am. We are not sure if they were using us as a guide back to their anchor, but at least they weren’t pirates.
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