Setting off again - midday 4th December

Kingfisher 2013
Peter Smith
Wed 4 Dec 2013 17:03
We had some really great experiences in Mindelo. After "the night out" we needed a bit of recovery time but managed to wander round the town, check in and check out of customs and immigration (some nice stamps in the passports), locate a fishing expert in the back rooms (shed) of a bar (cupboard) jn a small street (mud track) off the main strip (shambles) on the waterfront.  Whilst the crew sank a few beers served by his wife, the fisherman took me into the shed to show off his wares.  He had just made a couple of massive tuna lures for some Kiwis who had tracked him down (and had kindly alerted us to his services) and we had one the same made up for us along with some extra hooks and some wire.  He also had a very good second-hand reel which we managed to bargain down to a very reasonable price.  Our fishing gear is in much better shape as a result but I am mortified to report that "Sammy Junior" has already been lost at sea…..we had a strike just after lunch and, there he was, gone!  This is a major pity on several counts - one of which is financial.  Although Sammy was thrown in for free in the general bartering for the reel, the skipper rather rashly took on a £100 bet with the Kiwis as to who will catch the biggest tuna on the crossing.  Given the fact that the new lure was around 10x the size of anything else we have on board (or have ever seen anywhere else) we are now feeling significantly disadvantaged on the competitive fishing front.  However, all is not lost.  We are going to use the smaller lures (with our most excellent new screaming reel) to catch live bait which we will then use for "the big one". Watch this space! The whole crew is now up for the challenge although I fear that the financial risk lies solely with mad captain.  

Whilst procuring the fishing tackle we were "picked up" by some locals, one of whom took us to a couple of very local bars and another of whom arranged for us to have a proper Cape Verde meal cooked especially for us by the amazonian Suzanna in another bar (front room) in a dusty street (dirt track). It was quite a performance for them to serve us the meal and we became something of a local attraction for the rest of the evening.  We were later joined by our new Kiwi friends and a couple of other westerners for beer and grog.  They are all leaving today as well, some on an Oyster 625, the others on a classic yacht both bound for Antigua and so, in addition to the fishing challenge, we are  naturally also in some kind of an assumed race!  Having learned our drinking lessons from the previous night (not very well), and knowing that we had to be up early this morning, we were relatively restrained but it was a great evening and we have really seen something of the local culture.

Our new friend, taking a picture of us taking a picture of him….in the front room of Suzanna's house which happens to have a bar in it.

This morning we were up and about our preparations by 0830 and left our berth at 1030.  We had to hang around for about an hour waiting for the fuel dock to become free, loaded up with another 600 litres of so of diesel and motored out of the harbour. It is great to be underway again; this time we really are heading across.  San Anton and San Vincent are disappearing behind us as I am writing this - definitely the last land we will see until the Caribbean.  A quick glass of bubbly, a delicious risotto cooked by Tash (she can cook, by the way, Vicky) and we are already settled down into our routine for the next 12-14 days.  It is very hot and we still have no wind but we are expecting 15 knots to fill in tomorrow, blow for a few days, peter out for 2-3 days and then return big time for the last week of our crossing.  In the meantime, we are busy with our fishing and relaxing after our quick visit to the 2nd of 3 continents that we will have visited by the end of our little trip.