At Sea Again

17:07.1N 026:46.5W
1200 UT Fri, 27 Jan
 
And then were there five!  Yes, Michael Morland joined Lovesail on Wednesday night as planned.  All preparations being completed and the forecasts favourable, we cast off from Marina Mindelo at 1300 UT on Thursday and set off once again.  Initially we had a brisk breeze that had us going along at over 6 kts under genoa alone, but that died away in the evening and turned into an uncomfortable slop which lasted until about 0530 UT.  The engine had to come on again for a while – this seems a habit of our first day at sea – if only to give us a bit of extra stability and, we hoped, drive us more quickly to wherever the breeze was hiding.  Anyway, this has been as good a test as any for Stugeron and it seems to be doing the trick, so no more worries on that front.  Here we all are just before letting go.  (Tweds, thanks for the bunting!).
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Our days in port were pleasant enough and the time was used productively to make little improvements.  Lucy has done a great job with the provisioning and cooking, while Craig rigged a very clever gizmo to move the main halyard from the boom-end to the mast without the need to climb on the bimini.
 
Meanwhile M&E took the chance to fly to meet Michael in Boavista.  This entailed a rather circuitous route via two other islands.  First stop was Praia, on Santiago.  This is the largest island and town in the CV and a bit of a dump.  We visited the “historical” centre which was nice, but not as nice as Mindelo.  We saw the museum and market and then had lunch in the restaurant Panorama on the top floor of a commercial building.  Lunch was a buffet and at the cash desk you were asked to weigh your plate.  The charge was in proportion to how much you had taken! Here are pics of the market and some interesting items in the museum.
 
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Then it was back to the airport and fly to Sal where we  turned around and went next to Boavista.  This is an island of sand dunes and date palms, described as a piece of the sahara that’s landed in the Atlantic.  However it now boasts an international airport and several large resort hotels – hence Michael’s flight to the inconspicuous speck of an island.  Our choice of hotels was between one of these monsters or the fawlty towers which we selected.  Well, it offered dinner and a bed which was all that we wanted.  Plus a spectacular beach with dunes.
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After meeting Michael in the afternoon we began our return journey, with enough time in Praia to revisit the Panorama and enjoy a lobster dinner.
 
A big thank you to Anne, Sandra, Jenny, Monica, Miche, Katie et al for your emails.  We love receiving them – please keep them coming.  By-the-way Richard we are still wearing fleeces, the butter has not melted yet BUT we have finally turned right!  xxx e