More island hopping

Mystic of Holyhead (successor to Lynn Rival)
Rachel and Paul Chandler
Tue 19 Feb 2013 20:13
14:54.79N 023:30.51W

We finally left Mindelo on Saturday afternoon.  It was hard to say goodbye to everyone we'd met.  Our throats were sore - not sure whether from headcolds or all the black volcanic dust that gets blown around when the wind gets up.

The winds were strong for the first few hours, gusting F7 at times as we made our way around the west of Sao Vicente, heading for Santiago (again).  Once clear of the island the winds were generally F5 and the seas quite kind so we made good progress.

We decided to stop at an anchorage called Porto Rincao, halfway down the west coast of Santiago, rather than continue and make landfall at Praia in the dark.  Our first option, a small cove just north of the village, didn't work out well.  We dropped the anchor in 18 metres on what looked like a sandy bit but dragged onto rocks and couldn't get it up!  After retrieving the tripping line and tugging on it, we realised the chain was stuck not the anchor.  Fortunately the water was crystal clear so we could see what was happening.  After quite a bit of manoeuvering we managed to get it free - and retreated to the beach off the little fishing village nearby where we anchored with no problem.  Locals - enjoying their Sunday afternoon on the beach - paddled out in a dinghy to show us where to anchor and to say hello.

Yesterday we had clear skies and little wind for the passage down to Praia so we motored enjoying even better views of the fascinating coastline than last time.  Apart from a few small fishing boats along the coast the only other vessel we saw was a catamaran at anchor in Cidade Velha.  Entering Praia harbour we saw a cruise ship was visiting and then realised there were already two yachts in the anchorage.  It's positively busy here!

We decided to anchor as close to the beach next to the Maritime Police office as possible.  After doing a recce we dropped our anchor in about 4 metres but it dragged.  Retrieving it we found it had picked up a mass of matted weed so we've now anchored a bit further off.

The plan is to spend a few nights here, then to head west to the islands of Fogo and Brava before heading out into the blue yonder.