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Date: 21 Nov 2009 09:21:03
Title: Arrival in Mindelo, Sao Vicente, Cape Verde Islands

Position: 16:53.09N 024:59.75W

Date and time: 21 November 2009 0300 UTC

 

At 0300 this morning we rounded the breakwater of Mindelo harbour and dropped anchor after a momentous passage. I’m pleased to say that after the bruising we took in the record-breaking seas the wind eventually subsided, as did the seas, and we enjoyed a much more sedate and comfortable ending to the passage.

 

Normally at the end of a long passage I am knackered. Apart from maintaining systems and controls, doing all the navigation, collecting and interpreting the weather, writing the blog, communicating not only with the fleet but with the rest of the world, cooking meals for a sick and unappreciative crew and standing my share of the watches, the little time remaining for sleep is frequently interrupted by calls on to deck to oversee reefing and trimming of the sails, alterations of course and to assess the continuous traffic of ships across our path. On this occasion, however, I was surprisingly refreshed. In the 2 ½ days we saw just two ships and the trade winds were so consistent that we barely touched the sails. So I have enjoyed long interrupted periods of sleep. In fact I feel less tired now than I have done for a couple of weeks.

 

We will weigh anchor once everyone is up, and join the rest of the rally fleet on the pontoons before going through all the administrative procedures for clearing in to another country. There are a few maintenance jobs to be done. Shortly after leaving Dakar, our fresh water pump packed up so whilst before we had had no water in the tanks but the means to pump it out, we now had plenty of water in the tank but no means to pump it out – so no showers again! Doubtless we will be arranging to take the ferry over to the next door island of Santo Antao tomorrow which is stuffed full of the next book of new birds for Colin to identify before he leaves us on Monday.

 

So it may be a day or three before the next blog.

 

Meanwhile I hope that you are all enjoying a warm and sunny autumn in the UK.


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