position N14 54 790 W 23 30 250
Ocean Rival Journey Log
Adam Power Diana Power
Thu 16 Apr 2015 23:45
Just back from the airport at Praia having dropped Diana off for her flight back to Blighty. We arrived at Praia at around 3pm having left Mindelo yesterday morning at 11.30. We hung around the marina waiting for the technician to turn up with the steel casing for the furler but eventually had to cut and run as time required for the 160 miles to Praia uncertain. The technician had promised to get in early so we could make a 9am start but never showed. The sail repairer on the other hand completed his work in good time and looks to have done an excellent job. I will phone the marina tomorrow and find out what happened to the furling drum- I suspect he was over-ambitious setting out to improve the design, whereas simply re-fixing the casing would have been easier. Now I can still furl the genny and have a nice new furling line but we have to be very careful that the line doesn't drop off the drum.
In the event the 1st half of the journey after rounding the bottom of Sau Vicente was fast, furious and wet as we started almost close hauled in 20-25 Knots while later we were able to ease the sheets in 15-20 Knots. Struggled again to get the balance right for self steering though so had to mind the helm most of the night and help Aries prevent her rounding up into wind. Motored the last 20 miles through the wind shadow from Sau Vicente.
Our day trip yesterday to Sau Antau was very sucessful- The island has some stunning views not unlike La Gomera in the canaries but with even more dramatic combinations of deep green valleys, splashes of vivid pink, purple or crimson flowers and soaring crags. The guide spoke excellent english and we quized him about life in Cape Verde which is undoubtedly tough for most. He is happy to stay however, unlike many of his compatriots who seek their fortune oveseas. We had a visit to a grog distillary where they still press the sugarcane using Oxen to turn the crusher. Lots of sugar cane is grown on Sau Antau and nearly all of it goes to make grog apparently. Just about every house in the valley of Paul appeared to have a still smoking away. Alchoholism is a problem according to the guide but a recent conference concluded that the benefits of grog making outweigh the problems. My drinks cupboard is now harboring a small bottle of the lethal concoction so hopefuly alchoholism on Ocean Rival will not become an issue.
Immigration at Praia is even more labored and more expensive than the previous islands. A guy rowed out to our anchorage as soon as we arrived and claimed official responsibility for helping yachtsmen through the process. He did help but charged handsomely for the service.
We are rather out of town so provisioning is going to be more of a chore than if we had left from Mindelo. I will start a list.