Leaving Sal & Cape Verdes
Scot Free III
Frank & Anne
Fri 28 Oct 2016 07:47
We have made the decision to head back to the Canaries and leave the boat in Puerto Calero for Christmas. We just didn't feel comfortable leaving her in the Cape Verdes. It'll be a bit of a slog to windward and might well take us 10 days. However, the forecast is for very moderate seas and 10 to 15 knots of wind, so not too horrible. Forecasts are only reliable for about 5 days so there is a bit of optimism and wishful thinking thrown into the mix here.
Leaving Sal was interesting. We were assured that the tiny police and immigration office was open every day, 8 till 4. Just to be safe we retrieved our "ships papers" from the port police on Wednesday but the immigration official wasn't there to stamp our passports.
We packed up the dinghy and reinstalled the Windpilot and agreed with Jai that he would come out, next morning, at 8 am, and collect me for the quick trip ashore to have our passports stamped.
Jai pitched up at 9am, having overslept and the office was deserted when I arrived. By 10am one of the port police arrived and, with a knowing smile, advised me that the immigration man MIGHT be here today because he was working at the airport.
So, into a taxi (a red 12 seater minibus which rapidly fills up with all 16 people) and off to the airport. Slowly worked up the chain of command from a security guard but, no-one senior enough is available to make a decision about our passports. About an hour later a Police National guy politely tells me not to worry, "go back to Palmeira and he will find you".... right!
Back at the harbour the port police take pity on me and finally, after another hour, phone the airport and advise me that he will be here at 1pm. Promptly, at 1:30, a car pulls up, a very smartly dressed immigration official gets out, apologises for the delay, stamps both passports and drives off again. Easy really.