Landfall in Cape Verde

16:53.19N 24:59.48W
 
Monday 20th December 2010
 
Distance run in 24 hours: 70
Total distance run:  873
Distance left: 0
 
The last 24 hours of the passage drifted by as we ourselves drifted along in about 5 knots of breeze, with the craggy islands of the Cape Verdes slowly growing on the horizon. We were in no hurry as arriving too soon would mean finding our way into an unknown harbour in darkness, so we bided our time and made our approach with the dawn.
 
             
The sun setting just to the right of San Antao, Cape Verde...                              ...leaving the sky ablaze. 
 
             
Approaching Mindelo harbour on Sao Vicente...                                                ...the morning light weak, but the air warm and full of strange smells.
 
The last 24 hours of the passage were calm and peaceful and marked by several visits from friendly and chatty dolphins.  They stayed so long that we eventually gave in and got the camera out...
 
            
 
            
 
By 0900 we were safely tied up in Mindelo harbour, and broke out the now traditional 'safe landfall' bottle of bubbly.  Buck's fizz on deck on Scott-Free with Rob & Sarah, Robert & Joyce was followed by a delicious scrambled egg and bacon breakfast aboard Serafina.
 
The rest of the day was spent doing admin at the marina office (no customs or immigration, it's closed on Sunday!), tidying the boat, doing a couple of repair jobs, catching a few zeds, and a very pleasant evening of drinks aboard Serafina followed by a meal in a very nice restaurant overlooking the harbour, very generously paid for by Robert, as this was to be their last evening before flying back to the UK.
 
Off to proper bed, in the aft cabin, for the first time in a week, and a very welcome 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep.
 
This morning we dropped the lines and have moved the boat to the fuel dock to await its opening and fuelling up again for the next leg of the journey.  That done, we will move back to the pontoon for another night and think about whether to stay a few days to look around or just get moving again.  The call of the Caribbean is loud....