Nous Somme arrivons en Africa!!
On our last 60 or so miles to Mindelo the wind dropped off. The Genoa was taken in and the motor turned on. The main was flappy (not happy) so that had to go as well. 

I was on the 4-7 night watch, once again I had to interrupt Paul’s sleep as we had another ship heading for us. We were also approaching Mindelo quite quickly due to a strong current. The engine was slowed down as we didn’t really want to arrive in the dark. The wind then decided to pick up, so the Genoa was rolled out and the engine turned off, this slowed our approach a bit. The ship coming towards us turned out to be a cruise liner and we could see a couple of other yachts milling around, already more action than we’d seen over the last 7 days.

At around 7.30am it started to get light and we were within 5 miles of Mindelo we sailed all the way into the anchorage and tied up in the marina around 8.30am on Saturday 15th November (I won the wager). It was a slightly subdued crew that sat down to breakfast that morning, despite being pleased to have arrived were all pretty cream crackered!!! Paul decided to go for a well earned kip, that lasted all of about half an hour as one of the marina staff came and told us we needed to move the boat. We did as asked and Paul eventually got to have his rest.

We’ve been in Mindelo for 5 days and will be leaving soon to go over to Palmeira on Sal (about 100nm away) to pick up our 4th crew member. We then plan to come back here for a couple of days before setting off on the you know what.

Since we’ve been here, we’ve caught up on a lot of sleep (our sleeping has been commented on by the Captain) explored the town and visited the island of San Antao to do some hiking (a term I don’t use lightly). The town of Mindelo has a very relaxed feel to it the locals are friendly and have an air of indifference about them. They speak little English and we have found ourselves trying to converse in French and Spanish, failing that we just revert back to speaking English loudly and slowly. The town itself has cobbled streets and the buildings vary from shanty style dwellings to grand 19th century European style buildings in various states of repair. 

We have tried some of the local restaurants and had some nice meals, with no nasty repercussions (I think you know what I mean). The town comes alive in the evening especially at the weekends. The bars have bands playing and families and friends take to the streets to wander up to the local squares to listen to music or watch dancers perform. We’ve tried the local grogue (firewater that claims to make you go blind if you drink too much). Don’t think drinking too much of it will be a problem, it’s blooming rough!!

There are two ferries that go daily to the island of San Antao, we opted to take the one that isn’t prone to ‘waves crashing over the bow’ (the sea between the islands can get quite feisty). I was somewhat concerned when I saw the crew on our ferry walking round handing out ‘sickbags’ glad to say the hour long crossing was fine and we even saw some dolphins first ones so far. 

We took a minibus to get to the start of our hike (the driver wasn’t shy about over taking on the windy cobbled road). After being  offloaded at the side of the road we set on our 10km,1500m descent! The walking was hard (legs turned to jelly at the end) but the scenery was stunning and varied look at the pictures if you don’t believe me. 

So as you can see shipmates so far it’s all good, not sure when I’ll be able to write again. May leave it till I’m sipping a Rum punch in Antigua!!

Take care of yourselves matey’s, must go time to make Lentil soup (oh how I’ve changed)

Love hugs & lentils to you all. Muesli man Miles & me XX
Wednesday, 19 November 2008