Day 276 – Cidade Velha

Day 276 – 19th April 2011

Tarrafal, Santiago, Cabo Verde – Cidade Velha

10.30 – 18.15

Arrival  – 14° 54’.79 N 23° 36’.34W

I found a public shower on the beach and the lady needed only 20 Escudos to use it (about 20cents in euro).  There was no sign on the door, but it was next to the toilets. John decided to have a shower too!!!!!!  By 9am, we were ready to back to the boat to make our way to Praia.  “Negotiating the surf in the light should be a bit easier” I thought.  How wrong I was, we were almost capsized and I was soaked from the neck down.  4 inches of water lay in Nearby.  Aboard Faraway I stripped off and proceeded to rinse the salt and sand from my body.  At least I managed to wash my hair and mow the lawn.

With the wind dead aft and F4, we made 4.5 knots.  I trolled a line for Tuna or whatever!

With lunch over, I retired to my ‘Office’ to write.  I felt the boat speed increase and checked outside.  The sea was foaming and full of white crests. Suddenly it was Force 6 now and we were screaming at an average of over 7 knots.  “John, I think we should reef!”

The wind vane couldn’t handle the steering so John helped as we were barely a quarter of a mile from the coast.

“The wind should ease around this point.” John said confidently.

The wind increased – we were surfing at 9 knots!

“Ok, let’s reef!” announced John.  It took every ounce of strength I had to reef with John’s help; afterwards, I had tea and a Mars Bar.  The wind eased and increased throughout the day, as I hoisted and lowered sail.  Finally we had nothing, not a breath, wallowing about at 1.8 knots for an hour before eventually turning on the engine.  In failing light we anchored in a weird location below the Cidade Velha, with 10 feet under the keel and huge breakers crashing over the reefs guarding the entry to the beach. With the engine primed to go, the helm loosely secured and a huge searchlight at the ready, in case we dragged, I turned in at 8pm feeling completely whacked.

Menu today

Breakfast – Tea and muesli

Lunch – Cheese and sundried tomato roll

Dinner – Chorizo and onion frittata, wholemeal Magdalena with brandy soaked (heavily soaked) raisins and cream (It tasted like a Christmas pudding)

Snacks – Apple and custard pastry, pineapple and coconut juice, mars bar, cold beer.

Meraid Griffin

Freelance writer, adventurer and public speaker. Descibed in the Sunday Times as a ‘modest explorer’. Nothing modest about me.

Fancy sharing your thoughts