And the ocean gave us a shot! I wish I did not think that it would be so much fun to the end! We sailed from São Nicolao do São Vincente for about 8 hours, but in conditions that reminded me of the worst moments spent at sea. Winds up to 9 on the Beaufort scale, gusts up to 40 knots. But only in gusts, enough to scare many, let alone Dorothy and me. Holding on tightly to the sheets and the fairing, we managed not to fall overboard and face the mighty, long ocean waves, up to 4 m high. There was no question of going down to the cabin, everything in the belly was turned upside down. So we somehow endured this difficult time, passing the small islands of Raso, Branco and Santa Luzia on the way. By some miracle, or maybe because it was after the worst rocking, I managed to take a few photos of these very black, seemingly unfriendly islands located at the very end of the world. Their sharp, sharp peaks in the sky looked like cardboard cutouts. Dread to think how harsh and unfriendly there.
Well, we are finally here. This is the last stage of my and Dorothy journey by sea. And the last island from the Cape Verde archipelago. We dreamed of having unlimited access to fresh water, so it started with showers and washing.
But here, too, water is very economical, so far we have bought a 500-liter card, it should be enough to wash the boat and first baths. I really like this control of water consumption, unlike European marinas, where water is poured onto the boat thoughtlessly, constantly flushing it for pleasure and cooling, rather than for real need. Marina Mindelo, where we stand, is the last marina at the end of the world, where only those who want to finally prepare, take their last breath and dive into the unknown across the Atlantic, and maybe even further, come here.
There are no molluscs and quasi tourists here, except on a 7-story all-inclusive cruise ship stationed nearby. Maybe it will also sail to the Caribbean or the Canary Islands? Krzyś and Mirek are already starting to clean up before their jump across the Atlantic in mid-November.
First walk, first beer and first shopping for now. As everywhere in the UK – colorful.
Mindelo is the largest city we have seen so far. Spacious, green streets, many squares, and a lot of car traffic. We found Cesaria Evora’s home.
Quite a surprising surprise, near the exit from the port we came across a small gallery.
Today, in line with our secular tradition, we are going on a trip around the island: the four of us, the Kumatej crew and our driver Andy, as well as a professional guide (as he himself puts himself) Franklin.
More volcanoes, black pebbles, black sand and ash. First, we painstakingly climb to the highest peak on the island, Monte Verde, 750 m high. Along the way, breathtaking views, a winding road, basalt cube.
At the top of Monte Verde there are various antennas and relay stations and, amazingly, plenty of tiny crops – herbs, various nightshades and the ubiquitous maize. It is unbelievable how densely maize the rocky slopes of the local volcanic mountains are.
This land is not against anyone’s appearances. Inhabitants from the seaside come here to uproot volcanic rock, fertile soil in seemingly microscopic amounts, and to plant corn seedlings among the stones. The inaccessible slopes are dominated by agile goats, probably fed with haulm of this cultivated plant.
On the way back, we drop into a local turtle hospital – the ailing, sick or in any way injured, heal here in a private swimming pool, and then are released into the ocean.
We drive along beautiful, empty beaches. The water is 28 degrees Celsius, but there are no people willing to sunbathe and swim anyway. Who would go here to the end of the world, although the summer weather in November is an undoubted advantage. Tiny oases along the way, each with a water well powered by a windmill.
Preparations are underway at the Mindelo marina to welcome the yachts taking part in the annual ARC race from the Canary Islands to the Caribbean with a stop at São Vincente. Expensive party, amazing yachts under the skies, a variety of personalities of captains and their crews. Sailing in a nutshell. In the meantime, we walk around the marina, observing both the very old, iconic sailboats that have eaten their teeth on many reefs, and the brand new, beautiful vessels that may just face an ocean adventure.
In the famous floating bar, we sip a beer and cannot admire the enormity of the surrounding mountains. The day after tomorrow, Sebastian, the third member of the crew, arrives across the Atlantic Ocean to Krzysiek and Mirek, and I and Dosia are getting ready to return to the dark land on the Vistula River.