Fine conditions with a 20 knot nor'easterly breeze, sea state 3 and a 1.5 - 2.0 metre swell. Temperature of about 24 degrees
Greetings one and all,
Welcome to Day 25 of World Voyage Leg 02/15 and a slight change to our normal programming. The much loved (and grey haired) Captain Gav has decided to hand over Command for the next passage from Mindelo, Cape Verde to Tenerife, Canary Islands, so for the next few days it will be Captain Kenny (sometimes also known as Andrew, Knuckle or Duddle) reporting. Never fear, Gav will be keeping a weather eye on proceedings...just to make sure I behave. And for those of you who are scratching your heads saying 'who is this Kenny character', check out our Ship's Staff profiles on the website...I'm the good looking one (compared to Gav!).
Well, after a much needed and very much enjoyed visit, we departed Mindelo at midday today. Our passage to the Canary Islands should take us about 7 days...dependent on weather conditions…something other than the forecast north easterlies would be nice, particularly noting that our required course is to the north east...which means, yes, you guessed it, more headwinds. Everyone is looking forward to the challenge ahead, excited by the shorter transit and the chance to visit another amazing destination during our world odyssey.
Well that's enough from me...I'll hand over to Clare and Tom to regale you with stories of Mindelo Cape Verde.
For those of you with some knowledge of Latin based languages, you will know that ‘Verde’ means green. The Young Endeavour crew was dreaming of the lush tropical paradise that was awaiting us after the long journey from Rio. However, the islands of Cape Verde are distinctly brown, barren and quite frankly unappealing at first sight. Fortunately, appearances can be deceiving and this small unknown country off the west coast of Africa showed us a good time.
As you may expect, as soon as we set foot on land we promptly made a bee-line to the nearest wifi-bearing café. Contact with home was made over well deserved beverages and many chose to make bookings at local hotels. The city of Mindelo feels like a buzzing beachside suburb, with many small bars and cafés serving cheap beers and fresh seafood. As we explored we discovered that the hotels which we had populated were all located within a few hundred metres of each other, and no matter what restaurant we went to, there was always another salty seadog to bump into.
We arranged to meet for a group dinner at a restaurant on the esplanade, but 36 hungry and thirsty sailors took Mindelo by surprise. As we all sat down to order our meals at a restaurant called Club Nautica the staff’s eyes widened and they scratched their heads thinking how on earth are we going to serves this many people. Sure enough it was a struggle and we spent the next 4 hours working the somewhat overwhelmed staff very hard. It was an interesting experience as we have all gotten to know each other quite well over the past few weeks but now staffies and world voyagers alike were able to see each other in a different light in the more relaxed (and not moving) setting.
As these things go we soon wanted to move on to the next place, somewhere were we could dance. So a little over half of us set out upon the streets. We had heard of a place that had dancing called Prim (I think). Alas that was all we knew so navigation turned out to be quite the struggle. Which given our current circumstance should be almost embarrassing to admit. We were greeted by friendly locals and finally found someone who knew and they offered to escort us. After around half an hour of aimless wanderings, a massive and well deserved pit stop at a burger van and another half an hour of direction from a local we arrived. As we rounded the corner we could see the lights and we all got very excited to make it to our first club. The closer we got however the more cautious we were. Finally we were all outside the door and things were not quite as expected. Somewhere we had been led astray, so we all opted to move on to the next venue.
This lead to our first great divide as a team all seeking the thills of dancing in a local club with the friends we have just made on board this little ship sailing through this vast ocean. Was it worth it? Going to the next venue that is. Do we soldier on or cut our losses? Being unable to decide we set forth on our respective paths. One half of our group opting to return to our hotels for a much deserved rest while the other half opted to continue. I was in the group who opted to continue. So we set off again, following our guide. We rounded corners to the left and to the right and walked straight where ever we needed to with the promise it was just around this corner or at the end of the street. Finally it got to be too much, even the most persistent and steadfast were having second thoughts at this point so we decided to call it. This last promise of ‘just at the end of this street’ was too much. We walked back as a group trying to find something familiar. And we did, our bus driver with some more of our crew and we were back on target. Guess what, that last promise was correct. Our sore legs and earned fatigue laid doubt in our minds that we were “so close but yet so far”… but not any more. This new club actually had music and a dance floor. We were set, and we danced the night away.
The rest of our time here has followed a very similar story but from here on out there are too many separate stories for myself to write about. We hired a van and drove around the island, we went to markets. We ate local food and climbed the mountains. We were having an amazing time and like all good things it was not to last. After some frantic early morning shopping for some and very heavy bed sheets for others we managed to pull through and say good bye to this wonderful place. We all boarded the ship to depart 4 hours earlier than originally intended.
Now on our way to the Canary Islands we are motoring into some decent headwinds. The boys in the 12 berth cabin almost get airborne when the ship crashes down the back of a wave and slowly but surely we are all getting back into the swing of things.
That’s it for now from the Atlantic Ocean stay turned for our next great adventure, or day. Sometimes I get the two confused because everything is so amazing out here.
Thomas and Clare