Mindelo

At the end of the last blog entry, we had just dropped anchor in the dark off Mindelo and fallen in to bed and a deep sleep. Obviously we weren’t awake with the sunrise but some time later. When we got up and took a look outside we were presented with a colourful town, a bay surrounded by barren hills and lots of yachts at anchor. And lots of sun and wind.

We moved Artemis nearer land and amongst the other boats. We recognised Riki and Martin’s “aracanga” and their friend’s boat “Streuner” so anchored near to them. Once we had the dinghy out of the locker and the outboard attached, we discovered that the propeller was siezed. No problem; we are young and fit and rowed to the marina office. They told us that the shop next door would service the motor – on Monday – and immigration may be open – on Monday. Life in Africa is slow and relaxed. At least we found an open supermarket where a friendly sales assistant installed local SIM cards in our phones and got us online.

On Sunday we spent most of the day cleaning as much of the Sahara off the boat as possible. We washed everything in salt water and then cleaned all the ropes with fresh water. Artemis once again looks presentable.

A friend from home wrote that he had friends currently at the marina so we contacted each other. In the afternoon, after the cleaning and a warm solar heated shower, we rowed over to say hello to Christina and Martin and ended up leaving again just before midnight. A great evening with two really nice sailors.

Monday just after eight we reported to immigration and received two visas stamped in our passports for a grand total of five Euros. Then on to the maritime police to clear the boat in to the country. One formular and no Euros. Everything quick, efficient and easy. We were on a roll so we filled up with water for one cent a liter at the fishing club, found some one to look at the engine and bought a new bottle of camping gas. Then collapsed in to bed for Siesta.

Today was New Years Eve so we met up with Christina and Werner again and waited for midnight. We knew when it was without a watch. Both ferries were sounding off their horns, people were using up out of date flares and the town put on a great firework show. Straight after a concert began in the middle of town in the closed off streets. Big stage, huge speakers and thousands of people. Everyone from toddler to grandparents and every outfit imaginable from cocktail dres to diving suit (honestly). We watched people and enjoyed the music until past two in the morning.

In Mindelo they know how to party.

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