Thursday 17 November 2016

Ready to go tomorrow Friday 18/11/16 (almost - all things are relative)

Augustin (OCC Port Officer) and Sonya (back) entertaining us Yachties

After what feels like a year of preparation we are now almost ready to leave Pasito Blanco for Mindelo on St Vincent in the Cape Verde Islands.

Mick arrived on Sunday gone and we have been undertaking final preparations ever since. Of course not everything is done but I have not met a yachtie who has ever finished their to-do list.

We have in part been waiting for the right weather window and after consulting with Chris earlier this evening we are satisfied that we should have an OK passage of between 8-11 days down to Cape Verde.

We have had a very enjoyable time here for the last few days thanks largely to Augustin and our wonderful neighbours across the pontoon, Joe and Esther in Vivienne. Agustin entertained us royally a couple of times. Ester cooked a fabulous meal for Mick, Chris and myself (and Jo) last night and we had an absolutely superb evening thanks to our hosts from the emerald isle.

Chris, Jo, Ester and Mick last night

Chris and I and Sue had already benefited from their hospitality earlier in the month. They plan to cross to the Caribbean in a month or so once their son has joined them. it's possible therefore that we might see them then.

Jo, me Sue (before she flew home) and Chris on Vivean

Quite possibly the worst experience of my life was the 5 hours we spent in the supermarket on Tuesday to provision the boat. We finally left with three trolley loads of food and other stuff and I was convinced we would not be able to find enough space to stow it. Anyway we throw it in the cockpit at about 1900 and dragged Jo out for a drink or two at the Yacht club and Mick and I ate as well - god we were hungry and thirsty.

Yesterday we spent the whole morning stowing our provisions but to my great surprise we found a home for everything and still had stowage space left over. Arctic Smoke is though now rather lower in the water than she once was!

This morning was spent checking the weather forecast, yet more jobs and then we finally gave ourselves some time off and went into Arguineguin and had a great and inexpensive Paella.

View from the Restaurant

Afterwards we wandered around the town, found the two cheepy Chinese shops and bought various exciting sundries like small washing up bowls to fit our sinks! A visit to the chandlers was also made to buy more boat stuff and we bought an extra camping gaz cylinder at significant expense (60 euros). We now have three so hopefully will not run out of gas on our passage across the Atlantic.

This evening we said good bye to our new friends in Pasito Blanco including Colin who's boat Roang (another ex Hoo/Medway sailor) was struck by lighting whilst out of the water. He now has a very large bill which hopefully the insurance will cover and his sailing plans have been set back a number of months.

I hope this does not prove too optimistic but next stop Mindelo, Cape Verde.

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