Monday, 5 December 2016

Sao Antao (click on photos for full size views)


Today we took the Ferry over to Sao Antao - an hour away from Mindelo. It is a spectacular island with terrain ranging from the arid much like Sao Vincent, to lush tropical valleys such as the above where sugar cane bananas and all sorts of other exotic fruits and vegetables are grown by the locals. In these areas of the island one could easily be in the Caribbean already.




I was very much reminded of rural Jamaica, but the drivers were much more considerate!

The views back towards Sao Vincent were very dramatic...





We took a taxi bus driven by George (here he is with Mick) ...



from Porto Novo where the ferry docked, up to the volcanic crater...


The route was peppered with small holdings like these...





After the crater we began the gradual descent to Ribeira Grande on the North West coast of the island. Once again every turn in the road revealed spectacular views...






We had a brief stop in Ribeira Grande, where the most striking observation was of the large amounts of young people - most in school/college uniform. The population here must certainly be on the increase. Unfortunately the only photograph I took there was of an almost deserted street....



We bought a much needed article of boat equipment whilst there - a plastic water funnel to aid us in the process of decanting water from large to small containers. We keep our drinking water in portable containers because despite the ship's main water tank being new last year, it's almost impossible to store water in it that is pleasant enough to drink. It's either smelly when the tank gets low, or it tastes over bleached, so we use it mainly for cooking an cleaning. 

Next stop was Ponta do Sol, a few miles along the coast where we were to stop for lunch. Whilst Ribeira Grande was over-run with teenagers, Ponto do Sol was over-run with primary school children...








They were out on parade but for a reason we could not make out.

Once the kids had passed we made for the restaurant where we were to lunch. But first we passed the Diving Centre..



This was the view from the restaurant...


This was our lunch - very good and very generous portions too at a very reasonable price...


After a very enjoyable and lengthy lunch we explored the immediate locality...





The locals are clearly adept at manoeuvring their craft through the tortuous entrance channel


Quite a surf kicks up around the little harbour...





After lunch we drove through the lush 'Caribbean' valley mentioned earlier...




... before returning to Porto Novo to catch the Ferry back to Mindelo.

The ferry crossings were useful in demonstrating the force of the acceleration zone between the islands. We estimated a Force 6 was blowing on the way out and a 5 on the way back. At least now we know what to expect!

On arrival back at the Marina we collected the very expensive new spinnaker pole and considered our departure plans. The combination of a number of jobs still outstanding and the weather mean that Wednesday is the day we will most likely head off.