Already nostalgic for Casamance, we struggled a bit to fall under the charm of Cape Verde. There was lots of wind every day. It was cold, not as cold as in France during this period, but we had to cover ourselves well. We were a bit disappointed. The anchorage in Sao Nicolau was very rolly. As soon as we started the engine of our SunShine 36 to go from one place to another, the children would ask us, full of hope, if we would return to Ehidj… We missed the warm welcome of the people of Casamance! Our friends from Ehidj had filled us with so much happiness and joy that we were having trouble moving on to something else.
We arrived into the port of Mindelo, the last stop before our big Atlantic crossing. We met other travellers who were also waiting for the right weather window to set sail. It was also the moment to organise the boat before provisioning for the transatlantic crossing.
On the advice of a number of people, we took a motorboat to spend a day on the island of San Antao, which is located just across from Mindelo. This island did not at all resemble what we had seen thus far of Cape Verde. We made a big tour of the island by taxi. The scenery with winding mountain roads delighted us at each turn. We discovered magnificent panoramas. A luxurious valley would appear after rocky mountains. Behind a summit, partially hidden by the mist, we could glimpse an immense crater, encircled by a tall pine forest. After having crossed a desert plain of porous rock, we arrived at the foot of a magnificent mountain chain intersected by profound canyons. At the end of a small, torturous road that hugged the side of a mountain, we arrived in front of a small village tucked into a valley: this landscape that was entirely shaped by human hands seemed to belong to another time.
Once again aboard Zanzibar, there was a flurry of activity to prepare for the transatlantic crossing: running the errands, straightening and tidying the boat to be sure that nothing would fall while underway. Laurent made some repairs. As an additional provision for our transatlantic crossing, I prepared little surprise packages for the children’s snack times, in which I hid balloons, candy and colouring pages to keep our little ones busy during the long days that awaited us.
The weather for our departure was not optimal. There was lots of wind, and it did not appear to want to settle down in the coming days. The reaction was the same for all the crews who were waiting to make the crossing.
Whether the departure would be today, or in two, or four, or six days, it would be the same. We would have to leave one day or another…!