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2 weeks of fun in Mindelo

2 weeks of fun in Mindelo

We weren’t planning on spending 2 weeks in the Mindelo marina, but we ended up deciding to do a bunch of boat jobs, including fitting a new solar panel, while also waiting for a weather window that started off with some days of less than 2.5m swell.

We also planned on heading out to the anchorage to wait for this window, but with everything, we were doing aboard, the extra convenience of being able to walk off the boat onto the dock was amazing. And the marina was too expensive.

Mindelo marina, pontoon B, featuring Extres and Danae


A short taxi ride from the marina on the south side of the island was a little bay well known for its turtles.

We are not sure if the turtles naturally like coming to this bay, we heard that the locals of the beach treat them a little bit like pets feeding them etc (not ideal), which probably explains why they are always there and why the spot has touristy “turtle tours” etc.

Nonetheless, we went to check out the beach and turtles without the tour, and we were not disappointed, getting some of our best underwater turtle pics and vids yet.

This beach and experience were slightly ruined by a “crazy lady” that was at the beach swearing at people and even throwing rocks at 1 group of girls… No idea what was happening here, but everyone left the beach safely at the end of the day…

Santo Antão

Santo Antão is the westernmost island of Cape Verde. We didn’t anchor there (not sure if you are actually allowed), so instead got up early in the morning with a group of Dutch friends to get the ferry over to the island.

We were once again following other folks to and around the island, meaning we would have to do less thinking for ourselves! Great!

Arriving at the island we headed for a coffee before then hunting around for a decent price taxi to get us to the top of the island.

And it was a great idea to get this taxi, as the journey took us up rather high and would have taken hours to walk or bus to etc.

The road up to the top of the island was rather beautifully paved but was cobblestone, so riding in the back of a pickup truck was interesting at times.

As we got higher the air began to cool, it was wonderful.

Once at the top of the island we could walk up and out of the canyon, an down the other side of the island, where the same taxi would be waiting for us at the beach.

The walk was absolutely beautiful, the canyon was full of greenery, and as we descended the far side of the island we were surrounded by irrigated fields, trees, plants, and animals.

We stopped for lunch at a little restaurant in a town before the beach where we had spaghetti for 10. Realizing we were slightly behind schedule we had to grab another taxi for the last 45 minutes of walking, down toward the beach we were being collected from.

Spotting our actual taxi (the pickup truck) halfway toward the beach, we got out and switched over.

The journey back around the island was just as beautiful. We would see the rather small swell coming in from the north, ideally, this is what we would be setting off in in the coming days.

General shenanigans

While we were in Mindelo, the world cup was in full swing.

This led to multiple trips to the local Irish sports bar to watch the Netherlands play with our friends (and England of course).

Just up the road, there was a very tasty ice cream shop.

We also had multiple meals out in various groups, and many many many beers at the floating bar in the Marina.

Palmeria, Sal, Cape Verde

Palmeria, Sal, Cape Verde

We made it to Cape Verde! You can read more about our journey here in the previous post where we had a little race with 2 other boats..

Our first and only anchorage in Sal was a little town called Palmeria, where we could clear customs and get our passport stamps.

Blue Note, our racing buddies, wouldn’t arrive until the following evening, and before they did we set off on a little island exploration walking for over an hour from Palmeria to “Buracona – Blue Eye Cave” that apparently had a bar and restaurant. Unfortunately, when we arrived they said they were closing in an hour and wouldn’t let us in? So we ended up wandering into the desert of the island for an hour also before looping back to Palmeria completing our 3-4 hour walk to nowhere. But it was nice to get some walking done after being on a crossing for the past 6 days.

We also finally found out what the little tourist submarines look like under the water as one was out on the dry in the town.

In the evening we met up again with our new Dutch friends on from Extress and Danae to eat at one of the local restaurants and wait for Blue Note to arrive.

The anchorage ended up being very useful, we managed to top of with water in our jerry cans. There were a reasonably priced laundry service where they would pick up laundry from your boat and deliver it back, and it was very well protected.

After a few days we were ready to set off to the next anchorage, following Extress and Danae (This will b a running theme through most of Cape Verde)

Oceanopolis, Brest

Oceanopolis, Brest

The marina that we moored at when arriving in Brest gave us a free ticket to Oceanopolis, a nearby Aquarium.

We took this opportunity to have a day out on land.

The aquarium was about an hours walk from the marina, so we stocked up on icey cold water, and started walking amidst a bit of a heat wave (around 30 degrees Celcius).

Our walk took us along the rest of Brest harbour, then along a busy-ish road with a cycle path, and eventually through an industrial area until finally reaching Oceanopolis.

The aquarium is split up into 3 main different zones. Tropical, Polar and a zone for the local area.

There were penguins.

Lots and lots of penguins.


The cutest of sea otters.

And of course, small fish pretending to be Nemo.

While browsing the shop we found a very cute seal which is now part of team Hannah Penn (also known as Team Saily Mc Sail Face).

Keep an eye out for this cute one in photos to come.

On the way back we tried out a french bike rental app called Donkey republic.

Not many bikes available that worked, most parking places would generally have 5 or so bikes, but only one that wasn’t broken / that you could unlock.

This shortened the trip back quite a bit. Very glad the bike was electric assist.

A walk around Tresco island

A walk around Tresco island

Tresco is one of the many islands that make up the Isles of Scilly. On Day 21 we anchored up just north of Tresco in St Helens Pool.

Heading to shore, we landed the dinghy on the northeastern side at Old Grimsby.


The first thing on our minds was a spot of lunch, and the closest place (also quite expensive) was Ruin Beach Cafe, very yummy. We ended up having a full 3-course meal for lunch, see our deserts to the right.

We started exploring and headed for a big walk counter-clockwise around the island without much planning about what to see, except for some greenery and the open ocean on the far side.

There is lots of green space on the northern side, with great views of the open ocean, and views of the other Isles.

As you make your way around to the western side you find a couple of castles / forts providing a little history lesson and some more good views, such as New Grimsby.

New Grimsby

We stopped off at the supermarket in the middle of the island for some icecreams and drinks because it was around 28 degrees C.

Continuing south, we planned on visiting Tresco Gardens, but unfortunately due to our late planning, they were closed. Nonetheless, our adventure to the south let us relax while watching lots of rabbits and pheasants frolick in the grass.

Rabbits frolicking in the grass

It was low tide when we got back to Old Grimsby where we had left the dinghy.

We spent a little time in Ruin Beach Cafe once again making full use of their WiFi to download the latest Stranger Things season, as well as updates to our navigational charts.

Finally, it was time to carry the dinghy, engine and all, back down to the water (now quite the trek).

Dinghy at Old Tresco

A short walk around Great Ganilly

A short walk around Great Ganilly

On Day 20 we arrived in the Isles of Scilly, amidst the Eastern Isles, right next to Great Ganilly.

We were only a short distance from Great Ganilly Island, so figured we had better replace our outboard engine oil (a job we had been putting off), and explore the island!

We took the dinghy a short distance to shore and carried it over a bit of rocky ground so it wouldn’t drift away as the tide rose.

Heading counter-clockwise around the island we first found ourselves on a little beach with a webcam (we guess for seals).

There was quite a bit of fishing tackle, ropes and things caught in rocks and on the beach, including this box that said Lowestoft! It’s a small world, as Lowestoft is Kathryn’s mums home town.

The island had a few paths carved out from where people had visited before. But the main inhabitants seemed to be hundreds of sea birds, all of which were flying around keeping an eye on what we were doing…

As we came back around to the western side of the island we got the opportunity to take some nice pictures of Hannah from the shore.

We weren’t ready to head back to the boat, so we relaxed on the beach until sunset.

From the beach, we could see a rock that looked a lot like what Grace described as a giant slug, but we were thinking of a crocodile. So of course, I (Adam) had to go and see what it would look like if I tried to ride it.

Meanwhile, Kathryn was once again getting artsy in the sand.

On the way back to the boat, we could mostly have the dinghy engine off and drift downwind, which was perfect as the seals were out and about.