Maio - my favourite

Last night at 9pm local time we set our anchor on the grounds off the beach of Vila the Maio on the Island of Maio. Beautiful here. The Travel Guide "Marco Polo" wrote that on this island everything is calm, beautiful and peaceful. SO TRUE. And SO CLEAN. Another pluspoint: it's not touristy here. Sad for the restaurants, but beautiful for the peace. Only individual tourism. Some posadas with a couple of rooms. Since the people don't live much on tourism, they don't beg you all the time. Only one guy today politely tried to offer us souvenirs.

Maio offers many beaches, many of them hard to ge there but the more beautiful. At the north there is a beach where the turtles lay their eggs in the summertime. There is a natural preserve here, salinas (Salt) and great swimming. But the sand is not as white as on Boavista and Sal. Considering the whole - island, town and beaches this comes to be my favcourite now, or at least same as Boavista. Boavista for the beautiful sand and the desert, Maio definitely for the living and restaurants.

Here in the bay we are 3 boats, only 2 are "vagabound" boats. One yellow 2-mast boat is here, which Marcus thought he knew as a boat from french people. It turned out to be the boat of the british owners of the beach bar, where the "whites" go. They had been sailing araound for 2.5 years when they got "stuck" here 18 months ago. They were unable to say "no" to the offer of aking over the beach bar. I talked to the owner, she had already wondered who would be in that boat which had all of a sudden been here in the bay this morning....

From Marco Polo I knew there is an italian restaurant where they serve good pizza. It's called "Tutti frutti". And I can tell you: the Pizza is great. The owner is an italian, married to a venezuelan lady. He built the house 9yrs ago and they opened the Restaurant. A grest restaurant and you can see cooking is his passion, but they struggle with the little tourism. She told us that the only way to get here is by a little plane from Praia. No Jetty coming here from BoaVista. She had been sailing the oceans for 17yrs, owning a boat and living from chartering - driving people around. She has crossed the Atalantic 8 times or so, now she is tired of living on a boat and is happy to be on land with her husband. Life in Maio. Like living on the countryside. Here are some pictures:
View to Vila de Maio. Alita is on the very right.

 Overlooking the bay of Vila the Maio. The lonely boat is always Alita.

Again: Alita in the background over te fishing boats

More pictures on:
 or go to the link in the photogallery and then "Maio"


Fogo and Brava, Post from thursd. 26.6.12

Unfortunately the E-Mail blog entry never reached the blog yesteday, so here it is. In the meantime we arrived safely at Maio, lying at anchor at the main city in the southwest. More tomorrow.

Fogo and Brava
Fogo is said to be beautiful for it is greener and has the highest peak of the islands, close to 3000m. That peak causes the clouds to stay there and deliver some free water. The volcano last erupted in 1995. Since Fogo consists of only hills, they do have a wine industry there. Fogo wine is said to be good. Well, we have a bottle now and will try it some time. Fogo has a little harbor on the east coast with nothing there. Unfortunately it is ugly and they were constructing in it so we deciede not to stop there. The town, which is 3km away , looked nice with new houses and has a little black beach, but anchoring would not have been nice, no protection from the swell. So we decided to move on to Brava, the westernmost inhabited island of the Cape Verdes.
It was a good decision to come here. There is a little harbor in a small bay but big enough to have a Ferry come here once in a while to deliver food and other goods and of course people. Brava is a little paradise of its own. Not that I would like to live here, but it’s beautiful and most of all peaceful. I am sure that right now we were the only tourists.
Looking for an anchorage a black guy in a green-black striped T-Shirt showed us where we should “park” and that we should go backwards and put landlines out. That procedure took a little while with only two of us working on the boat, but we did well. I was steering the boat, Marcus took the Dinghi to put the landlines. After being sure all is ok the first thing we did was jump into the water. That felt good. In a usual manner Marcus took the diving glasses and looked for the anchor to see if it holds well.
When we wanted to go to the shore with the Dinghi we found the motor of the Dinghi not working. In the meantime it is repaired. So we paddled ashore. The guy who had helped us with the landlines was still there and waited for his money  that of course we gave him. He then brought us to the “Delegacao Maritim”, where we again had to check in, show the papers, make a Crew List, leave a copy of the passports etc. and, most important, pay EUR7. The guy was very young and did not speak English and it took him a while to find all he needed to fill out – seems like there had not come a visitor in a long time. The office, which had just been opened for us, contained a desk, a shelf with a handful of Leitz-files (Ordner) in there and 4 chairs which all seemed to fall apart the second you sat on them. On the desk there was an old, rosted Leitz-puncher (Locher) on a German Klett book (unfortunately it was turned over so I couldn’t see what it was for). On the wall hang a painting with 3 sailboats, the paper cover was still on the frame. Some knots in a frame decorated the other wall over the door which leads to the balcony. The floor, probably an old wooden floor, was covered with a PVC with wooden structure. All was simple but clean. Looking up there was no ceiling in the room but you looked directly up to the roof (Dachziegel). The guy who helped us in the first place was still with us, he is our guide and the translator and then brought us to a bar where Marcus had a beer. Actually Marcus wanted to eat but of course in the afternoon at 3 p.m. there is no chance to get any food. So beer and some cookies had to do it. While we were there we were witness to some interesting scenes. The lady behind the bar first of all was probably very good at heart but very tired and not amused she had to work during the day. A little girl came in and traded cigarettes, I didn’t quite get the deal. I just noticed that you can buy cigarettes by one there, because some people did. Sometimes, if the lady did not have the right change I guess she gave a cigarette instead. A guy ordered beer, another came in and had 5 shots of some strong alcohol in one glass which he finished in one zip.
 After that short break we headed for the capitol of the island, which is on the mountain in over 500m height. One hour later, having managed 2/3rds of the way, an Aluguer came by and convinced us to hop on board. It would have been quite another distance. The whole road is under construction with cows watching the progress…We arrived in the town and were in a different world, tropical. New houses, a small supermarket in the side street which had a cashier where you even got a receipt, people BBQ everywhere, all clean and very quiet, that’s the Capitol Vila Nova Sintra. We spent some time up there, looking around and looking for a clean  restaurant who would serve us dinner. We finally found one with view to an old ruin on top of the hill. Local older guys (most of them white!) sat there, and had one beer after the other. One particularly loved Heineken. Very friendly. We had tuna with CousCous and carrots/cabbage. We took a taxi back down, the ride was 15 min. downhill. Back on the boat we took a shower on the back and enjoyed the warm night. Marcus immediately went to bed and fell asleep because he hadn’t slept long the night before while sailing. When I was waiting to take my shower the town turned dark – like we had seen it twice before (in Boa Vista and on the crossing passing the Island of Santiago). Out of electricity. Happens very often, probably daily. I used the dark phase to enjoy a wonderful naked shower ;-) After the third retry the electricity went back on.
This morning the roosters on the land waked us up. We had a long breakfast and as I am typing the story here, Marcus is waiting for me to go swimming before we leave heading towards Maio and trying to keep the local kids, who swam to the boat, off the boat. So, one last swim and off we go, another day of travelling, to an island with sandy beaches for Micha ;-)

Brava at arrival

Street construction cows

View down to the bay with the only sailing boat (Alita) from 1/5 the way up

 Vila Nova Sintra

The harbour town: Porta da Furna



Arrived at Fogo

Just a quick note before I loose the internet: we safely arrived at Fogo, can't anchor here cuase of construction in the harbour, going on to the island of Brava.


Last day in Boa Vista

Time went by fast. Today is our last day in Boa Vista. Actually we wanted to leave today but there is NO wind at all. So we will go ashore and fill up our fridge with fresh vegetables and fruits (so I can continue to work on Marcus' vitamin poisening ;-)) and leave tomorrow morning, heading for a Fogo with a stop over at a reef about 18nm from here, where Marcus can go diving and I can go snorkeling.
We had a great time here and met wonderful people. Our super, australian neighbours, Roger and Sasha had invited us for a marvelous dinner last night onto their boat Ednbal (THANK YOU GUYS!!!) and left early this morning heading for Sal. Such loveloy people. They have been on their boat for the last 6 years already and got lots of great stories, I put the link to their website into my linklist.
On saturday we had rented an "Aluguer" (car with driver) who drove us cross country through sand and over bad, stony "road" to the typical tourist sites, which are all beautiful: the beach at Costa boa esperanza, where you see the wreck of the ship "santa maria" on the beach (it has been ther for over 40 years), then to the Sahara-off spring desert "Desierto Viana" inbetween red volcano mountains and the famous bach "Santa Monica", which just has beautiful coloured ocean, gresat waves and about one million crabs on the beach. I really enjoy this island and could stay here and on the spots for a long time waiting for the right light to take pictures. Unfortunately we did not have that much time, since the driver was always waiting for us. Being the most easterly island Boavista is closest to the Sahara and thus can freely import fresh Sahara sand. It all comes from the east. They tried to build a wall on the east coast to prtect the town of Sal Rei but without succcess. The sand follows its own rules and wanders around the way it likes. But the basic material of the island is still volcano, which gives a beautiful mixture, the white really stands out against the red. Surprisingly as we drove around this desert island you see palm oasis. So there must be water sometimes. And the longer we travelled the more goats we found hanging out in the desert, some even walking through the sand (see in one of the pictures). Also we saw 3 cows and 3 donkeys, somewhere in the middle of nowhere.

To me this island is by nature very colourful. The changing coulours of the water in all dimensions of blue and turcoise, red - white - black sand, green trees and palm trees, black&white goats and cows, brown/black inhabitants and white tourists, colourful art....A peacful place I will not forget so fast.
Enjoy the last photo gallery from here.

Desert Viana
Caravan of 3 goats in the desert
The lonely goat
 "Desierto Viana"

Micha and the bird in the desert Viana

Marcus at Playa Santa Monica

Ilha de Sal Rei
 View from Ilha de Sal Rei to the Bay where our boat is

 Sunset over Ilha Sal Rei

Alita in our first beautiful sunset

The two mast boat "Chaumane" in the sunset. I had already seen it in Las Palmas.

For more pictures klick here:  http://sailing.smichah.de/#10.0

Have a wonderful week everyone.