On Sunday we started Leg 2 of the Globe 40 from Cabo Verde to Mauritius. But before I dive into that, I'd like to provide a quick "best of" list of things we enjoyed over the two-week layover in Mindelo, on the island of Sao Vicente. In no particular order:
1. The finish at 1:30AM past this little island with a lighthouse outside the harbor was very surreal and cool. 4 boats finished within 4 hours after 9 days of racing, so it was very close racing and made for a fun dockside party. While everyone was exhausted, Melodie and Gary from the S/V Whiskey Jack joined us to tell stories and decompress. Very fun and relieved to finish.
2. Porto Grande Hotel - Very friendly folks and great rooms with breakfast for $89 a night. Cabo Verde is Cheap! So visit if you can.
3. Our man Gilson, from CV Boats. We had a nasty problem of salt water forcing its way past worn seals on the propeller shaft to get into the SailDrive and transmission and ultimately the engine box through the pressure relief valve. The saltwater turned the clear, deep red ATF fluid into a mayonnaise-like liquid, which is not good for lubricating the transmission. Since there is no Travelift or way to haul a sailboat out of the water in Sao Vicente, Gilson has become adept at making repairs underwater. We were quite skeptical that this could be done, but Gilson is very creative and got the job done by diving, both with snorkel and tanks. We were also able to use an air pressure pump to force all the bad fluid out and put in new fluid without draining from the low point on the sail drive leg in the water. Altogether rather amazing it all worked!
4. The race sailmaker Sylvain Pontu brought us a new hydraulic ram in his luggage from France, which was huge. We had ordered two new ones and the second one got lost by TAP Airlines somewhere between Paris, Lisbon and Mindelo. The state of the airlines and international air cargo is a complete mess, so don't ship stuff abroad if you don't have to. So we have one new ram and one old one that is working so hope we will be OK to Mauritius and that the second new ram will catch up with us.
5. We went scuba diving with the dive company Haliotis and it was a blast. Super-friendly dive instructors made it a really fun day in warm, clear water and plenty of sea life.
6. We went diving and hung out a lot with Micah Davis (Amhas owner) and his family- wife Tenly, sons Theo and Hank and daughter Lula. Great kids- a great family and we enjoyed hanging with them a lot.
7. We had a visit from my son Griffin (24) and his best bud Owen Ward and Roger and I had a blast with them. The highlight was an island tour with our local guide Danny, which was really eye-opening. Sao Vicente looks a lot like Mars, with volcanic mountains and very little (if any) rain or agriculture. We drove up the highest peak and the views were spectacular. Lunch was fried octopus, our favorite. Capped by dinner and Portugese wine. Perfect. Thanks to Griffin and Owen for making the effort and raising our spirits tremendously.
8. SuperBock beer (Portugese). Doesn't that just sound great when you say it..."Two large SuperBock" was spoken frequently at the Mindelo Marina Pub. Smooth, refreshing, thirst-quenching in the heat.
So that's the stopover highlights. We are now back at sea after a great harbor start on Sunday. After beating out into the channel, we turned and sailed around the Sao Vicente and downwind past the more southern Cabo Verde island chain. Yesterday we, unfortunately, suffered a major horizontal tear in our A2 spinnaker all the way from one side to the other that does not seem reparable at sea, or probably on land. So we are without a key sail for this long leg, which will suck. And now we are battling our way through very light winds in a high-pressure zone. The stopover is clearly over and we are back to work.
Expected 35-day leg duration to Mauritius, so more reports to follow.