Waiting for a favourable weather window…

There are worse places to be waiting for good weather than Mindelo. We have enjoyed visiting the Cape Verdian island of Sao Vicente, as well as the wonderful neighbouring volcanic island of Santo Antao, where we spent a couple of days on land hiking and relaxing 😉

Since today the winds have picked up in the range of 20 to 25 knots, with gusts above 30 knots. This is what the ‘grib’ files suggest. As ‘grib’ files are generated by computer models (no interpretation by a meteorologist) they should be read with caution. Experience learned that in reality 5 to 10 knots is to be added to get near the true wind speed. Laying in Mindelo presents an additional challenge, caused by so called katabatic winds. They literally ‘fall off’ the  mountains north-east of us, accelerating as they go down. By the time they reach the marina they blow at their maximum speed. We have added lines to keep SILMARIL on her place. Yet she swings from left to right, forward and backwards, and shaking when a new gust hits her. Although the motion is not comfortable we tend to get used to it.

We could go anchoring instead, which would be a little more comfortable, but we don’t feel to move as we plan to leave Mindelo in just a few days from now, on Saturday. The wind should have eased by that time, seemingly offering a good weather window to sail to the south (with a little bit of west into it) towards the ‘doldrums’, officially called the I.T.C.Z. (Inter Tropical Convergence Zone). This is where the trade winds from the Northern and Southern hemisphere meet into a zone (now just north of the equator) of little to no wind, very humid and hot, with a strong possibility of squalls (very heavy local rain) and thunder. In the meantime, despite the wind, the sun is shining again, which is all the better.

We have a few days left to prepare our journey to Salvador in Brazil. We believe this trip will take between 15 and 20 days depending on the weather conditions. We will let you know how things are going. Follow this page 🙂

About Patrick & Leentje

We are Leentje and Patrick. We have been cruising since June 2014 with the ambition to sail around the world.
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