We arrived at the pilot boarding ground and yes, he, (actually, ‘they’, for there were 2), were there! Yeah! It is quite a large port, numerous ships at anchor including a 75m super-yacht, the “M-5”, the 5th largest sloop in the world; tugs, fishing boats, ferries and specialised ships, such as cable-layers and scientific research ships. Ships call here for fuel, (or as we call it ‘bunkers’) and a large bulk carrier does just that, anchoring in the bay and fueling from a bunker-barge. We take some too, it is $50 a tonne cheaper than anywhere nearby and as we take 1,000, it’s a large saving on our massive fuel bill.
We berth on the inner side of the breakwater, our length just about using it all and our bow towering over 3 small Portuguese naval patrol boats.
Shuttle buses again take our guests and crew into town, although similar to Praia, it is cleaner, the streets are still made of cobblestone, (excepting the main thoroughfares) and there are people selling odd items at every street corner. There are 2 markets, one selling fresh produce and another, the ‘African’ market, clothing, carvings, jewelry. Both Praia and Mindelo had these ‘African’ markets and I find out they are so-called because they were once the site of the ‘African’ slave markets.
I take the morning off, away from the responsibilities of command, (although I take my phone should I be needed). We stroll through the streets and market places, along the foreshore. Here the ‘beach’ has beautiful water, however it is covered in fish heads, remnants of the work by fishermen. A group of men are sitting under canvas awnings, playing a game involving a board, cards and stones; my non-existent Creole or Portuguese and their lack of English, leaves me none the wiser as to what it is.
Back to the ship and in the evening, Karen and I have a marathon session of “Downtown Abbey”, a mini-series of which I was familiar, but had never seen; I’m ‘hooked’ on it now though.
We leave here soon for Barbados, 2000 miles away to the west, arriving on the 22nd. I need the 5 sea-days; apart from ‘social’ functions, I have that paperwork to try to complete. 😕