Recent Articles in Cruising Notes

Given in good faith, but not to be taken as gospel

Cape Verde – Sal – What to do in Sal

Having cleared into the island, in Palmeira, where should the visitor to Sal go next? Well, some people would say that he might as well move on, straight away – to Boa Vista, or to Sao Nicolau and then Sao Vicente… There is a certain amount to be said for this philosophy. However, Sal does have a little bit more to offer. If you want to get to know the place a little better then you need to move on…

Cape Verde – Sal – Palmeira

Palmeira is the port of entry for the island of Sal and is also one of only three places where yachtsmen can clear in and out of the country. It is situated on the west coast and, being the only settlement in the vicinity, is easily spotted in reasonable visibility. This article begins with a discussion of the place and its history. For information relating to navigation and anchoring, scroll towards the bottom of the page. First Impressions Most people…

Cape Verde – Sal – History

From the point of view of its topography and scenery, Sal is one of the two least impressive islands in the Cape Verde archipelago (the other being Maio). Sal is low and flat, and if the rest of the group are arid Sal is simply a desert. In the whole island there is only one spring and one small oasis. The monotony of Sal’s dreary wind-swept plain is disturbed only by half a dozen naked brown hills – and each…

Cape Verde Islands – Clearing In and Out

We hesitate to list the rules and regulations for yachtsmen visiting the Republic of Cape Verde because, depending on which official you speak to and in which island, you will be given a different set; so we suggest that you consider these brief notes to be an approximation and nothing more.

Cape Verde Islands – Security

One of the saddest things about humanity is the way that one bad apple can spoil the reputation of a whole bunch. When it comes to cruising the world there are times, indeed, when one unsavoury character really can ruin a place – because one thief, or one small gang of thieves, can easily make a good anchorage unsafe – but on the other hand, just because one anchorage is unsafe it does not mean that the whole country is…

Cape Verde Islands – Wind and Weather

People have a lot of preconceptions about what the weather is like in the Cape Verdes. Now that the developers and holiday salesmen have put the islands on the map most land-lubbers imagine the islands to be hot and sunny. This is not actually the case. The weather here is almost always sunny – that much is true – but in the winter the sky is often hazy, and the almost-constant wind keeps the temperature down. Although they lie in…

Cabedelo / Jacaré / João Pessoa (Brazil)

Jacaré is a fishing village situated on the eastern bank of a small muddy river. Rather than carve its way directly out into the sea, the river, on reaching the coast, seems to hesitate. It veers to the north and waits a while before finally taking the plunge. If you care to take a look at a chart of the eastern coast of Brazil you will see that most of its rivers behave in this irrational way. Each one has…

Cape Verde Islands – General Information for Yotties

For yachtsmen sailing to Brazil or to the West Indies, the Cape Verde islands lie only a biscuit’s toss from the proper route across the North Atlantic. Like the Canaries, the Cape Verde archipelago makes an ideal stepping stone for the seafarer – and yet remarkably few yachts put in here. Those that do stop tend to go only to Mindelo (Sao Vicente) or to Palmeira (Sal). It is true that the number of visitors has increased radically over the…

Cape Verde Fauna (Beasts and Birds)

Discounting domestic animals, there are only 13 species of mammal resident in the Cape Verde islands. Three of them are bats, one is a mongoose, and the others are all dolphins and whales – which is cheating, if you ask me. There are also 19 or 20 reptiles living here – but don’t panic, because none of them are snakes. In fact, five of them are turtles, which come here to breed, and the others are all lizards, skinks, and…

Cape Verde Flora

Unless you have never visited the islands and have been entirely fooled by the name, flora will be the last thing that comes to mind when you think of the Cape Verdes – but in fact the place is actually quite interesting to a devoted botanist. Of the plants which somehow managed to reach the archipelago without man’s intervention (thereby earning themselves the name of indigenous species) there are 80 which have evolved to become genetically different from their ancestors…