The trip south to Cape Verde took just over 5 days. We had a good sail down with 30kts of wind straight up the chuffer and a following sea of 2-3m. During the day we set the sails and tried out a different configuration each day, however, the most effective was the old “goose wing” set up, (the staysail and the jib both poled out either side of the ship) along with the mizzen. At night we stowed the sails as the wind tended to be gusting quiet strong so we gave the engine a run instead of risking damaging our equipment.
Turns out, the new Scottish crew member was quiet the chef! Gylan joined us for the trip south to Cape Verde and having an unlimited engineers’ ticket, we knew he’d be a handy man to have around. However, nothing needed to be fixed on that trip, so instead of his usual engineering tasks, Gyl fed us up like kings! The kid can cook, let me tell ya… from special sauces to BBQ’s to baking, I reckon we all put on a few kilo’s on that trip. Cheers Gyl, the food was spot on mate (or IMMENSE as they say in Shetland).
We landed at a port called Palmeira, on the island of Sal, the most NE of the island chain. A sleepy little town that bore a resounding resemblance to Brio’s cabin, commonly referred to as “the rasta shack”. The locals were friendly and there was even four days of fun waves right next to where Starlight was anchored. The island was in no hurry to do anything, even the local passport authorities took three days to issue a stamp on our passports. The favourite phrase of the locals was “No Stress Man”, and believe me, we weren’t stressed at all.
We met a local rasta fella named Omar who hooked us up with a bunch of sweet threads so we’d be looking our best for the up coming Carnival.
Relaxing in Sal was cool, we had a few days off after the trip down and thought we’d best get over to Mindelo and get tied up before Carnival. This will also be the last stop before we cross the Atlantic Ocean. As soon as we got there, Gylan had to jump on a flight back to he’s work in the south of France. I must say Gyl, it was an absolute pleasure having you on board mate. You’re welcome back on board Starlight whenever you wish. A good cook, great company and a top bloke.
With Carnival coming up, we had a fair idea of what was in store… A bloody big party. So before it kicked off, we got stuck into a bit of maintenance to give ourselves a head start for the fast approaching Atlantic crossing. With the arrival of the newest crew member, Canadian Mike, and this being the last few days on dry land, we knew it was going to be a fun few days.
The Carnival was wild. We donned our fancy new threads fresh from Omar’s dressmaker and added our newly purchased rasta necklaces and bracelets. So many costumes, so many happy party goers and so much cool music- even though it was on repeat all night.
Mike arrived on the second day of Carnival and this was to be the bigger night of the two. Mike has lived with Mick and I many times since we met him almost 12yrs ago. He has always slept on the lounge wherever we rented and his sleeping arrangement on board Starlight was to be no different. However, this time, Starlight’s lounge was in fact, much to Mike’s delight, decked out with a double bed. Ive never seen a man so happy to be presented with his new lounge room cabin. Just like old times eh Mike!
So as I write this last paragraph, the crew from The Wet Way Home are all but ready to depart for the Atlantic Crossing. We've done all the necessary maintenance, tweaked a few things on the rigging, done all the provisioning, downloaded all the new charts (thanks to Max Sea for the sponsor!), purchased some extra medical supplies and charged the GoPro’s.
I’m super confident in Starlight and her crew and I’m peaking out to get on the high seas and reach our goal of crossing the Atlantic Ocean in an 85 yr old ship that we put our heart and soul’s into rebuilding. This could be Starlights’ greatest adventure yet, and I’m stoked to be apart of it.
All that's left to do is to make a few phone calls to tell our mothers we love them and our girlfriends we’ll miss them. We have 17- 22 days at sea depending on the winds, so the next time you’ll hear from us we’ll more than likely be knocking the top off a few frothy one’s on a white sandy beach in Barbados. Until then…