The Love Boat #6: Meaningful Exchanges in Cape Verde

Sarah and Sébastien, who left everything behind for a transatlantic cruise aboard a Sun Légende 41, recount their stopover in Cape Verde…

“One month in Palmera on the island of Sal in Cape Verde... a month-long stopover, the longest of our voyage. This was a very good option: we are in Africa, and no longer in Europe, as we had felt in the Canaries. After three months of sailing, we also wanted to stop a bit, enjoy doing nothing, to take the time to have meaningful exchanges and to soak up the place. Because, for the moment, we had, apart from our Québécois friends, only encountered other boats, and we had had very few relationships with locals. Palmera was just the place we needed: a small village with a safe anchorage and many sailboats making stopovers, with inviting places and, apart from the sailors, very few tourists, unlike the beaches of Santa Maria.

With the other sailors, we exchanged advice, tips, and the best stopovers to make next. They were our primary source of information, more so than Internet or paper guides! Some had been at anchor here for several months, and others who came regularly knew the locals well, so true exchanges and total immersion are much easier. We have even been invited to celebrate Christmas with a French-Cape Verdean couple. My first Christmas in the sun!

We experienced Palmera as a safe and tranquil location, far from the clichés (theft, begging,..) that we had read or heard about on Cape Verde. For example, we did not lock up the dinghy once.

Now, the time has come for our transatlantic crossing to Barbados, in the Antilles. As the departure approaches, our excitement is building. We are eager to get back to sea, too. The provisions are made: water, fuel and food. We are ready for this great moment aboard The Love Boat.”