Monday, Feb 7, 2022
Latitude 16o 53’ N
Longitude 25o 00’ W
Cabo Verde Archipelago
Back at Sea
Denise Munger stepped off the boat yesterday morning at 5 am to catch a flight back to the US. This morning, the four of us who remained walked over to the Marine Police around 8 am to get our passports stamped and the boat cleared out of Cape Verde. There’s a satisfaction in the nautical marks on the clearance for arriving and departing by boat. For Cabo Verde the symbol is a small anchor in the upper corner of the stamp.
Having our official documents stamped for departure, we next made our last trip to the supermarket to stock up on fresh produce and items like frozen fish and meat. These were taken straight back to the boat and carefully packed away in the engine driven refrigeration/freezer. The compressor for that unit may be on its last legs. Midway between the Canaries and Cabo Verde, smoke started coming from the engine compartment. It was disconcerting to think that it might be coming from the engine, but it turned out just to be smoke from the dirt and oil on the outside of the compressor, whose temperature had risen to 350 degrees. Since then, we’ve treated the compressor with the respect due its age, only running it at low rpms (800) and then only for 15 minutes at a time. So far that has worked very well, and we are able to keep food frozen as needed.
Once the food was stored, showers were taken. The water tanks topped off. The hose secured. The self-steering rig reassembled. The marina entry cards turned in. A last lunch ordered at the floating bar to exhaust the last of our Cabo Verde currency. A group selfie taken. The engine started. The lines cast off followed by one last stop at the fuel dock on the way out.
As we left the harbor a catamaran blew their horn in farewell and the crew of a local skiff waved goodbye. The course for our destination of St. Lucia in the Caribbean is nearly due west, 2088 miles away. For the first time since our departure last June, I feel as if I’ve turned the corner for home.