The Cape Verde Islands – an amazing archipelago

Over the last several days we’ve enjoyed experiencing this archipelago of volcanic islands called Cape Verde. The islands are situated over 800 miles southwest of the Canary Islands and 325 miles off the African coast – our stopping point for the Atlantic crossing is in Mindelo on the island of Sao Vicente, one of the northernmost islands.

We spent one day touring the neighboring island of Santo Antao and were amazed at the contrast between two islands only a few miles apart. Simply put, Santo Antao is majestic – lush vegetation set in deep sculpted valleys with an abundance of crops. The photos below hardly do the island justice. You find yourself immersed in a surreal green world taking in the sights, sounds and smells of all the natural beauty. This is in contrast to Sao Vicente with very little vegetation, and a dry arid environment. The east coast of the island does have miles of white sand beaches created from the blowing sands from the Sahara desert.

The ARC+ planners have done a good job of exposing us to the island’s culture – the people, music, native dances, foods and it’s history. We’ll be leaving early Wednesday afternoon for the long second leg of the crossing to St. Lucia and will have to keep the memories, and a few photos, as reminders of our visit.

Now it’s time to ready Spirit, and the crew, for leg 2.

The Mindelo Marina

The Mindelo Marina

Spirit's berth

Spirit’s berth

Tom and Pat untwisting the spinnaker

Tom and Pat untwisting the spinnaker

The mountains and valleys of Santo Antao

The majestic mountains and valleys of Santo Antao

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Santo Antao lush vegitation

Santo Antao’s lush vegetation

Ahhh, some island grog

Ahhh, some island grog

A lunch of native dishes

A lunch of native dishes

The much more barren island of Sao Vicente

The much more barren island of Sao Vicente

One of a few areas of vegetation on Sao Vicente

One of a few areas of vegetation on Sao Vicente

Sao Vicente's eastern shore beaches

Sao Vicente’s eastern shore beaches

Native songs performed by our guides

Native songs performed by our guides on the beach (after a little grog)