We had about a month to explore the Cape Verdian islands. We decided on Santo Antão, São Vicente, Santa Luzia, São Nicolau (all part of the Barlavento or windward islands), Maio, Santiago and Ilha de Fogo (part of the Sotavento or leeward islands). The distance between the islands varied between 18 and 25 seamiles. Great for island hopping and staying in each new anchorage a few days.

Although Cabo Verde is of volcanic origin, and the islands have a barren sculpted look, lush green patches and ravines embellish the view. Cabo Verde is located on the Cape Verde Rise, one of the largest protuberances in the world’s oceans, rising 2.2 kilometres in a horseshoe shape covering 1200 km². The hotspot that created the volcanic islands is ‘hotter’ than the Canary’s, resulting in warmer water and surface temperature.

From Santo Antão it was a short sail back to São Pedro Bay. This is a fisherman village with a long beach and view on the airport. The proximity to the airport was no bother as only one or two flights arrive or depart per 24h. Apart from a series of local fishing boats, a small beach restaurant, and some windsurfers on the other side of the bay, the beach was empty and Exodus was the only sailing boat on anchor.


The wind was blowing over the mountains, flattening the sea, and letting the wind generator whir like crazy. Getting to the beach by kayak became a nice work out. We had to peddle hard to manage our kayak in the strong wind. With the sandy shore falling away just where the waves were braking, it took some skill to land the kayak safely.

Luckily the water has the perfect temperature and the sun and wind are quick to dry out wet clothes and a half flooded kayak. The stroll on the white sand beach and quick exploration of the local mercearias was worth it. Especially when we discovered big turtles swimming off the beach, we knew we had picked the right spot for a dip in the water.

Hopping the windward islands – São Pedro

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