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Lanzarote to Cape Verde: Living outside your comfort zone

Updated: Nov 16, 2023

[ by Annick ]

I have to say I had mixed feelings about this trip, 7 days non stop from Lanzarote to Cape Verde.

Map showing route from Lanzarote to Cape Verde
Skyfall's passage from Lanzarote to Cape Verde

It definitely felt out of my comfort zone. But I did it and it wasn't horrible. There were even bits I enjoyed. The main thing was that I was not sick at all.

Highlights included mealtimes, all lovingly prepared by the skipper ( and he cleaned up his own mess afterwards), Apero time (non alcoholic) around 4.30 pm (for me a glass of coke with ice and lemon, for Tom a non alcoholic beer), Going to my bunk between 6 and 7 pm to read!!! Absolute heaven.

Annick sleeping, held in by the lee cloth
Annick sleeping, held inher bunk by the lee cloth

Thank y sickness pill. One a day kept the vomiting away.

I did not enjoy been woken up at 11pm but once on watch I was fine. The skies, the stars, the moon absolutely wonderful but what I most enjoyed was on my shift at 7 am the sun would come up. First a little hint of a head appears, then it becomes a bowler hat and then a dome. After that I lost interest but those first 5 to 10 mins made my heart jump, every time.

On the fourth day the wind came, gusts up to 30 knots and waves up to 3m.

Strangely those waves did not scare me. The only problem with the wind and the waves is keeping your balance and going to the toilet is quite an expedition. One time I was not fast enough to put my hands down and I fell face forward against the side, I thought I had broken my nose. But luckily it was just bruised. Every movement on the boat becomes a hassle, even just sitting down is a workout.

I find the noise unsettling but my earplugs did not arrive in time, and I find the over the counter ones don't work. So sleeping becomes an issue and I need a lot of sleep! So you gather I am not a fan of winds above 25 knots and the corresponding waves.

However, I am a big fan of any wildlife but apart from a very tired pigeon which hitched a ride, and a few birds in the sky, there was little to report. The pigeon looked exhausted.

Exhausted pigeon hitching a ride
Exhausted pigeon hitching a ride

Tom's comment 'do y think it would eat muesli?" melted my heart. It did leave us some poo to clean up tomorrow but it was worth it, I feel we saved its life. Less lucky were the flying fish who landed at night on our deck, thump. It was like an episode of midsomer murders, so many dead. I tried to save one but impossible it kept wriggling out of my hands, so slippery so unfortunately all I could do was ignore them until it went quiet. Not a good night for a sentimental soul like me.

The last hour of our trip added some excitement, the genoa failed to furl so we had to take it down, but getting it back up was sooo hard, I was winching until I could no longer feel my arms. These are times where I feel we need another body with strong arm muscles on board: cue Sean.

So now Cape Verde. It feels to me very much like the Caribbean. The language is Creol, but they understand English, Portuguese and German. The people are Creols with roots from Africa and scarred by the slave trade being transported to the plantations in the west indies.

The food apparently is Indian influenced. The Indian connection comes from the old seafaring routes that ran via Cape Verde and Capetown to India. We will sample it tonight, our first meal out since returning to the boat on November 8th. In any case, the view is great!

View from the restaurant in Cape Verde
View from the restaurant in Cape Verde

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Unknown member
Nov 22, 2022

NB The bird in the picture in your picture is a collared dove (doves and pigeons belong to the same family). Muesli is unlikely to have been good for it unless you eat salt and sugar free muesli. What would probably have helped it is access to fresh water. Birds that fly use and carry little water (for obvious reasons) and need to find fresh water regularly. Full marks for caring.


Well done Annick, it's an experience you don't forget especially using the toilet in rough weather. Hopefully for the Atlantic crossing you will have nice winds from the aft and a smooth passage. Good luck xxxx

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