lördag 9 februari 2013

CV 2013 - day 15

Last day on Sal and we manage to squeeze in another half a day of sailing - or at least Karin does - as the wind proves just not strong enough for my 73 kgs and 5.3. Instead I go boogie boarding with Lukas and Rasmus in the remains of yesterday's shorebreak. A perfect way to end two wonderful weeks with family and good friends with wind, waves and weather far above our wildest expectations. Sal, we'll be back before you know it. Obrigada e adeus!

CV 2013 - day 14

The swell that hit the island last night will continue throughout the day and with a high tide around noon we stay at the Angulo club in the morning and wait for the water to come down before trying Alibaba later in the day. Big sets are rolling all the way into Santa Maria bay and the big shore break calls for patience when trying to get out from shore. Karin, Eje and Peter all manage to get out without breaking anything but some of the less experienced sailors are not that lucky. A couple of broken masts and at least one ripped sail and the guys from Angulo and Fanatic are up to their ears helping save as much of their clients rental gear as they can - still with a big smile on their faces though, as some people totally misjudge the sets and immediately get punished for it.

Karin charging...

Just can't get enough

With 3m + swell from NE and 15-20 knots from NE, this is definately a day for the west coast and in the afternoon, Peter and I go to search for the real deal. First stop Ponta Preta but like so many times before the wind is too light and too offshore for us daring to give it a go. Really big sets though as we head north past Canoa and finally reach the mother of all wave spots - Alibaba - and it really seems to be working this time!! Mast high set waves on the point and even bigger at Curral Joul and definately more wind than Ponta Preta. Very very offshore though and just a couple of kiters on the water - no windsurfers around.

Going out with 4.7 it is an amazing feeling sailing downwind (!) towards the point with its roaring barrels and perfect lines pealing the whole way into the bay. The offshore wind direction is making it extremely difficult to catch this very fast wave and you really need to be dropping down the steepest section to get on the train as you go more or less parallell with the wave. After lulling around for quite some time I finally manage to catch a mid sized one, and racing down the face of that fast beautiful wave I realise this as close to perfection I might ever get in my windsurfing career.

Down the line
Later, driving back to Santa Maria, with the sun sinking into the ocean behind us, it's with mixed feelings of both joy and disappointment. Joy over finally getting to sail one of the most incredable wave spots on the planet and a little disappointment over not being able, or not having the guts, to catch some of the bigger waves. If I´d only gone 50 m further up wind on some of those incredable beasts that now slipped under my board I might be in heaven right now. (or in the hospital for that matter)

Well, what the heck. It's always a bit sketchy sailing a new spot for the first time - and there was probably a reason why no other sailors were out. Next time the wind will hopefully be a little less offshore and then...
Mount Leao from Alibaba

onsdag 6 februari 2013

CV 2013 - day 13

Waking up with a smile after yesterday's session at Secret and looking forward to whatever mother nature has in store for today! The swell is supposed to pick up in the afternoon and could reach up to 3.5 m tomorrow. With a wave period of 15-16 s things could get really disco.

Karin goes flatwater sailing in the morning with 5.3 and 78L Guerilla while the kids rip in the shorebreak with their boogieboard. The boogie we brought with us from home is starting to fall apart so Lukas spent Gandmas Christmas money on a new one the other day. Rasmus is pretty keen on doing the same so on the way to the Pier we stop by the surf shop to spend the rest of Grannys money.
At around three we head back to the Angulo beach to find Karin, Peter and Eje tired but stoked after a great day on the water. Looking down towards Ponta Sino there is still not much of a swell but we decide to give Canoa a chance anyway. So we load up and twenty minutes later Peter and I are rigging up 5.3. Fun sailing and some really long lines. However, as the day start to fade and the few people on the water starts to drop off, the predicted swell finally hits the island and we get some super nice sets as the sun starts to go down over Mount Leao. Wow!

tisdag 5 februari 2013

CV 2013 - day 12

After a couple of days with light wind and no swell, things seem to be turning around. Driving past Canoa the wind is definately happening but the waves are still small so we stop at Mt Leao where the beach is more child friendly. Karin rigs up a 4.7 but soon has to change to 4.2 as the wind is picking up even more. A small wave is rolling in around the point but most of all it's really windy!

Karin over-powered with 4.7

While Karin, Peter and Eje are blasting around over the white caps, I and the kids take the car to see if maybe Secret is working - and it is!! Half mast to logo 4,7 and only three guys on the water.

We go back to wait for the others to run out of battery and after a quick tuna sandwich Peter and I head back to Secret. Still 4.7 and some really nice sets lining up on the reef. One of the guys just broke his mast and after a short while the remaining two guys go back in and there I am, cross off-shore 4.7 and a 16s swell - all to myself. Pretty un-fucking-believable! I even have my own camera man on the beach, thanks a bunch Peter!!

Secret Spot

Long lines...

Gusty on the inside

måndag 4 februari 2013

CV 2013 - day 11

Morning walk to the bakery

Waking up to another lovely day. Maybe a bit more wind than yesterday? Morning walk to the bakery with the kids. Half kilo bananas from the fruit woman on the corner.

Karin prefers to sail "at home" today so after breakfast we all head down to the beach and while Peter, Karin and Eje go out sailing the boyz go for a little dirt road drive. Everyone gets a go. Lesson two: the gas pedal.

The Pier

In the afternoon we take the car to the pier to see if there are any waves but it is too flat for surfing so Rasmus and Lukas play around in the shorebraek while daddy stays in the beach. Lukas also discovers the outdoor capeverdian concrete gym on the beach and decides to do some workout.

In the evening - dinner at Ojo de Agua with Peter, Eje and the house band.

The beach gym

CV 2013 - day 10

Calm morning. Long breakfast. No rush. First day without wind since we arrived and we decide to drive around the island and do some sightseeing for a change. First we go to Burracona which is a natural pool formed by the lava just north of Almeira on the west coast. With the ocean being relatively calm, swimming in the pool is no problem and it´s a blessing to cool off in the crystal clear water. The kids are swimming about and jumping from the cliffs like there was no tomorrow. A local guy asks if he can borrow my mask to try and find some lost keys. Last week, he said, a tourist was swept into the pool by a big wave that almost had him killed but he got away with some broken bones, besides losing his camera and his car keys.

Burracona pool
Who need roads?


From Burracona we drive east through the dry land up to Espargos and then down hill to a small fishing town called Pedra de Lume on the east coast. Next to Pedra de Lume is an big crater in which there is an old salt production plant from the beginning of the 19th century. Now it is mostly a tourist thing even though some production still seems to be going on. For 5 euro they let you in to see the place (which is pretty spectacular) and you can even take a swim in one of the salt pools. Just like the Dead Sea - and you don't have to go to Israel...


After the mandatory swim in the super salt water, we go back to Pedra de Lume for a freshening swim in the ocean. The beach in Pedra de Lume is actually pretty nice and with the calm sea, Peter, Eje and I go snorkeling off the rocks. The tiger sharks are only active at night, right? SUP and boogie boarding is also on the agenda before we finally head back south with the sun going down behind us. A beer at Angulo's and fish of the day at Compad - what a day!

Salt crystalls
Rasmus on SUP

Fish of the day - at Compad

lördag 2 februari 2013

CV 2013 - day 9

Accoording to the forecast for the coming days, the sunny, warm weather will continue but it seems like the wind will be less strong. No stress! After breakfast and some school work we fill up the car with toys and go search for wind and waves. We decide to go north and check Sectret spot. Secret spot (aka Tras Leao meaning "behind the mountain") is one of the first spots to get a good wave if the swell is not that big. The easiest way to Secret is taking the main road past Murdiera and then simply take left in the roundabout and head out in the waste land. Once offroad just continue until you reach the water and then turn right :-)

Just south of Mount Leao there is a nice point break for surfing and in the bay there is a sandy beach with waist high water a long way out. Perfekt for boogie boarding and surfing. Secret spot turns out to be to small for sailing so we continue a bit up on the mountain and around the corner and there we find a big bay with really nice lines.

Going counter clockwise around Mt Leao turns out to be mission impossible - even for our Ford XLT - so we have to drive back the way we came.

in the back seat

Beyond Secret

We finally end up at the beach on the foot of Mt Leao. Nice, easy surfing and boogie boarding with the kids. Around noon the wind suddenly picks up and we get some fun port tack sailing for a change in the small waves - all for ourselves.
Lukas doing the bird?


Peter Mattsson - the man, the myth

tisdag 29 januari 2013

Cv 2013 - day 8

Another day on the west coast. Wind still strong, and even stronger in the Murdiera area. To please the Kids we go to Caleta Funda first where there is a nice little beach in the secluded bay. Peter and Eje wants to try Canoa so we decide to split up and reunite again after lunch. Eje, Rasmus, Peter and I drive back to Canoa to drop the old guys off. On the way back Rasmus takes the wheel and drives the whole way back on the dirt road. Ride on little man!

Caleta Funda
When we get back Karin, Rasmus and Lukas head for the water while I take a nap in the sun. After the usual tuna-sandwich-and-water lunch we head back to Canoa and finish the day off with a nice afternoon windsurfing session.

Back in Santa Maria we stop by Angulo for a cold beer and another magic sunset.
Cape Verde sunset

måndag 28 januari 2013

CV 2013 day 7

Since we arived the aim was to rent a pick-up of our own to be able to find the best spots and sail more than one spot on one day. Unfortunately, up until this day there hasn't been much for rent because of all the kiters celebrating christmas on the island and taking every pick-up available to kite-beach. Anyway, the girl at Global Africa promised us a car from this morning on and for 50 euro per day we were finally mobile. 4WD mobile that is, because to get around the island of Sal you definately need some serious weels since most roads are off road.

After picking up the car we drove to Ponta Preta to check that place first but like so many times before the wind was far to light and too offshore for sailing. On our way up north we stopped at kite beach (aka shark bay, since this is where the tiger sharks live, probably because of the latge amount of kiters :-). Kite beach is actually a very nice stretch of white sandy dunes but the wind is onshore and a short, mushy windwave makes it less ideal for wavesailing. Driving up to Canoa you could see a coulple of sails flash in the sun at Caleta Funda. However, with a nice wave at Canoa we decided to follow the golden rule of surfing, "never leave good waves to go search for other waves".
Kite beach aka Shark bay

Karin launchig off the tiny beach at Canoa

Rasmus getting washed

Peter chasing a nice one

söndag 27 januari 2013

CV 2013 - day 6

Check the sailor on the right break
The usual morning routine down here is me and Lukas getting up at aound 8 to go to bakery to buy bread for the day and some bananas from the women selling fruit on the street. the This morning Rasmus joined as well and we also stopped by the local "hole-in-the wall" grocery shop to buy some more water and tuna.

After breakfast Peter and Eje stopped by the apartment. Windguru forecast still solid and a small wave at Ponta Sino so we went down to Angulo's to see if we could get a ride to the west coast.

With the pickup filled up with three sets of gear and two kids we headed for Canoa which seemed to be the spot of the day and at 10 we were already on the water with 5.3 and a decent wave. Rasmus and Lukas were a bit pissed at first since there is hardly any beach at Canoa but after a while they found themselves playing on the lava rock looking for stones and shells in the white sand.

The wave at Canoa is not as fast as on the other spots on the west coast so it's a really good place to start out at. After a short lunch break we went out again and sailed the rest of the afternoon. Both the left and the right reef was breaking and at one point the right reef produced a nice fast wave until it broke on the rocks to the right of the launch beach. Sweet!
I love my North ICE 5.3

CV 2013 - Day 5

Fifth day on the island and I start to feel a lot better now. My plan is to take it easy in the morning and go out later in the afternoon. So, Karin and Peter go sailing first while I stay on shore with Rasmus and Lukas. At noon we all have lunch - the local white bread with tuna, onion and  mayo. Nam-nam! In the afternoon I finally get to rig up my 5.3 and head out to the point on my 78L board. The wave is small and you have to drop in just meters from the rocks to be able to get some out of it but is feels great just to be on the water at last. Tomorrow we'll head for the weat coast!!

CV 2013 - Day 4

Karin in need for speed
Windy, sunny day and my last day on antibiotics. Hopefully tomorrow all the systems will be up and running again. Karin, Peter and Eje from Stockholm go sailing at the Angulo centre and we stay to watch. Flat water thanks to the offshore wind - just a small wave on the point of Ponta Leme. Karin is loving it, nailing gype after gype on the turqoise water.

Later on, me and the kids leave the so-called-adults playground and take a walk to the old harbour - kids playground. Snorkeling, boogieboarding and playing in the sand while dad is reading his book under (!) somebody's sun chair in a lame attempt to escape the burning sun.

In the evening we go to our favorite resturant in town - Compad - for a nice tuna steak and a big Sagres beer. Peter is explaining one of his more useful apps for the kids - what happens when you drink x amount of beer in y amount of time.

Funny guy

CV 2013 - Day 3

Standing on the beach at Angulo's and looking out over the Santa Maria Bay, you'll see the point called Ponta Sino on the other end of the Bay. When Ponta Sino is breaking there is usually a good idea to head for the west coast since this means the swell is big enough to create good waves there. This morning Ponta Sino was awake..

Still on drugs though, and with little wind to worry about, we spent the morning at the Angulo centre where the kids could do their daily homework and just relax.

After a couple of hours we decided to go and check out the waves at Ponta Preta. The wind was too light and too offshore for windsurfing but a few kiters and numerous surfers were out playing in the respectful waves. Just watching the power of these waves is food for the soul.
Ponta Preta surfer

Ponta Preta kiter
Going back to Santa Maria I couldn't help taking a photo of the pickup guy with his son playing in the front seat. Appearantly daddy's day to at "home".

In the afternoon we went to the Pier again where Rasmus and Peter went out to catch some waves...

Rasmus catching a wave at the Pier

lördag 26 januari 2013

CV 2013 - Day 2

Lazy day at the beach. Starting by the pier where there is a small wave on the reef and a fun shorebreak to play in. The kids immediately get into "Maui-mode".

The Pier

After a couple of hours we decide to have lunch in the apartment to get some rest from the mid-day sun. In the afternoon we stop by the old harbour which is now a small sheltered beach with shallow water. Kids play in the water and Lukas makes a beautiful sand turtle all by himself.

Turtle at Porto Antigo

Back at the apartment we meet up with Peter who has just arrived and we set up the plans for the evening. I decide to go to the pharmacy in Espargos to get my redbull antibiotics subscribed by the doctor earlier in the day and meet up with the others at the resurant later on.

Quick fix
Life is not defined by the number of breaths you
take but by the number of moments that take your breath away