Since 1986 the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) has been held in November. The event starts from Las Palmas on Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands and heads over the Atlantic to the Caribbean. Boats from all over the world come together for this event.
There are three routes for the sailors to chose from. One of those is via Mindelo on the island of São Vicente in Cape Verde. The boats stay in Mindelo for between three and five days before setting off for Saint Lucia in the Caribbean. This picture shows some of the boats at Mindelo.
Another route is similarly from Las Palmas to Mindelo then over to St. Vincent rather than Saint Lucia. The third route is direct to Saint Lucia from Las Palmas.
Organised by The World Cruising Club, the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers is open to all, including couples, families, racers, and large or small boats. It is not just a race across the Atlantic, because it is also a social event where friendships are made before the race commences and during the race by keeping in touch by radio. On arrival in Saint Lucia crews are met with a rum punch and a cold beer.
Mindelo is the main town on the island of São Vicente, and it is a tourist and cultural centre, with a lively atmosphere. It was discovered in 1462, but only really became developed in the 19th Century. The deep harbour meant that it became a refuelling stop for shipping. The restored buildings and refurbished squares are indicative of this being a prosperous town. There are many restaurants and also a cultural centre, and arts and crafts workshops and exhibitions. Mindelo is also home to the only marina in West Africa.
If you are visiting the island of Maio this summer, you may be interested in a programme of beach games being organised by the Câmara Municipal do Maio. During July and August the local authority will be organising a series of activities including football, volleyball and swimming.
The events will commence on 16 July with a beach football tournament. These beach games have become a regular event and are intended to create a series of fun activities for the young people of Maio. It will give them something to do during the summer and at the same time help the young people develop.
The activities will take place on the main beach (Bitxe Rotxa) in Vila do Maio.
We are now in the carnival season. Cape Verdeans know how to celebrate and there is fun to be had. In Mindelo on São Vicente the main Carnival celebration will be on the 13th of February, but the festivities will have commenced last night (Friday). It is worth visiting and joining in the party. Celebrations also take place on other islands in Cape Verde.
Cape Verde chefs recently achieved a Guinness World Record by preparing a large pot of Cachupa. Cachupa is the traditional Cape Verde stew.
The Prime Minister of Cape Verde, Ulisses Correia e Silva was present at the Badja ku Sol festival when the group of chefs made the 14,021 lb (6360kg) pot of stew. The event took place in Praia. The Prime Minister hoped that it would help to promote Cape Verdean food.
In order to make this vast quantity, the chefs used 600kg of corn, 100kg of chicken and 300kg of pork, together with beans and vegetables. The finished product was sampled by more than 30,000 people, each having a small bowl.
Adjudicators were on hand to confirm that the record had been broken.
There are some festivals coming up during August and September. These include the Festival de Música de Calheta, 12 – 13 August in Calheta, Santiago; City festival (sport and culture), 21 August to 8 September in Vila do Maio, Maio; the famous Baia das Gatas Festival of Music, 11 – 13 August in Baía das Gatas, São Vicente and The Sal Music festival in September in Santa Maria. Enjoy the music that is such an important part of Cape Verdean life.
On 26 August 2017, there will be a night of garouper and poetry in Vila do Maio, on Maio island. This will be the third such event and combines the enjoyment of garoupa cooked in a variety of ways, combined with some enjoyment of the arts. Garouper is a variety of fish caught around the Cape Verde islands, but sometimes referred to as grouper or garoupa.