Back in Mindelo, I eat at the Nautical Club and get talking to some Swiss yachtsmen. We are joined by others who seem to know each other and I am introduced to Françoise. She has sailed down from France with her boyfriend. He dreamed for years of sailing along the coast of Africa, across the Atlantic to Brazil, and I’m not sure where after that. When he advertised for crew, she applied. Having completed the first three weeks together they tell me (confusingly) they're catching the same flight as me in the morning. We consider sharing taxis.
Sat 28 Feb
The first week gone already, it has been great but now it's time for moving on. I get up before 7:00am for the early flight. At the airport lounge there are no newspapers or cafetières, but I do find some croissants and marmalade. It’s a small plane and already I recognise a few passengers. The Belgian couple are here, and Françoise and boyfriend have arrived but it’s obvious they have some delicate talking to do. I get the impression it’s just she who’s flying.
Françoise is last to board; I have kept a place for her. She’s emotional; I comfort her. It’s like we're old friends and yet we first met only nine hours before. When we arrive in Praia, Santiago we agree to share a taxi with the Belgian couple and take a drive around the island. We get teasing glimpses across the sea of Mt Fogo, the highest island in Cape Verde. We drive up to Tarrafal and I take a picture of a fisher woman on the beach. It reminds me of an album cover by Cesaria Evora. I look at the many "tableaux de sable", souvenir pictures made by sticking sand to sheets of hardboard. I buy one depicting some Cape Verdeans playing mancala. Late in the afternoon we return to the airport and catch the flight to Dakar.