Ze Moradingho is a cheerful restaurant in the Algarve where singing cooks with big moustaches grill fish next to the terras. I remember how I would go here daily to enjoy the freshly grilled squid and the singing of the cooks. After my first week or so, a woman came up to me and looked at me pitifully. She said “You must be very lonely“. Well I was alone, but I wasn’t lonely and even if I was lonely she wasn’t cheering me up. So I smiled and said to here “Well I am waiting for crew to sail to the Canary islands and than to the Carribean so I am doing fine, thank you”. Stupid fart enjoying two weeks of holiday out of her otherwise utterly dull and boring life I thought.
But all of this was over a year ago. Today the chairs at Ze Moradingho are empty and the Algarve is deserted. As I walk past the empty restaurants I realise that since it is end November the high season must have passed. About thirty yachts rest silently in the dark bay where Hope and me where over a year ago. Back then we were making plans to cross to the canaries and since a crew member cancelled I was actually alone and looking for crew. I decided to park the problem, for the time being at least, and go couch surfing to meet up with some young people. Life surprised me as three weeks later I was living with a group of Erasmus students. Yet another three weeks later I was sailing out of the Algarve towards the Canary islands with a new Brazilian and Ukranian friend. Three months later still I had sailed some 3000 kilometer southwest of the Algarve and was enjoying myself in the Cape Verde islands.
This group of islands some 1000 kilometer off the African coast is inhabited by Portuguese and African decedents. The result is a country with beautiful people, a European feel, definately not European culture, dry and wet at the same time, tropical but before anything very small. With a mere 500.000 people spread out over 9 islands, the whole country has as much inhabitants as the city I studied in. For these reasons and certainly not only for the beautiful women, Cape Verde intrigued me to such an extent, that only after a serious reprimand from my father I did realize that I should keep the promise to my brother and cross the Atlantic ocean together. So on the 17th of March 2012 my brother and me embarked on our voyage and sailed out of Cape Verde headed for Brazil. I looked how the misty bay grew smaller and I was sad because I was not going to see this bay for a very long time indeed, if ever.
But these events show merely how unpredictable life or maybe myself can be.Only two months later I was having a wine while flying over the same bay and ready to commence working in Cape Verde as skipper and marketing executive. After working for six months in Cape Verde I flew to the Algarve yesterday to see some friends and relax a bit. Being here revives old memories and I feel a longing and a missing of my dearest Hope.
I lived on Hope for more than two years and she carried my brother and me across the Atlantic. Missing her is like missing a first love. Hope is my first love, well, as far as boats are concerned at least. Last week I asked the marina owner in Brazil for a picture of her and he gracefully sent it. Hope looked good! She is washed and cleaned by the Brazilian rainy seasons and looks as elegant as I remember her. Hope is a elegant beauty. Sleeping in her slender wine glass shaped hull while she caresses the waves and crosses oceans is just incredible And although Hope and me are seperated, she is patiently awaiting my return.
As it is now I see two roads before me. The one roads takes me on a plane to Brazil with bags filled with spare parts and a soul filled with anticipation. I am embarking with Hope on a voyage northwards to the Panama channel and then into the Pacific ocean bound westwards as I am sailing the world yet again. The second road will be in Cape Verde for the years to come where I will finish what I have started and lead an ambitious project and myself towards growth and prosperity. At this point I am not sure which road I will walk or what my life will look like in three months from now. Guessing has little use as the last year has certainly shown me. But whatever may happen, I do know I am determined to passionately live every step to its fullest.