GWV 2014 — Cape Verde Islands

Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in this life has a purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences. All events are blessings given to us to learn from. ~~ Elizabeth Kubler-Ross

First discovered in the 1450’s, the islands were uninhabited until the eighteenth century when the Portuguese built a colony here, which grew as a provisioning station for ships crossing the Atlantic for the slave trade. After a hundred year drought devastated the island and most of the inhabitants died or immigrated, the British formed a colony in Mindelo and used it as a coal station at the height of the steamship era.

To partially make up for missing the African ports of Senegal and Gambia, we were three days in the Cape Verde Islands. One day in Praia and two in Mindelo. Now a stop in the Cape Verde Islands could be a pleasant one…. but three days!!! Please!!

At Praia on Santiago Island, I took a shuttle into town and walked around. Then Sandy, Maren, Fran, and I shared a taxi ($13 US pp) to the UNESCO site about 15 km away from town. The trip was interesting. However, this is not a tourist town nor a cruise ship destination, and without the trip to the UNESCO site would have been a waste.

The next two days were spent at Mindelo, Sao Vincente Island. Again a shuttle into town. Walking around looking at the buildings and shopping were the primary ways to spend time. I purchased a new handbag at a store… leather and snakeskin. I believe it is python. Anyway it is an “investment” (read expensive) piece which I will have for many years.

They’re Going!
Captain Mercer made an announcement describing the other ships in port. Among which was the fifth largest in the world sailing vessel, a sloop, flying the Isle of Mann flag. He failed to mention the cruise ship docked next to us. It was a Fred Olsen ship and was sailing to Senegal and Gambia!!

The thoughts we choose to think are the tools we use to paint the canvas of our lives. ~~ Louise Hays

Shipboard Life
Pam, Sandy, and I continue to fail at the Pub Trivia… we are joined occasionally by Jill and Nancy, but it doesn’t seem to elevate our scores. Assistant Cruise Director Kevin either took pity on us or rewarded us for our persistence and bought us drinks.

The dinner themed Under the Seas featured large helium filled balloons. Our cabin now has two large purple octopi and one large sea turtle floating at the ceiling.

The movie The Colony , 2013, featured Laurence Fishburne: “Forced underground by the next ice age, a struggling outpost of survivors must fight to preserve humanity against a threat even more savage than nature.” By about 15 minutes into the film, the movie goers were fleeing the theater like rats from a sinking ship. I stayed on… until the threat was revealed to be cannibals. I had been hoping for zombies. Then I fled also.

The Palm Sunday service began the Holy Week services by Pastor Don, a former Navy chaplain.

The last Cruise Critic Luncheon was as enjoyable as ever. I sat with Maren, Bert, Charlotte, Karen, Morrie,and two ladies from Leesburg.

Our pillow gift was a plate commemorating the voyage. I plan to hang it next to the Grand South America one! However, apparently some passengers complained about the plate. The design featured clouds which some thought were defects. The plate was made by Royal Goedewaagen.

Florist Louis demonstrated flower arranging. He is a true artist. HAL spends $7,000 – 10,000 each in shipping costs alone to provide fresh flowers at various ports along the World Voyage.

The culinary department prepared a Cabo Verde BBQ with traditional music. Following it, Debby Bacon performed under the stars. The moon was full but the weather chilly.

I finished I Am Livia by Phyllis T. Smith. The story of the wife of Octavianus Ceasar who became Augustus Ceasar and their 51 year marriage.

Shows in the Queen’s Lounge
Karl Morgan, a young singer from Wales, has good song selections.
I laughed out loud at Dan Horn’s second performance with his puppets.
Neil Lockwood is a superb pianist. His Bumblebee Boogie (not sure of the title) was fantastic!
The local Cape Verde performers, the Cape Verde Corda, sounded like any Fado group from Lisbon.

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