Mindelo (Sao Vicente) - Water

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Water is a scarce commodity here. The electricity company is also responsible for the water supply on the island. They use the desalinization process to get sweet water, meaning that every litre is produced by diesel and consequently limited, and expensive.

At the marina, you have to pay additionally for the water you use, both on the dock and in the showers (100 litres free).

The best time to take a shower is between 4 and 6 pm because the showers run on solar heaters only i.e. after sunset the water can get chilly.

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Mindelo (Sao Vicente) was last updated 10 months ago.

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  1. January 22, 2023 at 8:51 AM
    profile photo
    sue-richards says:

    Tom Sheehey from Simpatico Sports Bar in Mindelo, reports that they are having a particularly busy season so far in the Cape Verdes with a large participation in the ARC + rally (particularly Scandinavian boats), followed by a large group of Dutch boats, 60+ Danish sailors and over Christmas 3 Australian yachts. Irish personality Eddie Jordan has also passed through with his yacht and numerous tall ships. Tom told Noonsite, “Due to poor winds we have had many boats extend their stay here. We are getting increasingly more sailors passing by to eat and drink and enjoy our live music as well as our local crafts market and will have a full week of events for the Ocean Race which arrives late January.” More at Cape Verdes comments – https://www.noonsite.com/place/cape-verdes/related-user-comments/

  2. January 30, 2020 at 7:58 AM
    fabianeder says:

    We spent about week here now. Mindelo is a useful stop over, the Marina is a safe place with 24/7 security. But also in town you’re feeling safe. Good provisions can be made in the supermarkets and the street markets. Mindelo ist a town which is rising. Many young people live and stay here. Tourism is important and everybody likes the tourists to feel safe and comfortable. Nice people, good service. In the Marina and the chandler you get what you need, but not more – all is very focused on what is important.
    Mindelo is a very windy spot, expect 15-25 knots permanently and keep it mind, that this works on your lines if you plan to stay longer.
    Internet is still a problem and it can be very slow or breaks down sometimes. Do not expect, that the WIFI of the Floating Bar will work. You can get prepaid sim-cards next to the Marina, we paid about 50€ for 15GB.
    Like most yachts we will proceed from here across the atlantic, but I think it can be quite beautiful to stay even longer and cruise the 14 islands of the Cape Verdes.

  3. December 31, 2019 at 12:31 AM
    sofiene says:

    We did spend 2 weeks in Mindelo. One week at the anchor and one week at the marina. Leaving the dinghy can be at the floating bar (Marina) they charge you 4 euros a day or at the diving pontoon were it is free in you have drinks/meal.
    Water at the marina is about 2 euros for 100l. The access card provided when you check in the marina can be refilled when more water is need. Same card in used on the pontoon at the water tab.
    Marina is suffering from swell and you need to make sure you lines are protected or they will damaged.
    Checking in Mindelo was easy, as we where coming from another island we just needed to go to the police office. Not all crew is needed. For checking out the country we had to go first to the police and then to the custom. Offices are just next to each other behind the ferry terminal. Again only the capt’ain was needed with all passports and documents. We paid a 5 euros fee.
    Mindelo is safe and often we have seen police in the city.
    Small Supermarkets Bento and Fragata have good choice of food. Only Bento is accepting credit card while Fragata accepts only cash. For veggies and fruits we went to the African market 5 to 10 min walking from the marina where a good choice was available.
    It is worth to visit the sister island Santo Antao with the ferry (check in advance at the ferry terminal for the schedule).
    Gas bottles can be found at the Shell station near the marina (5 min walking)
    There is a small ship chandler at the marina limited in choice but better than nothing

  4. August 6, 2019 at 7:46 PM
    Pohlaris says:

    WE left the boat in Mindelo this summer for a month.
    Kai from boat cv looked after it and made repairs. Perfect,, resenable Price.
    the Quality of the marina and the dockmaster are less perfect – to be polite.
    Cap Verde: a Good Stopover!

  5. January 25, 2019 at 10:23 PM
    Data Entry3 says:

    We spent a week anchored in the bay. The wrecks in the north half of the bay have been cleared. The entry in the north appears clear. The fishing club is a good place to have a drink and they will sell you water at 1c a litre. A few times we left the dinghy there to walk into town. It is well worth taking the ferry across to the neighbouring island to visit the volcano crater. SIM cards and gas are both ridiculously cheap.

    1. July 24, 2019 at 7:05 PM
      nepal says:

      Instead of going with the dinghy to the marina we left it every day to the fishing/diving club (= isolated pontoon left of the marina near the ferryt terminal (with ATM). Of course we asked permission and had drinks and food in the bar. It was free for the dinghy and we were allowed to leave our garbage. They served the best catchupa (traditional meal). Having regularly a drink at the bar is certainly for solo sailors a cheaper solution than paying for the dinghy in the marina. The clients ot the bar were during the period december-april 2018/19 for certainly 50% locals.

  6. August 10, 2018 at 12:58 PM
    Data Entry3 says:

    After getting dismasted sailing from the Canaries to CV we were forced to stay in Marina Mindelo until the repairs were completed. Overall the experience was pleasant. Boat CV did all of the work and did the work within reasonable time frames, taking into account “island time” which can be frustrating.

    Having parts shipped to CV takes a very long time. We waited for 5 months in total. But Boat CV successfully installed our imported parts: complete new rigging including mast (done at a swelly boatyard but fine), Bimini, spray hood and fabricated us new stainless steel davits/solar panel array which we are very happy with.

    Overall the experience was pleasant, and we enjoyed our 5 months in CV. We felt safe in Mindelo but did take precautions such as being back in the marina after 10 pm, and not flaunting our valuables.

    There is a man named Jorge with dreadlocks and a limp who hangs out outside of the marina, we used him extensively for sanding and as a boat boy, and built a very pleasant relationship.

  7. July 19, 2018 at 12:17 PM
    Lynda Lim says:

    We spent ten days anchored close to the marina in June 2018. We felt save throughout our stay, also on land. There are beggars and we avoided walking around at night outside the main streets. For the dinghy (kayak) we used the marina (4 euros a day).
    There are a number of supermarkets in town and open street markets, so almost everything (food-wise) is available in town.
    Clearing in (coming from Sal) and out went very smoothly (5 euros for clearing out).

  8. July 13, 2018 at 6:06 PM
    Data Entry3 says:

    Finally, Boat CV resolves the situation. I mounted another autopilot and they helped me to set and calibrate it. We recalculated the invoice, I get a regulator for solar panels and Raymarine autopilot sensor (with installation!) and waiting for a refund of rest of money. They also were so kind as to provide a berth in the marina for the time of installing a sensor.

    Finally, after setting a new sensor and multiple sea trials yesterday, we discovered that a first diagnostic wasn’t complete and correct, now they told me that my autopilot computer has as a mistake and I need to change all the set: drive, display and computer. Decided to do it in my next port and change Raymarine to Garmin. Thanks.

  9. July 13, 2018 at 5:23 PM
    Data Entry3 says:

    Sorry to hear that Alexander is not happy with our service. We tried to assist him in any possible way. Alexander ordered goods via boatCV and made a down payment to secure that he will take the goods later. He was explicatively instructed that shipping to Cape Verde can be sometimes very annoying and that it sometimes takes time for the order to get here. In the meantime, he bought a second-hand autopilot from someone else and now he is trying to withdraw from the original business.

    It turned out that Alexander wasn’t able to pay for the goods he ordered from the beginning. As to the Raymarine Price: A linear drive Type I costs between 1400 an 1900 Euros plus shipment. I even offered him to meet his price, if he finds a better price on the Internet. He never took our offer. Alexander is a nice and friendly guy, just make sure that he can prove he has enough funds before you order stuff for him! boatCV

  10. July 10, 2018 at 10:39 PM
    Data Entry3 says:

    BOAT CV, most famous nautical repair company in Mindelo, scammed me. I’ve ordered a new autopilot drive Raymarine linear drive type 1 and paid the whole cost. After 20 days of waiting, when I bought a second hand Simrad and still was waiting for my new Raymarine and have to leave to the Caribbean, Kai Brossmann changed the cast of prepaid autopilot drive from 980 to 1700 euros, and as the new drive still didn’t arrived, offered I set a second-hand drive from his boat. Gilson, Boat CV technical told me Kai was mistaken, but the truth is he is too greedy. With a payment confirmation, he still denied that he twice the price in the last moment. Gran truffa!

  11. July 9, 2018 at 2:48 PM
    Data Entry3 says:

    Except for the boat show in the marina, there are few near the city market. Also, there is beautiful second-hand progeria called Zefferino, where you can find a lot of useful stuff for boats also, quite cheaper than in another store. Just ask a taxi to bring you to Zafferino, it’s 170 cv dollars.

    1. December 2, 2019 at 10:42 PM
      asantesailing says:

      Went to this spot today. Not a boat store, but they had everything we needed for some basic repairs/supplies. Great local place.

  12. March 8, 2018 at 9:51 PM
    Data Entry3 says:

    Reported to CSSN:
    Anchoring in front of Mindelo Marina, 2 people came on board and wanted to steal the Dinghy. Midnight. Owner (me) had a fight with one and kicked him in the water.

    One Stolen Laptop. Police were called. No answer. Thieves live in an old white wreck in front of Marina Mindelo. Marina Office knows the Problem.

    A French boat was completely robbed while owners were at the New Year Party. Even clothes.

  13. December 16, 2017 at 6:30 PM
    Data Entry3 says:

    Small correction to my previous message of December 1st 2017: The little cabin at the entrance of the marina is actually the Enacol gas station cabin, for gasoil refuelling. Attended by crew members of the marina.

  14. December 14, 2017 at 2:43 PM
    Data Entry3 says:

    I would echo most that has been said in previous reports, even the older ones. This place doesn’t change very much, except the marina is more modern now. Although the electricity did go off from time to time but not for long. Good WiFi in the floating bar early morning before it opens, they change the WiFi code every few days.

    Better WiFi in Simpatico ( Irish bar). We were on the Odyssey Rally and Tom ( from Simpatico) arranged fresh fruit and veg provisions for the boats. He also had stew and Chilli made for us to take away the day before departure.
    There is a pizza cafe across from the marina – great pizza and we took 2 with us and froze them.

    Boat repairs are very quick and efficient.
    Arrange with Kai in the office or email them beforehand if you require parts.
    Shops – small convenience stores close by, but we found many items. Bread ( as we know it) is in short supply. There’s a butcher in the supermarket to the right of simpatico.

    No recycling but rubbish bins are at the entrance to the marina in a locked store.
    Some prostitutes were persistent even when told no.
    There are beggars and people touting to help you with one thing or another. If you have anything you’re not using then they will take it away for you. One mans junk is another man’s treasure.

    We had help from a man called Joe ( had a Chicago accent ) he arranged a pickup truck taxi to take us to the lookout point on top of the island, to the beach and back for €75 euros 5 adults 2 children. We did get stopped by the police on the way back and had to get out and get on a bus to get back – we think that he wasn’t licensed to carry passengers! Joe stayed with us and we never felt unsafe, it just added interest to our trip.

    The Floating bar – reasonably priced food and friendly service.
    Water is chargeable- you can add water to your card 100 litres is €2 or 200 pesetas, you need your card to exit and enter the marina and the toilets and you have to use your card to pay for the showers.
    Electricity is €4 a day

    Nice beach 15 min walk- turn left when you go out of the Marina.
    All the marina staff were excellent and helped with mooring.
    The water is drinkable as it is desalinated and 4 knots of tide between islands – the best time to cross is 21/2 hours after high water

  15. November 30, 2017 at 4:23 PM
    Data Entry3 says:

    On arriving at Mindelo, there is no point in trying to contact the Marina Mindelo by VHF. They never answer, neither on ch. 16 nor on ch. 72. By arriving during the day, sail straight towards the marina.

    There is a small cabin on the first pontoon (starboard) with people inside who will tell you which berth to sail to.

    If you have any mechanical issues to fix, the manager of the small ship chandler of the marina is very skilled and knowledgeable. He also speaks very good French (and probably English, I did not check, sorry).

  16. February 21, 2017 at 5:38 PM
    Data Entry3 says:

    Posted on behalf of Stan Luyten:

    I’ve spent a week anchored in the Bay of São Pedro, in the South of São Vicente, about 8 NM downwind from Mindelo, in the second week of February 2017.

    There’s a little bit of swell working itself into the bay, but only noticeable close to the beach. There’s always a lot of wind, that seems to pick up around noon and at night. Early mornings and later afternoons seem to be calmer, although these wind accelerations can seem quite irregular.

    I’ve had at least one day without a calm period. Good ground tackle is, therefore, a must, though holding was excellent in black and white sand with a few isolated rocks. The best shelter is to be found close to the village. I relied on local knowledge and anchored between the fishing boats on permanent moorings.

    After a few days, I decided to move closer still to the beach (in about 5m), where the wind is less ferocious. Locals told me wind direction can be changeable due to the mountains, so I also put a stern anchor. However, during my stay, the wind always blew from the valley.

    Facilities on shore are minimal. There’s a nice restaurant on the beach, owned and run by a French national. In town, there are a few small shops and bars, but for fresh victuals, one needs to take the minibus (“aluguer”) or taxi to Mindelo (only 15min away). The nearest internet is at the airport next to the village (30min on foot, free). Fuel or water would have to be brought in jerrycans by local fishermen.

    The beach is superb. Although windy, this is definitely a beautiful location. Visitors should be aware that the upwind sail to Mindelo can be challenging when the trade winds are strong, depending of course on the boat and its crew.

    I definitely recommend a visit to this beautiful bay, but if your destination is Mindelo, don’t underestimate the acceleration zone in the channel between the islands of São Vicente and Santo Antão. Be especially aware of very powerful gusts close to the capes (visible on the surface of the water).

    Stan Luyten.
    S/V Noctiluca

  17. December 6, 2014 at 2:49 PM
    Data Entry3 says:

    See the report “Mindelo-Comments from Cruisers” posted in the “Reports” section for further feedback from cruisers about this port.

  18. November 28, 2013 at 7:26 PM
    Data Entry3 says:

    Right before the marina gate at the end of the jetty, a local enterprise offers a laundry service EVERY day. Things are collected at 10:00 hand returned 17:00h the same day. It includes washing and drying. The quality is very good. The price is (also compared with self-service washing machines in some marinas) very competitive. So, a clear recommendation. For further details ask at the reception.

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