Friday, October 29, 2010

Mussulo to Luanda

The arrival at Mussulo point was spectacular and I wish I could post
some photos with this blog but we do not have Internet yet and it might
have to wait until Cayenne. Anyway, as we were still some 10 miles from
the Mussulo point, we were met by Mario Fontes on his 43 feet Sun Fizz
Jeannneau sailboat Vega Uno, and then, as we were sailing towards
Mussulo point, three other sailboats joined us, all of them belonging to
the brothers of the Coast of Angola.
We got to the entrance of the channel way before I expected, at around
5:15 our time (in fact it was 4:15 local time), which was just what we
needed as we still had a very long way to go to get to the beach where
the brothers have their property. There were more sailboats anchored
there when we arrived and we got a fantastic welcome by everybody.
Saturday night, there was a dinner party at the headquarters of the
Brothers with the crews of the various boats anchored off the beach. All
families were there, lots of kids, in all a very pleasant evening.
Next morning, we were taken by Nico for a tour of the vast area between
the mainland and the peninsula, which is called an island because at
some point, there was no connection with the mainland. Lots of house,
resorts, beaches, bars and restaurants, obviously a very popular area
for weekenders.
After the tour, and a glass of wine on Nico's catamaran, we all got
together again ashore for a Sunday lunch and a celebration of Mario's
56th birthday.
We then set sail for Luanda, 5 boats in all, and it was exhilarating. As
soon as we got at the exit of the Channel, we decided to fly the
Gennaker and leave everybody behind. That did not work, because as soon
as we had ours out, theirs came out. Almost a regatta to Luanda, lots of
fun. Coming into the harbour, we had to tack with 15 knots of wind and
Papy Jovial did very well, with something like 85 to 95 degrees between
tacks. Great arrival.
We came shortly to the fuel dock in front of the "Clube Naval de
Luanda", second oldest Yacht Club of Africa, founded on May 23, 1883.
There, an immigration officer was waiting for us, and formalities were
done swifly and in a very friendly and pleasant fashion. After that we
went to our berth in the brand new marina built by the Club, which will
eventually offers all the facilities of a modern marina.
I am pressed by time, time going too quickly and too slowly, but I will
come back on the blog as soon as we are at sea and I have time to tell
you everything about this great experience. We were told that since the
end of thewar,they have not seen more than half a dozen visitors, which
explains the special care that we are experiencing. All the club
members, the management of the marina, are going out of their way to
help us and we are very grateful for that. Obviously, Luanda being in
the midst of reconstruction after 30 years of war, day to day life is
somewhat frustrating, and I really appreciate that help, given the

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