Cabo Verde crossing by Mitu MONTEIRO

RIDERS
03/08/2016

May 7th 2015, Mitu MONTEIRO began an incredible adventure: crossing the Cabo Verde Archipelado with his kite between the islands and by foot, by byke and even buggies across the islands! A huge challenge which he decided to tackle with his kite, surfboard and foil to finish on May 24th

17 days to achieve the sea and land crossings while sharing his journey with the locals of each island. Mitu was accompanied by a camera crew to follow him during this epic adventure. So let’s get back on it with some details of these restless 17 days!

Everything began on May 7th with a long first leg: 8 hours to cover the 237 km between Sal and Santo Antao with his strapless Pro Model board! 

After this first sea crossing, Mitu discovered the magical Island of Santo Antao which he crossed riding his bike and by foot. He met the locals and shared a part of his adventure with them. 

To share his adventure with us, Mitu wrote some words about major stages of his adventure.

"I left during the night, more or less at 5:20 AM in the morning from the small port of Palmeira, on the north shore of my island. There was only the crew, some fishermen, my wife with my son, my brother, Djo and two other buddies of mine. I really wanted to get started with my adventure.

After months of stress and logistics, it was finally time to go on the water and really see what was going to happen! Forecasts to reach Santo Antao was more or less 12 hours. And the wind was on my side, it kept blowing all the time and I arrived to Santo Antao after a 7h40 crossing. Once I touched the ground, I sat for a few minutes and I just could not move my legs. Never switching sides throughout the crossing, I forced too much on my back leg."

Each day was a single and particular day. Just as each island has its own identity.

After a good night, an early wake-up and a good breakfast, it was time to leave again and to cross from Santo Antao to S. Vicente. For this leg, Mitu decided to take his kitefoil as it was important that each day was a single and particular day. 

Just as each island has its own identity. On the following day, Mitu crossed from S. Vicente to S. Nicolao in 2h30.

"When I went to Sao Vicente to San Nicolao, I went through the small deserted island of Santa Luzia. It is classified "protected heritage" by the government and proved beautiful indeed. Many birds stop there during their migration.

When I arrived on the island, my 12 m2 kite which had been damaged by the long crossings and the rocks of Santo Antao felt down following a strong gust. Luckily for me, it was really near to the coast...!!"

The arrival in Boavista was so emotional!

All locals were there to welcome Mitu and congratulate him…

He was really touched by the attention he received from everyone.

The exploration of Nicolao was really cool, sharing some time with the kids, discovering the landscapes … and yeah …already May 12th with a big challenge on that day: crossing from S. Nicolao to Boavista, one of the longest sea leg of the adventure: 7h18 to cover the 168kms. 

The arrival in Boavista was so emotional! All locals were there to welcome Mitu and congratulate him … He was really touched by the attention he received from everyone. 

"San Nicolao - Boavista, on top of being one of the longest crossings, this was also one of the most challenging for me. On Tarrafal beach, where I had planned to leave, there was simply no wind at all. So, I decided to take the boat to the most eastern cape of the island, where everyone says there is always wind. And there, the wind was so strong that I was concerned for the safety of the boat! I left San Nicolao with nearly 40 knots. The forecast for the crossing was about 4 hours. But I arrived in Boavista after 7:00!

In the middle of the channel, the wind had almost disappeared. I changed the size of my kite for a bigger one, but the wind went up again afterward… So I had to change my kite again (at sea !!!) but with the tide, the lines went under the boat and got tangled with the engine! We had to cut the lines of my 52cm kitebar and for the rest of the way I had to use my 17 m2 with a 45cm bar! 

Hang on, my problems were not over yet: after changing kites twice at sea, losing a bar, cutting the lines under the boat, I had to fight with the wind which was slowly abandoning me too... When I finally saw the coast Boavista, the wind changed direction! If I did not have my foil I do not know how I would have managed to reach the shore!

I arrived so exhausted in Boavista that I almost cried when I saw the number of people who had come there, waiting for me for hours! It really was an incredible emotion ..."

Mitu did it in 5h58 and explored the island by foot.

The day after, Mitu had a really fun day as he was crossing the Boavista Viana Island with a kite buggy. You need to adapt yourself to the conditions, wind, sand etc. It was really nice.

 Then a long crossing was on the cards again to reach Maio from Boavista. Mitu did it in 5h58 and explored the island by foot.
 

"The wind did not blow for two days, but on May 15th it was more than time to reach Maio. We started with the 17 m2, but the wind was so weak that halfway I almost lost hope of reaching Maio by kite. Yet, I took the foil and gritted my teeth really strong to get to my ultimate goal. A few kms from Maio I was so tired of moving my kite all the time with the sun and the wetsuit that I felt bad and vomited several times before coming back to land. But after a good meal and a good night's sleep, the next day, I was ready to get on with the rest of my challenge!"

what a great moment when Djo DA SILVA, his longtime friend,

 accompanied him between Maio and Santiago.

It was already 9 days since he had left Sal and what a great moment when Djo DA SILVA accompanied him on the crossing between Boavista and Maio before Mitu was going to Santiago. It was a great moment to share with his longtime friend and have good energy to carry on the adventure.


It was not so windy but they managed and the welcome was outstanding!!! There were so many people that Mitu did not know where put his kite down!! 
He took a bit of time afterwards to enjoy the island of Santiago, which is huge and beautiful before reaching Fogo.

"The journey from Santiago to Fogo has also gone pretty well, except that while approaching the island, the wind disappeared completely ... The wind was shadowed by the huge size of the volcano and I had to swim for hundreds of meters with my kite in the waves! I lost my glasses but I arrived on the beach safe and healthy with my whole kite and gear!!!

Fogo is a truly unique island! The volcano erupted there a few months ago and the show is still impressive. I climbed to the peak of the volcano and we slept up there in a small pension. I remember staying outside for hours watching the amount of stars that were there ... it was beautiful!

We stayed two days at Fogo but the island is so great, that to visit everything, it would require much more time.”

So Mitu had just one more crossing to achieve his initial goal: crossing the entire Cabo Verde Archipelado!

"Fogo- Brava, last part of the challenge. Again, I had to swim to finish the crossing (just after I arrived, I saw some fishermen return with a tuna cut in half by a shark!!!!)... but I was at the end and there was just no way I was going to stop."

Overall, it has taken Mitu 29 hours and 30 minutes on the water to cover the 740 km (459 miles)!

What an incredible adventure for an incredible man!


Mitu ended this adventure in style on May 23th by reaching Brava from Fogo! Named the Island of Fire, this sounds like a firework to bring to a close this great adventure with all the fabulous moments Mitu has experienced along his journey. He made it in 17 days and was happy to go back home in Sal to share everything with his friends and family. 

Overall, it has taken Mitu 29 hours and 30 minutes on the water to cover the 740 km (459 miles)! What an incredible adventure for an incredible man! Big congrats’ Mister Mitu …

"On Sunday, a small plane came to pick us up, me and the four buddies of the crew who filmed a documentary of the adventure. I finally got back home, in Sal, where everyone was waiting for me! At the airport, my son, my wife and the president of the island were standing on the side of the runway, it was a great homecoming!

Then, outside the airport the party began! There was the whole gang and a bus with an opened roof which brought me back with all my friends, driving around the island to get to a pontoon where there was a band playing music and a lot of people. All were there with a t-shirt created specifically for the event.

It was a day full of emotions, but seeing my son waiting for me with his little arms outstretched towards me was the greatest feeling!


 

The evening before we left, my wife looked at me and said, "Are you not afraid? Not at all?”

to which I replied: “I just can’t wait to be out there in the middle of the ocean!”

SUMMARY :

  • MAY 7th: START!  Crossing Sal – Santo Antao : 7h40 -  237 kms – riding his strapless Pro Model!
     
  • MAY 8th: Discovery of Santo Antao by bike ! What a Magical Island! 
     
  • MAY 9th: Crossing Santo Antao – S. Vicente: riding is kitefoil ! 45 minutes – 20 kms
     
  • MAY 10th: Crossing S. Vicente – S. Nicolao: 2h30 – 59 kms
     
  • MAY 11th: Exploration of S. Nicolao 
     
  • MAY 12th: Crossing S. Nicolao – Boavista: 7h18 – 168kms – Such an emotional arrival for Mitu!
     
  • MAY 13th: Crossing Viana Boavista with a Buggy Kite
     
  • MAY 14th: Crossing Boavista – Maio : 5h58 – 123 kms hard task! With Djo DA SILVA in kite
     
  • MAY 15th: Exploration of Maio by foot
     
  • MAY 16th: Crossing Maio - Santiago: 1h20 – 31 kms 
     
  • MAY 17- 19th: Waiting for the wind to cross Santiago – Fogo
     
  • MAY 20th: Crossing Santiago- Fogo : 2 h – 70 kms
     
  • MAY 21th and 22th : Exploration of Fogo Island
     
  • MAY 23th: Last crossing : Fogo – Brava !!! 1h53 – 20kms
     
  • MAY 24th: Mitu is back home in Sal and found his family and friend who supported him all along his adventure!