18-Dec-2003 -- I am again at sea on my refrigerated and frozen cargo ship. On begin of December I joined in the South Brazilian port of Antonina (near Paranaguá, State of Paraná), where we loaded frozen chicken for Königsberg/Kaliningrad (Russia). Although it is getting harder to find still unvisited offshore Confluences on the main track between South America and Europe, there are still a few ones to do, and this time I decided to track the course along the Island of Brava in the Archipelago of the Cape Verde Islands, which so far - regarding the Confluence Project - is still entirely "my" archipelago, and this visit is my 100th unique one.
15N 25W lies about 17 nautical miles WNW of Brava Island, the southwesternmost of the Sotavento (Leeward) Group of the Archipelago. Brava has an area of 67 km² and a population of about 9,000. There are several lofty peaks on it, of which Monte das Fontainhas (976 m) is the highest one and rising in the middle of the island. The peaks are usually obscured by clouds, but today was an exceptionally clear day.
The capital of Brava is the village of Vila de Nova Sintra, standing on a plateau on the North slopes of Monte das Fontainhas. Porto da Faja de Água is a small village which stands on a bay at the mouth of a river. It is fronted by a sandy beach but the bay is fringed with
North and northeast of Brava there are six rocky islets, called Ilhéus Secos (or Ilhéus do Rombo), namely Ilhéu da Cima, Ilhéu do Rei, Ilhéu Sapado, Ilhéu Luís Carneiro, Ilhéu do Barrette and Ilhéu Grande. All are of volcanic origin and uninhabited, but sometimes visited by fishermen.
My assistant during this visit was our cadet, 24 years old Ernesto from the Philippines. He participates in the training program of our ship-owner, and prior to join his next ship as a navigator he has been assigned for a seven months period on board my ship, where he is supposed to get the necessary practical navigational knowledge.
Information about Brava obtained partly from Nautical Publication Nr. 1, Africa Pilot, Vol I, "The West Coast of Africa from Cabo Espartel to Bakasi Peninsula", 13th ed. 1982 and Supplement 7th
ed. 1999, British Admiralty, Hydrographer of the Navy, Ministry of Defense, Taunton, England)