Friday, February 28, 2014

Boa Vista

piše: Davor Stančić

All limbs healthy and accountable? Well... if you think about see creatures – there are plenty of them in Boa Vista and you can eat them all the time. They serve them for dinner. Every single day.

Who knows how Cape Verde got its name... there really is not much greenery. Maybe climate has really changed drastically from time the first sailors came there. Or they came in August when it’s rainy season and desert blooms. Or, maybe it was just some kind of irony. Whatever it was, the wind blows on Cape Verde, day and night. No matter, down or sunset – it’s windy, anywhere from 17 to 28 knots. It’s gusty, and it’s always from the same direction.

Cape Verde is some 600 km from the west coast of Africa. It was uninhabited until pirates made their home base there. When the Portuguese succeeded to root them out, Cape Verde was made a slavery trading port. The population is mixed, mostly black, speaking many African dialects. The official language is Portuguese. Tourism brought increase in population, which are now around 700,000 souls.

From the very beginning I made some comparisons with Dahab and other spots in Egypt. Life conditions are similar (below European standard), but you can immediately sense that social atmosphere in Cape Verde is more relaxed. I believe, it is mostly due to the fact that women here are free to work, move around and show their sexy bodies in very tight clothes! (I got an inspiration to sing the praise of beautiful buttocks and charming almond colored eyes of Creole women there!)

One interesting thing is local dance called Funana. It is quite erotic, maybe even more than erotic. The ladies tale a stick under their squirts and then make a well-known movements and sounds imitating the intercourse. The Church tried to ban the Funana, but fortunately, it’s still there!


Well, back to the topic... Cape Verde is good for windsurfing from mid October to mid May. I was on Boa Vista, bigger, but not so much visited place, from the two main islands in Cape Verde.

Since I was satisfied with All Planet Sport Center in Dahab, I went to their place there, too. On Boa Vista there are only two windsurfing Centers. Unfortunately, the number of boards, sails and the rest of the equipment is not as I expected (half the numbers from, let say, Dahab). I was informed that on Sal, the other touristic island, 60 km far from Boa Vista, the windsurfing centers are much better equipped.

During my stay in Boa Vista, two last weeks in January, there was only 5-6 of us in the Center, and maybe some 10 more in neighboring Center. Kiters were in somewhat larger number. Even with such a low visiting rate, there was a shortage of larger sails. We used mostly 5.5 to 6.5 sails. There was only one sail in 7.5, but sometimes we needed it.

Flat zone in front of the Centre is cca 700 m in length. On the other side of the reef there are some surfs for wave riding. Temperature was like during spring in Europe. We used short sleeve wet suits, or even lycra. However, in the afternoon the temperature dropped due to clouds, so I found full wetsuit more comfortable.

Very attractive Czech woman who leads the Center explained to me there are sharks around, but since the water is shallow and there is not much food for them, only smaller specimens (1.5 m in lengths) sometimes come near the shore. The bigger beasts are usually on the south side of the island.

Unlike the other places I’ve been, you have to carry your equipment from the Center to the beach and back. The two "bellboys" there are mostly spending their time sitting and watching. Well...

All in all, if someone is longing for a warm and windy destination in December and January, Cape Verde guaranties everyday windsurfing in shorty. But, you will have to settle for poor equipment offer (or take your own with yourself).


The whole package costs (via Italian tourist agency from Verona) between 1700 and 2000 euros. That includes travel expenses from Zagreb to Verona, two nights in Verona hotel and 14 nights in Cape Verde (4 or 5 stars hotel), all inclusive, parking on airport in Verona, flights, visas, transportation from airport to hotel, health insurance. Flight from Verona takes 6 hours directly to Boa Vista.

Latter I heard about another option Zagreb-Lisbon-Cape Verde for 1000 -1400 euros.

Renting of windsurfing equipment was 400 euro for two weeks (including transportation from the hotel to the Center – otherwise you have to walk for 40 minutes; taxi for that time would cost me cca 70 euros)

The hotel was very cozy, relaxed, with self-service for three meals per day. I usually skipped launch, because I was out there, windsurfing.

Since the arrangement was all inclusive, there was not much need for extra spending. Fish is very cheap, but the rest of food comes with European prices. There is no food production on Boa Vista – everything comes in with ships.

Is it expensive?

Well, I was thinking about that while watching other guests in the hotel. Mostly, they are fat, looking sick and lazy. They work for years under who knows what kind of stress, and then they buy one or two weeks off in such a place.

Local workers are getting 100-200 euros monthly salary. But they are looking much healthier, relaxed and livelier. They live without modern civilization, with the nature. (Well, in spite of that, their smartphones were better than mine!) In villages, there is no water in the houses. However, it is warm, they do not need heating. Basic expenses are low. You can talk and make love in the dark, too.

And when you expose yourself to the experience of endless sandy beaches, hypnotic rush of the waves, unlimited power of the wind, the broadness of the see and the sky... all that makes you think about the purpose and meaning of life; about how small you are in comparison to the Universe.

Your worldview expands and you notice how small is the very planet you are standing on, in the middle of the vast space. The breath stops. The thoughts stop, too.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Eat Well and Windsurf Better!

by Domagoj Primužak

My dear windsurfers and all of you who feel like it, it's about time to bestir ourselves from the winter lethargy and startup preparation for the 2014 season.

I guess most of you spend winter days or nights in front of TV, eating all kind of delicious food, especially during the feasts. Some do it to drown windsurfing sorrows, but nevertheless, we all know an old windsurfing saying: „junk food is not good for planing“.

Therefore, the first thing I recommend to everybody is to reduce the food intake and to plan the menu carefully. Instead of 1 or 2 big meals per day, split the same amount of food across 5 to 6 meals along the day and thus speed up metabolism.

While eating several small meals throughout the day, our body gets signal there is enough food coming on regular basis and there is no need to store it in reserves (fat). Instead, food intake is used to maintain homeostatic state of our body and activates we perform during the day.

Now, if we reduce the amount of calories in these 5 to 6 meals, our body will receive regular but smaller food intake. Since it will be less than before or needed, body will start to consume its reserves (fat). This is the first step to get in better shape.

Next step would be to bring in cardio exercise as a weekly routine, at least 3 times per week. It could be cycling, skating, race walking, jogging, etc. This will speed up metabolism (fat burning).

Third step would be to fine tune daily diet to achieve nutrient rich meals rather than calorie rich meals. A few examples are listed below:

  • Use carbs with lots of fibers and low GI like oat meal, brown rice, and whole wheat bread. Personally, I have very good experience with whole wheat burger.
  • Combine carbs with vegetables. Let vegetables be represented with 50% on your plate and give priority to seasonal vegetables.
  • Don't forget fruits, apple is essential; one apple a day keeps doctor away ;-) Banana is good, but makes metabolism work slower.If you don't mind ethics, meet is very important as it provides essential proteins for your body recovery. Choose chicken breast, turkey, veal, beef, salmon and hake. Vegans and vegetarians already know how to enrich their menu with soy, tofu, beans, grains, etc.
  • Eat fish rich with oil; salmon, tuna and mackerel are typical examples.
  • Vegetarians and vegans can boost protein intake with superfood like hemp protein powder as well as hemp oil that speeds the recovery and repair of soft tissue damage.

Do your best not to eat late, consider 19:00 to be the time for your last meal. After that, relaxing walk session would be more than welcome.

And, never, but never forget to drink at least 8 glasses of water per day.

Finally, once a week, Sunday or any other day that suits you best, it is necessary to have cheat day - the day when you will eat everything you like and eat as much as you like. Can’t believe it, but this will help body to boost metabolism and lose fat!

These were the tips how to reduce weight and improve our capabilities. But that is not all we need to plan. It is necessary to improve endurance too and this is exactly what we are going to talk about in the next article.

Monday, February 17, 2014

First time in 2014.

There was some very windy and beautiful days already in 2014. However, my sails were safely dry, while I was pursuing means for paying my bills. First windsurfing happened this Sunday, on light wind (12-15 knots), but enough to make me happy and smile. Košljun bay, island Pag, Croatia. Can't wait for the next time!