This is the largest of the Cape Verde islands and Praia is the capital of the country. The mountains here cause a much higher rainfall than in many of the other islands and it is, therefore, much greener with areas of rain forest. It is an island worth exploring.
This island has a very bad reputation for theft and Noonsite has always recommended skippers organise security on board whilst anchored here. Four separate reports of armed boardings and robbery were reported from here in November 2017 (see reports adjacent). Spending the night is not recommended in this port and if a visit is absolutely necessary, visit with caution and secure your boat and valuables accordingly.
Also, beware pickpockets ashore working in teams.
There are several anchorages here, but it is reported that the water quality is very bad. The pollution is caused by a sewer opening into the river at the head of the bay. If you use a watermaker then purification is essential.
The best anchorage is west of the fishing harbour in about 5m. The holding here is good in firm sand. Some protection from the swell is provided by the beakwater.
Up to 2m of swell can appear in this harbour from the south, making the anchorage uncomfortable, or sometimes, untenable. The holding in parts of the harbour is poor.
Dinghies can be left at the fuel pontoon where, for a small fee (agreed in advance) there are various small boys who will watch it.