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Fishing boats at the beach of Rubane.

Tourism instead of plastic

Sailing with a bpurpose: that’s why I set off from Santa Maria in September 2023 with Blue Alligator towards Guinea-Bissau. Our expedition was to learn more about the plastic waste in the archipelago. At the end, our role turned out to be quite different.

Adelino Da Costa, the uncrowned king of the Bijagós.

The king of the Bijagós

At the beak-shaped bow of the narrow, long boat stands a man with a fiery red headscarf, upright, looking forward like a king or commander heading for a shore he intends to take possession of. He is also wearing an elegant black shirt, which sets him apart from his companions in their washed-out T-shirts. The man’s name is Adelino Da Costa and he is indeed a kind of king, the uncrowned king of the Bijagós.

Sailing in the Bijagos.

Venture into the heart of the Bijagós

As the sun rose from behind the haze, it revealed our anchorage, which we had approached in complete darkness the night before. Perhaps half a nautical mile away lay a flat island. It almost seemed to float on the brownish water and somehow not be real. It seemed like something out of a dream.

Sonnenuntergang auf dem Atlantik, zwischen den Kanaren und den Kapverden.

To the Cape Verde Islands – or the expansion of the horizon

With the trip to Cape Verde, I literally broadened my horizons. I sailed beyond the southernmost end of Europe and arrived in a world that Darwin described as a „completely sterile land“. In between were 156 hours – not quite seven days, but seven nights – of sea, wind, dolphins and sometimes schools of flying fishes that shot over the crests of the waves like silver arrows.

Flagge von Guinea-Bissau

To Africa!

We are sailing again, Blue Alligator and I. At the beginning of September, we set off from Vila do Porto on Santa Maria and headed for Madeira. The destination of the trip this time is Africa. Whereby the journey should also serve a purpose. We are actually going on an expedition.