Since Cape Verde is situated off the West Coast of Africa, off the coast of Senegal, The Gambia and in the region of Mauritania, Guinea-Bisseau, Guinea and Sierra Leone, sadly the old harbour at Santa Maria was in centuries past used as a stopping and transfer point during the slave trade.
Fortunately these days are long gone and it’s now only used for fishing and swimming… but mostly only swimming at low tide becuase at high tide the sea surges though the narrow gap and if you are in the water there’s a strong outward suction.
I’m a very rudimentary swimmer and I didn’t feel confident in the water when the tide was high so we didn’t let the kids in here anywhere around high tide, and since the hotel awimming pool was so close by and our kids loved sandcastle building as much as the water, it wasn’t a problem to not swim here very often.
We saw very very few locals go into the water here but every so often some kids come to fish from the old harbour walls.
Most of the harbour is in it’s simple, origonal state, but some repairs have been done over the decades.