Atalanta beach also known as cabo santa maria due to the Spanish freighter Cabo Santa Maria trapped 50 years ago in the sands of Atalanta beach in Boa Vista.
Built in 1957, in the large shipyards of Cartagena by the Empresa Nacional Bazán de Construcciones Navales, it was a fast, very maneuverable freighter that easily reached 17 knots while cruising a modern ship, equipped with advanced electronic navigation and a very experienced crew on the Mediterranean- South America. It sank in September 1968, captained by the experienced Fernando De Solis, with a crew of 38 and 5 passengers. It carried food, gifts for General Franco and his supporters, and machines.
They left Genoa for Buenos Aires, making stops at various ports in the Mediterranean, as well as in the Canaries and a stop in Porto De Santos, Brazil. The very fact that the ship was stranded on a sandbar next to the beach, without any breach, or structural damage, reveals that the accident was not of technical origin. Human error remains. The reason for the accident was never revealed.
The wreckage of Cabo Santa Maria has become a symbol of Boa Vista and Cape Verde. A source of inspiration for painters and photographers, they often illustrated postcards, books and magazines and a visit is a must for tourists.
Today, there is little left of the large ship’s structure due to corrosion, wave lashes, and weathering in various storms. The shipwreck looks like the skeleton of a majestic animal that has not yet finished its journey. After 50 years, it is time to celebrate not so much the accident, but the gift of the sea that in a time of famine fed the people of Boa Vista.