02 August 2017 | 16.20.15N 27.02.10W
29 August 2015 | Algarve and Andalucia
FIRST 24 HOURS AT SEA
02 August 2017 | 16.20.15N 27.02.10W
Our first 24 hours, quite difficult as big seas and 25+kn from NE waves from NW. however we did 144nm in 24 hours. All well on yacht May
History and Hiking in Porto Santo
22 July 2016
Porto Santo was discovered in 1418 the year before Madeira when Henry the Navigator sent Joao Goncalves Zarco and Tristao Vaz Teixeira to Africa but they were driven off course by a gale and ended up on the island which they named "Holy Island". A rapid passage back to Lisbon was followed by a hasty return with orders to colonise this dry uninhabited island before continuing southwest to discover the more mountainous Madeira.
Although we went for walks almost every day and I did yoga every morning, there were more challenging hikes and we regularly set off either on our own or in small groups. A particularly enjoyable day was spent with Soren when we walked the whole length of the south coast, climbed Pico de Ana Ferreira, had lunch in Calheta then took the same coastal road back. What a great days exercise! We all slept well that night.
Porto Santo (Sister Island to Madeira)
15 July 2016
Having been here the previous year with Peter and Nicky on Chanto, we knew what to expect from this beautiful little island. This time we were to stay longer than a couple of days. In fact the price was only €127 for a whole month including water, electricity and free use of the washing machine and drier. There is a long sandy beach right next to the marina on the other side of a breakwater where passing yachts leave there mark by way of a painting.
Initially there were three other boats with us: Rival Lady with Jackie and Ian, Johanna with Vibeke and Sören and Tummler with Carolyn and Steve. As well as coffee mornings for the women, we organised regular BBQs where we shared food and drink and had a lovely time. The lads used to take their sextants to the beach for noon day sights then return to the boat and work out the latitude, sometimes finding that they were fairly accurate. A lot harder to do on a moving boat but good practice.
Time to say goodbye
14 July 2016
Arriving in Porto Santo
We had been in Lagos for just over a year and it was time to move on and say goodbye to all the friends we had made there.
When we arrived somebody said this place is like velcro.... now I understand why.
It was hard to leave but we needed to push on down towards Madeira and Porto Santo. So on the morning of 14th July we had a good forecast and slight seas so we off we went. Its about 380nm from Lagos to Porto Santo and we estimated about 3.5 days.
It felt great to be finally starting the journey that we had planned for so long. All the research and preparation had fallen into place and it was time to "Just Do It".
When we set off the winds were light and as we neared Cape St Vincent we picked up the reliable Portuguese Trade winds. These blow from about May to September from the N to NE at about a steady 15-20 kn.
We set our course and set the hydrovane to steer us and just sat back. We had a great passage only tweeking the hydrovane course and not touching the sails for three days.
We did watches from 8pm till 10, 10 till midnight then three hours each till 6am followed by another 2 hours each. Pauline had prepared meals that only needed heating up. We were even able to play cards in the cockpit as the wind was light and seas quite flat. Its rare to get such a nice enjoyable passage. We were a little sad it had ended and could easily have kept going.
Waiting to take our lines in Porto Sant were Jackie and Ian on Rival Lady. We also met Soren and Vib a Danish couple on a big moody called Johanna.
Us arriving in Porto Santo
We prepared all our fenders and mooring lines in what was a gentle breeze just right for mooring up, however we had noted the violent katabatibc gusts that kept blowing into the harbour....right on the beam. As I turned into the allocated berth we caught a gust of about 25kn, this blew the bow down wind and would have caused us to hit another boat. Luckily I managed to reverse out and have another go. I tried to go backwards but the gust was so strong all I could do was to hold station.
We eventually got in but it was at speed.....no damage done. We had reached Porto Santo.... Yippy..
We arrived very rested after 3 days and one hour, so much so that we invited Jackie and Ian, Vib and Soren on board for drinks later that evening. We chatted about our passages and realised that we were very lucky to have such an enjoyable crossing.
Quick visit from Sarah
07 July 2016
We didn't need much of an excuse to visit Portimao so when Sarah called to say that they were staying in a villa nearby we invited them to visit us on the boat.
We didn't have much wind on the way down but true to form the wind picked up in the afternoon. We anchored close to the beach and used the dinghy to get ashore.
We had a great lunch in the Kaloo Beach Bar and then a walk and a swim. It was over too quickly and we headed back to Lagos. We had a good sail back but it was into wind.....as usual for this return.
Re launch in Lagos
01 July 2016
sean / Pauline
In Sopromar Boatyard
On the trip down to Lagos it became more apparent that we were not pointing as well as we should. The original old sail had been mended a few times and it was time to replace it.
Also during the winter our old canopy had torn and was also due to be replaced. We also thought that we would need a bimini.
Our first design would allow the canopy to double up as a bimini, however this would mean our new canopy would suffer from U.V. degrading and we didn't need a canopy as it was warm most times. So we made a separate canopy and bimini.
We asked Fofo the local sailmaker to have a look. He said our original main sail looked more like a pocket than a sail, he could try to re-cut it but it wouldn't last. So, we ordered a new main sail, canopy and bimini, the existing aluminium tubes would also be replaced with stainless.
At the time we were getting 1.42 Euro to the pound and it was great value.........we should have paid all in advance!!
After getting re launched we set a date (weather permitting) to get to Porto Santo which is just north of Madeira and about 400NM SW of Lagos.
In the meantime we had a few test sails and had a great weekend in Alvor which is a small harbour just east of Lagos.