Emerald Tales

Currently sailing the eastern Atlantic visiting Maderia, the Canary Islands and the Azores

02 October 2021 | Faro, Portugal
06 June 2021 | Alcoutim
28 May 2021 | Alcoutim
16 April 2021 | Rio Guadiana
31 March 2021 | The Balearic Isles
20 March 2021 | Ayamonte
05 March 2021 | Alcoutim
17 February 2021 | Ayamonte
05 February 2021 | Culatra
27 January 2021 | Alcoutim
19 January 2021 | Larenjeiras, Portugal
08 December 2020 | Puerto Sherry
17 November 2020 | Playa de Bolonia
14 October 2020 | Gibraltar
27 September 2020 | La Linea
18 September 2020
04 September 2020 | Menorca, Spain

Sail Canary Islands to the Azores: Full Passage Report

13 July 2024 | Santa Maria, Azores
Nichola Wright
We set off to sail Canary Islands to the Azores on Saturday 29th June, arriving in the early morning of 6th July. Read on for a full report of the conditions we encountered and the experiences we both endured and enjoyed.

Two years ago, we sailed to Porto Santo from mainland Portugal, arriving with a dead engine. At some point, salty sea water had forced its way into the engine from the exhaust, wrecking damage as it sloshed around for several days.

Porto Santo was only meant to be a pitstop on the way to the Azores, but what followed was the hardest and most stressful period of our sailing life so far. We chose to rebuild the engine on the island, with no previous experience. We did it, which was amazing, but it also took more out of us than expected, never mind the lost time.

Now we were back on track. Could we make "a successful navigation across an ocean to a tiny target?" (Thanks Mark for the quote).

During our months in Gran Canaria, we'd updated and upgraded Emerald's safety inventory and felt ready to head out onto the ocean.

To read the full article, click here.

What Next for Emerald, Having Escaped Porto Santo?

22 March 2024 | Las Palmas de Gran Canaria
Nichola Wright
What next for Emerald and our ongoing adventures, now that we'd escaped Porto Santo?

Having spent the last 20 months stationery, you'd think we would be raring to go, exploring the anchorages and harbours around the Canary Islands. Well, we are raring to go, but, practicality has sadly trumped sea adventures and we've taken a berth in the marina at Las Palmas de Gran Canaria for a couple of months.

Read more in the latest blog on our website by clicking here.

Full Passage Report: Sailing Porto Santo to Gran Canaria

08 March 2024 | Gran Canaria
Nichola Wright | N wind, going NE F4 to F6
We would have liked something gentle for sailing Porto Santo to Gran Canaria as it would be our first sail in 20 months. However, beggars can't be choosers, especially when those beggars are trying to sail 310nm across the eastern Atlantic in winter.

We could have waited for more benign conditions, but we'd been closely watching the weather for the last two months and only two brief weather windows had opened in that time.

So, we chose to take a reasonable wind forecast but coupled with higher seas than we'd have liked. Otherwise, who knows how much longer we'd be waiting. And at least the waves would be from astern, rather than on the beam.

To read the full report, please click here to go to our blog.

When the Wind Blows in Porto Santo

01 March 2024 | Porto Santo
Nichola Wright | Windy
As we're sitting through a few days of strong winds, it seemed like a good time to write about when the wind blows in Porto Santo.

The winds received in Porto Santo and Madeira are generally controlled by the position of the Azores High. Typically, during the summer months, the resulting wind blows from the north or north east. The wind travels down the coast of Portugal and continues blowing on down across the Madeira island group.

The harbour in Porto Santo is on the south side of the island, and is well placed to provide protection from these winds. In addition, the encircling walls limit the effects of waves and swell.

To read the full blog, please click here to go to our website.

Why Did We Have An Overheating Propeller Shaft?

23 February 2024 | Porto Santo
Nichola Wright
In December, an overheating propeller shaft had necessitated our return to Porto Santo during our passage south to the Canary Islands. We had been slowly motoring for under two hours, with a forecast of north east winds picking up later in the day. Colin had been checking the prop shaft, which was warm but not worryingly hot. Then, we increased the engine revs. Almost instantly we heard a bad sound from inside and promptly stopped the engine. This time when Colin went to check the prop shaft, it was burning hot to touch.

Due to Emerald's design, there was no way to safely investigate the drive train without having her lifted out of the water again. The boatyard in Porto Santo is small and in high demand, but we were offered a place potentially in early January. In reality, early January turned into late January, but beggars can't be choosers. We were just very grateful that a space was available as we were reluctant to travel elsewhere without knowing what the problem was. Further use of the prop shaft could exacerbate the damage and lead to water ingress.

After waiting not so patiently, a place in the yard became available and we able to investigate and fix the propeller issues.

Read all about it here on our web site.

Vessel Name: Emerald
Vessel Make/Model: Kelly Peterson 44
Hailing Port: No fixed abode
Crew: Colin 'Skip' Wright, Nichola Wright
About: One from Northern Ireland, one from Yorkshire, UK
Extra: Emerald has been our home since 2004. We've sailed around the UK, the western Baltic and have spent 7 years in the Med. We're currently in Portugal, planning a refit. Lot's more information about us and the boat can be found at www.yachtemerald.com
Home Page: https://www.yachtemerald.com/