Emerald Tales

Currently in Portugal after 7 years in the Mediterranean

07 August 2007 | Brighton
01 August 2007 | Brighton
11 July 2007 | Brighton, Force 6 upwards, sunny
02 July 2007 | Brighton
01 July 2007 | Brighton
01 July 2007 | Brighton
28 June 2007 | Brighton
27 June 2007 | Brighton
26 June 2007 | Brighton
24 June 2007 | Brighton
23 June 2007 | Brighton UK
22 June 2007 | Brighton- a long way from the cold dark place
20 June 2007 | Brighton
08 March 2007 | Brighton, UK
19 February 2007 | Brighton, UK
13 February 2007 | Brighton, UK
08 February 2007 | Brighton, UK
29 January 2007 | Brighton, UK
15 January 2007 | Brighton

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.

We Need New Sailboat Batteries: Lithium or Lead Acid?

02 February 2024 | Porto Santo
Nichola Wright
Back in October we were basking in the glory of Emerald's successful launch from the boatyard, but unknown to us, there was a problem brewing with our sailboat batteries.

We'd last replaced the power bank in early 2017 using 6 x 6V Trojan T125 lead acid deep cycle/traction batteries. They led a very pampered life with monthly checks and top ups with water. We also rotated them once a year to evenly distribute the loads on the lead cells. We'd spent the last 16 months plugged in to a plentiful power supply, so they hadn't really had had much to do. We expected to get at least another year of use from them and had a plan for a Lithium LiFePO4 upgrade.

However, as with most plans, the batteries had different ideas to ours. Just two weeks after launching we had to face the reality that we had at least one failure.

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

Festive Fun in Funchal and Porto Santo

22 January 2024 | Madeira
Nichola Wright
Following the disappointment of our failed attempt to leave Porto Santo, we were both feeling very fed up with the sailing life. What we needed was a break from the boat and some distraction while we waited for a place in the boatyard. So, to cheer ourselves up, we went on a search for some festive fun in Funchal.

There was nothing we could do to fix the propeller shaft bearings problem until a space became available in the yard. Once lifted, we'll be able to pull the propeller shaft out and inspect it and the two bearings. They were only replaced two years ago, but we'll replace them both just to be sure. We already have one spare bearing onboard, but how to get the second?

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

Leaving Porto Santo - Our Hotel California

15 December 2023 | Porto Santo
Nichola Wright
Porto Santo has become our Hotel California, the place from where however hard we try, we just can't leave. Or for fellow fans of The League of Gentlemen, it is now our Royston Vasey. But at long last the day had arrived where we were finally leaving Porto Santo for destinations south.

We'd arrived 18 months ago with a broken engine. Now after a rollercoaster ride of emotions as we'd rebuilt the engine, we were finally ready to leave under our own steam.

To read how our departure went, please click here to visit our website.

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/