Showing posts from November, 2016

Madeira to Tenerife

After an all too brief stay in Madeira we set off south towards Tenerife leaving Quinto do Lorde at 10:55 on the morning of the 11th November. The wind was blowing ESE in the high 20s so we set just the genoa and put half a reef in which allows us to sail at 7 knots while keeping on a fairly even keel.

Above is an extract from the log we keep. We try to make an entry every hour but it doesn't always happen... Here we record our position course, speed, some weather information and battery charge in %. We have had to do this because the new fridge seems to eat its way through the batteries much faster than the previous one did. George the autopilot can also be a big drain if the sails are not balanced and he is having to make a lot of corrections to keep us on course!

Our intention was to have a lunch time stopover at the Ilhas Selvagens the following day before proceeding on to Tenerife arriving there at first light on Paul's 63rd birthday on the 13th.

We arrived off the main i…

Madeira me dear...

The sail from Porto Santo to Madeira was an easy day sail past the Deserted Islands arriving at Quinta do Lorde Marina at the northern tip of Madeira just as the sun was setting allowing us to nip to the bar and have a double gin and tonic. It is a place that evokes the TV series 'The Prisoner' which was set in Port Merrion [sic], down to the emptiness and electric golf carts. 
You can't spend a day I'm Madeira or any island for that matter without trying to get to the top of it. I failed in Porto Santo but here we hired a car and set off for a tour.  What an amazing place it is, steep tropical forest with sudden openings allowing views up valleys to cloud draped sharks teeth peaks, and down to nest villages and farms where every bit of land is put to use growing everything from beans to bananas, including sugarcane and taro or 'Elephant ears'. I was particularly interested to find tea growing, which I am sure does, but failed to see any. It was interesting to se…

GPS position sent from the Iridium Go!

Lat+28deg39'36" Lon-16deg3'3" Alt000ft GPS Sats seen: 05 2016-11-13 02:45UTC Sent via Iridium GO!

GPS Position sent from the IridiumGo!

Lat+29deg36'14" Lon-15deg54'27" Alt+033ft GPS Sats seen: 07 2016-11-12 15:00UTC Sent via Iridium GO!

Ilhas do Porto Santa

I left off the last post as we were approaching the island of Porto Santo. We made good time through the night and as you may have read in the Skippers blog (see link on right of the page), whilst I slept we made such good progress that he slowed us down so that we arrived in daylight. 
During the voyage we had become increasingly alarmed at a current leakage to the hull. Left unattended it will result in a thinning of the aluminium hull and eventually a hole can develop.... not something we really want! We had spent a lot of time trying to work out what was causing it, with several hours spent crawling around the engine and with my head down the bilges looking for a stray wire. The strange thing was that when we heeled hard over to starboard in a swell, the leak detector reported that it stopped, resuming once we heeled back to port. Having failed to find the cause we decided that we would do an exaughstive search once in harbour. 
Preparing to enter the harbour at Porto Santo I was at…

el Dorado and the rainbow

Today we have had quite a lot happen considering where we are, but first the night...
This was dark as the moon set quite early, the watches were uneventful, other than Paul seeing a bright green light which turned out to be the Dog Star Sirius, and it drew to a close with sunrise at 07:22 GMT. Not a spectacular sunrise but it took the chill out of the wind when the Rays reached the cockpit. A breakfast of porridge, Apple, cinnamon and crunchy brown sugar was a good start for the day ahead. We were still sailing under a slightly reefed genoa which lifts the foot of the sail just past the rail and avoids the enemy of long distance sailing, chafe. Each morning I do the rounds inspecting stays, fixings and sails for signs of wear, tear or stress. After this I retired to my berth to catch up on my sleep. We sailed on, with occasional increases in wind as a line of clouds overtook us, quickly returning to the normal 20knts once it has passed over, but giving winds in the high 30s to mid 40…

Cascais and relax...

We made it to Lisbon on the evening of Tuesday 1st Nov having covered 206 nm in 32hrs 50 mins bring our voyage total to 1013 nm. Well, when I say Lisbon, I mean to Cascais at the entrance to the bay leading to Lisbon. We sailed the majority of the second day ending up persevering against the headwind and putting in a few tacks... The first of the voyage really, and resisting the rather too easy option of starting the engine just because it's there and we are going at less that 5knts... We progressed, tacking against the wind, up past the massif of Sintra and Cabo Roca which is the most westerly part of mainland Europe (I always thought that accolade went to Cape Finisterre!?). 
 Paul was still feeling 'tied to the toilet' for want of a better description, and retired below to rest and read while I stayed up to enjoy the last of the day's sunshine. As the sun faded so did the wind and I put the engine on, set a direct course for Cacais, put the sails to bed, and got Tin …