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Learning to sail in Madeira

Posted in : Hummingbird


We have just wrapped up our Madeira explorer week with Rob, James, Jacqueline, Lydia, David Sarah.

It has been a great trip with weather variations from drizzle to rain to Sunshine, but always with a temperature around 19 to 25 degrees Celsius.

We started of in the beautiful resort of Quinta do Lorde, al the way on the east of Madeira. When everybody had arrived, we went through our house briefing, followed the next morning with our deck briefing what lead into sail rigging and a dockside man over board exercise. After lunch and some planning, we set off to the inhabited Island of Deserta some 15 nM south of our harbour. The weather gods were with us and aloud us to have a calm night on anchor. Next morning a party rowed to the island to explore, while Rob was preparing a passage plan to Funchal. When the shore team had return we stowed the dinghy and left around noon for the Madeira capital. The wind fell light after some hours and we motor sailed the last stint to the harbour. We ended up on a nice spot along the wall and the crew could go ashore and use the facilities. Next day was a field day in Funchal, Jacqueline, David, Rob and James went toboggan down the steep streets. While Lydia and Sarah visited the Botanic gardens, this was all high up the mountain of Funchal and easily reached by cable car.

At night we met at Taberna Rual restaurant in the old part of Funchal on Rua Santa Maria, for dinner al fresco.

Next day was early up for a trip to the heart of Madeira, to walk the Calderão Verde Levada trail, an eight and half km narrow trail along the ridges of the mountains. It’s a linear trail and with the leading road towards it we walked 22km that day.

Upon return we were welcomed with a homemade Carbonara by Sarah. Lydia in the mean time had created a passage plan to our next destination.

The next day we left in good time to Porto Santo in heavy rains and strong winds,carrying our smallest sail set of 3reefs in the main sail, yankee 3 and stay sail . First idea was to go around the island of Madeira to see the rugged northern coast, but after seeing and hearing the weather overnight we decided to just do a small tack up the coast before our run east. after an exhilarating of tacking and salt water showers, we turned around to enjoy the calmness of down wind sailing.

We arrived just after dark and anchored outside the port of Porto Santo. Next morning we moves in.

We tried docking at the pier, but the surge was to strong to leave the boat safely at the dock, so after dropping Sarah, Lydia, Jacqueline and Rob of to shore, we moved the boat to a nice anchorage and readied the dinghy. The crew went for a leisure day at the beach and arrived just before dark back at the dock. Next morning after last formalities we stowed the tender and headed for our home port at Quinta do Lorde. We cleaned the boat and had our last meal together ashore before everyone flew out the next morning….

Skipper Patrick, mate Arabella.