Tuesday September 16th: wind is coming!
Even if the wind direction is not ideal (blowing from where we want to go), after more than 10 days waiting in Morocco, we decide to go...
At 9am, after filling the migration forms, we are behind 2 other sailboats Pti Ket and Prélud'Eux to follow the pilote boat in order to get out of the Bouregreg river.
We have 550 Nautical Miles to reach Porto Santo (island of Madeira archipel).
After a few hours, we feel alone in the middle of the ocean.
Unfortunately, swells of 3 to 4 meters and a strong wind (force 5-6) make this navigation a tough one. Laurence and Maël are seasick...
This first night we cannot do the shifts. Loïc stays outside while Lolo tries to recover. The same night, with Loïc and Louise outside, the boat goes under a nasty cloud with big gusts and in a second the mast is horizontal, the top almost touching the water! Nobody is hurt but it is a little bit scary...
It is cold outside. We appreciate our sailing gear (warm pants and gloves...) ! For diner a hot soup is more than welcome! Lolo is better and we can make night shifts again...
On the 3rd morning, we hear a big noise. Bang! And the the boat changes its position... the jibsheet broke! And Maël notices that a part of a the sail is broken... So we have to fold it.
As the wind is decreasing and we can't use our genoa, we continue with a smaller foc but the speed is too low, 2 to 3 knots, we finish our trip with the engine (we run almost out of diesel... but we have some more small tanks, another 60l of fuel!) and we can take a direct route.
We also eat a small tuna caught by Loïc cooked in lemon.
We see some dolphins and also some turtles, like 150 Milles away from the shore... What are the turtles doing so far away???
Saturday morning : land! And at the end of the afternoon we arrive in front of the huge Porto Santo beach! it feels good to stop!!!! We anchor there and averybody goes for a swim.
Summary Rabat / Porto Santo :
Wednesday Septembre 24th 2014, we sail to Quinta do Lorde on Madeira Island. The navigation is smooth and quicker than the last one. Even Maël and Louise can play scrabble!
The same night Majojo and Papierre arrive to spend some days with us. Everybody is happy to see them, the kids have a lot to tell to their grand parents!
We take the opportunity to visit the island with them.
The spoken language is portuguese but the inhabitants are used to tourism and speak easily english, german or french...
The island is beautiful with a lot of mountains and a beautiful shore with big cliffs. There are also a lot of colorful flowers.
We discover the "maracuja-banana", a small passion fruit.
We rent a small car in order to explore the small roads.
At Funchal, we visit the historic center, take the cable-car to reach Monte 560m upper.
Then we try the typical wicker toboggans, pushed and steered by two men traditionally dressed whith cotton clothes and a straw hat, using their rubber-soled boots as brakes. Originally a fast means of transport down to Funchal for people living in Monte, these toboggan sledges appeared around 1850.
Then we visit Blandy's Wine Lodge in order to learn more about madeira wine (it is not just used to cook!).
At Caniçal, we visit the whale museum. It is really interesting, we learn a lot about the whaling activities (an important activity on this island until 1982) and about the different kind of whales.
We go on a road trip and follow the east and north coast, making several stops to admire the view form different places.
We also stop to visit a lava tube in Sao Vicente.
We finish our day with a dive in the natural bathing pool surrounded by bizarre lava rocks and filled by the tide in Porto Moniz!
The view from the Pico Areeiro is really impressive.
The trails following the levadas (irrigation system of the island build between the XVI the early XX) are really pleasant. An other interesting walk is on the "Ponta de São Lourenço" with a combination of volcanics rocks, sea and nature on the east side of the island.
In Madeira we enjoy a lot of sea food (limpets, cod, espada...). And the typical desert is the "bolo de mel", a cake made of sugar cane syrup.
And like always, at the marina, we need time to repair, give some news and do some homeschooling !
Sunday October 5th, in the morning, we take the direction of the Wild Island (from the Madeira archipelago). It is around 140 NM which means like 24h. Again the swells are present... We arrived in the morning at "Salvagem Grande", another desert island from Madeira archipel.
The sea is rough around the island so we decide to take the mooring buoy like the last stop. We will see further that it wasn't such a good idea !
We contact the rangers with VHF. The island visit is at 5pm when the tide is low and they inform us that we will have to leave before 7am because the boat is coming on the next day.
Around 4pm we decide to go to the island : it is good to walk somewhere where the ground is not moving ! On our way there, we say hello to another french boat YAO which just arrived. Two dogs welcome us and we meet everybody (Jean-Loup, Marianne and Lucas) for the walk around the island.
On our way back YAO invite us to take a drink on their boat. They plan to do a boat trip around the world, they already did the Atlantic tour a few years ago. At the end, we finish with a pasta plate !
In the middle of the night we hear a big metallic noise, then another one ! The kids are sleeping. We go outside and see that even with the wind, we touch the big metallic mooring buoy. We put the boat in the right place and go back to sleep. Half an hour after : again ! What shall we do ??? Go anchoring next to the island but with the cliffs and during the night it is not so easy for us... But with the wind blowing in one way and the current in another way it is not good to stay on this buoy...
So we decide that anchoring should be a good idea. It is not so easy but the moon helps us. And then we go back to sleep. The good point is that we don't have to leave at 6am like if stayed on the buoy !
Tuesday October 7th, we are going to the Canary Islands with one day and one night of navigation.