Richard and I are enjoying the sunshine in Madeira, having just arrived here after a lovely 70 hour sail from Lanzarote. The wind was kind most of the time, if a little light and we motored for 15 of the 70 hours. As we approached the Islas Desertas, Velvet Lady got the bit between her teeth, and although we had been sailing to windward for the first 300 miles, we cracked off the wind a fraction for the last 60 miles and our speed rocketed. We arrived in Funchal at 1200, just in time for a full English cooked on board by Keith. He runs a bed and breakfast at home so we were in good hands.
Funchal, the capital city of Madeira is a great place to explore, and after breakfast the crew set off up the cable car for spectacular views of the bay. A bit disappointed that the wicker sledges did not run on Sundays they returned also via the cable car and to the boat for dinner and dancing. The dinner was planned, the dancing wasn’t, but Phil had a great selection of 80’s favourites on his I pod and we couldn’t help ourselves. The volume got louder and louder and was accompanied by Richard on air guitar, Lin and Karen on the air keyboard, Margaret and Keith on the drums with Phil on air vocals! The dancing followed, all washed down with a good bit of local hooch.
We had spent the previous 3 days on a rigorous passage routine, 6 hours on 6 hours off during the day, 4 hours during the night. Sleep is often difficult to come by and getting dressed and undressed 5 times a day is tiring to say the least. Watchkeeping on deck is rewarding in unusual ways – fabulous sunrises and sunsets, bright moonshine and twinkling stars. There was plenty of nature to look out for and we saw dolphins daily, sharks, turtles and many birds. Not a huge amount of shipping, but enough to practice identifying lights and seeing how the radar and AIS work.
This time of year, we are onto milebuilding trips, and this last week was the first of many. We are happy to take people of all levels of experience on these trips, and last week we ranged from complete beginners to sailors who have done lots of chartering but not many overnight passages. If you fancy joining us for a passage, the next two are full Madeira to the Azores and Azores to UK, but we do have spaces on our way north from Plymouth to Oban and on to Norway for the summer.
Although the Lofoten Islands is now sold out bar from one space we do have spaces on the milebuilding trips home, Bodo to Bergen and Bergen to Plymouth. See the map below for the routes!
All of our other day sailing trips are now full until
If you would like to join us and need any more information please do not hesitate to contact us, otherwise booking is easy direct from our website
We hope to see you on board, can always promise good sailing and occasionally good dancing too!