‘I was wondering how it is in the big sea but somehow was also afraid of it. This trip on Velvet Lady gave me what I was looking for, adventure and safety and a marvellous opportunity to experience how it is….’
Olga and Piotr
We have just completed the first of our milebuilding passages from Lanzarote to Madeira and are sitting enjoying the sunshine preparing for the next leg. Passage making and night sailing are held in awe by a lot of people, and this leg is one of our shortest passages which we often describe as a gentle introduction to long distance sailing.
We were joined by Olga and Piotr, Arthur who has sailed many miles before and wanted to brush up on sextant work. Our fourth guest, Paul, is one of our regulars who aims to build himself up bit by bit to a ‘proper roughy toughy long distance trip.’
We took 68 hours for the passage from Lanzarote to Funchal, arriving just at daylight at the end of our third night at sea. The wind was mainly ‘on our nose’ and so we sailed 404 miles to cover the rhumb line distance of 280. The weather maps before we left had given us to expect light winds, so we were pleased to have Velvet Lady tramping along at seven knots in a good Force 5. There were sightings of dolphins, turtles and even a whale on our last day as well as fantastic sunrises and sunsets.
There was time to look around Funchal before we continued to our final destination in Madeira at Quinta do Lorde marina. Only 10 minutes from the airport this is an ideal place for crew changing. As it is an easy place to hire a car, all four guests disappeared to look around the island before heading off to the airport for afternoon flights.
Our next two legs back to UK are not only milebuilding passages but they are long enough to qualify as ‘ocean passages’ for those interested in gaining a RYA Yachtmaster Ocean certificate. They are always popular and Madeira to the Azores and Azores to Plymouth have been fully booked for over 6 months.
Whilst we are in Madeira we use the opportunity of their good wifi signal to load our Autumn programme. I finished it this afternoon and it is now all on line and ready to book. If you were disappointed at missing out on our spring milebuilding and ocean passages, more are now available. Sailing across the Bay of Biscay in October and Lisbon to Lanzarote in November are two more trips that qualify as ocean passages, and the trip from Vigo to Lisbon is our next shorter passage, ideal for those who only want a taster of nightsailing and watchkeeping.
Full details on our schedule