Now we are sitting in the sunshine in Madeira after a mixed and often lively passage from Lanzarote. It appears that the jetstream is still misbehaving itself, the Azores High is in the wrong place and so the prevailing wind is altered. What should have been a nice reach from Lanzarote turned into either beating to windward in big seas or motoring in flat seas.
Watches and passage making were a new experience for all on board but everyone quickly slotted into the eat, sleep, watch routine.
We had some great lookouts and because of them we spotted quite a bit of wildlife. Dolphins leaping at us through the waves and not one or two but three whale sightings. The most dramatic being as we approached the coast of Madeira and were in sight of the Desertas Islands in the calm before the storm. We saw a huge blow in the water ahead that turned into ‘smoke’ and it was obviously coming nearer – enough for us to get sight of 4 blows, and then a fin on the back before the tail. Wow what a sight to signal the end of the passage.
We were in a bit of a rush to get to Quinta do Lorde marina as a gale was forecast and we arrived just in time. The sea was just starting to build as we crept into the narrow entrance alongside the cliff and tied up in our berth at midnight 61 hours after leaving Lanzarote. By 9 o clock in the morning there was white water across the entrance and in the marina and we decided that we would have to explore Madeira by car not boat.
The mixed weather is continuing – I am just looking at the forecast for next week, seems like a little bit more wind on the nose for our next passage to the Azores which should take us 5 or 6 days. Luckily Velvet Lady loves sailing to windward lets hope the crew do too!