A Lady trip /the canaries

A Lady
Stephen Hyde
Thu 8 Oct 2009 14:30
Saturday 19th September 2009
Crew:-    Stephen and Aileen Hyde. Terry and Colette O' Sullivan, and Helen Cadogan.
Another lovely day, Following breckfast, Terry took Aileen and Helen ashore, whrer they went on an open top bus tour of the capitol,
following on from there, they went up to the top of the hill behind Funchal on a cable car, they then went on a basket sledge ride back down the hill. had a great day, by all accounts.
Meanwhile Terry and Stephen did some boat work, and watched the first of the racing boats finish just beside us,
Imagine two days later , less than half of the racing fleet had finished.
We had dinner on the boat later
bunks,   zzzzzz
Sunday 20th September 2009
04.30  Helen was ferried ashore as she was returning home,
Following breckfast, we all went ashore to 10.00 Mass in the nearby Church, Interseting, on the subject of Mass and Churches,in both the Azores
and Medeira, the Churches were beautifully adorned internally and the Alters were both very colourfull with lots of gold decorations and amazing pictures.
Also , the attendences were massive, like Ireland was when we were children.
Following the saving of our souls, we had coffee in a nearby cafe in the big, big , well laid out square in front of the church, Great excitment was caused by a baby Bat falling down at our feet on the way out of the Church, The poor thing had zero chance of survival. anyway thats life..
We did a shop in the local supermarket and Terry and Stephen collected the girls clothes from " A Lady " as the wind was now blowing 30 knots and the trip out and back was tough going, even in our sturdy 3.4m avon rib.
REEDS HOTEL,, Of course the reason for getting the clohtes was........YES...... We were off to Reeds for afternoon TEA, Its famous for this afternoon
tea buisness on Sunday's , ( and not as cheap as chip's ).. anyway we had to start with champagne , followed by a selection of tea's, scones,
little sanwiches , including egg sanwitches, which by the way, were not half as nice as the ones made by the skipper on board the yacht....then
there was a piano ist  Playing for the afternoon in this magnificant hotel, but again ( I keep saying, there's always a BUT, ) he was not a patch on Aileen's
sister , The lovely Michelle, Who , of course plays in that other magnificant Chateau  .. Ashford Castle,,,   how about that...
When we were finished in REEDS we got a taxi to the western end of the island, to a marina called "  Porto de Recreo da Culheta "
Lovely spot, with a manmade beech attached, but unfortunatly , no room for " A Lady "
We eventually got back to the harbour in Funchal, and lucky for us, the wind had died down some what, We did two runs on ferrying the passagengers
out to the boat as there was still a lop running. 
All back on board saefly, the skipper decided to cook corned beef in the new pressure cooker, however , no one hungry, so the meat was left cool in the
pot for the night.
A few scoops, lots of chat, you know, I love this, a few jars and its amazing how many feckin idiots we know, langers, etc etc,
and then we have our real friends, some are even directly decended from Charles Darwin, others from Brian Boru, and , and ,and,
Oh ,the bunk was welcome..zzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Monday 21st September "009
We were all tired of rolling around all night, so we decided to head for " Quinta de Lorde", a new marina on the eastern end of the island, At first they said the could
only keep us for one night, but on learning that we were doing the ARC rally , we were informed that we could stay as long as we liked and also we had a 20%
discount on all thier facilities.
We tied up the boat, tidied ourselves up and had a nice dinner on board that night,
Super bunk zzzzzzzzzz
Tuesday 22nd September 2009
 An early light breckie. Terry and Colette went for a swim off the back of the boat. The water was so, so, clear, actually the marina has a blue flag status.
Later we hired a car from Avis for 10 days. and set off for " Santana" on the northern coast, where they had a theme park, This was facinating, apart from all the usuals,
it had craft shops housed in their traditional stone/tatched cottages, a simulator , which brought you over the whole island on a motorised hang glider,
a model of the island and its sorrounding islands in the middle of the floor in a history room, well thought out and well executed.
 Then it started to rain ,  but it was all so beautifull,
The lush green very steep hills creeping up through the swirling clouds. AWSOME....
the sceenery in general was breathtaking.  fairy tale stuff. Alice in wonderland mixed with Peter Pan. wow
A few scoops on the way back to the boat, where we had turkey drums for dinner. roast spuds, creamed potatoes, veg,  yum,yum,yum,
Bunkzz zz  zzzz
 Wednesday 23rd Sept 2009
up early , tidied up the boat, tried sorting the smell in the aft loo, but with no success,
We put up the frame work for the bimini, but as we could not find a cover,we decided to get one made by the local man " Louis "
His charge for this was less than 400 euro's   I rang Oyster to see how much they would charge for the same thing, and was informed
it would be £1400 plus V.A.T.   thinks we got a good deal here locally..
Later we went to Matchico, for the afternoon, This is where the first settlers arrieved, and where the first Mass was celebrated.
We tried the whale mueseum, but it was closed
Back to the boat , where Collette cooked dinner and we had loads to drink ,as it was Terry and Colette's last night.
However Aileen and Colette managed to watch " Duchess " on the dvd / telly
Bunks. zzzzzz  
THURSDAY 24th September
04.00    Terrry and Collette got dressed and went by prearranged taxi to the airport, for thier 06.00 flight, except it had been cancelled, a pilot lightning strike.
It kind of upset their plans somewhat, the poor things, god these feckin unions, hell bent on disrupting as many people as possible for their own selfish ends.
So in the end they had to buy all new tickets, and no sign of the unions offering compensation or even a simple sorry.
Later Aileen and Stephen went ain the rent a clio to the jardine, tropical gardens at MONTE ,  the weather was not great but the gardens were something else,
especially the japeneese section, the best I ever saw by a long shot. all done on the side of a cliff. cascading water , Lovely red wooden bridges , 
ponds with Carp and goldfish the size of big salmon, lillies, pottery men,     oh,oh,oh, I wish I had this in my front garden.
We had a crap meal in Funchal before going to the english church for a 9pm musical evening.
Got back to the boat late , must say we are having a lot of trouble with the mailasail system.as slow as a wet week .
COMMENT :-   Madeira is so picturesque.  so lush and a lovely climate, the roads are amazing, and because of all the hills , there are lots of tunnels,
( in fact 77 in all ) and must make up about 40% of their road network, They are also high tunnels, unlike our JACK LYNCH tunnell, so one does not
feel cloustraphobic.  Some of the roads are so steep , that at times we thought the clio would flip over on us,
Guess what.   yeah. our health and saefty guy's would shut Medeira down tomorrow if they were sent out here.
The same as they would do with all the restaurants and hotels in europe..
And all this makes Irish buisness very expensive, THANKS BERTIE> you certainly made Ireland the most expensive country to do buisness in europe.. 
Enough of all that. for now