Lovely Madeira again

andromeda of plymouth
Susan and Andrew Wilson
Fri 24 Sep 2010 19:26
We made it......we must admit that for a few days we thought we were
destined to only go out and then return to where we had just left but
having successfully left Santa Maria for the 3rd time (2nd time this trip)
and being able to continue on, we heaved a big sigh of relief when we
reached Madeira. It was so nice to tie up again and be greeted and
welcomed back so enthusiastically by everyone, all keen to ask what sort
of summer we had had. Of course as you know we had lots to tell.

The Marina this time is much busier with a good smattering of boats flying
their ARC flags. We have met a couple of them and intend to do the rounds
once our jobs are finished and it is going to be fascinating to hear other
folks’ stories.

We have once again caught up with Lesley and Andy on Kodiak who are
enjoying the freedom of the sea now that their new engine is showing its
paces and they no longer have the worry of whether it will start. They
have been here for the last 3 days but have left today to anchor off
Machico before heading for Selvagen Islands and then Grasciosa – one of
the Canaries. We may catch up with them in Grasciosa if we stop, if not
they are also going to Rubicon, Lanzarote in October when we will be there
so time for yet another farewell drink.

The trip from Santa Maria was very different to our other voyages as for
the first 2 days we had the motor on as the wind was so light and right on
the nose. Fortunately on the 3rd day as forecast it changed direction and
filled in very nicely and we were able to get the sails up and filled and
started belting along to record our 2nd best day of 146 miles, it was so
good. No slamming into waves, just cruising through the blue, sparkling
water keeping an eye out for wild life. We still haven’t seen any whales
but we had a great visit from a big pod of dolphins that played in the bow
wave for nearly an hour and we also saw 3 turtles making their stately way
through the ocean. We had to take a bit of a diversion as we came in
sight of Madeira on the last night at sea. We came across a huge area
with lots of fishing nets etc, marked by flashing strobe lights. If it had
been daylight we would have been able to see whether there were any
surface floats around but it was almost pitch dark with a bit of starlight
as for this trip we had only the slip of a moon for an hour or so before
it disappeared altogether, this meant an hour of making our way from one
light to another until we were clear. With clear nights however we have
had some spectacular views of the milky- way curving across the sky above
the mast, so many stars.

Here in Madeira, no surprise, we have more things to do and sort out. Our
new wind generator caught up with us today and has been assembled ready to
put up on its mast when the wind has dropped a bit. We have had a new
regulator fitted to the alternator by a very nice man and Susan is
planning a big shop at the supermarket for supplies for the big trip.
Apparently it’s cheaper here than in the Canaries so Susan is going to
make the most of the opportunity. It will also give us time to find homes
for everything and still have bunks available for our extra crew (keep
your fingers crossed). We are thinking of hiring a car again and seeing a
bit more of the island but haven’t decided yet. We are looking forward to
the festival here this weekend and catching up with Catia when she returns
from her honeymoon.

So our current plans are to head for Lanzarote sometime next week if a
suitable weather window presents itself’s
getting so exciting.

more in due course,

Susan and Andrew
s/v Andromeda of Plymouth