Jetstream Chronicles - Part 2
Having spent a good few days in Porto Santo, it was time to move on to Madeira and a new island adventure. We had a good sail across in 15-20kts of wind in mostly blue skies and glorious sunshine and made Funchal after about 8 hours sailing. As we closed on Madeira we heard Mike and Jeanette from Dutch Link hailing Quinta da Lorde Marina, but despite calling them on the VHF they were unable to hear us.
Although we were expected in Funchal, which is a small and very popular marina almost in the centre of Funchal, it took some 45 minutes before we could get in and berthed, stern to (or med mooring as its often known), but in we finally were. A brief exploration of the town before a late dinner saw us fairly early to bed.
We did manage to catch up with Mike and Jeanette and had a good yarn and fine lunch. This was after a lengthy and leisurely exploration of the wider Funchal town on a quiet Sunday which was enlivened when we came across a street with painted front doors, all different, and a rather interesting art gallery – wholly unexpected and something we hadn’t seen referenced anywhere in the Madeira literature. Many pictures of the front doors are on the Facebook page, some more will be posted on the blog in due course. The street was also full of small interesting restaurants as well – a great meander and the art gallery had some very interesting and stunning original works of art, though the building itself seemed a bit rickety. All in all a fine end to a fine day.
The next day saw us heading to the NW coast in a hire car – an interesting journey through the tunnels, steep gradients and small villages. We dropped into Culheta, a marina to the west of an interesting journey through the Funchal to see whether it was viable for a yacht of Jetstream’s size – it appeared to be, but facilities seemed to be geared towards local craft, rather than transient yachties. The next day saw us head east to see Quinta do Lorde, and a cup of tea with Mike and Jeanette, and good look round. It’s certainly changed a bit since last we were here with more apartments completed, though the marina itself was quite empty. After a fine picnic lunch overlooking the Islas de Desertas, we headed to the north coast and then back to Funchal. Great days with fine weather over the mountains.
The weather for an early departure was not great, so we decided to stay over the weekend and set off early next week and head for Santa Maria. As it happens the marina is closed over the weekend for the “Festival of the Altantic”, which includes music and fireworks – and were in the middle of it – not bad really. So we decided to do one of the bus tours around Funchal and the surrounding area, including the cliffs near Camara de Lobos, the second highest vertical sea cliff faces in the world at some 386 metres. There is also a glass floor viewing point allowing views of the coast the very same 386 metres straight down, as in vertical – not Susan’s favourite pastime. But she did walk across it after some hesitation – there are some photo’s as well – she had a bit of chocolate cake and some banana cake to rectify her nervousness afterwards.
Saturday evening saw the first of the months fireworks displays. For four weekends in June the city hosts contenders for the big New Years Eve fireworks display, which is apparently something to behold. Saturdays display was pretty good but the link to the music was not all it could be – alas we won’t be here for the next three, but if you are in Madeira for New Year’s Eve, you can be sure of a very impressive display.
Sunday was spent on prep time for the Azores trip, taking on water and fuel and other essential provisions for the 4 day trip. Sunday afternoon there were amazing smells coming from the galley as we each prepared a meal for the freezer. Andrew did a lovely pork curry, Susan - beef bourguignon, Jackie - cottage pie and Paul - bolognaise, during which we had a surprise visit from Patrick from Rih Malti who had sailed here from Alberfeira and was berthed in Culheta funny enough but reported it was a bit of a squeeze and quite rolly. Once all the cooking was done we then of course had to decide what to have for tea and leaving all the meals to cool down we went to the little cafe on the marina, where we had been getting the wifi from, and had a nice little supper before heading for bed ready for an earlyish start in the morning.
We have, once again, thoroughly enjoyed our trip here and Madeira continues to be a wonderful island – amazing scenery and lovely people. We look forward to the next visit! Hopefully some of the pictures will give a flavour of the place.
More in due course.......
Andrew and Susan, Jackie and Paul,
Jetstream of Belfast