Mon 10 Nov 2008 17:42

Position 32:44.488N 016:42.718W

Monday  November 10th


Wind E Force 6

Sea State

Visibility Good

Heading T°


Speed Kts


Our anniversary has crept up un us. Neither of us can believe it’s a year already since our last party at Zetland. A lot has happened this year


We have decided to leave the boat here and go to Funchal for the night.

We got a lift with the marina shuttle bus driven by a lunatic who doesn’t seem to understand centre of gravity.

The road network is fantastic here and we experience interesting juxtapositioning of transport. Driving through a tunnel, the only light to be seen is the exit. This is suddenly and momentarily blocked in its entirety by a passenger jet in flight. I struggled to see how this could be possible until emerging from the tunnel realise that we were travelling perpendicular to a runway which hangs from the cliff supported by gigantic concrete stilts. As we emerge from the tunnel the road veers sharply right bring us up parallel and level with the runway where the plane is just touching down.


In our hotel we take the elevator to the seventh floor. As the lift door opens we can see a taxi passing the corridor window, a little unexpected. So we are in 718 looking down 7 floors on the pool, on the other side of the hall is the main road leading west from Funchal.


This is a busy town. A lot of tourists, ex pats, tattoos and a newspaper called “Brits in Madeira”.

There are three cruise ships in the harbour and the sun has come out to wish us a happy anniversary. The hotel is a bit disappointing. They have all the ‘mod cons’ from the time the abbreviation  was given life.


Ping pong is available and I am nervous about asking for wireless in case I am given a transistor radio the size of an American’s suitcase to carry to the 7th floor. This is a 70’s hotel at its best and I am sure that there is a telex machine somewhere behind the reception desk. The evening entertainment: Two musicians, one with a 3 tiered machine that can bang out anything from church choir to cello, the second plays guitar shyly. His input could easily be replaced with the touch of a button so one has to assume he owns the van.


We decided to visit the infamous Reids Palace Hotel, just 10 minutes walk from us. This is a real institution with photographs of Churchill’s visits on the walls beside old advertisements for the hotel offering bathing all day, music during bathing hours, a lift to the bathing area. They also catered for hammock travelers. These people travelled in a type of comfortable stretcher which was bourne by two of two of ones men servants. Presumably there were others to carry the luggage.


After two glasses of Madeira wine we decided to dine in their Italian restaurant, the Cipriani, partly because we had visited the Cipriani (hotel) in Venice on our honeymoon and Reids reminded us of that in some way.


We entered the restaurant and were met by a wall of managers, I felt I should take a free kick and took some steps backwards but didn’t have the balls. The meal was disappointing and we let them know. I should have taken that free. Its just that when you go to somewhere expensive you expect it to be good. We eat on board or in tiny village restaurants most of the time often having dinner for two with drinks for a lot less than 20 Euro and thoroughly enjoy it most of the time because we have managed to find something interesting and it is regularly better than expected. Here though our expectations were built up to a by 40 Euro main courses.







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