33:03.674N 16:18.791W Sun 23rd Jun 2019. 322nm 2 days 6.5 hrs.
We returned to the boat in Arrecife (on Lanzarote) on Tuesday, very happy to be back after a longer than expected trip to the UK & France to be with the kids. The winds and rain whilst we were away had covered the boat with red Saharan dust which took some washing off (and still lingers on ropes & rigging), plus we seem to have sprung a fresh water leak resulting in gallons sloshing around the bilges. D spent a day scraping muck off the prop & hull to ensure good boat speed and we seized the first reasonable wind forecast to head off to Porto Santo, Madeira’s smaller partner.
We have not been looking forward to the whole voyage back towards the Med because it inevitably means a lot of upwind sailing in open ocean conditions. The 1st 24 hrs were about as bad as we dreaded with the boat heeled over at 25 degrees or more and a fair bit of bashing & bruising. To make matters worse, the fresh water problem was still with us and we found water sloshing out over the floorboards. More bruises were encountered in the process of pumping it all dry! Skipper tried a short term repair to a possible offending part which did appear to stop the problem, but re-installing the part since has not made the problem return, so we are still puzzled. The second day’s sailing was much better; still upwind but lighter winds and flatter seas allowing Goldcrest to show off her speed and comfort.
We quite fancied staying here in Porto Santo for a week or so as we like it – it has many of the best attributes of a Caribbean island with none of the drawbacks. However it looks like there is a short weather window allowing a less than fully upwind passage onwards if we leave no later than the 27th. As this passage plan takes us past the entrance to Tangier we are currently thinking we may stop off in Morocco for a while en route back into the Med. So we plan to leave on Thursday morning to arrive in Tangier Sunday night/Monday morning.