Land Ahoy!

Mina2 in the Caribbean - Where's The Ice Gone?
Tim Barker
Mon 12 Oct 2009 06:49

Porto Santo anchorage position: 33:03.594N 016:19.332W

12 October 2010, 0600 hrs


Well, we have arrived, but not in Madeira! Yesterday, I told you that my ultra-sophisticated Whispergen generator had packed up so for that and other reasons we decided to anchor off Porto Santo about 30 miles from Madeira. A spectacular landfall, Porto Santo is a tiny volcanic island almost as high as it is wide. We arrived in the anchorage about 1730 yesterday afternoon, having sailed the entire way for almost exactly three days covering a little under 460 miles.



Arriving at Porto Santo after three days and nights sailing


There were three other boats in the anchorage, two of which had been in the Sopromar yard with me in Lagos, so fixing the generator had to take second place to drinks with new friends Brian and Sandy who rowed over to greet us.


With the socialising over, I sent a briefing email to the technician who had serviced the Whispergen last week but given it was Sunday it was hardly surprising I couldn’t raise him on his mobile. Instead, I contacted the Whipergen headquarters in New Zealand who immediately responded by phoning me and talking me through the problem, identifying the likely source and fixing it. It seems that a cable may not have been properly plugged in. A test run and bingo, it looks like we are back in action again! I cannot tell you what a relief this is as the prospect of having to run the noisy main engine for 5 hours every day for the next six months didn’t bear thinking about. Anyway, I’ll be testing the Whispergen over the next few days to make sure we have got rid of the gremlins before we head off to places where communication ain’t so good.


After a pretty rolly night in the anchorage, we are just about to head off for the remaining 30 miles to Madeira.