Quinta do Lorde, Madeira

Silver Bear
Ray Lawry
Tue 3 Nov 2009 14:48
Clive Collier joined us in Lisbon and we spent a quiet evening in the marina before setting off on a 3.5 day passage to Madeira. It took a while to remember what we learned in the classroom, but slowly we became familiar with the sextant as the prime source of navigation. After a lot of head scratching we could achieve accuracy plotting our position to within 3-4 miles of the true location. We could tell the true position by the instantaneous reading on the GPS, but that is giving in to technology.
Once in Madeira we took a bus ride in Funchal; a roller coaster ride at stupid speeds around hairpin bends that in places dropped away several hundreds of feet below. Madeira must have the greatest number of tunnels per mile of road anywhere, and the older ones are carved straight out of the rock. We also rented a car and had a good tour of the Island taking in the lush plant life in the many parks, driving up extremely steep roads through the treeline to the moorland like plateau's with marshy peatbogs either side of the raised road.
Clive volunteered to climb the mast to check out the rigging which revealed the need for some remedial work to stop the main halliard shaffing, a job for our new friend and all round useful contact, Victor who was able to sort out the problem with no fuss and at modest expense. The leaking stern gland was another matter and we had to have Silver Bear lifted out to replace it and the cutlass bearing. At least we had a very peaceful night in the hoist free from squeaking mooring lines or swell.
After a few nights we were able to get a berth in Funchal a relaxing place to chill and enjoy a coffee under the shade of the tree lined streets. Further visits to yet more English type country estates, most notably Quinta do Palheiro Ferreiro a sort of Killerton House in the sunshine.
Next stop Tenerife- a mere 2 days sail.