Well, its really the Canical fiesta – one of the last
places in Europe to give up whaling and where much
of the sea action for John Huston’s ’56 version of “Moby Dick”
was filmed. Whaling was banned in 1981 but most of the elders of the town
made their living from life on board “Sao Jose”, the last of the
whaling ships to work out of the port. Its still a thriving fishing port
and the younger generation now make their living fishing for the Madeiran scabbard
fish (evil looking blighter, but meant to taste very sweet), or the bigger
trawlers which go further a field fishing for tuna for export to mainland
Anyway history lesson over; we waited and waited – the
anticipated departure time of the fleet came and went and two hours later we
saw them leaving Canical and on their way to us. A big fleet of about 50
boats and many people eventually arrived in the bay. The pictures show
our small jetty and the biggest of the fleet arriving at the dock, disgorging
the band and many others who were walking up the hill to the church at the top.
The Madonna also travelled in the escort and was blessed once they had all got
their puff back – it’s a big hill!
We chose the moment to take the rib across to Canical,
believing parking would be a doddle. The journey across was a bit wet and
swellie, but we got there in time for a couple of beers and a rather large
steak kebab. The sides of beef hanging from the many stalls had to be
seen to be believed, anyway you will have to use your imagination as I wisely
decided not to risk the camera on this trip. By the time we set off back,
the fleet had returned, the Madonna transported to her resting place in the
church and the serious stuff was about to begin. We made our escape with
a rapid and very wet tip back to the seclusion of our marina. The
fireworks sparkled and the party continues today. We will leave
them to it, we’ve a passage to plan and decks to be swabbed. Moving
on to Lanzarote tomorrow, should take a couple of days.
Mood pictures from the fiesta:
got the windward side of the trip back!