We can't always sail from a to b. Sometimes the
wind has taken a leave of absence; it's coming from the wrong direction or it's
just too feeble. Every now and then the various factors come together and
produce a really classic sail. Today, dear readers, is both now and then. The
wind has been blowing between 15 and 20 knots most of the afternoon from a point
exactly on our port beam (90 degrees to our direction of travel). This is the
point of sail that Summer Song loves best and despite funny, choppy little seas,
she's been surging along at about 7 knots for four hours now.
That may not sound like much, but in boat terms,
that's as good as it gets. Imagine averaging 40 miles an hour on a road bike,
and you have an idea of how this feels. The Self steering windvane on the stern
is doing a beautiful job of keeping us pointing the right way and there haven't
been any snoozing whales or other navigational hazards... so far.
It is 250 miles from Madeira to Tenerife, with only
the desolate Salvage Islands in between. If we keep going at this speed, we
should see them midway through tomorrow afternoon - ideal for a quick stop and a
swim. It's sad not to have seen more of Madeira - we'd been planning to explore
tomorrow and Tuesday - but I have a feeling we'll be back here at some point in
The only concern is our lack of sleep from last
night. After an excellent feast of roasted goat, we got back to the marina, to
find the place had been overrun by Portuguese people capering about to the
strains of some local crooner. Even Alex and I succumbed to a quick Foxtrot. At
about midnight this relatively inoffensive music was replaced by a bilious mix
of 1990s house and Europop which kept going until 4am. There were quite a few
weary looking yotties wandering around this morning.
Matters weren't improved by the need to change our
engine oil this morning, which is quite a time consuming manoeuvre. But when the
time to leave did at last arrive, we put in a pretty awesome display of boat
handlin' (in stark contrast to our departure from Porto Santo) to impress the
tourists milling around the esplanade.