Porto Santo - The Friendly Chief Immigration Officer

Niord's Big Adventure
Tony Gratton
Sat 19 Aug 2023 13:31
Thursday 17/087/2023 Porto Santo
After a short lie-in we pump up the dinghy, and load the engine ready for our trip ashore. There is lots of manual reading by Tony as this is the first time we have started this engine ourselves, even though it is now nearly a year old. Rob and Claire do most of the work as Tony's chest is still painful. He didn't strap in on Monday night in the F9 while down in the galley filling a water bottle for Rob, and was thrown across the cabin to collide with the boathook mounted on the nav station bulkhead. The water bottle emptied its contents over our charts!
Ashore we deal with the formalities. First a visit to the Guardia Republica Nacional with boat papers and passports. After registration, we explain to the policeman that we need an entry stamp in our passports. "Why" he says, as we have technically not left Portugal even though we have been in international waters for most of the trip. "Look", he says, "I do not have a stamp!" We register with the marina, and go through the same performance. Eventually, we persuade them to call immigration, and a half-hour later we meet the Chief Immigration Officer. He is all smiles, and thinks that Rob is the skipper! He is so friendly. After stamping our passports, he gives us some restaurant recommendations, and even leaves us his phone number!
The harbour wall here is covered with yacht paintings, so after lunch we head into town for some paint, stopping off on the way for a large beer! We have green Sangria, and a welcome dinner at the Porto Santo Beach Club before heading back to Niord and turning in.