Persephone of London - SUNDAY 14TH OCTOBER - SATURDAY 21ST OCTOBER - MADEIRA
Today was the day we were going to leave Porto Santo and head south west the 25 nautical miles to Madeira. There was a good breeze and big waves and we had a fun sail - Karen had again managed to wrestle the wheel from FRED (Flippin' Ridiculous Electronic Device) and hand steer for the first couple of hours before in turn Nigel wrestled the wheel from Karen! We had decided that we would not go into the nearby marina for the first night or two but would drop anchor in Bay da Abra. What a beautiful setting! The bay was surrounded by high cliffs, which would offer us shelter from the strong northerlies. We dropped anchor and settled in for a pleasant evening and sat on deck watching the numerous walkers on the high cliffs above. read more...
Persephone of London - 12TH - 14TH SEPTEMBER - PORTO SANTO
On Friday evening we set off to take a mile long walk along the beach of golden sand (this beaches stretches along the southern shore for 4 miles) to explore the town of Vila Baleira. Not sure what to expect from this island, we were pleasantly surprised to find a charming town of white buildings, red roofs and palm trees. As usual, we stopped off in a local bar for a quick beer. The bar was close to an attractive white church with its colourful blue paintings on the outside walls. It was obvious something was about to happen as the bells of the church called the locals to worship. The church obviously filled up quite quickly as the people poured in from all directions and soon there was standing room only. read more...
Persephone of London - AWAY ON THE HIGH SEAS (REAL BLUE WATER SAILING) - 8th - 12TH OCTOBER
So Monday arrived and we were off at 3.15pm leaving behind the hustle and bustle and the consumerist Vilamoura. The planned passage to Madeira, via the Island of Porto Santo situated NE of Madeira, was 535 nautical miles and we estimated it would take about 3 ½ days which would actually be our longest passage since Biscay and certainly the longest trip we had done double handed. We downloaded a weather grib (an electronic weather forecast for you land lubbers) which can be read on our chart plotter and it forecast light winds throughout the passage but stronger and more favourable wind south of the rhumb line (direct route) where as north of the rhumb line the winds were going to be very light to negligible and variable in direction by. read more...
Persephone of London - Guardiana and Back 29th September
Safely tucked up in Vilamoura, we met up with Francis and Carol Brand, who spend a good deal of time here at their second home. Nigel has helped them with investment work for a number of years and we made a loose arrangement to meet up when we had reached the Algarve.Francis and Carol showed us the town and scenery around Vilamoura, before we all set off in the car down to explore the neighbouring town of Albufeira. We had a light lunch and then climbed the cliff above Albufeira old town to inspect the access channel and new marina which has opened there. We had been dissuaded from actually staying in the marina due to it's remote location and sketchy design etc, but all seemed well, looking down from above. This all seems to go to show that there is nothing quite like a first hand. read more...
Persephone of London - SUNDAY - TUESDAY 16TH - 19TH SEPTEMBER - LAGOS
This is the first really “touristy” place we have visited. The Marina is excellent, all facilities and good wifi connections. Karen managed a huge load of laundry on Sunday.There seems to be a large British expat community here and the bars around the marina are full of English voices, though we doubt that many of them are mariners of any sort.The old town is a delightful maze of whitewashed houses, originally defended by a huge bastion town wall from the 14th Century. But the town spilled over those confines a long time ago....Loads of little restaurants, a smart “ribiera” district, and a lot of “seafari” boats offering RIB rides to see dolphins. But somehow it all seems to fit, and the local people and food are equally delightful.There are some delightful, and quiet beaches. read more...