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Next Step - Cascais to Madeira

Saturday 31st August, overnight the wind speed reduced considerably, Jeremy had to radio a ship at about 0400 as it appeared on AIS that they were going to pass very close so wanted to make sure that they had seen us. After breakfast we got out the fishing tackle and started fishing for another tuna. Later in the day the breeze got up and our average speed increased to around 6 knots.
It stayed sunny for most of the day which made it very pleasant, but unfortunately it was clearly not good weather for catching a fish as we did not get a single bite…! In the evening Hanna made an excellent supper and we all slotted back in to the watch pattern for our second night at sea.

Sunday 1st September, The night was pretty uneventful we had several cargo ships around. The wind became quite variable so it was necessary to go slightly off our intended course to keep the sails full. In the lighter wind the sails started to flop around due the sea swell which did get a bit annoying. Today we tried again at some fishing with both the rod and a doughnut arrangement without much success.

To avoid the genoa flopping around in the lighter wind we rigged up the spinnaker pole to hold it out and reduce wear and tear on the sail and rig. At 1600 we hit the 1,500 nautical miles since our departure… hoorah! Nicole cooked a great supper before we went back into our overnight watch pattern. The weather forecast on Predictwind was favourable so it looked like we would get into Funchal, Madeira a day earlier than expected (I will get out of cooking a supper again hehe!).

Monday 2nd September, Overnight the wind continued to head us off in the wrong direction. Thankfully, by daybreak we had gybed and started to head further south towards Porto Santo one of the islands to the east of Madeira. A bit of a cloudy day today and the threat of some rain showers making the visibility less than perfect. We had a number of ships go past us which according to AIS were heading for Portugal, as well as a few local fishing boats. We sailed past the islands of Porto Santo and Ilhas Desertas. The wind was getting very light again so it was necessary to start the engine to ensure that we got into Funchal before the marina office closed.

By 1815 we had arrived off Funchal Marina in Madeira. We had to wait just outside the harbour wall for a bit to allow a large cruise ship to leave the harbour. At 1840 we were tied up alongside the wall inside the marina. Whilst the crew tidied up the ropes and washed the salt of the boat, I went off to fill in the necessary immigration and port papers with the Policia and marina office. Once all the formalities were completed, we could settle down for a beer and decide on where we would like to go for our first supper in Madeira.

We wandered the bustling streets of Funchal for a bit and eventually found a great café for supper. During the meal we planned out the next couple of days of touring the Island and also decided that maybe we would stay in Madeira for a bit longer than planned before heading off to our final destination of Las Palmas, Grand Canaria.

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