Leg 7, 2001: Lisbon, Portugal; Madeira; Lanzarote, Canary Islands
October 22, 2001 0630hrs 29.09N, 14.27W Log: 49,316
Beam reaching at 5.5kts in 10 knots of NE wind, Baro: 1015
Lanzarote in the Canary Islands is 25 miles ahead, and we
are two days ahead of schedule as we were unable to stop for
long yesterday at the Salvage Islands. As we anticipate our fourth
island landfall we also have time to reflect on a very busy and
varied leg with a crew that is both jovial and harmonious.
Michael Campbell, 52 is
from the Seattle area, but his mother's family were boat builders
in the Azores who moved to Sausalito where they founded the famous
Nunes boatyard. Michael is president of NMTA, the trade association
that produces the Seattle Boat Show. Michael's wife Debbie, the
graphic artist that designed our new color ads was signed up
but wasn't able to join us on Leg 7.
Pam Rogers, 42 is a VP
with Hilton Hotels, looking after 3,000 employees in eight hotels
in eight states. She saw her daughter Amber off to college this
fall and she and
Dan Boney, 43 just got
married before joining the expedition. Attending our Weekend
Offshore Cruising Seminar in Seattle was one of their first dates.
Dan sells Sony equipment to television stations and has worn
out the Hallberg-Rassy 43 brochure, since he takes delivery of
the first 43 in the US (check it out in the Annapolis Boat Show)
next August. His intro to sailing was with his three brothers
and sisters and mom and dad on their Tartan 27. Pam and Dan live
in Raleigh, North Carolina and keep their Beneteau 36 in Oriental,
Michael Eden Walker, 53
is an MD from Ottawa who started and operates an urgent and family
care clinic with his wife Polly. They sail their Sirius 28 on
a nearby river, but Michael has been drooling over the HR 36
brochure on board.
Mark Allison, 48 was originally
an maritime solicitor from London but has recently been living
in Vancouver and is now in the process of moving to New York
City. Mark will fly home between Legs 7 & 8 to see his wife
Stephanie and check on renovations to their apartment before
rejoining us in the Canaries.
On October 11th we departed Cascais Marina, four hours after
Leg 7 expedition members joined us, hoping to avoid predicted
gale force headwinds if we left the following morning as originally
planned. Our 480 mile passage to Porto Santo (23 miles before
Madeira) provided us with a mixed bag of sailing conditions,
upwind, downwind and no wind. The visit of a small bird that
we were unable to identify, proved to be a highlight and the
tame little fellow hitched a ride for a day and night perched
below on the forepeak leecloth. Periodically it would fly away
from the boat for a few minutes, then come back below decks.
Our little bird visitor. Do you
know what sort of bird it is?
Suset landfall at Porto Santo.
We made landfall just before dark on October 14th and the
island looked rugged and exotic as we sailed past the windward
side. We tied to the inner breakwater of the tiny harbor and
in the morning were able to move into a marina slip. There were
30 or so yachts, all making their first Atlantic crossing. The
crews of several of the yachts followed the suggestion in the
RCC Atlantic Islands guide, leaving their yachts in the security
of Porto Santo Marina and taking the four hour ferry ride to
check out Madeira. They returned with stories of a fascinating
island and a harbor jammed with ships and yachts.
In Porto Santo, population 5,000, town is a 15 minute walk
away along the waterfront and was almost like a miniature version
of Cascais, with restaurants, fancy shops and construction. The
prime attraction of Porto Santo is the six miles of golden sand
beach, something lacking on Madeira, stretching along the south
shore from the marina in the east, town in the middle, to the
hotels in the west. Our three-day visit allowed time for teaching
and exploring and one afternoon Amanda and I toured the island
by taxi while Michael and Mark went cycling. We all agreed that
the scenery was rather sad as a major drought over the past 20
years has caused the island to become barren and dry with many
West view of Funchal Harbor-
On Wednesday, Oct 17th we had a rip-roaring close reach 43 miles
to Madeira. We were not surprised when the harbormaster motioned
that there was no room for us, indicating we should anchor outside
the marina breakwater but inside the main harbor-wall. For three
rolly nights, with 25 other yachts, we frequently awoke to the
sounds of ships of all sizes coming close by as the arrived and
departed from the harbor-wall.
Ashore Madeira is a cacophony of sounds, sights and smells.
Indoor-outdoor restaurants fringe the marina with men and women
in colorful local costume politely inviting you to try their
exotic displays of seafood and fruits. Charcoal smoke of the
chestnut roasters waft on the breezes, reminding us of the barbecue
trucks on Papeete's waterfront.
Funchal is a bustling port and the capital city of Madeira
with a population of 120,000 and a maze of ongoing concrete construction.
The people are a more laid back than in Lisbon, but this is one
busy city! Highlights are a vibrant and colorful three-story
public market, chocka with tropical flowers, fish, fruit and
vegetables, historic Madeira wineries dating to the 1600's and
of course, the Monte wicker toboggan ride, down the steepest
streets in Funchal. We had to do it u tacky, touristy u yes,
but what a blast! We rode the year-old Swiss-built cable car
from the waterfront, up thousands of feet into the clouds, then
hopped into a wicker basket on runners, controlled by two characters
dressed in whites and boater hats. Our drivers never stopped
talking and shouting (in Portuguese, to each other) as they guided
(ropes either side to pull the basket when the going was flat),
braked (rubber soled footwear) and steered (not too sure on this
one as we went sidewise headed toward the ditch a lot) us down
the mountain. It was all over so fast that I wanted to hike back
up the mountain and have another go, but we had lots more to
see! The botanical gardens were also a hit with all of us, offering
spectacular flower framed views of the city and harbor and a
few moments tranquility.
As the anchorage was exposed to wind, swells and errant ship
traffic we took turns standing anchor watch. The crew hired a
minivan and driver one-day to explore the 30 mile long island
and Amanda and I enjoyed a taxi tour the next day. We admired
deep green valleys clutching little villages with terraced vineyards
chiseled into the steep slopes, startled at waves crashing clean
across the coastal roads and enjoyed meeting friendly people
everywhere we went.
Pam who had been battling queasiness at sea decided to fly
home early from Madeira, so for the first time we can remember
we are down to only four expedition members.
I recently learned of this island, exactly halfway between Madeira
and the Canaries while reading RCC Atlantic Islands cruising
guide. I figured that any island so remote must be interesting
so we obtained written permission to visit from the conservation
department at the botanical gardens and purchased extra bread
and fruit for the two park officers stationed on the otherwise
deserted island. Saturday morning we all went for a run then
gathered treats from the bakeries and market before setting sail.
As we cleared the breakwater the wind kept increasing as we
kept reefing down until we were down to a double-reefed main
and a triple reefed headsail. With only 160 miles to go, we didn't
want to be arriving before dawn. We shouldn't have worried! Late
afternoon the winds started to die and we ended up having to
motor through the night.
Arriving we were daunted by a large 10' ocean swell that wrapped
the 1 x 1.5 mile island resulting in anchorage's that would be
too near breakers. We were happy to find a mooring buoy in the
bay of the officers house and landing, and over the VHF radio
they suggested we tie to it and see if the swells would subside
enough for us to go ashore. As the swells were BIG we didn't
want to risk crashing into the mooring while trying to rig a
line to it, so I jumped in the water and swam a long rope to
it. Once secured MT pitched and yawed in the swell. I started
sponging off MT's anti-foul paint, and was soon joined by the
rest of our crew.
After an hour, we decided the swell did not appear to be lessening,
so we said goodbye to the watchkeepers and set sail, for Lanzarote,
125 miles away. There was less than 3 kts of wind until 0100
this morning, and but since then we have been gliding along nicely
at 5-6 kts.
October 22, 2001 1145 28.55N, 14.03W Log: 49,344 Baro: 1017+
Beam reaching at 7.3 kts in 15kt NE winds
Lanzarote is 10 miles ahead and has been visible since sunrise
just after which we sailed past Royal Clipper, whose skipper
proudly told us over the radio that at 399', they are the largest
sailing ship in the world.
In the morning we practiced towing warp, setting the Galerider
drogue, and then Lifesling Overboard procedures. Next we'll take
sun sights and set the storm sails, and then we're ready to check
out Porto Calero.
October 26, 2001 2230 28.55N, 13.42W Log: 49,366 Temperature:
79 degrees F
Puerto Calero, Lanzarote Island, Canaries, 65 miles from Morocco,
Juan Jose and his father Pepe
Calero, owner and developer of Puerto Calero.
Wow, what a whirlwind. We were impressed by what we saw upon
tying up at Puerto Calero's reception dock. One man, Pepe Calero,
had a dream to build a first class marina, resort and seaside
village on a barren, dry, lava strewn coastline. Influenced by
Cesar Manrique, a unique artist, sculptor, architect and urban
planner Sr. Calero has created an amazing oasis surrounded by
hot, dry and dusty lava rock landscape. The marina has just been
doubled to 420 boats and is already full, even though many cruisers
preparing for their Atlantic crossing have not yet arrived. We
received a couple e-mails from cruisers on other islands saying
that all of the marinas in the Canaries are full or nearly so,
and some cruisers are heading to the Cape Verde Islands, 650
miles south of here, in search of less crowed cruising grounds.
Even though I had made reservations two months earlier, it became
obvious in talking with the harbormaster and marina manager that
we would have to wait until a 45'-50' boat left before they could
find a proper slip for us. As in many European marinas, it is
much easier to find moorage for a boat under 40'.
We have nearly a dozen colorful and very reasonable restaurants
to choose from along the side of the marina and our first night
dinner ashore was memorable. Early the next morning Michael C.
left, planning to use the extra day to visit his son in Belgium,
but Mark, Dan and Michael E-W stayed to the end, even helping
with our haulout. Yep, haulout! Our dripless stern seal had started
dripping enough that the bilge pump was going on every hour and
our Hempel's bottom paint was growing grass at the waterline
within three days of being sponged clean.
Mahina Tiare's Lauzarote 18 hour
At Varadero (boatyard) Puerto Calero we found a 90 ton travelift
and a eager crew who would fit us into their schedule at a very
fair price of $540US for haulout, pressure wash and paint the
bottom, including materials. They were short on cradles large
enough for Mahina Tiare, so they agreed let us rest in the slings
overnight, re-launching yesterday morning. Everything went smoothly
and while the guys painted, Amanda and I greased the max prop
and rudder and replaced the shaft seal.
Queco Gonzalez and his first-class
boatyard crew of Varadero Puerto Calero.
Yesterday a slip large enough for Mahina Tiare became available
and we went from the boatyard into clean the boat and get ready
to leave mode as for the first time in 12 years we are taking
a two-week break in the middle of our season. This will be a
chance to see friends in Friday Harbor, catch up on the office
front and for Amanda to attend ballet class for a few days.
We've been working hard getting MT prepared for our upcoming
Atlantic crossing and have seen to maintenance on the furler,
winches and engine. This afternoon we ventured out of the marina
for the first time, to a huge shopping center 10 minutes away.
We found first-class quality foods at some of the most reasonable
prices we've ever seen. We stocked up on everything but fresh
and frozen foods, and our Leg 8 crew will eat well as we cross