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Portugal - Madeira

Date: 25/10/2008 to 02/2009
(all pictures are clickable)

I sailed from Tunisia to Portugal alone (except for my dog). The journey wasn't very comfortable, but we could sail the first 2 days. After that, the weather became unstable with many thunderstorms and that for 3 days in a row. I motorsailed a part of it, and was 'lucky' doing that as at a certain moment the wind very suddenly changed from 25kn (6Bft, about 45km/h) to 55kn (11Bft, about 100km/h) !! If I would have any sails up, I'm pretty sure I would have some serious damage !

But I also had nice views (if I remember correctly, it is the Sierra Nevada):

I've stayed the winter in the peaceful marina of Portimao. Good service, very friendly people and relatively reasonable prices (for catamarans). I also made good friends over there !

Porto Santo

After the winter, I decided to make a "last" ocean crossing, towards the Caribbean and Trinidad. My friend, who did sail with me on the Atlantic side of France and in the Med, would join me, together with her mother, from Madeira on. So I left Portugal half January, to sail to Porto Santo (about 450nm), the island above Madeira, and on which I've been in 2005. I remained there for 2 weeks. I've witnessed the departure of the second leg of the French Transquadra race: it's a trans-Atlantic race (solo or duo) for amateurs of 40 years and older, and the boats are between 8 and 12m long...


In Madeira, I stayed at the "Porto Desportivo de Calheta". It's a relatively recent harbor located on the SW coast of Madeira. The entry was a bit narrow for my boat, specially when there are incoming waves ! The scenery around the harbor is great.

When my friends arrived, we visited the island of course. I rediscovered this island. It has great views and my friend Sofie made beautiful pictures.

Views from Cabo Girao

Monte Palace tropical garden

The inevitable sledges of Funchal (historical tourist attraction, but fun) ! You have to do it at least once in your life ! It's sliding downhill. There is no directional devices and the braking, and course corrections, are done by the drivers with big tire rubber sole under their shoes ! Impressive !

A selection of pictures taken on Madeira...

The market of Funchal (capital of Madeira).

OK, OK, here are the "less serious" pictures. ;-) Knowing the crew, you would have expected these pictures...

The happy crew...

But before leaving Madeira and sail to the Canarian islands, a little bit of seriousness and preparation is required. NEVER underestimate the power of the sea...