ATLANTIC ISLANDS Since leaving the European mainland I’ve visited the Madeira archipelago, the Canaries and the Cape Verdes. Porto Santo, Madeira The Madeira Archipelago is made up of several islands. Madeira itself is the biggest, two are uninhabited and kept as wildlife sanctuaries, and the fourth is Porto Santo, which I visited. Measuring only 11km
It’s one o’clock in the morning. The night is hot and utterly, utterly black. Somewhere over there is an island, the Ilha do Sal, but I can’t see it. The pilot book warns that the charts are inaccurate and the navigation lights usually don’t work. There’s no moon and no stars. It’s completely dark. In
28 September 2016 Day One Light airs were forecast for the foreseeable future but I felt the urge to be on my way so decided to leave nonetheless. I was expecting a slow and gentle passage but as I emerged from the land’s shelter I found the wind to be blowing at over twenty knots.
September 2016 Spain and Portugal After the anxiety that preceded crossing Biscay and the tough sailing the crossing itself entailed, the summer proceeded at a gentler pace as I meandered down the NW coast of Spain, in and out of the fjord-like rias, and then down the coast of Portugal. I was fortunate to
Wednesday 28 September 2016 Leaving Mainland Europe. There’s no wind at all here in Cascais and it’s roasting hot. Light airs are forecasted for the foreseeable future but I’m leaving today anyway, heading towards Madeira, a small island about 500 miles out into the Atlantic. I’ve not posted anything here for a while
Wednesday 10 Aug 2016 Sheltering in Esterio, Spain. Barry and I took our boats into the marina at Portosin which, sadly, turned out not to be a port of sin at all. The idea was to do marina type stuff (fill tanks, do laundry, that sort of thing) then get the bus to the
Tuesday 02 Aug 2016 A Runaway Boat, Muros, Spain. I’ve been at anchor just off the pleasant town of Muros in northwest Spain for a couple of days now, and I’m busy on deck with the endless maintenance a cruising boat needs when for some reason I glance up. There are half a dozen
Sunday 31 July 2016 Costa da Morte, Spain. Last week I sailed from A Coruña to Corme where I stayed for one night, then sailed on to Camarinas the next day. On both occasions the wind was mostly F4 out at sea but, on rounding the headland to enter the ria, picked up to 25
Saturday 23 July 2016 A Coruña, Spain. My house is in the south-east of England. There’s lots of old stuff there, indeed there’s a castle 500m from my back door and a Roman villa just down the road. So I’m not normally that impressed by old stuff I see elsewhere. There are exceptions though.
Monday 18 July 2016 Crossing the Bay of Biscay. Whether justifiably or otherwise, in my mind the crossing of the Bay of Biscay had assumed monumental proportions. One pilot book recommends taking on extra crew for the crossing. All of them agree that it’s tricky. One old salt I consulted in Falmouth who’s crossed