5 days and 6 nights – that is how long it took to get here… I started with the outgoing tide on Saturday (around 17:30) The forecast was for the wind to shift slowly from SW to NW. I motored due west and at 2am, I was hit by a rain squall and then the wind shifted quickly!
I made good speed and around 5am, I passed the route from Gibraltar strait to cape st Vincent. It was like passing a highway, I had to stop and let a big ship pass before I crossed! At 9am, I was here:
The next day came with continued good wind (around N 10-12 m/s) and I sped on. During the night, I felt the smell of fish, but since there was a ship close by, I thought it was from there. The next day I found this in the cockpit:
My first flying fish! It was some 20 cm long. It had been laying there since the night before and was stiff, so I threw it overboard….
On the morning, I was here:
I got very seasick, so the first two days, I ate nothing, just drank water and rested in my bunk. Every time I hade to go up and fix something on deck, I threw up afterwards – terrible!
The third day came with less wind and calmer sea (yes, the 2 m swell was there, but that only makes you go up and down, slowly. I did not feel anything from this, only the difficulties to see ships, since they dissapear behind the swells!). The wind died down and I motored most of the day. When the wind came back in the evening, it was dead on the nose! I tacked through the night… (at 9am I was here:)
…and all day against this SW 10-12 m/s. The waves built up during the day, so I made less and less progress. Finally late evening, the wind died down, and I could start going towards the goal again.
In the morning, there was a weak wind from N, so I sailed on. I could see that I would not reach Porto Santo before dark, so I took it easy, planning to wait the night outside the port. When I had some 40 NM left, I started to look at the horizon. But not until after lunch, when I was around 30-35NM from the island, it suddely appeared:
I tried to lower my speed to arrive the next moring, but a little after midnight, I was outside the island. The wind turned to SW, so I stayed on the east side. I let the boat drift and slept. 4 hours drifting one way, the 3 hours drifing the other way. By 6:30 I was up and headed round the corner towards the harbour. I came into the harbour when the sun had come up and was waved in to a place on the pontoons.
I was expecting a lot of boats in the harbour, but, hey – where IS everybody? There is only 4 of us here…
Many people have painted their yacht name on the harbour wall, much like in Horta on the Azores. I saw many Swedish names, some of which I know from before. I will need to do something similar too!
Madeira have no beaches, but Porto Santo has a beach, 8 km long!