28. October 2012 · Comments Off on Arquipeligo da Madiera: Passage to Madeira- Mad Dogs and English Men · Categories: Posts

Have you ever heard the saying ‘only mad dogs and English men go out in the noon day sun’  well our trip from Porto Santo was one of those times we should have stayed ‘in doors’.


The forecaste was for strong winds and 3m waves, but there was no wind forecaste for the following day.  We have not got the money to motor every where, so we hoped it would be a fast passage.


We left the wonderful rock and beaches of Porto Santo for Madeira in the late morning and headed out into the bay.  The waves were small in the protection of the island and we were able to race along at 7-8 nm with the main reefed (made smaller) and the foresail double reefed.  The high volcanic peaks of Madeira could be seen in the distance.


By noon we were clear of the islands protection and out in the full force of the Atlantic swell and wind.  We were still making good speed, but now 3m waves were hitting the boat on the beam (side of the boat).  A couple of bigger ones nocked the boat over enough to dip the foresail in the water.  Spirit of Argo is a good heavy boat and she kept her course and barrelled through the waves towards Madeira.


As usual it is the human/dog element that gives up first on rough passages.  I am afraid I was sea sick for the first time.  Unlike the humans, I did not get it over the side of the boat, and instead filled the cockpit floor.  Luckly I had the humans to clean up after me, but I felt very sorry for myself.


I’m fine honest. Just leave me here to die!

It was a fast passage and within 3 hours we were in the lee of Madeira and the waves eased.   We ran into another boat we knew and they were nice enough to take some pictures of us.

Spirit of Argo with the Madeiran coastline in the background


Spirit of Argo reefed, but in calmer waters

‘Tiscala’ followed a route from England very similar to us and are off to the Canaries to join the ARC.  You can catch their adventures on magneticdeviation.wordpress.com


This ‘mad dog’was very happy to make land fall with my ‘English men’ on the South Eastern end of the Island at the Marina ‘Quinta do Lorde’.


Approaching Madeira from the East


View of the South of the Island from the boat. The capitol city Funchal in the distance.



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