Friday August 25 I sailed from Porto Santo in direction of La Palma, Canary Islands. However, no wind what so ever, so I motored to Madeira instead and anchored in the Baia da Abra. One of the most beautiful unspoiled bays of Madeira on the north east part. Good way to start sailing again after 7 days Porto Santo. Pleasurable days but also stressful with repairs. Here in the baia I dived in 23 degrees seawater of marvelous cooling.
Next day I sailed one hour to the marina Quinta do Lorde. A marina part of a resort. Not really my thing, but the marina is very good and the anchor place a bit lively with waves. Being here also gave my the opportunity the spent an afternoon in Funchal, the capital of Madeira and next day to walk around the
Baia da Abra. A spectacular walk with great views. Of course, also the necessary exercise of four hours walk in 28 degrees sun. Nevertheless, a great walk.
However, I spent enough time in the madeira archipel, time to move on. The wind for La Palma, 280 miles, promised to be a bit low, so considerable motoring was foreseen. However, I motored only 5 hours out for the two days sailing. Not bad at all. Eventhough, sailing with a light winds feels a bit boring. During the day I spent most of the time inside the boat. Outside the sun was burning and it was not possible to stay in the sun for a few minutes. Inside the boat, with hatches open for a cool breeze it was doable. 27 degrees! My mind went around the sensibility of my planned adventure and I longed for home.
However, the nights where more interesting and much better to cope with. Of course it is much cooler. But also the routine is more explicit. I have to sleep but I also have to keep watch for other ships and changes in the weather. Same as during the day, but at night sleep comes more easely. So part of the night I sleep away in a rhythm of 30 minutes sleep, alarm, 30 minutes, alarm and this 24 hours a day! But also the night is very beautiful to see. The stars at sea look brighter than you ever can see in our industrialized world with all the lights. I could see the milky way. Somethings some clouds and moonlight would light the sky as in a fairytale. The sunset and sunrise are beautiful. Second best parts of the day.
Then, every time a miracle, land shows up at the horizon. La Palma at last. One of the most western islands of the Canaries and a good place for departure to Mindelo, Cape Verde. La Palma is not that touristic as is Gran Canaria or Tenerife. But I had my share of tourism, so good enough for me. It does feel very tropical, not just the temperature. La Palma looks a bit pale for sea, but behind the apartment buildings are the little old streets not too much tourist. I really enjoyed it.
However, little time is left for nice trips, I have to prepare for the biggest trip so far. 850 miles to Mindelo with the great reward being Vanessa, who will come to visit me there. But first I have to check and clean the boat, do clever shopping to last me at least those 8 days, and very important, do the paper work of clearing out of the European Community. Next stop will be Africa!