Ahoy there Boatbloggers ® and welcome back to another exciting episode in the life of the good ship Domini and her good looking crew.
In the last episode we left you on the coast of Portugal in a beautiful anchorage called Culatra, somewhere near Faro.
And much as we loved this little bit of the Caribbean in the middle of the Algarve, it was time to move on. Next port of call, Madeira – or more accurately Porto Santo which is a little island just to the North East of Madeira. It’s about 500 nautical miles from Culatra, so a bit of an ocean passage which took 3 or 4 days.
The weather was predicted to be good, but even so, it’s important to prepare properly for long trips…
and to wear a silly hat.
It was a pretty easy crossing with calm seas…
…and Homer’s clouds.
I’d like to say they are called that because of some literary reference to the epic Greek poet, but no. It’s because they look like the opening credits of The Simpsons.
Eventually we arrived at Porto Santo and anchored off the beach.
Intrepid explorers that we are, we set off to discover the island…
and as luck would have it, we soon came across a delightful little Caribbean Bar.
Though we wouldn’t want you thinking it’s all boozing and enjoying ourselves.
Even if it is.
It’s all very pretty…
But basically it’s just a great big lump sat somewhere off the Atlantic Ocean.
Jokes on a ten pound note please.
It was time to head off to Madeira, only about 30 miles away. There aren’t many anchorages in Madeira because it’s volcanic and the seabed tends to drop away very quickly, so we headed for a marina for the first time in months.
…and for a few days it was actually quite nice to not have to get into the dinghy to go anywhere.
Legend has it that the pattern in the rocks…
…was the inspiration for Munch’s famous painting, “The Spaniel.”
Madeira is famous for it’s hiking, so we donned our boots and set off into the unknown.
..but worth it for the views.
We discovered that it’s much easier to get up the mountains in a cable car.
To come down again, against all the advice, the Madeirans invented the sledge.
They didn’t seem to realise that sledges need snow.
But it’s all good fun.
The entries for this blog’s arty farty prize are “Cool Rocks,” by Lyn,
and “Cool Cactus,” by Lyn.
And the winner is…
So that’s Madeira M’dears.
Watch out for the next installment the Boatblog ®, as we head to The Canaries and get ready to cross the Atlantic.
We found this in a field somewhere outside Canet en Roussillon…
So we made an offer, and in the space of a few months the nice people at Catana turned it from this…
and then to this…
And finally to this…
It was bloody cold when we picked it up, but we still celebrated.
You’re meant to break the bottle on the side of the ship, but we didn’t want to put a dent in it so early on. Besides, why waste all that lovely French champagne?
But it’s not all just boozing and enjoying yourself. Well it is, but moving onto a boat is about the same moving into a house,
…except you have to walk the plank every time you bring something on board.
But it wasn’t long before we had everything Shipshape and Bristol Fashion, and we were off to sunnier climes…
First stop down to Barcelona, then Menorca and Mallorca, up to La Grande Motte and Toulon on the South coast of France, then back down to the Balearics, over to mainland Spain and following the coast to Gibraltar, through the Strait to Cadiz, before ending up on the Algarve coast.
Doesn’t she look great! (All together now) And the boat’s not bad either. Here we are moored up in Gibraltar.
Gib, as us sailors call it, has everything you need. Duty free fuel, duty free fags, a Morrisons selling black pudding, bacon and Melton Mowbray Pork Pies and all the other things you miss when you’re away for a long time.
What more could you want? Curry and Sushi in one place. Though it turns out it’s a bit difficult eating curry with chopsticks.
One of the great things about having a superyacht in the Med is that it turns out that you have a lot of friends. OK, so technically it might not be a superyacht, but we it’s pretty darn super. So we have had lot’s of visitors…
James & Emma
Nick & Shelagh
Paul & Selina
Jane & Ian
And of course – this bunch…
And Mr Nick Cursi came all the way from Cape Town to see us – but we didn’t get a picture. Oh no! You’re just going to have to come again Nick.
When Joe arrived he had come direct from a wedding, which is why he turned up half sailor, half usher.
…But we soon got him into the proper gear.
Rory taught us to windsurf
Joe even caught a fish…
…though Lyn doesn’t look too impressed. We were going to use it as bait to catch something bigger, but unfortunately Joe dropped the rod over the side. Doh! However, this was not the end of our fishing triumphs. One night, a wave broke over the trampoli…sorry – I mean the nets, and we caught a squid!
Though it was a bit whiffy by the time we found it.
It’s always good to have guests, as their help is invaluable when crewing the boat.
* Editor’s Note:-Simon is rather pleased with the picture of him and Ju by the dinghy, because he thinks it makes HIS stomach looks smaller than Ju’s. Our readers can rest assured that this is in fact nothing other than a trick of the light caused by a highly unusual camera angle. For those Boatbloggers® who wish to get a more accurate impression please scroll to Appendix A at the end of this article.
One of the things that has struck me as we have sailed down from France, is how many things you aren’t meant to do. There are little signs put up all over the place banning this that and the other, so for one blog, and one blog only, please welcome…
THE BOATBLOG® SIGN COLLECTION
No Dog Poo & No Stealing Trees
We’ve told you about that dog before
And you definitely mustn’t do this…
(That’s enough signs. Ed)
Ju thought it was time to get with the zeitgeist, and follow the fine example set by Ben and be a bit more vegetarian. It didn’t start well.
It’s nice to socialise, and enjoy a few quiet sundowners in the evening. Ju and Martin went to an All You Can Eat Argentinian Steak House. Unfortunately Martin thought it was an All You Can Drink Argentinian Steak House.
Ben struggles to reach his glass…
And Lyn enjoys a piscine of rosé.
But it’s not all just boozing and having fun. (Hmmmm. Ed)
There’s work to be done.
(Editor’s Note:- That’s Simon in the yellow shorts helping to put the bridle on. His stomach may be smaller, but who’s got the best bum? Answers to the usual address, and the first person with the correct answer gets to take the Captain out for dinner. )
Keeping fit is vital for the international sailor, so we have yoga…
This week’s blog competition is called, MATCH THE WALL. This is an advanced technique used by the Urban Warrior to blend into his or her surroundings.
And the winner is ……Ju. With his wonderfully garish orange and black combo. He’s not called The Chameleon for nothing.
His “sun-bleached” hair even matches the window frame. Splendid attention to detail. Well done Ju.
And now we come to the Arty Farty Prize. And this blog has a number of very strong entries.
“Misty Sunrise” by Lyn
“Sails” By Paul Miller
“Boat” by Ju
All excellent contenders, but the winner is…. Rory with “Spike Leaves.”
And in a new category called “Sailor’s Delight,” we show off some of the Red Sky At Nights we have seen – no filters used…
And this last one – just to prove that we do use an anchor ball.
And finally a random bunch of photos from our travels, in no particular order…
Africa Through The Mist
Cave boat – The Caves of Drac
Green Flash (For James)
The Red Duster
Cat in the Middle
Don’t like the look of those clouds…
A View From The Bridge
Adios for now amigos. And thanks to all our friends who came to visit us, (and let us use their photos)