Panama City

Hello again Boatblog® Fans,

And here we are in Panama City – Crossroads to the world.

Ju  Lyn 2

Not only did our American friends build a canal through the jungle, but they built another Miami here as well.

City In A Jungle

Complete with fabulous restaurants…

Dinner in the Old Town

Here we are with the crews of Cuvee & Kari.

And cool graffiti.

Graffiti 1

We trekked deep into the jungle to meet the Embera Indians, using nothing other than dug out canoes.

Chagress River Selfie

The Embera live about an hour’s canoe ride up the Chagres River in virgin jungle.

Chagress River 1

It was completely unspoilt. There was nothing to hear except the chatter of the tropical birds, the howling of the howler monkeys, and the gentle swish of the traditional Suzuki 4 stroke.

Traditional Outboard 2

When we arrived at the village we were greeted by the band.

The band

Served lunch in banana leaves,

 

Lunch in banana Leaves

and had the opportunity to buy traditional artefacts.

Monkey Masks

Ju was very pleased with his tattoo.

Ju tattoo 2

The Embera build their house on stilts to cope with the flooding that happens on a pretty regular basis.

Stairs

Perhaps they should try that in Tewkesbury.

Then it was back down the river…

Chagress River 4

…in time to get the boat prepared for our trip to the Las Perlas islands where we are writing this now.

IMG 4130

Though of course you can’t visit Panama and not buy a Panama Hat!

Panama Hat

Just time for some arty farty photos…

Drum

DRUM

Coconuts

& COCONUTS

and then it’s off to The Galapagos.

To The Pacific & Beyond!

Ju & Lyn

 

The Panama Canal

…or the “Canal de Panama” as they call it over here.

Panama Canal 1

Hello again Boatblog® Fans,

We knew we met be getting close to the Panama Canal when we looked at our plotter.Panama Ships 2

Aaaaaah. All those big green things are ships. And that’s a lot of ships. But even seeing it on the plotter doesn’t quite prepare you for when you arrive.

Panama Shipping 6

There’s hundreds of them. It’s like Cowes Week but with giant container vessels instead of yachts. We managed to dodge them all, even though we had a stowaway on board.

Panama Seabird

Soon we were safely moored up in Shelter Bay Marina on the Caribbean side of the canal. Shelter Bay claims to be the safest marina in the Caribbean, but these things are all relative. They don’t allow you to swim in the marina because of the crocodiles. Crocodiles! I kid you not. We didn’t actually see any, but they look just like logs, which is worrying because you often see logs floating in marinas.

So now it was just a question of waiting for our turn to go through the canal itself. We kept on getting delayed because there has been a lack of rainfall in Panama and the locks are low on water. This means that they don’t want to waste a ‘lockage,’ with all the water that uses up, on a few tiny yachts. So instead of going through together as a fleet which is what normally happens, we would have to go through in a ‘nest’ of three boats tied together, and one very big ship.

The Canal Authorities also insist that you have at least five people on board to transition the canal, so we were very lucky that the crew of Cavatina agreed to join us.

Crew

Thank you Cavatina.

At last we got the go-ahead. We would enter the first lock at 2045 (quarter to nine in the evening for you landlubbers). Which was great, except that it meant that we would be going through in the dark.

You and Island

And because we were a catamaran, we would be the middle boat of the nest of three. This was bad in that it meant we were responsible for all the manoeuvring, and good because it meant if we did crash at least it wasn’t our boat that would get all mangled.

Going into lock

It’s like having a giant fender on either side of us, though I’m not sure that’s how the other boats saw it. You don’t want to be tied up  next to a boat full of angry sailors because you’ve just smashed their boat into the wall, so you do have to concentrate.

Cookies

Sorry – wrong photo. That was Ju eating cookies. This is Ju concentrating.

Helm

Then they close the doors,

Doors closing

…let the water in, and before you know it you are up at the top.

Top of the lock

And ready to drive into the next lock.

View from the helm

Eventually we got through the first of the three locks which take you up to the Gatun Lake where we moored up for the night onto one of the giant mooring balls. They were really hard to tie up to as they are really made for much bigger boats so Lyn had to jump over the side to attach all the ropes.

Lyn on Mooring Ball 2

Which is quite scary when it is rolling about and one false step and you are in the crocodile infested lake. (Ju forgot to mention the crocodiles until Lyn got back.)

We got up early next morning to cross the lake.

Gatun Lake Sunrise

It’s a big lake so it took about five hours to get to the next set of locks which take you back down to sea level. For some reason, this time they decided that we should go into the lock before the ship. At first this didn’t seem so bad…

Big Boat 4

But then it got closer…

Big Boat 3

And closer…

Big Boat 2

And closer…

Big Boat 1

It was quite a relief when it actually stopped.

At last we arrived at Miraflores, which are the last two locks.

IMG 3917

You go down…

Line Handling 2

And down…

LH Going Down

Then they start to open the doors…

Door opens Pacific

And you get your first view of The Pacific!

Door opens pacific 2

First you see the Bridge of the Americas in the distance…

Bridge of US

which you go under…

LH Bridge of the Americas 2

And then you see the skyline of Panama City.

Panama City

Woo woo woo!

Just time for a couple of Arty Farty photos, the first is called “Crane.”

LH Sunset Crane

And the second is called “Train.”

Sunset Gatun Lake

To The Pacific and Beyond!

Ju & Lyn

Santa Marta to The San Blas…

Hola otra vez Boatbloggers®.

Columbia was fantastic. There were rivers to swim in…

River Swim 1 

Coffee to drink,

Coffee bags

Fresh pineapple,

Pineapple

and some pretty serious spiders.

Spider 2

But it’s not all fun and games. We had a few repairs to sort out from our crossing from Grenada which was pretty rough.

Chafe

Unfortunately, on our last day we were a bit ill, and couldn’t leave the heads*, let alone the marina. So we were a day late starting the next leg.

*that’s toilets for you landlubbers.

And while we were sorry to be leaving Columbia…

Santa Marta  bye bye

we were excited about our next stop – The San Blas Islands.

These are a group of nearly 400 islands, just off the Panama coast. If you imagine a typical tropical island, with turquoise waters and silver sands and palm trees, that is the San Blas.

San Blas 2 2

They are mostly uninhabited, but a few are home to the Kuna Indians,

Lionel 2

who live pretty much as they have done for centuries, fishing and harvesting coconuts which they sell on the mainland.

It really is a little bit of paradise.

Lagoon Ju Swim

Porvenir is the capital, where you check in at immigration.

Porvenir Immigration

and if you fancy a night off the boat you can always check in to the hotel.

Porvenir 2

go to the museum,

Porvenir Museum 2

buy some molas,

Molas

or just enjoy the view.

San Blas3

It’s really very nice.

Lagoon 1

And I think we can all agree that Ju is looking pretty ripped.

Lagoon  Ju ripped

Though he can’t hold that pose for long.

Just time for this week’s arty farty competition.

Lyn’s entry is Santa Marta Flowers

Flowers 1

and Columbian Coffee Corrugations

Corrugations 1

And the winer is “Corrugations.” Well done Lyn.

Just time for a gratuitous picture of a squall.

Squall 3

and a paradise island.

San Blas 5

Next stop – The Panama Canal.

Hasta luego Boatbloggers®

 

Ju & Lyn

Here we Columbia…

Ahoy Boatbloggers® ,

We finally made it to South America. Santa Marta in Columbia to be precise. And it is well worth the trip – even though it was quite a tricky passage.

We managed to get our MDI unit fixed, but it was a bit touch and go. Nico came along to install it… 

Nico

All was going well, until we tried to start the engine. A new fault had developed. The temperature alarm was beeping and the engine still wouldn’t start – but for a different reason this time. So either the new MDI box was duff as well, OR the temperature sensor was faulty, OR…..it was something else.

Grrrr…

Nico eventually decided it was the temperature sensor, so the best thing was to put in a new one and see if that worked.

They didn’t have one in stock.

It would take a week to get it delivered.

There was one in St Lucia.

AaaaaaaaH!

I don’t think he could bear to see a grown man cry any longer, so he thought he had better swap the sensors over from one engine to the other to make sure that was definitely the problem before sending off for the new part.

Which he did..and lo and behold the engines started! Just like that. There is no explanation for it. The identical sensors worked one way round and not the other.

This is not mechanics. This is witchcraft.

No matter. the engines were working so thank you Nico, thank you Grenada Marine, and thank you Island Dreams who sorted it all out for us.

So by three in the afternoon we were off. Two days behind the rest of the fleet, but there was still a chance we might get to Santa Marta before the cut off time on Saturday.

There were high winds, and plenty of squalls.

Line of line squalls

This one was almost as big as the radar screen.

Big Squall

and when a squall hits, you get drenched.

You get drenched

Though luckily on a catamaran you can come inside for the worst of it.

When it rains

One night we seemed to have squall after squall with lulls in between, so we were doing the sailor’s Hokey Cokey all through the night.

NewImage

and so on till you either run out of sails or you’re seasick.

Pulling the sails in quickly when a squall is approaching needs both of us, so when it’s like that you don’t get much of a night’s sleep. But on the plus side, having high winds does mean you go fast.

Windy

That big 46 is the wind speed. It actually got to over 48kn at one point which according to Ju’s Beaufort Scale Mug is officially a storm.

We managed our first 200+ mile day (212 miles to be exact) and once saw 18 knots on the log (speedometer for the landlubbers). OK, so that was surfing down a wave and it lasted about 3 seconds, but still – pretty impressive stuff.

We were romping along, and just as everything was going right – a very unusual state of affairs for a sailor – Lyn noticed something trailing behind us. Perhaps we’d caught a tuna? It seemed unlikely as we haven’t got a fishing rod, but we needed to take a closer look.

We quickly stopped the boat, which is not that quick when you’re barrelling along at nine knots with a screecher out one side and a genoa the other. Ju then climbed down to the transom and at last we could see the problem. There was a whole bundle of fishing ropes and netting and buoys tangled around the rudder. What a mess.  

He managed to cut the worst of it away, but some of it was still tangled out of reach under the boat. Even though we were stopped the boat was still bobbing up and down, so the normal thing of going over the side and cutting it all free wasn’t an option. The transom can easily come down and whack you on the head, which would definitely spoil your day. Besides, even if he could clear the ropes, it didn’t seem like it would be that easy to get back on the boat afterwards.

So what next?

It’s amazing what you can do with a boathook and a knife. It took a bit of doing, but eventually he managed to cut some more away, grab one of the buoys and pull the rest on board.

Prop

What a hero!

But after four days, Columbia came into view.

Captain Hunchback

Is Ju getting a bit of a hunchback?

Columbia 3

Nearly there.

Lyn  Columbia

The final stretch was really rough, 

Final stretch

…but we managed to get in just as the sun set.

Sunset

…and before the steakhouses closed.

Steakhouse

First impressions are that Santa Marta is fantastic. This is a city that never sleeps – there is an amazing buzz here.

Santa marta 1

And it’s very pretty.

Santa Marta Finish Line

We shall be sorry to leave.

Next stop, The San Blas Islands.

Ju & Lyn

We’re Off!

Ahoy Boatbloggers!

At 1200 on Saturday, they sounded the starting signal for The World ARC 2020 St Lucia to St Lucia, and we were off. It was a pretty damp and squally start to the whole thing - a bit like the Solent but with palm trees. But at least when it rains, it’s warm rain.

Race Start

The reason you can see so many boats and they are so far away is because we’re in our usual tactical position. The back. Fools them every time.

Now - an explanation. Those of you following us on the tracker will no doubt be very impressed with our amazing high speeds, of anywhere between eight and ten knots. “They must be among the leaders,” you will be thinking. “If only they were going in the right direction.”

Perhaps you suspect we have some cunning Ben Ainslie style plan; head south then pick up a favourable current, or an unsuspected wind, and then nip in at the front right on the finish line to rapturous applause. 

Alas, dear reader, the truth is far more mundane. 

Our Voyage Around The World was all going really well. Right up until the first day. Well - to be precise, the first second of the first minute of the first hour of the first day of the first leg of our first circumnavigation. 

It was just as we came to cast off our lines to go out into the anchorage ready for the start the next day, that we found one of our engines wasn’t working. The landlubbers amongst you might think, they’ve got two engines - why don’t they just use the spare? But unfortunately in a catamaran it’s not that simple. If you only have one engine you just keep going round in circles. We want to go round the world, not just round the bay forty three times. 

So...we needed to get it fixed - and fast. The rally was going to begin in less than 24 hours! 

We found St Lucia’s number one engineer, and it wasn’t long before we had a diagnosis; a duff MDI unit. The offending item It doesn’t matter if you haven’t got the foggiest idea what one of those is. All you need to know is that the engine won’t work without it. In an emergency you can climb down into the engine compartment and hot wire it with bit of old cable, but you can’t go round the world doing that every time you come into port.  The only solution was to get a new one. 

But unfortunately It turned out that in the whole of St Lucia there were no Mega Dodgy Interface units. Everyone else with a Volvo engine had already taken them. It’s a common fault. But what was worse is that It might take weeks for one to be delivered. It looked like we weren’t going to be able to start - a bit like our engine. As soon as Ju had stopped wailing and thumping the cushion, we sprang into action. Many phone calls and emails later, at last we tracked one down in Grenada. So that is where we went. At Sea And hopefully they can fit it first thing on Monday morning. We will be sat on their doorstep at eight when they open. 
And then - fingers crossed - we can start heading in the right direction.  Considering it’s all gone a bit Pete Tong, having to divert to Grenada is not the worst thing that has ever happened to us. Divert to Grenada To Santa Marta and Beyond!

Ju & Lyn

Around The World in….however long it takes.

Hello again Boatbloggers ® ,

Here we are in St Lucia with the crews of the other 35 boats joining us on our Voyage Around The World.

World Arc Crews

See if you can spot us!

(Clue: Ju’s the good looking one in white, kneeling down about five in from the left. Lyn’s just next to him)

We have been issued with our official race number. Not that it’s a race of course. It’s a rally. (Unless by some remarkable fluke we actually win, in which case it’s definitely a race.)

 The kind people at ARC Rally Control have issued us with the same number as our boat length, so that’s one less thing to remember.
 Lyn on Number 47
Which at our age has to be a good thing.
So our first stop is Santa Marta in Columbia which is just over 800 miles away as the flying fish flies. All being well we leave tomorrow (Saturday) and it should take us 5 or 6 days depending on the winds.
If you want to track us, go to…
Select St Lucia to Mackay, and then (of course) click on Domini.
Bye for now
Ju & Lyn

The Second Leg

Hello again Boatbloggers ® ,

We have just completed the second leg of our second Transatlantic! Now this isn’t going to be a huge long blog, because as you know we did the Atlantic in 2014 and to be honest, it hasn’t changed that much.

This is the view from the front…

View from the front

…and this is the view from the back. Or to use the correct nautical term, the patio.

View from the patio

We only put the mainsail up once, before quickly realising it was a mistake and pulling it down again. Most of the time we used twin headsails – the screecher out one side, and the genoa on the other.

Butterfly copy

We call it “goose-winged,” but for once the Germans are more poetic and call it “The Butterfly,” which we’re going to use from now on.

Butterfy 2

It doesn’t feel like sailing. Basically you just put them up and are more or less blown across The Atlantic. But it’s very comfortable, and very easy, so what’s not to like.

Of course there are the usual mega sunsets…

Sunset 2

Some amazing clouds…

Clouds 3  1

A squall or two…

Clouds 1  1

Which look even worse on the radar..

Radar squall

And one night we sailed by the light of Jupiter, Venus & Saturn.

Jupiter

OK, so it looks like a little white dot, so you’ll just have to take our word for it. That is Jupiter. And it was pretty amazing.

It took us 14 days and 11 hours from Mindelo, and we came 38th arriving just before midnight.

Alien

This is crossing the finish line. Ju looks like he’s just been beamed down.

So just time for a gratuitous selfie…

Selfie

And to thank St Lucia for their fabulous welcome.

Fruit 2

Oh – I can’t resist. One more sunset.

IMG 3784~photo  1

That’s all for now Boatbloggers ®,

Merry Christmas!

Ju & Lyn

To Cabo Verde

Welcome back Boatbloggers ® ,

And so we set sail for the first leg of our trip across The Atlantic.

A View From The Bridge

900 nautical miles to Mindelo, Sao Vincente in the Cabo Verde islands. It took us about six days. The first two days were quite rough with strong winds…

Hi winds 4

True Wind Speed of up to 86 knots – hurricane force – but at least it meant we went fast at over 33 knots, which should put us in the running for the Americas Cup. Either that or there was something wrong with the instruments.

But by day three it had calmed down a bit..

Stormy 2

…and we were able to start collecting the flying fish that kept landing on deck overnight. 

Flying Fish

Five in one night! Not quite big enough to eat, but not so small that they don’t make a horrible slippery mess where they land.

Land ahoy! – We arrived at Cape Verde just after sunrise.

Land Ahoy  Cape Verde

So time to send the crew forward to sort out the ropes.

Getting the ropes

While the captain attended to more important matters.

Teatime

Pretty soon we were moored up in Mindelo Marina. 

Mindelo Marina 2

And while it was nice to be back on land, Mindelo Marina is the windiest marina with the biggest swell we have ever been to. The pontoons were rolling all over the place – walking along them felt like you’d had ten pints. We were more seasick on the pontoon than ever we were at sea! Three people along from us actually fell in – and these are experienced ocean navigators. Still, at least it meant we kept our sea legs for the next stage of the journey.

Sao Vincente is a beautiful island and the people are really friendly and welcoming. We did a little island tour – first stop, the beach.

Beach 4 2

Where we tried the local grog.

Grog 1

Strong enough to knock out a camel. So up into the mountains to the tea bar to sober up.

Mountain Tea Bar

One day we took the ferry to Sao Antao, another of the Cape Verde Islands, where we tried the traditional food…

 

Trad food

Saw the traditional cottages…

Traditional cottage

And watched farmers collecting yams in the traditional way.

Workers

Next we got in a minibus to go up into the mountains. We went at breakneck speed up these little cobbled roads with sheer drops either side.

Mountain Top 5

It was quite terrifying. This is Ju trying to not look scared.

Trying not to look scared

Not doing too bad a job of it, but he’s holding on to that wall with both hands. What you can’t see is that behind that wall is a thousand foot sheer drop. It is all unbelievably high. We’ve been in many minibuses, but never one where we’ve had to worry about turbulence.

But once you dared to open your eyes, the views are spectacular. 

Mountain top 1

The photos of course don’t do it justice.

Mountain top 3

But here’s a few more anyway.

Mountain

You’ll just have to come and see it for yourselves.

Bloody scarey

But back to Mindelo, where Lyn enjoyed the street art…

Mindelo 1

…and Ju enjoyed the cultural events.

Culture Night 2

Some of the wall art is amazing. This picture is not painted on the wall, but chipped out of the plaster.

Wall Art 4

We had a great social life with the ARC while we were here in Mindelo. Here we are with the crew of Zan eating the bruschetta (which they serve by the metre.)

Zan

Just time for the arty farty prize, which has only one entry called “Street Scene,” and that is from Ju – so he is the winner!

Arty Farty Prize 1

And of course it wouldn’t be a proper Boatblog ® without a gratuitous sunset. Though actually it’s a sunrise.

Sunset 2

That’s all for now Boatbloggers ®

Ciao Cape Verde. Thanks for having us.

Next stop St Lucia.

Ju & Lyn

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Getting Ready For The Circumnav….

Yes Boatblog ® Fans, that is not a typo…

We are planning a full circumnav – that’s circumnavigation for you landlubbers; sailing round the world. So once we’re across the Atlantic, it’s through the Panama Canal and then to….. Infinity and Beyond. Well – Darwin anyway.

We have just signed up to do the first leg of the World ARC, which is very exciting.

We were sorry to leave Madeira, but all good things must come to an end.

GC Leaving Madiera 2  1

It’s two or three days sailing to get to Gran Canaria and we had a pretty good run, though we arrived in the middle of the night and it was quite scary manoeuvring among all the massive ships and oil rigs when we got there.

It was great to be back in Las Palmas. We’re doing the ARC+ this time which is Las Palmas to St Lucia, but it calls in at Cape Verde instead of going straight across like the regular ARC.

We spent our time there doing last minute repairs, stocking the boat up with provisions, spare parts and tools and everything else we could think of that we might need for a round the world trip.

One thing you really have to have on board is an angle grinder…

GC Angle Grinder 1

…just in case we ever need to cut away the rigging in the event of a dismasting. Now those of you who are aware of my DIY skills will probably be horrified to think that I would ever be let anywhere near such an awesome power tool.

Do not worry.

I’ve never used one before and I don’t want to use it for the first time in an angry sea and accidentally cut my leg off, so I found the time to practice.

GC Angle Grinder 2

It’s actually really good fun.

Though once you get started it’s quite hard to stop.

GC Angle Grinder 3

WARNING TO OUR YOUNGER READERS. We are trained professionals. Do not try this at home.

We also needed a new drill, which came with a fantastic selection of gadgets.

GC Drill

I wonder what they’re for.

And we had SSB installed.

GC SSB

SSB stands for Single Sideband Radio. It’s the big radio type thing with the microphone attached that you can see underneath the computer screen. It’s quite a miraculous piece of kit. By bouncing radio signals round the globe you can talk to people in Australia or Tokyo or anywhere in the world from right out in the middle of the ocean. It doesn’t use satellites or anything so fancy, but it just bounces the signal off the ionosphere, back to the ground and up again, right all the way round until it gets to where you want. It’s quite amazing.

Though it’s a bit weird because whenever I hit the transmit button, the lights come on and the electric winch goes round. But you soon get used to that. It reminded me of Nick’s house in Cape Town. The electronics were incredibly sophisticated but didn’t quite work, so every time someone rang the doorbell the toaster popped up.

But apparently that’s quite normal with SSB. The power that the transmitter puts out is massive, so its bound to interfere with the electrics. There’s not much you can do about it apart from switch everything off before you use it.

So far all I’ve really heard people say is things like…

Hiss crackle FX

“Hello this is Mike Echo India November Niner, do you read me? Over” 

More hiss crackle FX

Mike Echo India November Niner, this is Zulu Tango Yankee Bravo Fower, you are a bit faint, but I read you. Over”

Hiss crackle FX

“Thank you Zulu Tango Yankee Bravo Fower. This is Mike Echo India November Niner. I read you loud and clear. Over”

Hiss crackle FX

“Thank you, Mike Echo India November Nine. Over”

Hiss crackle FX

“Zulu Tango Yankee Bravo Fower out.”

And that’s about it. No one seems to have actual conversations; they just ask each other if they can be heard. And then move on to see if someone else can hear them as well. But I expect it will come into it’s own when we are at sea.

Jan and James (Lyn’s sister and brother-in-law) came to visit with their daughter Lizzie.

GC James  Jan

I did try to find a photo of us all that wasn’t eating, but we don’t seem to have one. I think eating was all we did.

And very nice it was too.

But enough of this messing about. We’ve got a rally to do.

GC No 338

No 338 Domini. You can track us at…

https://www.worldcruising.com/arc_plus/eventfleetviewer.aspx

Next stop, Cabo Verde.

This is Domini – Out.

Ju & Lyn

X

Madeira M’dears

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.

Red Sky At Night 5

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…

Teatime 2  PM

and to wear a silly hat.

It was a pretty easy crossing with calm seas…

Winches

…and Homer’s clouds.

Simpsons 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.

Land Ahoy!

Madeira  Land Ahoy

Eventually we arrived at Porto Santo and anchored off the beach.

PS Domini from a distance 3

Intrepid explorers that we are, we set off to discover the island…

PS Tiptoe ing thru the waves

and as luck would have it, we soon came across a delightful little Caribbean Bar.

PS The caribbean

Though we wouldn’t want you thinking it’s all boozing and enjoying ourselves.

PS It s not all boozing 2

Even if it is.

It’s all very pretty…

Madeira Hiking View

But basically it’s just a great big lump sat somewhere off the Atlantic Ocean.

PS Nice island 2

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.

Madeira  marina ahead

…and for a few days it was actually quite nice to not have to get into the dinghy to go anywhere.

Madeira harbour

Legend has it that the pattern in the rocks…

Madeira  the Real Scream 2

…was the inspiration for Munch’s famous painting, “The Spaniel.”

Munch s Spaniel

Madeira is famous for it’s hiking, so we donned our boots and set off into the unknown.

Madeira Hiking 3

It’s knackering…

Madeira Hiking Ju 2

..but worth it for the views.

Madeira Hiking Ju 1

We discovered that it’s much easier to get up the mountains in a cable car.

Madeira  Up the cable car

To come down again, against all the advice, the Madeirans invented the sledge.

Madeira Sledge 1

They didn’t seem to realise that sledges need snow.

But it’s all good fun.

Madeira Sledge 4

The entries for this blog’s arty farty prize are “Cool Rocks,” by Lyn,

Cool rocks

and “Cool Cactus,” by Lyn.

PS Cool cactus 2

And the winner is…

LYN.

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.

Hasta la pasta

Ju (Captain) & Lyn (Admiral)

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