May to June 2014 (Trip miles 956, Total miles 6301)
Being the last offshore trip of any real length before the Mediterranean, a crew was arranged that included the principal of an RYA school in the UK with experience in both the Canaries, Madeira and the southern ports along the Portuguese coastal approach to Gibraltar.
The first leg from Lanzarote to Madeira went as planned for the first day's sailing, then a swing in the predicted weather had us using engines and beating into the wind to make northerly progress. The conditions were moderate and didn't cause us any undue stress, but did extend our journey by a day.
We spent the next week waiting out a weather system doing equal amounts of classwork and barwork in Quinta do Lorde.
After leaving Madeira behind, we had good sailing conditions, this time the forecasts were spot on and there were no surprises. On the 3rd day the wind dropped right off and we took the opportunity to to have a swim in around 4000m of crystal clear(and cold) Atlantic.
The wind returned a couple of hours later and we sailed comfortably to make landfall at PortiMao in Southern Portugal.
We decided to continue further along the coast to Vilamoura, and plan our passage through the Straights of Gibraltar from there. There were gale warnings issued for our initially planed departure and so a couple of extra days were spent partaking of local hospitality, well Irish-local.
The last 150nm to La Linea, north of Gibraltar was mostly in an ideal westerly with following seas that had us cruising along under only the genaker and cut the journey to just over a day, though onboard the boat barely felt like it was moving.
Our crew spent a couple of days with us in La Linea to complete the remaining exercises and exams for the courses, and after draining my instructor of a fair deal of patience, bid him and another crew member safe travels.
So we set off up the Spanish coast direction Balearic Islands.
Quinta do Lorde Madeira
Ponta Sardinha Madeira
Atlantic Infinity Pool
Northern Most tip of Africa
Weather System Center over La Linea de Conception