Archive for October, 2009


We have now been anchored off Playa Francesca at the SW corner of Graciosa for 3 days. The bay is overshadowed by a volcanic hill ( mountain would be too grand  a term although it is definitely a volcano) of extraordinary colour. The SW face is  orange and deeply honeycombed rather like an enormous  crunchy bar. […]

Selvagem Grande

There is an awful lot of night down in these parts – a little over 12 hours of it – but as long as the sailing isnt too challenging we each get a good 6 hours , which with a snooze in the day leaves us fairly relaxed about passage making. Dribbling along at 2.5 […]

Slow boat to Selvagem

Last nights plan sounded good . The forecast was for light and variable winds, becoming light to moderate NE after about 12 hours. We would poke our nose out of the harbour and if there was no wind, anchor just around the corner for 8 hours or so. If there was wind we would have […]

Time to move on

From Walking in Madeira We have now spent 11 nights at a charming little place called  Marina Quinto do Lorde. I never thought I would write a sentence like that as I have a definite love hate relationship with Marinas (I love being able to leave the boat in safety – I hate paying out […]

The Ups and Downs of Madeira

Its 3 days since we started to explore Madeira – and our first impression is that it is a classy place . For a start it is physically very impressive , arising out of the sea and reaching for the clouds – and often through them – as we found out.  The mountains are rent […]

Madeira – and an update on man vs hobgoblin.

Dawn on the 4th day of our passage brought several volcanic islands out of the mist. First came Porto Santo , 25 miles to the NE of Madeira  and then several more islands of suitably impressive height and ruggedness.  Any sane man would have spotted these as the Ilhas Desertas, but the problem is that […]

Here be Hobgoblins!

We left Gibraltar on Thursday morning . I expected to see an Armada of  ARC Migrants coming with us , but apart from a Cat who joined us at Tarifa – we were alone. Perhaps they were put off by the possibility of strong Southerlies on Monday . We talked of “slipping over to Madeira” […]


Strictly speaking Gibralter  is out of our way now that we have decided not to go into the Med , but it seemed to be one of those places that you SHOULD visit ,so here we are. One of the pleasures of the trip so far has been visiting all the old natural  sailing ship […]


Festinas crew have just treated themselves to 2 days in the mountains .  The Sierra de Grazalema  is a place of Eagles , Ibex and sore muscles for truly we are not as fit as we used to be and our days of 20 km yomps in the mountains are probably past!  What really brought […]


We are in Spain again. Its obvious BECAUSE EVERYONE SHOUTS AND GESTICULATES LOADS MORE! Its all done very good naturedly , but it seems that Spaniards live their life publicly and NOISILY. Cadiz is nice. I think that Seville, which is just around the corner ,draws off the tourist hordes leaving the locals to come […]

Migration – a birds eye view

Over the last few days I have begun to undestand how it feels to be a swallow! There you are in a warm paradise , loads of juicy insects to feed on ( or whatever else turns you on!) when all of a sudden some smart arse bird flaps by and casually(!) asks why you […]