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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Madeira 18 to 20 July 2010

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The Marina of Quinta do Lorde is proving to be a very pleasant place to stay. The only negative side is the strong gusts of wind (NE) that we have been experiencing but this only results in noise, not swell.

On the 18 July evening the rally decided to have a potluck supper which turned out to be a lot of fun - everybody bringing a dish.

For Sunday lunch, the rally was very generously invited to the Casa de Pasto O Caroto restaurant by the owner, who is a sailing friend of Rui from S/V Quero Quero.

We were treated to an excellent lunch of Madeira Tapas followed by a superbly oven baked Tuna main course.

On Monday Herberto from S/V Trilemus drove us and others from rally to the capital, Funchal for the afternoon. On the way we stopped to admire the north coastline and went under the runway of the main airport which is built mainly on 70 meter high concrete pillars as flat ground is almost non-existent on Madeira.

Much of the area under the runway is being cleverly used by the company that owns the Q d Lorde marina as a boat yard for storing and repairing yachts - it comes complete with 70 meter high roof!

Everywhere one goes in Madeira , the highway dives in and out of road tunnels , some over 3 km long - there must be a lot of tunneling expertise on the island.

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In Funchal, we visited the marina and had a stroll around the town.

The marina has less wind than Q do Lorde but is far more crowded and, instead of the excellent finger berths, only has submerged bow lines to keep one off the quay. The facilities in general are not so good as Q do Lorde.

The pavements are black basalt and white limestone mosaics similar to the Azores and several of the buildings have tiled murals similar to mainland Portugal.

There are a couple of the steep streets in the north of Funchal which are used for the traditional toboggans - a sort of downhill taxi service from the past. Anna and daughter Alice from S/V Danny Boy had the courage to try this out.

On the way back we stopped at the townhall of Machico, a town close to the Q d Lorde marina. There we had an official visit with the Mayor and received a book on whales from him.

Back at the marina we were treated to traditional dancing from a local group.

Please click on video to view

Please click on video to view

Please click on video to view

After the dancing each boat was presented with a small version of the very amusing toy/musical instrument.

At 1000 hrs on Tuesday 20 July it was unfortunately to say a sad goodbye to the Rally Arquipelagos - it was time for the 7 yachts to return to the Azores - first to Santa Maria , then back to Ponta Delgada on Sao Miguel.

We enjoyed the rally very much - thank you Luna and Manuel for organising it and thank everyone for being so friendly and making the effort to speak English with us - we apologise for our lack of Portuguese.

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