01 October, 2012
Nowhere to go but Madeira
After travelling westwards along the Spanish and Portuguese coast it was now time for Malua to turn the corner at the south western cape of Portugal and head north to Lisbon and the planned rendezvous with our friends Sundancer. The wind Gods had other plans with a persistent strong northerly blowing down the coast. Our options where to wait for better winds, return along the coast we had just traversed or sail down wind to Madeira.
The last option was chosen as a shake down cruise for Pete who had never spent a few days far from land. We prepared Malua for the passage however the wind increased and the sea state deteriorated with a nasty chop on top of a long swell on the quarter. Not a pleasant passage. The watch system was three hours on and three hours off during darkness and no watches during daylight.
After three days Pete was very sleep deprived having only sleep a few hours. He started to make stupid mistakes. Going forward at night unattached with out a PFD to reattach a block without releasing the sheet. I woke with the noise and called Pete. No response, rushed out into the cockpit to find it empty. I swung the torch towards the foredeck and there was Pete on his knees, sheet between his legs, sail flapping just ready to be lifted over board. He did not see what was wrong!
After four nights and five days we were both releaved to come alongside the marina dock and tie up. But there the same story as before – poor seamanship but that is a story which will eventually be told but not here.