6th Report from TANIWANI’s Summer 2002 Cruise:



It’s now over two weeks since our last general report and we are already more than a week in the Madeira area. Right now, Tuesday the 6th of August, we are slowly sailing back to Madeira from Porto Santo, the much smaller neighbor island, a lazy, hot and slow (6 knots) downwind spinnaker ride.






Exactly two weeks ago we left Ponta Delgada for a very fast downwind ride to Santa Cruz, the southeastern most island of the Azores. The almost 60 miles were done in no time, with 25 knots of northeasterly wind pushing us along near 9 knots. In Vila do Porto, the only harbor of the island we found four yachts anchored behind the small breakwater, so that we felt it was too crowded for our taste and moved on to a big bay with sand beach, called Baia Formosa where we spent the last two days in the Archipelago at anchor.


Another advantage of not entering the port is that we didn’t have to go through the Portuguese bureaucracy of clearing in and out. Seems to be a job security program, as the customs officer in Horta explained, we need to do the procedure only where there are harbor authorities, if we anchor in odd places, we don’t need to report in.


While the very low number of other yachts in Ireland had surprised us, we found more boats in the Azores than we had anticipated. Not that it is crowded, but we found a handful of boats in every decent harbor, (those that have customs officials). However, nobody seems to just anchor somewhere like we prefer.


After two days in Santa Maria, on Tuesday the 23rd of July, we left the Azores for the 486 miles cruise to Funchal Madeira. We waited until after 12 noon, before leaving since we expected a bit less than three days for the passage and didn’t want to get into Funchal in the very early morning. We had expected a beam reach with a trade wind like NNE winds, but then found quite weak easterly winds, that required us to be close hauled and at times we even couldn’t lay the course to Madeira. Later the winds became very variable and required continuous exercises adapting sail size.


Only on the last day we ended up with strong, but still variable NE winds. In the last morning hours before reaching Madeira, we had the full Genoa set, together with a double-reefed mainsail. Wind was around 23 knots and Felix who was on watch, had just sighted Madeira, when all a sudden the Genoa came down and ended up dragging in the water. 






All hands on deck recovered it quickly and tied it to the rail and we sailed on with the second foresail. The big shackle holding the top of the Genoa to the swivel had parted. Looks like a fabrication problem by whoever makes these shackles.


Once in the lee of Madeira, Felix went up the mast to connect a line to swivel, so that we could pull it down and we attached the Genoa with a new shackle, and everything was back to order quickly.


Knowing how small and busy the marina in Funchal is, we didn’t really expect to find a place, but thought we’ll give them a call on VHF to check. Back came a crackled answer and then nothing. Prepared to anchor and commute to shore by dinghy we entered Funchal to check out the situation and found a guy on the mole waving and calling “Taniwani”. He showed us to a place on the outer marina wall and told us that a government boat will come back late afternoon, take this place and we should go alongside. He also apologized for not answering on the radio as his battery went dead.


We were fine alongside the nice old government sailboat, which wouldn’t move for the whole weekend. Somehow the grumpy guy in the marina seemed to like us and gave us a nice berth when we announced that we wanted to stay longer. Jealous eyes were watching us from other boats and a German guy asked what I did pay to get that privilege.


My father and Jonas, Felix’s friend who had arrived the previous day, came soon after we tied up. Unfortunately my mother wasn’t feeling too well on that day and couldn’t come for the reception.


The “kids” soon traded the ship for our house in Madeira and for a few days Beate and I had a nice and peaceful time on board. Ulf, our Nephew, arrived early on Tuesday and joined the young gang in the house. The days went by visiting our parents, hiking in the mountains and the like and on the fifth day in Funchal we had everybody on board for a barbecue party.


Thursday we left Funchal, for a tour, it was just too warm in the marina. For two days we anchored in the beautiful Baia Abra, at the far eastern end of Madeira Island, not accessible by road. Swimming, diving, dinghy excursions to the small island chain towards Ponta Sao Lorenzo, and wake-board exercises were part of the easygoing life.










Saturday we sailed from Baia Abra to neighbor island Porto Santo and anchored somewhere in the middle of its endless (3.5 miles) sand beach, again for some easy days. Monday we changed position during the day and anchored at 30m depth near the wreck of “Madeirense” a little (130ft) coastal freighter that used to go between Madeira and Porto Santo. Having sailed on her over ten years ago, we had some emotional ties to her, and it was great to dive down to the wreck and inspect the places we knew. It is now home to thousands of fish and a pretty sight under water.















Another day in Madeira and than Jonas has to leave us, followed by Beate and Felix two days later. Then Taniwani’s crew will be down to just three, Harald, Markus and Ulf who will sail back to the Algarve, where Taniwani will have to rest for the winter.

Report 7:  Madeira to Lagos (last)