This is the delayed final report of Taniwani’s summer tour, this time for a change written by Beate. 

In the mean time, Taniwani lays well packed up for the winter in the Marina de Lagos, where she also spent last winter. The entire crew is safely back on "solid ground".  

But let’s wind back to September 6th, where the last report ended: Taniwani lies to her anchor off the beach in Porto Santo, the whole morning was spent with shopping, cooking in advance and other preparations, a nap here and there and some swimming. An easy-going day until we weigh anchor at 5:15 PM. We are anxious to see what the wind will bring, once we leave the shelter of the island. The forecast was for a strong Northeasterly wind, and to Cadiz it is 545 miles straight line. The direct course of 65 degrees might be impossible though, and the weather routing software recommends a somewhat more easterly course at the beginning. That should suit us fine and we estimate a travel time of 3 days, expecting to get into Cadiz late night on Tuesday when we could possibly sit in a nice bar and have a drink…


Unfortunately, the strong trade wind has been more easterly than we liked for the last couple of days, but as we leave the lee of Porto Santo, it isn’t too bad and we make fast progress with a reefed mainsail and a full Genoa in force 5 wind, except that we cannot lay Cadiz by about 10 degrees.


During the night and during Sunday, the wind kept picking up and reached force 7 at times. We reduce sail accordingly, and now it isn’t that comfortable any more on board of Taniwani. The Chili-con-Carne isn’t enjoyed as much as usual, but still everybody is doing fine, and with 2 hours watch and 6 hours off there is plenty of time to rest and relax.


The highlight of the day is the catch of a nice Dorada around 2PM in the afternoon. Cleaning the fish however is no easy task as one gets jerked around in the rough seas. It ends up in the freezer waiting for better times to cook it.


Looking at our track is less encouraging, we have hardly made any northing and for a while we sail straight east. There is some discussion whether the next stop might be Casablanca. At least it would be Harald’s favorite movie, you know the oldie with Humphry Bogart.


It is during Sanjay’s watch, in the night to Monday that the top shackle of the cutter staysail breaks and the sail starts coming down. Last year the same shackle on the Genoa failed, but this time it is even less spectacular and below deck hardly anybody notices anything until Sanjay reports.


It is nice that these things always happen at night, and watching Harald, dressed with nothing but the harness and illuminated by the spreader lights, fighting with white cloth on the foredeck is always an entertaining view.

He stuffs the sail through the fore-hatch into the forward heads, where it is safe for now. We continue on with a heavily reefed Genoa into the morning, until the wind slowly eases and also backs to a more northerly direction.


It is now obvious that we will take us at least till Wednesday morning to reach Cadiz. Tuesday the wind keeps backing and by 2 PM we can lay course straight for Cadiz.


So far we hardly saw any ships, but that should change soon, as we are to cross the in- and out going traffic of the Straight of Gibraltar. For us this starts after midnight. Having watch under such circumstances, you are guaranteed to not get tired. 6 huge monsters at the same time in a narrow space are quite exciting and it helps a great deal to have radar. 

Just to be safe, Harald is called from his berth. The big pots however seem to navigate quite careful in this congested area, and we have no real dangerous situations. Those who should, always change course for us. Still it looks frightening having big ships cross Taniwani’s wake just half a mile behind us. Morning dawns, and the freighters and their lights are replaced by fishing boats with less clear lights and harder to predict. We are close to Cadiz, the wind dies, and the engine gets started.

It’s now 10 in the morning, we all sit on deck expectantly as we turn around the corner into the marina, where learn that there is not a single space left. No, really impossible is what the guy says and so we turn to continue on to Olhao.


Many weeks locked into the dark forepeak, unwanted as we were going upwind, now the „moose“, our Genacker, has its chance again. The wind is from the East and we need to go northwest and Ulf is all excited about the grand finale of our big tour.


Unfortunately that kind of great sailing doesn’t last the whole day and the wind starts dying, eventually giving in to a westerly breeze. So, around 8 PM there isn’t much other choice than firing up the engine and going with main and engine for the last two or three hours.


As soon as it’s dark, again there are all these weird fishing vessels. And not far from Olhao it does get real exciting. A fishing boat with red over white, but no nav-lights, not far on our port bow, is drawing our attention. When looked at through the bins, an eerie blue-white light turns out to be a TV in the cabin. We see nobody on deck.

Suddenly, the TV goes off, the engine roars, and the boat accelerates towards us as if he wanted to ram us! A big searchlight blinds us. We point our searchlight at them, accelerate too, and with the other boat only a few boat lengths from us we turn to starboard, full power ahead. He’s following! We give full throttle and Taniwani charges forward at nine knots. The fisherman tries to keep up but is slowly falling back. After five minutes he gives up, turns out to the sea gain and slowly disappears.  Puzzled we return onto our course to Olhao. 

By now we know the entrance to the Olhao lagoon quite well and follow the lights and ranges, reassured by the chart plotter. But without knowing the place, we certainly wouldn't have attempted it at night. Without any trouble we return to our previous anchorage and at 11 PM we drop the hook. Since Porto Santo we have sailed 671 miles.


This way, Thursday becomes a relaxing day in the lagoon: Harald and Beate go shopping in Olahao, Sanjay is exploring the island Culatra and in the evening we have a delicious meal utilizing all the Doradas and Bonitos we caught during the passage.  The Chef himself is cooking, an unrepeatable secret recipe.


Friday, September 12th – our last day sailing:

After a nice breakfast, we weigh anchor under mainsail at 10:45 AM. The cutter-staysail is added quickly, 20 to 25 knots of wind from a good direction; the day is starting right!

But once out of the lagoon, the wind gets weaker and weaker, and in no time Ulf is threading the red spinnaker sheets. Then the “moose” gets really challenged with the wind well in the twenties of knots. But similar to Wednesday, the wind dies in the end and the last two hours we need to motor again.


By 5:30 PM we are alongside at the fuel pontoon in Lagos, topping up. Shortly after that the bridge opens and sadly, we are back to where we left 12 weeks ago. Since then Taniwani has sailed 3050 miles.


In the evening Sanjay sponsors a farewell dinner in town. The place is still bustling with tourism and guided by our young crew, Pam and Ulf, we all explore the nightlife of Lagos.


Saturday is a busy day with work on deck, taking the sails off and packing them, and more such work. Sanjay leaves us in the evening and also Ulf and Pam have to leave early next morning.


Harald and Beate remain on board till Wednesday, busy with lots of winterizing tasks, then also for us another great time on board of Taniwani ends.