d 490 Najad 490 Najad 490 Najad 490 Najad 490 Najad 490 Najad 490 Najad 490 Najad 490 Najad 490 Najad 490 Najad 490 Najad 490 Najad 490 Najad 490 Najad 490 Najad 490


Now, after quite a long time, here is a new report from TANIWANI. Our previous report ended shortly after we arrived in Madeira , in the first half of August. Since then TANIWANI has only sailed some 800 miles and is now in the Canary Islands .


The stop in Madeira lasted a bit longer than expected and TANIWANI had to wait several weeks alone in both of the new marinas, first in the Quinta do Lorde and later in Calheta. 

The reason was a rather sad one: Harald's mother, who we expected in Madeira by August 26th, got very sick just a week before and the doctors found that the cancer that she had bravely fought for six years was back in full strength. Worried, both Beate and Harald flew to Austria to see her and were just back to Madeira for a day when she finally passed away gently and without pain. 

So just a day later Harald made another trip to Austria and brought his father to Madeira , so that he would get over the hardest time a bit easier. We also picked up Beate's mother on the way, as she always enjoys a stay in Madeira . Consequently we spent another 3 weeks at our house, with occasional visits to TANIWANI.

On one of those occasions we took Harald's father, Beate's mother, another friend and Olga from the yacht WETNOSE on board and both yachts sailed from Quinta do Lorde to Calheta. Olga came along to take pictures of WETNOSE, and we had a nice cruise along the southern coast of Madeira .








WETNOSE, a 63ft Nordia, with friends who live near by in Germany, are sailing approximately the same route and our boats met up for the first time in Madeira. Wolfgang and Olga are sailing her with their two kids Albert and Alicia and occasional friends.




Cruising along Madeira and looking at the beautiful scenery, we all think that this is so far the nicest island we have seen. Still many cruisers skip Madeira, as it has the reputation that the only possible place to leave a boat and explore the island, is the overcrowded little marina in Funchal where boats raft up six at times.




But the situation has changed significantly in the last two years: First with the opening of the Marina Quinta do Lorde at the eastern end of the island, and then, since early September, the addition of the new Marina at Calheta, at the western end of the island. Finally, a third large marina near Ponta do Sol is almost finished. We liked the new marina in Calheta much better than Quinta do Lorde, but would be worried to leave the boat in either of them during a winter season.



Our mooring lines, that had lasted 5 years and kept up well enduring two winters in Lagos, were quickly ruined during a few days with a long and nasty surge in the new marina in Calheta.


For interested sailors there is more detail about the marinas in Madeira at this page: Madeira Marinas






During all that time (over six weeks) Felix enjoyed working in the dive base in Canico,  lived in our house there and enjoyed excellent food at the local hotel.











Towards the end of September we started to get ready again and had more frequent visits to TANIWANI to get some remaining jobs done and to celebrate Harald's father's birthday, we took off from Calheta again to the opposite end of the island, to our favorite anchorage, Baia Abra. On the way, just outside Funchal, we caught a nice Dorada, just right for Harald's father as a birthday dinner. A nice evening at anchor and another nice cruise back on the next day rounded things off perfectly.












October came and the likelihood of storms that reach the latitude of Madeira increases quite a bit at that time. So it became time to say goodbye and in the evening of October 3rd, we left with ambivalent feeling and Harald's father waving goodbye.




The course from the western end of Madeira to Isla Graciosa in the Canary Islands is to the South-East and only very gradually parts from the shore of Madeira . This means TANIWANI was becalmed by the shade of Madeira for more than two hours, before finally picking up the NE-Trade and sailing smoothly into the night.


The first night and half of the next day we have a strong force 6 north-easterly and we are making fast progress. But eventually the wind gets weaker and irregular and in the second night we have rain squalls and lightning all around us. In the midst of this, the Simrad GPS stops providing a position and the autopilot complains. Set to steer with compass for a while we try getting the GPS to work, but it keeps coming on and off and eventually quits for the day. In addition to this, the visibility is very poor and we cannot see big steamers that pass only four miles away.


But there are plenty back-up systems and we could even go back to old proven celestial navigation in the morning. The next level of defense is a little Furuno OEM GPS receiver that we had just installed a few weeks ago that can feed into the instrument system. It worked right away and we reprogrammed the Simrad plotter to accept external position data. And also the laptop with MaxSea navigation worked again. Just one nuisance remained with a Raymarine bridge that occasionally garbles data and sends out wrong LAT or LON, this way messing up the electronic log.


Anyway, this just shows that we had some fun stuff to toy around with during the night. Then late in the second night the wind died entirely and we had to use the engine for the last 50 miles.



When we arrived at Graciosa, we first looked into the popular Bahia Francesa, where we had anchored last year. Now late in the year, with thousands of yachts going through the Canary Islands , this little bay, with not particularly good holding was crowded with nine yachts. So we decided to go back west one bay, to Playa de la Cozina, which turned out even more pleasant and was empty when we arrived. Felix went into the water with mask and snorkel to check out the bottom and lead us to a good spot for dropping our hook.

  It turned out the bay was framed by reef well deep enough to sail over, which further inside dropped off into a long basin with sand ground. On the shore a small protected sand beach and to the north a steep wall of an old volcano. A wonderful place!


It didn't take long and a catamaran that we had already seen in Quinta do Lorde, pulled into the bay and anchored fairly close to the beach. We thought he was a bit close to reef, but then it is a catamaran with much less draft. Apparently that was also what some officials on a boat that drove through the bay in the evening thought too, they asked the cat to move and soon we were alone for the night.


Next day we started to work an older but barely used anchor rode into mooring lines to replace the ones that suffered badly in Calheta and decided to get a new strong extra anchor line in Tenerife . Splicing this highly pre-tensioned Nylon material however was no fun at all.


With the help of the very nice support team of Simrad in Germany , (via e-mail), we were able to track the problem to be caused the software that handles the new Satellite-Differential-GPS, like WAAS and EGNOS. This was first introduced in our software version, which was installed in Scotland two years ago. In this version you cannot turn this new feature off completely, and once out of range of regular earth based differential GPS-stations, it kicks in this new service. 

Aside of making your position more accurate, (approx. 5m), it is also meant to eliminate an integrity problem in the classic GPS system where a bad satellite can cause a wrong position to be calculated without noticing. For that purpose these additional regular satellites send out integrity messages and can declare one or more of the GPS satellites as bad. Apparently the Europeans are testing the EGNOS system and are sending out integrity messages that sometimes declare several GPS satellites as bad. They are also sending out warning that the system is under test. So the normal GPS receivers should ignore the false integrity messages. Ours took those for real and eliminated so many satellites from the equation that no position fix could be produced any more. A change of some settings now cured most of the problem and Simrad sent us a CD with the latest software, which Jonas brought along to Tenrife later.









Nice places like this are dangerous, not so much because this one was open to the south-west and we had light westerly winds in the beginning, but more so because you keep delaying your departure over and over again. This also happened to us and we spent 10 days in the same spot.


First we found excellent diving and Felix and Harald explored the edge of the reef several times, our compressor making overtime. Lots of fish to see: rays, octopus, grouper, a large school of barracudas and many more.






At some point the catamaran came back and anchored some distance from us. We were invited for an after dinner drink by a very nice couple from Poland . Certainly we were all curious to check out a bigger size cat and were very impressed by the huge amount of space. But maybe more impressive was the quick and powerful effect of the ultimate vodka-based cocktail we had at the end...


Talking about alcohol, reminds me that many of you are probably wondering what happened to the wine ignorant laptop computer, that you heard of in the last report. Well, we found that IBM had no major dealership in Portugal and our son Markus took it home to Germany where it was repaired on warranty within three days. With all the traveling back and forth it wasn't hard to get it back on board, and now I'm writing this report on it. Cheers!


Back to Graciosa, we made many friends there: The polish couple was invited back to our boat the next evening, and a few days later Harald was taking fantastic photos of TANIWANI from the volcano above the bay, but without memory card in the camera! Never the less, at the top he met another German couple with the same idea from a boat in the next bay. Antje and Norbert from their self built aluminum boat also called ANTJE. Some more invitations, including a day trip on board of ANTJE trying to catch some fish without success followed.


Then SHOW "showed" up in the bay, a beautifully maintained IOR classic club racer from 30 years ago, with a young couple on honeymoon: Soeren and Inga, and they had Inga's sister Brita visiting. Felix made friends very quickly and soon was the underwater tour guide, with several more dive sessions, some at night. Off course we were all invited to the beautifully kept little ship and on our last evening in this bay, both the crews of ANTJE and SHOW came to visit on TANIWANI again. While it is unlikely to meet ANTJE again, they are heading towards Brazil ; we agreed to meet SHOW for Christmas in Tobago .


Life in the bay was so much fun that we changed plans and skipped sailing to the south of Lanzarote; rather we stood a few more days in this lovely place, with all the new friends, and then go to Tenerife right away.


In the end we sailed to Tenerife a day earlier than planned, as the long term forecast was for westerly winds and bad weather to come and we wanted to ride with the NE-Trade before it would die. Weather forecasting seems to have made a quantum leap in precision this year. Now you can have a prognosis for two weeks into the future, all by it a smart guess of some extremely powerful computers, but we found them to be spot on at least three days out and always right a day ahead, which cannot be said for the local forecast here in the canaries. Whenever these were disagreeing, the computer model was right. This is very encouraging and a great additional safety factor, as we can get these predictions from anywhere at sea, for any select area and time frame.


On the way to Tenerife , some 150 miles, the weather was as predicted and we had a fast and smooth ride until we ran into some rain clouds in the morning just before arrival. A squeaky noise, when moving the rudder was the only thing that disturbed us a little bit.  We suspected to have picked up a rope or net and decided to check before engaging the engine and possible entangling the prop in addition.

We headed for a beach north of Santa Cruz de Tenerife where we could anchor if more work was needed. Felix was ready to go over the side to check, when we spotted the fin of a shark right next to the boat. So the check then was to stick the head into the water from the stern platform, and luckily there was nothing to be found except for some barnacles.

Just as we were doing this exercise, WETNOSE was calling us on the radio to see where we are. Expecting us, they were preparing breakfast for us and asked what kind of croissants we prefer.


Quickly we motored the last few miles into the harbor and were given a place for bigger ships, right next to WETNOSE. These places are stern-to, and they require that you set your own bow anchor as they do not trust their old mooring chain. The harbor is 18m deep and so we had to pay out about 80m of chain! Barnacles had also blocked our retractable bow-thruster, it wouldn't come out. But with ample space and TANIWANI's benign behavior, the whole maneuver was done in no time and soon we were sitting on board of WETNOSE for a nice breakfast.





For us, Santa Cruz de Tenerife is the last big place for buying large quantities of food and other supplies. And so we spend a lot of time shopping and storing stuff in some of the oddest places on board. We keep lists on the computer, so that we can later find everything. You can get about anything and the supermarkets deliver to the boat, but it is not cheaper than say Madeira or Spanish mainland. Strangely fresh beef is twice the price as in Madeira .


Ship chandlers are plenty and we got our rope, a quality product from Germany at a very good price.


While in Graciosa, Beate had developed a serious tooth ache and with Olga's help we got an appointment at dental clinic. Beate couldn't tell exactly which tooth causes the problem, but from the description the dentist concluded that the number three tooth needed a root canal treatment. Unfortunately this doesn't seem to help and the cause now seems more likely to come from an infection in the cavern above the jaw.






We had a rental car for most of our stay in Tenerife, and aside of all the shopping trips we also went on island tour a few times. We found that Tenerife has really many sides, from a desert like southern end that features endless tourist developments, to the quiet heights around Pico Teide, to the rugged and spectacular north.






With all these activities ten days in Santa Cruz went by very quickly, eventually Felix' friend Jonas arrived and a day later we celebrated Beate's birthday. But then we were off again.











Originally we planned to go to the island of La Palma first then Gomera and then Hierro, and have Jonas take the ferry back to Tenerife . But now with some uncertain forecast and Beate's tooth ache, we decided to make a little round trip and head back to Santa Cruz de Tenerife by November 6th. This way Beate can get another doctor appointment and Jonas can fly out easier on the 8th. Soon after that however, and weather permitting we would take off again for the Cape Verde Islands .









So we left Santa Cruz on the 27th of October, the WETNOSE folks seeing us off and because of westerly winds sailed down the east coast of Tenerife for a bit to a nice anchorage near a fishing village and a lighthouse called Punta Abona.







 There a strange looking little fish got very interested in our shiny bathing ladder and the next day Felix got us 9 small sole and a bigger calamar for dinner using his new spear gun for the first time.

With still westerly winds we remained there for another day, but then the computer forecast was for NE and the local forecast for NW turning W. Getting used to the computer model being better, we were ready to leave, which was good as early in the morning a strong NE developed and the chop was coming straight into the bay growing quickly. Prepared as we were, we were the first of the three boats out of the bay and we saw the others popping out half an hour later.



Then we had a nice ride with all sorts of sailing conditions, round the island and then across to the western end of Gomera. For a change we also had some luck fishing and we cought a nice size Dorada and in the midst of a large school of dolphins a Bonito went for the hook. To get it on boards we tried a new method and fired the spear gun at it. In the evening we worked the Bonito into Sashimi and had the Dorada as the second course. 




We already knew the anchorage near Valle Gran Rey from our visits last year. The place has been an old Hippie community, and now a day many of the former hippies maintain several stores with the usual useless articles, mostly from Asia . Some do more useful things and sell good German bread. Anyway, the place is a spectacular anchorage below really tall and steep walls.


A lacy day there and we went on to our favorite Canary Island: La Palma , (we have not seen Hierro yet). Compared to last year, the trade-wind  was modest, just a force 4 out in the open and about a force 6 in the compression area of Gomera. So sailing there was quite smooth and after leaving the vicinity of Gomera we moved on just nicely under full canvas, right up to the entrance of Santa Cruz de La Palma where the wind almost died.


Given the activities we saw last year we hoped to see an almost finished marina in the inner part of the harbor, but progress in 15 months was very little. The inner concrete wall that should fence of the marina basin has grown a little bit, but is still not complete and there is now a little floating pontoon projecting out of the inner wall, approximately where we had tied up last year.


We asked whether we could go stern-to to the new pontoon and our bow anchor out in the direction of the main wind, and two guys that seemed in charge agreed. But as soon as we were nicely moored, another guy showed up and told us that any tying up to this pontoon is forbidden. Unlike most the pontoons in most marinas, which are sliding up and down with the tide on massive pillars, this pontoon is just moored with a few loose chains and moves quite a bit at low tide.


He showed us a spot across the basin at the outer wall and we moved on again. These walls are very high and luckily we came in at high tide, so it was still possible for some of our crew to climb ashore to tie up our ropes. Off course the pollards are also spaced for big steamers and we had to leave some slack in the lines to cope with the tide. Those left us loose enough to suggest the use of an anchor to hold us a few meters off the wall.  With no ladders, the wall was no use to get on and off our boat anyway, and we had to use the dinghy to go to that special floating pontoon.

For the boats on the inner wall, where we lay last year, they now had hung down a few regular household ladders, and near the pontoon it is possible to get water and electricity.

For that comfort they are now charging the same price as the real marina in Tenerife , off course even if you lay on the outside wall without any such amenities. While we had the loud humming noise of the cooling containers next to us, the boats on the inner wall had power, water and plenty of dirt due to construction work there.




But while the harbor cannot be recommended, the island certainly can. It is incredible how much each Canary island differs from the other. On this island people seem to really care how their houses look like, all are painted and decorated in various ways, and the whole island seems clean and pretty. That is a big difference to Tenerife , where many if not most buildings are ugly, seemingly put up without much care. In a way Tenerife seems like an industrial place, or just an outright tourist industry in the south, and La Palma looks and feels like a retreat from all that..



We spent two days exploring the island by rental car. First we drove to the southern end, where the island had volcano eruptions as recent as 30 years ago, and the coastline has grown in the process. Today many of these lava fields are cultivated with banana farms and it is impressive to see the difference to the untreated rough lava fields. Driving down from the new volcano to the southern tip of La Palma we found a simple beach restaurant right near the lighthouse, just in time to feed the always hungry youngsters. 








On the second day we went up into the high mountains, where many observatories from organizations all over the world are maintained. The air up there is fantastically clean, and it feels so quiet and peaceful up there.











Next morning we returned our car and did some shopping and soon after that it started raining seriously and didn't stop for the rest of the day. But we were to leave anyway and around 7 in the evening we started to get moving. This included getting out the Fortress kedge anchor, that has held us well clear of the harbor wall, but unfortunately the little river that flows into the harbor basin had piled up a lot of silt and mud on top of our anchor and it was sitting in there really solid. We had to tie it short and power it out using the engine. It came up then but one fluke now features an elegant bend.


As soon as we were clear of the island, the rain stopped, but the wind remained variable in direction and we finally decided to the let boat steer by the wind, rather then by compass direction, as it was too much work to keep adjusting sails. This went fine and in the morning we were even a bit to the windward side of the rhumb-line. It was just slow at times and in the morning close to northern tip of Tenerife the wind almost died and we had the engine assist.

Within a few hours Fortress in the US, the makers of our aluminum anchor had answered our e-mail and asked where they to send the replacement fluke - the anchor has a lifetime warranty!

Shortly after eleven in the morning we were back in the well know marina in Tenerife , again berthed next to WETNOSE, but this time to her port side.


We plan to stay here for a few days. Jonas has to leave us on the 8th and then we need to do some more shopping. But then, provided a decent weather forecast, we should take off for the Cape Verde Islands

We will probably send off the next report, just before leaving the Cape Verdes, at the latest upon arrival on the other side.