Author: Bernd Page 2 of 24
We have taken the bus up to Parque do Monte – 670m above sea level. Being a bus driver in this city needs special skills and strong nerves. The bus ride was adventure enough for us and therefore we preferred to walk back into town. By chance we ended up on the track the toboggans are heading downwards on these absolute steep gradients, which are getting a bit painful in the knees to walk after a few kilometres. It basically is the shortest straight line down from 670m towards the sea. However, we got a good impression on the outskirts of Funchal city.
I know Funchal and perhaps Madeira is nothing for puppy riders like myself but I had to give it a try this morning. In need for an ewer I went to the next hardware store but nothing is flat here on this island. Keeping my heartbeat under control as long as possible, finally I had to push the bike some stretch of the track as 18% uphill gradient is simply too much for fitness score. Nevertheless the downhill was great and I will have a chance to practice my climbing skills over the weeks to come…😉
In the meantime we have fixed the lines in Marina Funchal on Madeira and taken some very deep long sleep!
The marina is quite busy and I think we have been lucky to get a berth here. Some swell and squeaking mooring lines. A long lasting dream has come true! Fair winds…
All going as per the plan we shall be on the ocean now for 9 hours and this is a scheduled blog release as we are out of mobile networks.
In the past we were very sloppy on our roster duty plans while sailing long distance. Longest distance Susan and myself did many years back was from Augustenborg/DK to Bornholm/DK – a 3 days nonstop voyage.
This time we have decided to bring some discipline into the journey with a “strict 4 hours each” roster duty plan.
We will see how it goes and obviously a bit of flexibility is needed here and there. We also believe that during the day there will be some shared time as you cannot sleep 12 hours a day either.
Some people also call it vacation but that is another topic…😂.
We are leaving Porto today with destination Funchal/Madeira. The planned shortest distance is 672nm, a 5-6 days trip. During the passage, we will receive updated weather reports to adjust the routing as and when required. The net controls from Intermar e.V. will offer twice a day verbal communication via HAM Radio, which we will be part of. Very nice!
It is our first longer passage and we are obviously a bit nervous but also confident we will be able to complete this passage in safety, comfort and style. Preparations have been completed and it is now time to throw the lines. Accompany from other TO yachts is not foreseen this time but there will be plenty of traffic on this route to deal with.
Some text updates (no photos) on this blog via Winlink can be expected as we did during our Biscay crossing before.
Our abo with www.wetterwelt.de provides good weather information (Grib files) but is weak on WeatherRouting, which is key to ensure sailing in safety, comfort and style. Actually their software SeamanPro does not generate any optimised route between selected starting point A and ending point E. It will only show the weather conditions over cruising time based on an imported fixed route. That is not what we are looking for in nowadays century.
A program called qtVlm has been introduced to me by Hans-Uwe from Intermar e.V. and I am quite impressed by the comprehensive approach this freeware (French development, you name it!) provides to the sailors. Especially the weather routing is amazing.
One of the features, which impressed me, was the catalogue on their server to choose the polar-diagram for the individual boat under journey. Obviously you need to tell the software how fast the boat will go under which wind conditions. Together with the grib files it will then optimise the best routing for your travel plans and sametime generate waypoints for the routing to follow. Continuous updates while on voyage are possible based on actual boat position and updated weather information at any given point in time. Excellent!
I have simulated three routes to Funchal/Madeira the other day based on three different weather models provided by Saildoc, Wetterwelt and XyGrib. As you can see in the chart above, Saildoc and Wetterwelt result in the same routing, the only difference is the arrival time, Saildoc is 1 hour and 35min later. Routing based on XyGrib is slightly further North but about the same arrival time as Saildoc. I lose my confidence a bit looking at the “Nb of Tacks and Gybes” in the table! With a sharp eye you can see the prop in the top rigth quadrant nest to the routing line. Engine hours are calculated to around 4.5 hours at the time the boat speed by sail drops below 3kts. Amazing but Let’s see, it’s all theory anyway!
Mother nature will tell us the truth and I am sure it will be quite different but it helps to optimze the journey and manage expectations!
Besides that I look forward to good discussions with the Intermar e.V. Netcontrols on 14.313kHz twice a day during our times out on the ocean.