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Old 17-12-2012, 15:46   #1
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Merged Threads: Cruising Madeira

We plan to arrive in Madeira early July, haul the boat out until late November, then continue on to Canaries. Any thoughts on the risks and rewards of Madeira? I've heard the autumn storms (and seen some robust GRIB files) which suggest it might be a difficult place to leave.
Any advice much appreciated.
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Old 17-12-2012, 16:41   #2
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I did a delivery passing through Madeira last November going north the wrong way.


No at that time most storms are passing north of the islands tracking across the bottom of Portugal. Anyway the winds in such storms suit a passage south and the isles du soleil rally leaves around that time. You can get stuck on the islands for a few days if unlucky but generally going south its fine

Now and then the canaries get blasted by Christmas winds, again in general besides the acceleration zone north of Tenerife, making the approach uncomfortable , there's generally no issue. It's only a few days trip south so you can see the weather windows no problem. You can get some thunder cells floating around too but generally not an issue.

I would try and get out by mid November though. The weather does deteriorate

You will not get a berth in Funchal unless very lucky. We stayed in Quinte de lordo , a bit away and while the marina was fine it needed a car and there was little to do locally

Madeira is a beautiful place to stay, good food , lovely lovely people and stunning walks and views. Air connections in the winter time are still good though not as good as summer. There doesn't seem to be a flat piece of ground in the place.

Great local fish restaurants and sample the Madeira cake not what I grew up with but yummy.

Ps stock up on pharmacy stuff , very cheap.

Ps why haul out, is it to save money
Dave
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Old 17-12-2012, 17:54   #3
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re: Merged Threads: Cruising Madeira

I think early July is fine. You dont want to leave the passage fromEurope or the Med till October. Thats when it gets nasty.
Lin and Larry Pardy wrote about the adage of being south of Finnisterre by October 1st.
Of course they werent and were nastily beaten up for it.

But July is fine.

Maderia has good history and quite spectacular.... But you may go board there after a few months.
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Old 18-12-2012, 14:35   #4
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cruising Madeira

We plan to sail to Madeira in early June, haul the boat for a few months, returning in November to continue on to the Canaries and the Atlantic crossing. Any advice on haul out in Madeira? Bike riding on the main Island? Weather risks?
thanx for any information.
brian anderson
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Old 18-12-2012, 15:10   #5
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re: Merged Threads: Cruising Madeira

Madeira is a fascinating stop. Very beautiful.

I hauled out at the boatyard at Canical on the east end of the south coast, and was very pleased with the experience. The yard primarily services the fishing fleet, and has a large travel lift. I suspect the availability of hardstanding is determined by the fishing seasons.

The prevailing winds are northerly, so most population and port facilities are on the south coast. There are a very limited number of slips available. The most likely place to get a slip is at Quinta do Lorde Resort/Marina on the far eastern end of the south coast. It is a beautiful facility with a very friendly, helpful staff. Unfortunately it is a bit of a trip on the bus into Funchal. Also, the weather tends to be wetter, cooler, and windier than in Funchal (there's a reason they located Funchal in the center of the south coast). There may be some slips available in the main marina in Funchal, but they are difficult to get in the winter season. It is possible to anchor just off the harbor at Funchal, in the park on the east end, off Machico, and probably a few other places BUT do not get caught at anchor in a southerly! The anchorages are untenable in southerlies.

The island is quite mountainous and there are precious few flat places. The narrow, winding old roads are cut into the sides of mountains, often with steep drops of 1000' or more down to the sea. Elevation changes are dramatic as the roads have to go over the high mountainous spines between the valleys where they can't be cut into the seaside face of the spines. There is a newer expressway system that uses bridges and tunnels extensively in order to move quickly along the south coast. The express buses use these, and the local buses take the much slower and scenic old roads. Biking? I doubt that it is allowed on the expressway. The other roads are very narrow with no shoulders and often a concrete wall between the edge of the road and a plummet to the sea. Even if you could pedal up the steep hills it would be very dangerous and would obstruct traffic. Not recommended. The bus system is excellent, and rental cars are available.

Greg
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Old 18-12-2012, 15:50   #6
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re: Merged Threads: Cruising Madeira

Madeira can get dodgy weather at times but summers tend to be very fine. If sailing late (late summer, early fall, or winter) then time your departure with a fine wx window. Winter wx in Madeira cold and wet.

Været som var Funchal, Madeira (Portugal)

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Old 18-12-2012, 16:23   #7
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re: Merged Threads: Cruising Madeira

To elaborate on Barnakiel's post, the winter weather in Funchal does not in any respect reflect the weather elsewhere on the island so unless you can get into the Funchal marina you will probably not have the same experience. Coming from the east end of the island, which is mostly cloudy, windy, cool and damp in the winter, the weather dramatically changes upon crossing in to the Funchal valley. The skies clear, the wind dies, the temperature rises. The reverse is less pleasant... So take the Funchal weather records with a grain of salt.

I have no personal experience other than in the winter, but believe that the climate is very nice at other times. My sister-in-law is from Madeira, and I have her permission to say so...

Greg
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Old 18-12-2012, 16:55   #8
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re: Merged Threads: Cruising Madeira

Beautiful island with plenty of fantastic hiking opportunities. The best hike we did was "as queimadas to caldeirão verde". Google that and enjoy the photos!
Spend more time in Madeira than the Canaries.
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Old 18-12-2012, 17:10   #9
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re: Merged Threads: Cruising Madeira

As per Greg's post, I stand corrected. Big differences between individual locations certain. The same story in Canary Islands, especially the tall ones.

Read all wx stats bearing in mind that they average things - in any given year the actual wx can be much better or much worse than the the averages.

Cheers,
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Old 19-12-2012, 02:27   #10
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re: Merged Threads: Cruising Madeira

Don't forget the boatyard at nearby Porto Santo.
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Old 19-12-2012, 02:32   #11
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re: Merged Threads: Cruising Madeira

You have two threads running so a bit confusing...


I did a delivery passing through Madeira last November going north the wrong way.


No at that time most storms are passing north of the islands tracking across the bottom of Portugal. Anyway the winds in such storms suit a passage south and the isles du soleil rally leaves around that time. You can get stuck on the islands for a few days if unlucky but generally going south its fine

Now and then the canaries get blasted by Christmas winds, again in general besides the acceleration zone north of Tenerife, making the approach uncomfortable , there's generally no issue. It's only a few days trip south so you can see the weather windows no problem. You can get some thunder cells floating around too but generally not an issue.

I would try and get out by mid November though. The weather does deteriorate

You will not get a berth in Funchal unless very lucky. We stayed in Quinte de lordo , a bit away and while the marina was fine it needed a car and there was little to do locally

Madeira is a beautiful place to stay, good food , lovely lovely people and stunning walks and views. Air connections in the winter time are still good though not as good as summer. There doesn't seem to be a flat piece of ground in the place.

Great local fish restaurants and sample the Madeira cake not what I grew up with but yummy.

Ps stock up on pharmacy stuff , very cheap.

Ps why haul out, is it to save money

Dave
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Old 19-12-2012, 02:34   #12
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re: Merged Threads: Cruising Madeira

Note that there isnt any haul out at Quinta do Lorde Marina, Its a nice place and the little bar restaurant is nice ( even if the fresh bread they bake is very expensive.) But the surronding resort is a victim of Portugals economic problems and is and doesnt look like it might ever be finished.
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Old 19-12-2012, 03:01   #13
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re: Merged Threads: Cruising Madeira

Dave - agree with everything you said.

One note: the Isles du Soleil rally includes a lot of catamarans, and they reserve the Quinta do Lorde marina's larger slips for weeks before their departure. I was lucky enough to stay there because I could maneuver my 31' into a tight slip, but my friends on a Hylas 54 were not so lucky. So definitely pay attention to the rally's schedule if you're planning on needing a marina in the autumn.

Greg
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Old 19-12-2012, 03:19   #14
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re: Merged Threads: Cruising Madeira

Quote:
Originally Posted by CarinaPDX View Post
Dave - agree with everything you said.

One note: the Isles du Soleil rally includes a lot of catamarans, and they reserve the Quinta do Lorde marina's larger slips for weeks before their departure. I was lucky enough to stay there because I could maneuver my 31' into a tight slip, but my friends on a Hylas 54 were not so lucky. So definitely pay attention to the rally's schedule if you're planning on needing a marina in the autumn.

Greg
I was there last year while the rally was there , the marina was still half empty even with the rally , hard times. most seem to use the long dock near the lighthouse too

dave
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Old 19-12-2012, 03:23   #15
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re: Merged Threads: Cruising Madeira

I was there in autumn of 2008 and as I said, they were turning boats away. Things are always changing. When I got to Trinidad for Carnival cruisers were clearing out and going home to repair their finances. So a good time to go cruising if finances allow...

Greg
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