Relaxed few days at anchor in Funchal. Spent some time walking round the town but have been a little disappointed in it. Too many tourists and tacky souvenir shops geared to the cruise ship passengers which visit frequently. A highlight was taking the gondola up the hill overlooking the town and walking back to the harbour front through all the backstreets.
On the plus side this year the port authority has stopped charging boats at anchor and it is even possible to get a key for the shower block with a 10 euro deposit and no extra charge. The only downside with the anchorage is that it a little rolly and a relatively long half mile dinghy ride into the marina where the tender is left. A pretty sight by night looking at the lights of the town.
I have been surprised not to see more cruising yachts here. There were six in the anchorage when I arrived on Wednesday but only two now. In the marina are just a handful of visitors. Only seen one other British yacht since leaving Portugal several weeks ago. The majority continue to be Norwegian, Dutch and French. Nice to see Aurelie and Olivier again on ‘Courement’ they anchored next to me for a few days and I had them over to dinner on Saturday night. Yesterday at anchor I poked my head out of the hatch to see a large pair of red lips only a few metres away and bearing down on Fathom. Thankfully the cruise ship was only turning round before berthing but was slightly disconcerting looking up at the the bow only a few metres away.
Leaving Funchal later this morning bound for La Graciosa, a small island and reportedly nice anchorage just north of Lanzarote. The distance from here is around 270 miles so should arrive within three days if the wind holds up. Looking forward to getting sailing again.