An enjoyable few days have been spent here on Porto Santo. Fathom has been anchored inside the harbour which incurs a small charge, as does anchoring outside, but allows access to showers and is much cheaper than the marina. Nice to meet up again with friends from boats met previously in Portugal. In particular with Eric, Britt and crew from ‘Harry Z’ who invited me aboard for dinner on my first evening in port. In return I invited them and the crew of another Norwegian boat ‘Careka’ back for drinks on Fathom the following day. 11 Norwegians in the cockpit and 12 people on board is a new record! The waterline wasn’t looking too good though with an impressive stern list and even water coming up the cockpit drains.
Porto Santo is very small only 9 miles by 5 miles and lies 27 miles to the north east of the main island of Madeira. The north of the island is mountainous whereas the southern coast has an impressive 9km long sandy beach. I hired a quad bike to explore which was a good fun and allowed access to some interesting offroad parts.
The Columbus festival has been held on the island over the last few days. It evokes the period of the Portuguese maritime discoveries in particular navigator Christopher Columbus, who passed through the island and spent several years of his life living here. Columbus came into contact with Madeira in 1478 and ended up marrying the daughter of the captain of Porto Santo. On Thursday we watched a reenactment of the Columbus disembarkation.
The harbour wall is decorated with murals and insignia from visiting yachts, just as in Horta in the Azores. So I found a little space and painted one today. Unfortunately the paint shop only had black, yellow and orange paint. I messed up the lettering and the boat looks nothing like Fathom but at least there is a record of Fathom’s visit here.
Heading to Madeira tomorrow and looking forward to spending some days exploring. You never know I may even catch a fish on the way!