Sailing Lagos to Madeira

Louise join Mats onboard Mon Ami the 10th June 2018 in Lagos, Portugal.

You can see in the background signs of a woman onboard.

In the morning we had a smell of diesel under the master bed. We have 2 tanks of 250liter each under the bed. A few days earlier had we topped up the fuel tanks and they where now completely full and ready for the 450 Nm sail for Madeira. Yes we plan to sail and not use the engine. Full diesel tanks is only for safety but they can also cause problem.

The level indicator of the port side tank was leaking and we had no spare packing. We called the super service minded manager Hugo on Sopromar shipyard. He came personally on Sunday morning with his colleague Paulo and a new packaging. The problem was that all tanks where completely full and they could not open the level indicator. That would course diesel to flood under the bed. Paulo used an electric pump and several jerrycans to lower the diesel level so they could replace the packing.

Sopromar solved the problem in a few hours without charges on a Sunday morning!

S/Y Mon Ami of Sweden could depart the same evening for a 72 hours sail to Porto Santo in Madeira.

First long sail

This was the first long sail for Mats and Louise with three Days and three Nights.

Normally would Louise have the first evening and early night watch but with all the heavy cargo traffic around the west corner of Europe Cabo de Sao Vicente did we decide to change.

Mats had the first watch until 2 am when we had passed the traffic separation zone. When we tried to change was it quite rolly waves and completely dark. Without any moonshine was it impossible to see the horizon and no lights visible to get any reference point for stability. – Louise got immediately sea sick and Mats had to continue the night watch until dawn.

Problem with Autopilot steering.

We have a hydraulic steering on Mon Ami. With her 30 tons weight she needs some power to maneuver. We have two redundant Raymarine autopilots with separate electronics and hydraulic pumps.

During the night we here’d a squeezing noice sporadically from the rudder. It seems to come when the autopilot quickly returns from hard port angle. It did not cause any problem but we will have somebody to look into it in Las Palmas when we leave the boat for the autumn. It worst case can we shift to the other pilot.

Light in the darkness

We saw a very strong light on our course-line the second night. It had no AIS and nothing on the radar until we where 2 Nm close.

It turned out to be a tugboat toeing a 3 km long fish farm from Madeira to Portugal main land. We almost sailed in to the very long net in the dark. It had only small flashlights every 100 meters. We had to change our course 30 degrees to avoid it. It would really have been a disaster to be captured in a 3 km fish net in the middle of the night 200 Nm from land.

Land Ohoy!

We had calculated to average between 6,2 and 7,5 knots to arrive in daylight. We had a very good sail with 10-20 knots of wind. It got lower in the end so we had to use the engine to ensure that we arrived before darkness.

Land ohoy! Porto Santo Madeira showed up in the dawn the third morning!

We found squid on deck after the long sail to Madeira.

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