Porto Santo a second time

Now it’s almost October and it’s time to sail to Las Palmas. We will try to get there just before ARC 2022 starts on November 20, so we have plenty of time. The first stop on the way there will be Porto Santo, a sailing that we estimate will take about 3 days with the weather forecast we have, a strong breeze from the north which means 20-30 knots of wind.

When we leave Lagos this time, the killer whales are close by. We have read that other boats managed to scare them off by lighting a flare and holding it over the water. So we’ve prepared some emergency flares in case we get an unwelcome visitor. The idea is to tape the flare to the boat hook to reach out over the water without having to go on deck.

3 days at sea

The sailing to Porto Santo takes several days and we will need to sleep a few times before we arrive. In a separate article, Sailing Handling aboard Sally, I have written about how we do so that only one of us can sail Sally without leaving the cockpit when the other is asleep.

The first day we had good wind, around 25 knots from the north, i.e. diagonally from behind (veil). In these conditions we sail with genoa and mainsail without reefing and then Sally makes good speed, i.e. around 8 knots on average. We rushed forward, unfortunately at the expense of Carina’s well-being. When we left Lagos, the waves got bigger and bigger and after a few hours it was time for Carina to feel seasick. Now, luckily, we had the waves with us and then her seasickness is not as intense and she was able to deal with it by lying down and resting.

Luckily, we escaped being greeted by any killer whales and had a nice sail in good wind for most of the stretch.

The second day passed quickly and we sailed almost 200 nautical miles in a strong northerly breeze. Still a bit too much waves for Carina and she lay and rested except when she was on watch.

On the last day, the wind decreased to under 10 knots and Carina’s seasickness went away. When the wind blows less than 10 knots during down wind sailing, we usually run the engine because Sally only makes about 2-3 knots then with flapping sails. So the last 100 Nautical miles, the engine got to work and we arrived at Porto Santo with fully charged batteries 🙂

To optimize fuel consumption, we run the engine at a slightly lower speed, around 1300-1400 RPM, and then Sally makes 5 knots and uses just under 3 liters of fuel per hour.

At anchor outside the harbor

The port of Porto Santo is just west of the island’s south-east cape, which bends down to the south-east and forms a natural breakwater for swell from the north. There is the possibility to dock at guest docks or anchor inside the piers in the harbor, but we choose to anchor just outside the harbor along the long fine sandy beach.

The beach stretches 7 km to the island’s southwestern tip, and here the sandy bottom is perfect for anchoring. When we arrive, there is a good spot right near the harbor and the beach where you have a little better protection from the swell that sweeps around the eastern tip of the island. The water is crystal clear and the bottom is clearly visible. It makes it easier for me to check how the anchor sits, just swim over and look down at it where it sits perfectly in the sand at a depth of 9 meters.

När vi vet att ankaret har bra fäste och jollen blivit sjösatt, är det dags för lilla ankarsnapsen och sen är det dags att checka in.

När vi är på väg in till hamnen, ser vi vår gamla båt Filippa för ankar några hundra meter från oss. Vilket sammanträffande!

Filippa är en Långedrag 401 i stål som vi ägde under 10 år och hade tänkt använda för vår långsegling. Nu blev det inte så och vi sålde båten för omkring 10 år sen till ett svenskt yngre par som skulle långsegla med den. Efter några år i Sverige, kom de iväg och seglade ner till Lagos för några år sen. Där tog livet andra vändningar och de valde att sälja båten.

Nu är det ett norskt par med två barn som äger båten, de har bytt namn till Kaizen, och planerar segling till Karibien via Kap Verde. I skrivande stund har de seglat över till Karibien och har det skönt i östra Karibiens ö-värld.

Check-in goes smoothly, they still have information about us from the last time we were here.

Pier paintings

After check-in, we look at all the pier paintings and find our old painting we did when we were here in 2019.

It is tradition to paint your boat’s name on the pier in some ports you have visited with the boat. One such port is Porto Santo.

We recognize many paintings from boats we have met during our sailings. We photographed all legible paintings made by Nordic crews we could see. There were cars parked in front of part of the wall and it was not possible to photograph there.

I have compiled them into four separate articles with photos of the paintings, one article for each Nordic country except Iceland. If you have paint on the pier in Porto Santo, you can always try to find your painting and see what it looks like in October 2022. The oldest paintings that were still around were from before 2000, but they were barely legible anymore.

The ravages of time wear away the paintings and we have only included the paintings where it was still possible to see which country the boat was from. Since there were many pictures, I have divided them into four different articles, one for each country.

A mosaic of pier paintings

Here is a list of pier paintings from Porto Santo. See if your pier painting still was there when we visited in October 2022. What we noticed is that there are very few Finnish paintings and of course we wonder why? We saw no Icelandic paintings at all.

Boat washing

After every sea voyage, Sally needs a little care to keep her in shape. We usually wash off the salt from the water that splashes up while sailing. This time two squids had come up on the deck and I didn’t notice them until now. Unfortunately, one of them had released a lot of ink that couldn’t be washed off with regular detergent. Hope it goes away with time.

The aft stay tensioner that Seldén serviced during our stay in Lagos still leaks oil when the aft stay is stretched. It is not noticeable during shorter trips, only when there has been pressure in it for several days in a row. Then there is traces of a oil coming out of the joint just below the pressure gauge. I tell Seldén about it, and they promises to send a new one within the warranty commitment. It will be delivered to Alisios Sailing in Las Palmas when we get there.

A lovely week

We take our bikes ashore and do bike excursions to a few different places along the beach. We think that the south-west part of the beach, is the most beautiful part. This time we found a new nice place just after the community of Villa Baleira, it’s Pé na Água Restaurante & Beach Bar with access to a nice beach below.

Another takeaway from this visit, is the Panorama Restaurante. It is located on the hill above the anchorage, and we had already been recommended to visit it the last time we were here. When you book a table, they ask if they should come and pick you up at the port. The visit includes a free taxi ride to and from the restaurant, which is a bit inaccessible for a sailor who doesn’t have a car.

Having been there twice, we can only agree with the recommendation we received. If you come to Porto Santo, take the time and afford to pay a visit to Panorama Restaurante. If you like tuna, you’ve definitely come to the right place. It was the best tuna we have eaten (except the one we caught ourselves on our way to Barbuda at the beginning of the pandemic).

I took some pictures of Sally while snorkeling around the boat one day, and some of them I think turned out pretty cool.

Up next

After just over a week in Porto Santo, we get a good weather window for continue sailing to Lanzarote. This time we choose a weather window with slightly weaker wind forces so that Carina will not get seasick.

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