Finally on our way

After a lot of work on Kerpa we were finally on our way. First trip was not very far to Ferragudo about 7 Nm east of Lagos, we had a gentle sail and just unfurled the head sail and enjoyed the short trip.

Really great to be at anchor again.

We had some relaxing days

Kerpa at anchor

Enjoying a beer in a very nice setting, it feels great after 9 month of hard work on Kerpa.

Strolling around admiring some of the beautiful street art.

Meeting friends, visiting places with live music and fancy food.

Live music and fancy food at Club Nau

It was DeAnne and Steve on Voila who took us to the Club Nau, and we show them Kalu Beach Bar, which probably has the best hamburgers in the neighbourhood.

But not only time for pleasure because more boat jobs remains to be done, First our outboard was not performing as usual, i.e starts on the first pull and run without problems, now she needs a few pulls and lose revs now and then. I got some contaminated fuel last year so time to clean the carburettor.

A quick fix and now she runs smoothly.

A bit larger task was to replace the old fridge with a new one that I had ordered. The fridge was supposed to arrive long time ago, before we left Lagos. First, we had to take the train to Lagos to pick up the fridge, transport it to Portimao get the old fridge out, the new onboard and take our car back to the garage in Lagos and the train back to the boat. Then the only thing remaining was to install the new fridge, which of course was a bit larger than the old one, so it did not fit. I made a YouTube video about it if you want to see it click on the link.

New fridge installation

There is a 15 sec short version below!

We had some “contractors” aboard for minor but “time consuming” jobs (they were overcommitted with jobs and consequently did not show up when they should, so a few days’ work took more than two weeks). To save some on marina fees we moored outside a larger sailing vessel in the fishing harbour. One problem was the tide and wind who pushed the larger boat out from the quay and thus created some problems to get aboard Kerpa. Klick on clip and you find how we solved that issue

The big task was to replace the standing rig on Kerpa now more than 20 years old. Most insurance companies do not insure sailing boats with standing rig older than 10 years, so from that perspective we were long overdue. We had of course outsourced the job, but quite some job for us as well. Take down and fold all the sails, disconnect all cables which are a few, take off all split pins and loosen all turnbuckles. It’s a full day work. The riggers were very pleased that we had done all the job, which they probably had expected to do them self, but it was high season for boat work and we did want to speed up the process as much as possible.

Masts back again, and now I needed to connect all the cables again, it is much faster to disconnect than connect that is for sure. I have a few YouYube movies about the replacement of the standing rigg.

Play list with 4 videos about our rig replacement

It took a full week for them, take down the mast, undress the mast, make new wires, dress the mast, step the masts, and finally tune the rig. It was only short moments we were at the quay, most of the time we were at anchor. One thing is for sure the boat rolls substantially more without the masts on. Not fun at all to be at anchor without masts. We had the sails stored on deck in their bags, and one day they almost fell overboard when Kerpa started to roll violently when a reckless motorboat circled the anchorage with speed making maximum wave heights, can’t say he was a favourite that evening.

When hoisting the sails, we discovered that they had riveted the cutter foil 180 degree wrong on the furler drum!

Attachment point for the tack, but the grove is on the other side of the foil, shit what to do? I did not felt for drilling out the rivets, turn it and put in new rivets, I started to get tiered on boat jobs and we did want to leave Algarve rather sooner than later.

Well it work this way also!

At last we could set sail and start our adventure for real. Next stop Porto Santos ca 470 Nm, the forecast indicated 15 kn wind and broad reach, excellent conditions to test the new rig!

Just outside the breakwaters we realised the wind was much stronger. Close hauled and ca 25 kn apparent wind, not exactly the conditions we wanted to test our new rig in, luckily everything went well, and we got a nice trip under sail all the way.

Porto Santos

Approaching Port Santos during the evening with pooled out genoa. Anchored inside the harbour, contacting the marina as the Covid procedure require. We were to remain aboard until 14:30 the day after when we would get a Covid test in the marina for free. After that we had to go back aboard and stay until next morning until our test show negative. Everything went smoothly.

We found the anchor outside the breakwaters nicer and much more spacious and no catabatic winds, so we moved outside.

We took a long trekking up to the highest points of Porto Santo. Porto Santo is a very dry place, but the north part is greener than the south.

 Views from north part of the island

It was a long walk, and after we reward our self with a nice and cold beer on the beach

A fancy place, they know how to capitalize on the location, however the food did not match the price, but we still enjoyed the spot very much.

A few days later we sat sail to Funchal Madeira, prior to departure we needed to take a rapid Covid test, nothing that Kerstin fancy


It was a very grey and gloomy day when we sat sail, only 42 Nm to go, we sail wing on wing for a few hours, when approaching Madeira, the wind picked up and suddenly we were sailing broad reach with apparent wind gusting over 40 kn, again our new rig was tested. Our cutter jib made an excellent job during these conditions.

Luckily Funchal was in shelter, and we got safely in. Again, Covid procedures but even easier this time, we mailed copies of our quick Covid tests we made in Porto Santos and copies of our passports, less than an hour later we could go ashore.

A hamburger in one of the marina bars/restaurants was the treat

We found this piece on the deck and assume it came from our cutter furler. We had problem with the foil after it was originally installed (2016), The foil is in several sections that are hold together with screws, unfortunately the screws vibrates lose and the foils might come apart, has happen two times. I needed to inspect the foil, unfortunately we could not take down the jib more than a few meters, then it was stuck, I had to go aloft and found as I suspected that some screws had vibrated lose and one was protruding a bit preventing the top swivel from passing by on the foil. It was only one screw that was protruding, but after taking down the jib, I took off all screws and put them in place with strong Loctite 271 instead of the more usual Medium strength Loctite 243. Hope it will last a few blows without vibrating lose.

I could not identify from where the plastic piece came from, still a mystery.

Up the mast securing the screws holding the different sections in place.

After a few days moored outside a traditional sailing vessel we got a very nice and convenient place in the marina.

Funchal is a very nice village, small cobble stone streets

 a lot of restaurants for all wallets, the ones we visited did not make us disappointed

Here we tried local oysters.

Plenty of street arts

It’s a delight to walk the narrow streets and if one gets to warm there is only a short walk to have a swim in the Atlantic.

A cable car took us up the hill above Funchal and we found a very nice and tranquil park, well worth a visit. It is also the place for the famous cobble stone sledge ride, which we thought to pricy and to slow for our liking, so we strolled the park instead.

Of coerce one has to taste the famous Madeira vine as well

Madeira is so much more than Funchal, the whole island is very beatifull and well worth to explore, we took a trip up the mountain to the highest point Pico Ruivo (1861m)

Below follow a few pictures, amazing is the word, I let the pictures speak by them self

Kerstin at the top, very rewarding

From were one can look down at part of the trail we have been walking

The landscape has a totally different character on the east side, dryer and much more rugged.

October 2012 I was on my first longer trip, from the Algarve to Madeira. I was crewing on a Swedish 41 feet 1973 vintage sailboat a bit dated boat with bridge deck and just a small sparay-hood for the companionway, but a competent sailing boat. The weather became very rough during the trip, the last days we were closed hauled in south westerly gale force wind, sea was constantly washing over the boat and the silly spray-hood did nothing to protect us, so we became wet and cooled. Previously the gear box had broken down when motoring when we were becalmed in the beginning of the passage, a provisional repair was made during the passage. But we did not know for how long it would hold together, therefore the captain decided to  take  “shelter” under the cliffs above as we arrived at night in the strong south westerly wind. There were some shelter for the wind but large swell came in and about an hour after we got the anchor firmly set, the anchor chain snapped. We had to circle on idle throttle very close to land and the rocks protruding from the sea during the whole pitch dark night in the strong wind and pouring rain, I was soaking wet and cold, later at lunch time the day after we manage to sail around the peninsula and get into the shelter of the Marina Quinta do Lorde. I must admit I felt a great relief when we entered the marina.

Marina Quinta do Lorde, a rather sleepy Marina and resort.

Next stop

La Graciosa

But that will follow later.

We have a YouTube video about the trip to Madeira

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