Enjoying Luisito

October 01 – October 11, 2019; 2306 nm and 203 days after departure from La Rochelle

Luis arrived first of October around 1:30 in the morning. We were of course very excited but also had some trouble not to fall asleep before his arrival at this time of day. So we did, well I can’t remember what we did, but we managed to stay awake and were highly excited to finally leave the marina to pick him up from the close by airport. It is only 15 min away so we left the boat 20 min before his arrival. The marina is located in a resort which is built like a little village and you leave it at an entrance/exit. So far so good. The trouble starts when you reach the gate and it turns out it is closed. Yeah, it seemed that they close the resort at night. Shit! 🙄 What to do? A button which used to open the gate was out of order for ages. We tried to open the gate somehow ourselves – didn’t work out either. We were already getting a bit annoyed and worried as our spare time already run out. And we wanted to pick up little Luisito in time at the airport! Finally we were so smart to find the reception of the resort. Those guys didn’t really understand our concern as they told us the second gate is always open- even the whole night. Why did nobody tell us? A second gate hahaha it was a bit embarrassing, but we just about made it in time for Luis. Yipeeeeee 😊


As Luis likes the movement on a boat and loves sailing we planned quite a lot of sailing days and only a few days to explore Madeira. That is the trouble with holidays, you have to made your mind up what you prefer as you can’t stay forever 😉…
We as you can imagine were just happy to have Luis aboard. It was so nice to be able to spent time together. To catch up, to eat, to drink, to talk, to swim, to visit or play rumicub or just read together was absolutely great.

Luis was so kind to provide his logbook of his stay on Altimate.

Exploring Madeira @ SY Altimate
A report collection
+++ 01.10.2019 +++
Title: arriving at FNC Airport Madeira
Time: 00:55
Weather: nice, cloudy, I was still happy that I was wearing my long trousers.
Sea: idk, it was dark 
Heading: Marina 
flight was kind of bumpy but alright. After touchdown on the way to the marina I noticed the runway on stilts which was odd and looked funny. 
+++ —- End —- +++
+++ 01.10.2019 +++
Title: visiting the sea at Porto da Cruz and the highest mountain Pico Ruivo (1862m)
Time: 10:00
Weather: sunny with very few clouds, T-shirt and shorts temperature
Sea: calm 
Heading: Porto da Cruz, <Pico Ruivo>

bay of Porto da Cruz

I expected a flat volcanic rock in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean with less to very less vegetation, obviously I was surprised by the very green island with the very prominent banana plantations and its almost alpine serpentines on the way up to the tallest mountain.
+++ —- End —- +++
+++ 02.10.2019 +++
Title: Cruising to Porto Santo
Time: 16:00
Weather: sunny with very few clouds, shorts-only temperature
Sea: 15knots up to 20knots, with small to medium waves  
Heading: Porto Santo 
Surprisingly we spotted turtles crossing our way in the open waters, unfortunately we weren’t able to take a photo. The two times we spotted one they appeared and disappeared too quickly. At first I thought they were trash afloat in the sea, but then I discovered the typical turtle pattern.  
We dropped the anchor outside of the marina at Porto Santo, oddly some cold, opened beers appeared right after the anchor dig itself into the ground.
There is a place on Porto Santo where you can observe the tidal power resulting in turbulent water which is awesome to look at. 
+++ —- End —- +++
+++ 04.10.2019 +++
Title: back to Madeira and dropping anchor in a bay
Time: 15:00
Weather: sunny with very few clouds, almost no wind ☹
Sea: calm
Heading: Madeira 
Unfortunately, we had to steam back to madeira, because there was almost no wind. the bay where we dropped anchor had some steep cliffs which were intimidating and very close, from the Altimates’ point of view.

the view from Altimate in the bay close to Quinta do Lores

Turns out, from far away they appeared to be nowhere near the yacht, still they are very high and steep. We got this view during a hiking trip we did at the next day, which led us along and atop the cliffs until we reached a highpoint on at the South-Eastern end of madeira. 

in front Altimate in the same bay

The bay had some pretty bad swell, so it was pretty hard to get some sleep, nonetheless it was an awesome place to be at. Somehow the BBQ tuna tasted way better than at other places. 
+++ —- End —- +++
+++ 07.10.2019 +++
Title: on the way to Ilhas Desertas
Time: 15:00
Weather: sunny and good wind
Sea: medium waves 
Heading: Ilhas Desertas

perfect sailing

In the morning we got up had our usual cup of coffee and the we were on our way to Ilhas Desertas. We had fairly good wind which increased to 20 knots in the afternoon. Arriving at the Desertas we had some gusts up to 29 knots.

the house of the rangers and the anchorage

The Ilhas Desertas are, as their name suggests, a small group of uninhabited islands. Except for a few rangers who live in a small shack at one of the few places which are not unreachable, stay on the islands for research and to protect animals. This place emerged around 1900 due to a landslide.
The next day we relaxed a bit and did some snorkeling. Before we took off  to get back to Madeira we landed at the rangers place. We did a small trip around and were told by the rangers that we must not stay in water if we spot a monk seal. Because even if they don’t want to hurt you, they probably would, just because they are such big animals. Although this seems obvious it is easy to imagine that there might be some people who would swim up to them and possibly get hurt. 
+++ —- End —- +++
+++ 09.10.2019 +++
Title: Funchal 
Time: 14:00
Weather: sunny 
Sea: on food 
Heading: Funchal
The day after we returned to Madeira, we went to explore the beautiful capital of Madeira, Funchal.

a typical painted door in Funchal

Arriving by car we spotted the CR7 museum, which we agreed on to skip. I think its kind of weird to have a museum for a living person. We wandered around a bit and enjoyed the Caribbean vibe of Funchal.We had some coffee in the afternoon and later a couple of beer in the sun while admiring the sea.  After a light snack we remember that there is a tropical garden in the district ‘Monte’ which is high above the city and used to be or still is a rich neighbourhood with really steep streets. They were so steep that our car almost didn’t made it up there. On the way to the tropical garden we spotted some sleds.

a typical Madeiran sledge with “Carreiros” steering it ( see video in impressions)

These famous sleds were used to get down the mountain fast. (We were able to make a video of them the next day.)  On arrival at the tropical garden we had to find out that it was already closed, so we decided to come back the next day. 
+++ —- End —- +++
+++ 10.10.2019 +++
Title: Tropical Garden 
Time: 17:00
Weather: sunny 
Sea: no matter as by foot and car
Heading: Funchal Tropical Garden, Madeira
On my last day we visited the garden, which was unfortunately a little boring as we expected much more than it actually presented, but it was still quite nice.

a huge fern , starting to unwrap in the tropical garden

After that, we hopped on our car and drove off to find some cooler places. In a small township we found a nice bar and took a little break. We decided to drive to the other side of Madeira to explore that side once more. As we passed the mountains the weather changed to wet-cloudy which made us joke around that we’re actually in the alps. This feeling strengthened as soon as we arrived at a nice restaurant high in the mountains where we decided to have dinner. It was a small place, that looked just like a place in the alps with it’s open fire and frame-house look. 
+++ —- End —- +++
+++ 11.10.2019 +++
Title: flight to Porto 
Time:  10:00
Weather: Sunny
Sea: idc, I’m on a plane
Heading: Barcelona via Porto

just a nice pic from somewhere in Madeira

Right now I’m looking forward to land in Porto so I can walk again, because that plane is way too small for me. Anyway looking back, the last 10 days were awesome. A lot of sailing and discovering new places. Still sailing or living on a boat has its ups and downs. On one side there is very little space, sometimes swell and of course, as my sister laid out, the Takatukaland-affair. Considering this, probably all the people who stay on a boat longer than a few hours will have to fight their own battles with this kind of issue. On the other side you’re always outside, you can discover new places, you can enjoy sun sets/rises and best of all you can sail a lot – yay<3
I have to admit that it might seem that sailing is more a hassle than fun, but imo being on the sea, having a good strong wind, some nice waves and cruising in the sun is definitely worth it. Not to forget the anchor-dropped-beer in the evening with ,if you’re lucky, a self caught fish. If you are still questioning if you should go sailing, don’t hesitate just do it!
Cheers from Aachen 

I really don’t know what’s wrong with our kids regarding the Takatukaland affair… 🤷‍♀️😁

Apart from coming back from Porto Santo with no wind what so ever we had super nice wind conditions. We were flying to and back from the Ilhas Desertas. The wind reached easily 25 knots and more. On our way back we had to sail hard to the wind. That gave us finally the opportunity to use our staysail. It is a kind of storm sail which we hadn’t really used since we left La Rochelle. It’s main advantage is that one can stay pretty close to the wind without loosing much pace and direction when you’re coping with very strong winds. The result was fortunately as expected, it did a great job which gave us a save feeling. It’s even better when you have Luisito aboard who loves these conditions and enjoys steering the boat for hours. 😁

steering in heavy wind conditions

And here we went again, another couple of days exploring Madeira and the 10 days were gone just like this. It’s always sad to say goodbye but x-mas is coming closer and that means family reunion. 😊

2 thoughts on “Enjoying Luisito


    Hello Sabine & Norbert,

    Enjoy the family and the small paradise island !

    1 year ago your boat was waiting in a colder place 😉 …
    we just come back from a small break at La Rochelle , rainy and windy for 2 days so ….
    we finally had the appropriate weather to enjoy & use your gift
    so we spent some hours at the Aquarium 🙂

    We really enjoyed and this made us travel as well to other horizons

    Bon vent !


    Eric et Anne-Claire


    1. Salut Annes-Claire, salut Eric,

      great to hear from you and that you had some quality time at the Aquarium.

      Time really flies by. We are in Funchal/Madeira at the moment and looks like heading to the Canaries, with a stop over at the Salvagem Islands (very tiny islands 160nm north of Madeira) end of the coming week.

      All the best,

      Sabine and Norbert


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