We weighed anchor for the last time in Porto the morning of Oct 25, eyes shining and high excitement on board for our sail to Madeira. We planned to stop there for a few days and explore the trails and maybe even some rock climbing and more wine drinking (yes, in that order) before heading further south to the Canaries.

As usual, we had a schedule to keep (Rule #1 for successful sailing – NO SCHEDULES. A rule we are still failing to learn). This meant we set off in calm weather, motoring again, and watching a weather system which threatened to smack us in the face as we made our passage. Perhaps we could beat it and get there in time? Perhaps it would move? Forecasts aren’t always that accurate, right?

Beautiful sunset to start us off.
Marina practices speaking Dolphin
Evening meal aboard


By the first evening, we were sailing under a poled out genoa, under the stars and a beautiful moon. We kept going between running the motor and sailing for the next few days, until we were indeed smacked in the face by the system we’d been watching on the 29th. The wind was coming directly from where we wanted to go. After beating into it for several hours and not seeing any promise in the forecast, the crew huddled and we decided to adjust course, skipping Madeira and continuing onward to the Canaries. No way we would be able to enjoy that island if we spent all our time just trying to get there. It wasn’t worth it. Add Madeira to the list of places we’d like to visit someday!

So we turned south, toward the Eastern Canaries, and things were immediately more comfortable and fun. We skirted the weather system and eventually found ourselves in light airs again… which eventually offered the opportunity for a swimming stop in the middle of the ocean.

More dolphins and such clear water

We finally dropped anchor at Islote de Lobos on Halloween, after 6 days at sea. We all jumped in for a swim, napped, ate a good meal ashore, and went for a walk through the surreal landscape. Despite our inefficient track and random wind changes, we had a great passage and it was great fun to have Mistilyn and Marina on board! We ate well, laughed a lot, and enjoyed a luxurious four-person watch schedule. 🙂

We stretched out our sea legs on a walk through this surreal volcanic landscape

Mistilyn on top of the world!
Sunset selfie