Location: Funchal, Madeira
Over 350 Nautical Miles off the coast of Morocco and a 5-day passage, Vela finds land. Madeira is another hidden gem that took the boat by surprise. The Island is comprised of sharp bluffs on the shoreline that transition into rising mountainsides covered in rainforests. Madeira expresses a surreal atmosphere that I had never thought could exist on the ocean. Funchal reminds me of a familiar Colorado Ski town. The city starts at sea level and climbs up the mountainside displaying uniform housing white walls and terracotta roofs. Our anchorage last night was prime. During dinner, we “city” watched and discussed our plans for the shore morning that occurred today.
When the crew knows fresh coffee awaits ashore, they get out of bed faster than usual. Today we explored Funchal. This consisted of art galleries, a museum, a farmers market, a gondola ride, and even a toboggan ride. Mind that this does not include the usual Coffee and Gelato Stops. Funchal is also my first experience of Portuguese city culture. Overall, everyone had an awesome experience. We had a couple of mountain climbers (Jack and Henry), and even a surf enthusiast (Zoe) take a taxi to the opposite side of the island for open ocean waves. When the group met back at the dock, we had an unexpected customs detour but eventually made it back in time for oceanography and dinner.
Photos: Beautiful views of Madeira