Passage to Madeira – first report

Spellbinder left Gosport on 16th July as planned, escorted out by RIB – thank you Mark! Faced with gentle westerlies for the first couple of days, we mainly motored and motorsailed out and 40 hours later rounded Ouessant and headed into Biscay. As I write this (0300 hours on 18th July) we are making 4-5 knots under Parasailor, steered by Hydrovane in a very gentle northerly airstream which looks likely to stay with us for the rest of our passage.  We have crossed the continental shelf and are properly offshore.

The crew – myself, Tom and Tiger – are well and settling into life on a long passage.  With the gentle weather we have been able to relax into it and now we are in Biscay we are enjoying the gentle swell and the lack of shipping.  Spellbinder’s systems are all working largely as planned, and we have used the watermaker properly for the first time.  The SSB Marine Radio is proving its worth for email and downloading weather forecasts, and the freezer, while power hungry, gives us lots of options food-wise.  We have taken some stunning drone footage which we will turn into a short film and upload to the blog, with photos, when we arrive. For now it is text only. We have seen a few dolphins and been treated to some magnificent astronomical sights under clear skies.

We hope to be off La Coruna Friday night or Saturday morning (19th / 20th July) and from there it is 600 NM to Porto Santo, a small island just north-east of Madeira, so another four days at least, with arrival around 25th / 26th July.

5 thoughts on “Passage to Madeira – first report

  1. Neil

    Great start Spellbinder, following you all the way.
    St Barbara is departing La Corunna today I think so you may we’ll pass each other. The skipper is Roger Shapland with a 12Regt crew on board.


  2. Adrian Tellwright

    Óla Nick, Tiger and Tom,
    I think I am now ahead of you as I’m heading south on a fast train from Porto to Coimbra, where my mother/Tiger’s granny/Elizabeth believes she lived with her parents and uttered her first words, not in English, but Portuguese, more than 80 years ago. I return to Porto on Tuesday to fly to Madeira, staying at Calheta on the south-west coast (north-west of Funchal), where I’ll be until next Saturday morning.


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