Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Land Ho!

We’ve arrived in Madeira! I had trouble sleeping the night before even though the seas were comfortable. I felt like a kid at Christmas, eager to wake up the following morning to open his gifts. When I finally did fall asleep, I was out like a light. Upon awakening, I saw a mountainous island covered in tropical vegetation shrouded in the mist and clouds. Try putting that into a stocking!

We pulled into the harbor at Funchal on the south side of the island. Taking my first step onto land was very disorienting. I could not walk in a straight line and had to hold onto the railing. I bet the immigration officials thought we had hit the rum one too many times! After clearing customs we sat down at a little restaurant in the marina and had our first fresh meal in weeks. The first bite of lightly toasted garlic bread dipped in olive oil was beyond description. We had a meal of fresh (just caught an hour ago by a local fisherman) fish, shrimp, fruit, and vegetables. Simply amazing!

After stuffing ourselves until we could eat no more, we wandered into town and checked into a hotel. Washing away more than two weeks of filth and grime never felt better! I slept so well that night in a warm, clean, king-size bed with cotton sheets!

The next day we rented a convertible and drove around the island. The tropical landscape and rugged terrain was just breathtaking. The roads were very narrow and curvy, switching back and forth through the mountains. Driving was such a pleasure!

Gluttons for punishment, we will probably leave port tomorrow after making a few more repairs. The storm appears to be calming down and we should have light winds on our way to the Med. It will be very hard to leave such a beautiful island, though.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like a bit of heaven! A reward well earned! Of course, if it had been me, I'd have done a day's voyage, hopped on a plane and just flown to Madeira in the first place! I'm not as adventurous as my son. Shane's mom Judy

Wednesday, November 29, 2006 11:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hah, so you did land off the coast of Africa as so encouraged you to do so! I knew you couldn't resist :)

Wednesday, November 29, 2006 2:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ahoy Captain Shane...your Boston crew (sailing/drinking) are all missing you...sounds like a simply awesome experiance...enjoy it mate and alert us on your return to beantown for a few dark & stormy's back on the hard...Jason

Wednesday, November 29, 2006 9:40:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey Shane and Walid - you'll have similar joyous feelings when you awake on the plane and look out and see the mountains of Brazil ;). But that's for another journey. Have fun and good luck on the last stretch. -Matty

Thursday, November 30, 2006 12:06:00 AM  

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