|Limbo at rest|
|Porto Santo marina|
Arriving in Porto Santo marina was a delight. It's a small place, with just one pontoon of visiting yachts with a few anchored off, and we suddenly found ourselves in the midst of a real community. Apart from our friends on Troskala, berthed next to us, we got to know Cally and Rob on Rafiki much better (we'd chatted before, in L'Aberwrach and then Cascais) - cruising with their delightful children Emily and James, 9 and 8 respectively - and over the next few days we made friends on several of the other boats, notably Spirit of Argo (April, Cain, and their Irish Terrier Quinn), and Quaver (Willie Tucker, indomitable fiddle-playing Scottish single-hander on a Vancouver Pilot 34 - good taste in boats- who thinks nothing of jaunts up to the Arctic).
|On board Troskala: Ollie, Willie, Natalie|
|Drinks on Rafiki: Willie, Graham, Tim, Rob|
|Emily, Ollie, Carlotta, Natalie, April|
|Porto Santo and Madeira|
|Tim on the beach. The harbour is below the hill on the right.|
|Porto Santo beach and the road leading into town from the harbour...|
|...and the same beach a day or two later!|
|Another rainy day in the internet cafe...Carlotta, James, Cally, Emily, Ollie|
Porto Santo is notable as the sight of our first warm swim! The water was still refreshing, but getting in wasn't quite the painful experience it's been elsewhere. The sea had been flat here when we'd arrived; now it was a different story, with a big swell rolling in. We had a great time dodging the waves with Ollie and Carlotta and the kids from Rafiki.
|Natalie, trying not to get swept away|
|Dodging the waves: Natalie, Carlotta, James|
|James, Emily and Carlotta|
We took a taxi up into the hills and climbed some of the peaks, including Pico do Castelo. The views were well worth the effort. A friendly dog followed us up to the top and then all the way back into town (temporarily acquiring two other dogs for part of the walk back). We had to lose him by giving him a bowl of water then running away when he wasn't looking.
|Walking in the hills|
|Tim and adoptive dogs|
Porto Santo is one of several places on the main sailing route where it's become traditional to leave a wall painting as a memento of your stay. I love these. It's really interesting seeing who's been there before, and sometimes recognising the names of people met years ago. While we admittedly didn't quite reach the artistic level of some (the paint dripped in the rain overnight, which didn't help), we're quite proud of our own effort.
|Our wall painting|
|Vila Baleira from the town pontoon. We climbed the volcano-shaped hill.|
|It's a hard life sometimes.|