We arrived in Porto Santo last Wednesday planning to leave for Madeira the next day. Engine trouble and the weather, our capricious friend, or foe I should say, kept us there four days. We took advantage of our enforced stay to explore the island which, truth be told, has little to offer except for a beautiful rugged coastline, one long idyllic beach and some very charming locals.
Night was falling and of course at this point the wind died, so at an excruciatingly slow pace we inched our way under sail towards the entrance of the marina in increasingly fading light. I prayed up a storm and Patrice contacted the marina on the VHF to let them know what was happening. Our prayers were answered with the arrival of Orlando, the harbor master here, who came out himself in a zodiac and calmly talked us through the maneuver, directed us towards the entrance and then towed us inside the narrow harbor.
Before coming out to help us, he had alerted some of cruisers in the port that we were coming in without power and so there were about 15 people were waiting for us on the pontoon ready to take our lines and buffer our arrival--a most welcome sight! It was dark at this point, but with their help, we were eased into our berth without a bump or a scratch. I kissed every person on that dock and gave Orlando an enormous hug with grateful tears.
I am eternally grateful to God for bringing us safely to Madeira at last! Patrice and I have agreed that we will not leave for the Canaries until all is repaired and we have a perfect and pleasant weather window. Meanwhile we have a new island to explore.