Ocean sailing to Madeira, Pearl of the Atlantic Ocean
Nov 10 – 22 2020 (£1,799) Crew
November 09-22 2020 (£1,949) Watch Leader
NO PRIOR SAILING EXPERIENCE REQUIRED
JOIN SOLO OR WITH A GROUP
Jump aboard a 60' expedition yacht for two weeks of high adventure as we sail from the beautiful Galician coast of NW Spain, just south of the infamous Bay of Biscay, 700nm south west to the Portuguese island of Madeira, with its subtropical climate, flower-filled landscapes, emerald canyons and sparkling waterfalls - living up to its name as the pearl of the Atlantic
(Includes the Ocean Crossing Masterclass™)
If you've ever wanted to know what it's like to be charging through the ocean waves on a yacht hundreds of miles from shore, with blue skies above and dolphins playing in your wake, then this is the passage for you. Starting with some sailing, training and exploring in the beautiful Rias of NW Spain, we then a full 5 day (700nm of open ocean sailing to the archipelago that is Madeira. As well as exploring the main island, we should also get to see the lovely island of Porto Santo and the magical Islas de Desrtas.NO PREVIOUS SAILING EXPERIENCE REQUIRED. FULL TUITION GIVEN
This is a typical itinerary. What makes ocean sailing so special however is that there can be no fixed itinerary. The wind and the weather ultimately shape what’s possible each day but everything is very flexible within that.
Day 1: Joining day
Join the boat between 1200 and 2000hrs (the closer to 1200 the better but we know flights and such like don’t always work like that, so don’t worry!) Get your belongings packed away and relax. There’s plenty of things to do in the future but right now it’s about relaxing, finding your way around the boat and enjoying the surroundings. Spain is a great place to be at this time of year and there’s lots to do and see ashore.
Day 2: Briefings and training in the beautiful Rias
Today is all about getting up to speed with the boat. Whether you are a complete novice or more experienced sailor, everyone benefits from detailed introductions, safety briefings and training sessions. You will have two highly experienced instructors guide you through every aspect that you need to know to have a great sailing holiday. By lunchtime we should be casting off the lines, hoisting the sails and working through all the key sailing manoeuvres such as tacking and gybing, reefing and knot tying! By the end of the day everyone on board should feel comfortable with the basics – even though there’s more to learn and practice every day. We may well anchor in the Isles de Clies, a truly beautiful nature reserve.
Days 3-5: Exploring the Rias and preparation for the big crossing
We’ll spend the next few days sailing in and exploring the charming Rias. It is usually still lovely and warm at this time of year but we will have the water to ourselves. There are endless lovely towns and anchorages to explore each day. We’ll end in Baiona. It is a beautiful fortifed town, there is loads to see with its special history and the weather is usually perfect for tapas and a cold beer or two prior to our big ocean passage. There are also the beautiful islands of the nature reserve where we can anchor and explore. This is a very special place. With over 700nm of open ocean sailing ahead of us, we’ll spend a full day making detailed passage plans, preparations and victualling the boat with all sorts of lovely food and meals. It’s fantastic training for everyone and we’ll be checking sails, storm sail, drogues and all the other equipment needed for this type of voyage.
Days 6-10: Ocean sailing passage to Madeira
The actual days we make this passage will depend entirely on the weather at the time. Once we set off into the Atlantic Ocean, you will settle into a 24-hour watch system where you will alternate between navigating, helming and trimming sails, galley duty and cooking up a hearty meal for the crew and off watch time where you can sleep, rest, read and contemplate. Life at sea is very special and you will soon be into the rhythm and a fully involved member of the crew. You can expect to be at sea for around five days and nights, depending on conditions.
Days 11-12: Exploring Madeira
If we have made good time, it’s lovely to spend a day sailing to Funchal, the capital. Wherever we go, it’s a matter of relaxing and exploring all that this island has to offer. The weather is usually warm and after all those days at sea, there is nothing better than some serious rest, recuperation and fun with the crew. Every adventure holiday needs some down time, too!
Day 13: Debrief and clean up
It’s always amazing how quickly everyone has become firm friends and the boat and its routines seem so familiar. Yet it’s time to wrap it all up and head home. We’ll get the boat back to how we found it, sign logbooks, exchange emails and disembark by 1200hrs.
JOINING & LEAVING THE BOAT
- You should join the boat in Muros after 1200 hrs on the start day. (Watch leaders see below). It is good if you can join us as close to 1200 hrs as possible, but if your flight or ferry gets in later than this, that is fine. We will ask you closer to the time to let us know your travel details.
- The nearest airport is Santiago de Compostela (IATA code: SCQ) and there is an hourly bus from the airport to Muros.
- You can see the timetable by clicking here
- You will disembark the boat in Madeira at 1200 hrs on the last day.
- The local airport is Funchal (IATA code: FNC)
JOINING AS A WATCH LEADER
If you are joining as a watch leader, you should be at the boat ready to start lessons at 1000 hrs the day before the crew start date
AGE & EXPERIENCE
These adventure sailing holidays are open to everyone aged 18 years and over. If you are aged 70 or over, or have any concerns about your health, we ask that you get a doctor’s note before booking. This is just to make as certain as possible that you will be okay out on the water.
NO PREVIOUS SAILING EXPERIENCE IS REQUIRED
CLOTHING & EQUIPMENT
We provide the foul weather clothing, life-jackets and all other technical equipment you will need. We really urge you not to spend any extra money unless you are sure you want to! You need to bring a sleeping bag and some waterproof boots.
We are committed to helping as many people as possible have an amazing sailing holiday and experience the magic of the sea. Our skippers and mates have medical training and the boats have some medical supplies and equipment on board. However, the reality is that once on board access to professional medical assistance is going to be slower than if you were on land. If we are offshore it may be some days. For this reason we ask you to check through the medical disclosure form below before you book. If you answer yes to any of the questions, you should get in touch with us before you book. It will probably still be fine but it’s good to make sure. You will be asked to submit the form electronically 14 days before the start date, ensuring that we have the most up to date information.
- It is essential that you have adequate travel insurance in place for your sailing holiday.
- We strongly recommend that you arrange insurance that covers you for any medical mishaps in the build up to your holiday so that should you have to cancel, you can reclaim you fees.
- Please note we cannot refund your money or cancel your invoice due to medial issues.
- For our latest guidance on travel insurance, please read here.
TRIP CATEGORY: OCEAN SAILING
Extended periods at sea
INCLUDED IN YOUR SAILING HOLIDAY
- Foul weather clothing to keep you dry in any conditions.
- Fladen immersion suits. These will keep you warm in even the coldest, windiest conditions.
- Ocean-spec lifejackets. These are the best on the market.
- All on-board food and snacks.
- Daily sailing lessons and tuition from two highly experienced instructors.
- RYA sailing qualifications where applicable.
WHAT’S NOT INCLUDED
- Your travel to and from the start and end points.
- Travel insurance (see our travel insurance page here).
- Any alcohol – but feel free to bring your own or buy some along the route.
- Any meals you eat ashore.
Everything’s included except for flights, travel insurance, a sleeping bag and some waterproof boots. There are no hidden extras.
- These expeditions have small numbers of people on board. When you book, you are committing to being a part of the crew.
- These are genuine adventure sailing holidays and you will be helping sail the boat, planning where we go, navigating, cooking and keeping the boat clean and tidy.
- When you book, the deposit is non refundable. It is possible to cancel subsequently, however you may still be liable for the balance of the invoice, depending on how close you are to the start date when you cancel.
- Please ensure you have read and agreed to the T&Cs and read the Trip Notes before booking.