This is the delayed final report of Taniwani’s
summer tour, this time for a change written by Beate.
In the mean time, Taniwani lays well packed up for
the winter in the Marina de Lagos, where she also spent last winter. The
entire crew is safely back on "solid ground".
let’s wind back to September 6th, where the last report ended: Taniwani lies
to her anchor off the beach in Porto Santo, the whole morning was spent with
shopping, cooking in advance and other preparations, a nap here and there and
some swimming. An easy-going day until we weigh anchor at 5:15 PM. We are
anxious to see what the wind will bring, once we leave the shelter of the
island. The forecast was for a strong Northeasterly wind, and to Cadiz it is 545
miles straight line. The direct course of 65 degrees might be impossible though,
and the weather routing software recommends a somewhat more easterly course at
the beginning. That should suit us fine and we estimate a travel time of 3 days,
expecting to get into Cadiz late night on Tuesday when we could possibly sit in
a nice bar and have a drink…
Unfortunately, the strong trade wind has been more
easterly than we liked for the last couple of days, but as we leave the lee of
Porto Santo, it isn’t too bad and we make fast progress with a reefed mainsail
and a full Genoa in force 5 wind, except that we cannot lay Cadiz by about 10
the night and during Sunday, the wind kept picking up and reached force 7 at
times. We reduce sail accordingly, and now it isn’t that comfortable any more
on board of Taniwani. The Chili-con-Carne isn’t enjoyed as much as usual, but
still everybody is doing fine, and with 2 hours watch and 6 hours off there is
plenty of time to rest and relax.
The highlight of the day is the catch of a nice
Dorada around 2PM in the afternoon. Cleaning the fish however is no easy task as one
gets jerked around in the rough seas. It ends up in the freezer waiting for
better times to cook it.
at our track is less encouraging, we have hardly made any northing and for a
while we sail straight east. There is some discussion whether the next stop
might be Casablanca. At least it would be Harald’s favorite movie, you know
the oldie with Humphry Bogart.
It is during Sanjay’s watch, in the night to
Monday that the top shackle of the cutter staysail breaks and the sail starts
coming down. Last year the same shackle on the Genoa failed, but this time it is even less spectacular and below deck hardly anybody
notices anything until Sanjay
It is nice that these things always happen at
night, and watching Harald, dressed with nothing but the harness and illuminated
by the spreader lights, fighting with white cloth on the foredeck is always an
He stuffs the sail through the fore-hatch into the
forward heads, where it is safe for now. We continue on with a heavily reefed
Genoa into the morning, until the wind slowly eases and also backs to a more
It is now obvious that we will take us at least
till Wednesday morning to reach Cadiz. Tuesday the wind keeps backing and by 2
PM we can lay course straight for Cadiz.
So far we hardly saw any ships, but that should
change soon, as we are to cross the in- and out going traffic of the Straight of
Gibraltar. For us this starts after midnight. Having watch under such
circumstances, you are guaranteed to not get tired. 6 huge monsters at the same
time in a narrow space are quite exciting and it helps a great deal to have
Just to be safe, Harald is called from his berth.
The big pots however seem to navigate quite careful in this congested area, and
we have no real dangerous situations. Those who should, always change course for
us. Still it looks frightening having big ships cross Taniwani’s wake just
half a mile behind us. Morning dawns, and the freighters and their lights are
replaced by fishing boats with less clear lights and harder to predict. We are
close to Cadiz, the wind dies, and the engine gets started.
It’s now 10 in the morning, we all sit on deck
expectantly as we turn around the corner into the marina, where learn that there
is not a single space left. No,
really impossible is what the guy says and so we turn to continue on to Olhao.
weeks locked into the dark forepeak, unwanted as we were going upwind, now the
„moose“, our Genacker, has its chance again. The wind is from the East and
we need to go northwest and Ulf is all excited about the grand finale of our big
Unfortunately that kind of great sailing doesn’t
last the whole day and the wind starts dying, eventually giving in to a westerly breeze.
So, around 8 PM there isn’t much other choice than firing up the engine and
going with main and engine for the last two or three hours.
As soon as it’s dark, again there are all these
weird fishing vessels. And not far from Olhao it does get real exciting. A
fishing boat with red over white, but no nav-lights, not far on our port bow, is
drawing our attention. When looked at through the bins, an eerie blue-white
light turns out to be a TV in the cabin. We see nobody on deck.
Suddenly, the TV goes off, the engine roars, and
the boat accelerates towards us as if he wanted to ram us! A big searchlight
blinds us. We point our searchlight at them, accelerate too, and with the other
boat only a few boat lengths from us we turn to starboard, full power ahead.
He’s following! We give full throttle and Taniwani charges forward at
nine knots. The fisherman tries to keep up but is slowly falling back. After five minutes
he gives up, turns out to the sea gain and slowly disappears.
Puzzled we return onto our course to Olhao.
By now we know the entrance to the Olhao lagoon
quite well and follow the lights and ranges, reassured by the chart plotter. But
without knowing the place, we certainly wouldn't have attempted it at night.
Without any trouble we return to our previous anchorage and at 11 PM we drop the
hook. Since Porto Santo we have sailed 671 miles.
This way, Thursday becomes a relaxing day in the
lagoon: Harald and Beate go shopping in Olahao, Sanjay is exploring the island
Culatra and in the evening we have a delicious meal utilizing all the Doradas
and Bonitos we caught during the passage. The
Chef himself is cooking, an unrepeatable secret recipe.
Friday, September 12th – our last day sailing:
After a nice breakfast, we weigh anchor under
mainsail at 10:45 AM. The cutter-staysail is added quickly, 20 to 25 knots of
wind from a good direction; the day is starting right!
But once out of the lagoon, the wind gets weaker
and weaker, and in no time Ulf is threading the red spinnaker sheets. Then the
“moose” gets really challenged with the wind well in the twenties of knots.
But similar to Wednesday, the wind dies in the end and the last two hours we need to motor
By 5:30 PM we are alongside at the fuel pontoon in
Lagos, topping up. Shortly after that the bridge opens and sadly, we are back to
where we left 12 weeks ago. Since then Taniwani has sailed 3050 miles.
In the evening Sanjay sponsors a farewell dinner in
town. The place is still bustling with tourism and guided by our young crew, Pam
and Ulf, we all explore the nightlife of Lagos.
Saturday is a busy day with work on deck, taking
the sails off and packing them, and more such work. Sanjay leaves us in the
evening and also Ulf and Pam have to leave early next morning.
Harald and Beate remain on board till Wednesday,
busy with lots of winterizing tasks, then also for us another great time on board
of Taniwani ends.