Ilhas Desertas

Desertas anchorage with a Dolphin watching boat
Desertas anchorage with a Dolphin watching boat

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Magnificent cave
Magnificent cave
Interesting rocks
Interesting rocks

Tuesday 22 September: Left Madeira having stocked up with food, water, diesel and gas. Found a pod of dolphins playing just outside the marina and then 2 sperm whales, I hadn’t even finished putting the fenders away.  We had managed to get a permit to visit 2 sets of islands in the National park, well the efficient lady in the marina office had got it for us.  First stop Ilhas Desertas just 18 miles away.  The anchorage is in a small bay on Deserta Grande, as we approached it seemed it would be perfect conditions with the wind off the land but as we got closer in it switched round completely and there were strong gusts.  Though this did have the benefit of flattening off the swell almost completely.  We anchored 2nd attempt a bit further out.  Spectacular cliffs and caves.  As instructed on the permit, we called the wildlife wardens by VHF, but they didn’t answer.  Another yacht Flycatcher (RCC) came and anchored further into the bay (they didn’t get answered either).  They probably wondered why we were so far out, but in fact both boats spent a slightly uneasy night feeling rather close to the rocks.

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