Dec 12, 2013

The storm in Madeira


N 32° 44.504', W 16° 42.709'

The amount of water in the air was something unbelievable. And this was taken sometime in the afternoon, and the worst was still to come.

This was the first pontoon that broke down, right after this picture was taken it was gone. It looked like the marineros were risking their lives trying to save this local tourist boat and preventing it to break all the smaller boats. 

Of course the pontoon didn't go anywhere. It just floated around the marina hitting everything that got in the way.

This was the end our pontoon when it was almost intact. There used to be one boat there, but now it was already moved to an other place. This was still very close to the breakwater and to the tons of flying water that was coming over in every splash.

Next thing we knew, we were packing our bags. The marina evacuated us all to the hotel and we were very afraid we would not be sailing for a while. We were sure that all the pontoons would finally give in and all the boats would be just one big mess.

The forecast was saying that the worst would be from 9 pm to midnight. After dinner, about 9 pm, we walked down to the marina. It was still very scary, but it looked like the boats might make it. 

We had a very restless night in a 5 star hotel room. When the first light came in the morning we hurried down to the marina. Everything was nice and calm, and the boats were in the same places than the night before. It was not really calm yet, but it was not very bad anymore and we could go and see how our dear home was doing. She was fine!

Our pontoon used to be all the way to the pole and even more.

In the morning the marina was full of debris.

During the night the fishermen and the marineros had tied every bigger pieces of floating debris, so it would not damage the boats.

Even though they were working really hard, some boats still suffered some major damage.

The staff did not stop working after the worst was over. They have continued to work constantly ever since to clear the harbor. It will of course be a while after they get everything fixed, but we even got the shore power and water back to the docks this afternoon.

There's nothing they could have done to prevent this weather, but I'd like to thank every single person who helped to keep our boats safe. Marina made our evacuate time the best they could, we had a nice room, dinner and breakfast. At the same time these other guys were actually really risking their lives to save our boats.

Now we hope to leave this terrible experience behind us and head for the Canaries and new adventures. I hope they are not this exciting.