Spirit of Discovery blog
After an extra day alongside in Southampton conducting some troubleshooting along with Siemens regarding an issue with one of the ship’s pods, a glorious sunny morning saw us departing and heading southwards in search of some warmer sunshine, on the 23rd November.
Three days at sea en-route to Madeira provided for plenty of entertainment, fun, food and drinks on board as our newly-boarded guests settled in. The weather was typical for the North Atlantic at this time of year – winds from the west with variable sea conditions led to some guests electing to remain comfortably inside the ship until we were far enough south to encounter some warmer and calmer airs; typically this tends to occur once south of around latitude 40o north.
The morning of the 27th November dawned a lovely sunny one over Funchal, the capital of Madeira, as we slid onto our assigned berth on the breakwater pier. The top of the island was, as is often the case, shrouded in cloud, but down in Funchal town a sunny day’s almost guaranteed. Eager to head ashore, many guests ate an early breakfast and headed down the gangway shortly afterwards.
An array of exciting excursions were on offer today. More adventurous souls ventured out to sea for whale and dolphin spotting on an afternoon RIB ride, whilst more sedate options included wandering around a selection of the many botanical gardens Madeira has to offer, or trips to some local vineyards to sample their wine & cheeses… The included excursion, entitled ‘Snapshot of Funchal’ provided an insight into the capital and its hilly surrounds.
As the day drew to a close, the time to re-board the ship came around and a warm sunny sail-away had many out on deck, or on their balconies, to wave farewell to the first lovely call of this cruise.
Captain Kim Tanner
Written by Captain Kim Tanner
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