October 2000 Selvagem Grande Island, Portugal
After a 36 hour navigation I brought to anchor, and rowed my little dinghy to
the guard house. The island permanently has two guards assigned, since it is a
nature reserve and bird sanctuary. The water that surrounds the island is a
marine reserve as well.
Selvagem Grande Island is 2.5 square kilometres, so it would be easy to
overlook.. You are not allowed to walk around on your own. The guards follow you
around, but that is nothing to feel bad about. It is actually very helpful. They
know everything about the birds and gladly share their knowledge. To go ashore,
you MUST first have a permit, which is issued by the National Parks Department
in either Funchal, Madeira or Porto Santo Island, and checked by the guards.
I read somewhere in a pilot book to always attach a tripping line to the anchor,
so that is what I did. In the morning when I wanted to raise the anchor, it was
completely impossible. When I dropped the anchor and moved backwards with the
engine, it suddenly stopped. It had hit rocks and apparently a rock bed and was
stuck. With the tripping line it wasn't a problem, it came straight up. Some
people lead the line back to the boat. Instead, I attached a red ball at the end
of mine, which at the same time is an indication of how far the boat can turn
and the location of the anchor.