I had seen the yacht ‘White Time’ from a distance moored in the bay of Santa Maria and even to my untrained eye I had admired her graceful lines. As a friend of mine was still celebrating her birthday week it seemed a perfect opportunity to join her for a well deserved break for a few hours peaceful sailing on the waters off Sal Island.

At 9 a.m. I met up with Eugene, the owner/skipper, at the pier who gave me a warm welcome before efficiently boarding myself and five other passengers into the tender to be ferried comfortably to the boat where we were met by Suzanna who welcomed us aboard while assisting an easy embarkation and stowing our bags.

Eugene and Suzanna crew the boat and it is clear that they are knowledgeable and experienced sailors as within minutes the anchor is weighed, the engine whispers to life and we are making for open water where Eugene cuts the engine and hoists what I learned was the foresail. Photos of Eugene and Suzanna below.

With the wind billowing into the canvas the 17.5 metre boat moves effortlessly forward slicing through the water at an impressive 6 knots.

It caused me to wonder what speed we would travel at with full sail and Eugene informed me that it would be more that double that of our current speed at 15 knots. The boat was built as a racing yacht but, unusually, as I was later to find out when I went below decks, she is wider than a conventional racer which makes her more stable, and is fitted out with all the home comforts of a pleasure craft.

For today, the tranquillity of our current pace through the clear turquoise water was perfect as I sat on deck enjoying a warm breeze and a cool wine courtesy of Suzanna. Flying fish launched themselves from the crest of the bow wave and a full panorama of colourful Santa Maria and the mountains to the north of the island was in our wake.

While Eugene skilfully managed the boat Suzanna showed me the spacious area below deck with the fitted galley area and saloon designed for comfort and convenience. Speaking of convenience, I half expected the toilet to be more of a challenge than the comfortable loo that is fitted en suite to the master bedroom. A real home from home. 

The below deck area owes its classy design and highly varnished finish to an Italian designer and the sophisticated guidance and communications system are cutting edge German technology. 

Back on deck, Eugene had tacked and we were now heading back across the bay toward the South East point which apparently called for another glass of wine from the cooler. Probably an old sea tradition I thought and accepted gratefully, as I once again relaxed to take in the sea air and tranquillity.

After three and a half hours on the boat I was loathe to leave and just had to take the opportunity to take hold of the wheel…… it’s ok, we were anchored!

When we arrived back at the jetty I promised myself that my next trip will be a full day with lunch and maybe even a cool sundowner aboard this lovely lady.

A very happy Paul Taylor