Rotterdam to Madeira July 14 until July 29 2015

We started on July 14 in Hellevotsluis (near to Rotterdam) and planned to sail in a few steps to Brest in France.  Dutch summer (fog, rain, 12 degrees temperature and westerly winds) were accompany us during the ferst days (to be honest during the first weeks). However we visited Oostende (Belgium) then we were sailing to Boulogne sure mer (France) afterwards a long nasty trip to Le Havre (France) - als this legs were sailed with almost 100 % upwind conditions also the last leg which was ending in Brest (France) -at lest we never used the engine except for the harbor maneuvers . On July 21 at 15.00 h we arrived in Brest. Log at start was 8688 nm -  Log in Brest 9413 nm. Sailed so far 725 nautical miles. In Brest we were preparing our trip to Madeira - the plans to do this only by two of us. Jul my 15 year old son and myself. Departure day was July 23 at 5.30 am. After a few hours sailing in moderate condition the mess started.  A first low pressure system arrived with wind force between 35 and 40 knots from west and giants waves. For twenty hours we were battle with this system - only with the double reefed mainsail up. After a short break (around 6 hours) we reached the second low pressure system - this time the wind was up to 36 knots...sailing strategy was the same. And we had to go almost upwind as before. Another 20 hours of fighting.  Somewhen after almost crossing both systems we was writing the text below to inform our friends : Here my final conclusion about the last 48 hours:: As Swiss citizens we are used to go up into the mountains... This is not necessary anymore... The mountains are here...After leaving Brest we had to cross a huge low pressure system. After a few hours, the mess started during the night. Wind force 7 to 8 (32 to 40 knots) were with us for around 20 hours. Waves 3-5 meters were building up. With only the double reefed main sail up we were fighting with this system. Welcome in the biscaya or welcome in the alps :-)After passing the eye - the situation increased wind wise.....highest wind speed then was 36 knots. Finally the wind was slowing down very and from yesterday's night on - we had gentle 20-24 knots. The boat was doing extremely well- even the auto pilot was able to handle this wind and waves situation... Thanks to Oluf from Luffe for designing this well balanced rudder system. More will follow! Greetings from the mountains ! What we discovered after the Biscaya was much loser to my imagination - gentle winds up to 24 knots from mostly the side or astern. We arrived in Funchal (Capital of Madeira) July 29 at 22.51. Passage time was 6 days 17 hours and 21 Minutes for 1'448 nautical miles (equals around 2'800 km). Average speed was around 8.3 knots. Engine hours used in total 9 - genset was working for 30 hours - water maker was working for 12 hours. Damaged things : boom cover broken, drain shower pump rotted, big pum fore sail storage out of order, Raymarine system in parts out of order - one plotter was not working anymore. But over all we were extremely pleased about our trip and about the Lifgun.