Today’s photo from Rita … Prickly pear at Ribeira Brava viewpoint

madeira news blog 1003 rita Prickly pear at Ribeira Brava viewpoint

Madeira smaller life        from Pete

From Paul : Whales: more off the Calheta coast in March! “What doesn’t stop? It’s the big baleen whales that I mean. In the morning we had fin whales and in the afternoon a special bryde’s or sei whale.”

That’s Fin whales in the morning and Bryde’s or Sei whales in the afternoon of the 30th March, 2010.


Image caption: balaenoptera physalus – a fin whale

Image caption: balaenoptera borealis or balaenoptera edeni, Sei whale or Bryde’s whale

Bryde’s whale.

Image caption: Bryde’s whale off Thailand

The Bryde’s whale is a baleen whale (rorqual.) It has twin blowholes with a low splashguard to the front. Like other rorquals it has no teeth but has two rows of baleen plates. The head of Bryde’s whales makes up about 25% of the body, with relatively large eyes. They can reach lengths of 40–55 feet (12–17 m) and weigh up to 90,000 pounds (41,000 kg). Males are usually slightly smaller than females. Link to Wiki page on Bryde’s whales:

Many thanks to Paul, Rita and Peter for sending in contributions for this blog.


From today, unfortunately things change. Neither Elaine or I will be able to contribute the news stories on a daily basis. Many thanks to Elaine for 6 months of sizeable contributions with hardly a day off. I will still compile the blog and will continue to publish one every time I have enough material, (and even contribute myself when I have time). That may be daily or otherwise, and of course depends on the efforts of others. Please see the purple message below regarding contributions, and you will probably, and correctly, draw the conclusion that I need to reduce my ‘blog hours’. Sorry, but I have tried everything I can think of, and kept this going for a year longer than I intended.

More soon maybe … but only if someone would be kind enough to contribute something …

If you can, please contribute something Madeira related. A funny story or good or bad experience, a news item, or a story from a Madeira newspaper, a teaser, news of a bargain flight or item in a supermarket. Please help keep this blog going … without user contributions it won’t survive. Please only send in ‘exceptional’ or very topical photos by email attachment, as they take quite some time to process. Links to photos that are already online take much less time. Anything submitted for inclusion will be ‘cut and pasted’  to the blog very likely unchecked and unaltered, so please check anything through before sending it in, especially ‘automatic translations’, to avoid any ‘afterthoughts’. Blogs will be published when there is sufficient material to make one worthwhile. I can’t always respond to emails, so please accept my thanks in advance, and the attribution on the blog itself. Der.

You can email [email protected] with any articles etc., but to save time and delays, please use the comments for minor contributions and to ask any questions. Please don’t send in copyrighted / restricted material.

Madeira News Blog © 2007 – 2010 All Rights Reserved

16 thoughts on “”

  1. Thanks Der for all the hard work you have done on the blog and kept us up to date with news on the island, and Elaine thanks for the last 6 months of news, lets hope the blog continues in some form and comments are a big part of it.

  2. I like to Thank Der and Elaine for there great input to the blog. I am sure like others we like to see the blog continue in some form one way or other. again many thanks.

  3. Latest about the Garajau dog, I have just received this update from Connie Penn, the English lady who first informed me about the dog.

    “Sadly I have to report that a Madeiran friend visited the police station in Santa Cruz today and was told, that no record was kept / taken of the complaint about the dog in Garajau. They acknowledged that a complaint “may have been made” and that the police “may” have visited Garajau, but that they did not keep/make a record.
    My friend said that the attitude appears to be “the dog is not dead, so it must be fed”. I am appalled.
    I will try to get to Santa Cruz tomorrow with some photos and make a further complaint, this time ensuring I get a complaint number.
    I think the situation is that the owner comes at night to feed the dog, but on a number of days does not bother to do so, as evidenced by my friends earlier this month. Just imagine what is was like for that dog during the many wet days in Madeira over the last 5 months”.

  4. As a UK resident who visits Madeira regularly, I have only in the last couple of months discovered this blog (shame on me!), and have thoroughly enjoyed reading the wide range of interesting news items and other contributions. Thanks to everyone for all their hard work and I hope it can keep going in some form.

  5. A day late but thanks for the British Cemetary link.
    On our first visit to Madeira a few years ago a regular visitor from the UK was really helpful to us. When we arrived for our now annual visit in January last year we found that he had managed to see in the New Year in his beloved Madeira but had died shortly after. Is name is Mr Simpson and he is near the wall opposite to Mr Reid so has good company. We looked in on him this year and will continue to do so each January but if anyone visits the cemetary perhaps they can give a nod to a thoroughly nice gentleman

  6. The British Cemetery was the focus of our first vsit to Funchal.
    My wife’s aunt and her daughter together with the daughter’s fiance were shipwrecked off Madeira, Christmas 1964.
    The SS Lakonia whilst cruising, caught fire uncontrollably.
    Due to the usual cock ups with jammed davits and so on, the family had to jump for it into a cold Atlantic ocean as the ship was swept stem to stern by fire.
    Aunt who survived unable to swim cltched debris and was in the water (aged 73) 24 hours before she was found.
    Her daughter and fiance were both drowned.
    We came Madeira to find their graves.
    The Honourary Consul, Joy Menendes helpfully put us on the right track.
    The custodian of the graveyard showed us the part reserved for the “Lakonia” burials but alas the ones we wished to find were not there.
    The beautifully kept cemetery is well worth a visit, however as it is beautifully kept.
    We noticed Captain Bligh’s wife is one of the the first interments.
    Captain Bligh (of the Mutiny fame) who also was a botanist, remember the breadfruits, is buried next to Tradescant (who named the tradescasntia flowers) in a graveyard of now disused church next to Southwark cathedral used as a garden museum.
    I have rested my drinks on their tombs whilst attending a wedding reception.
    How the mighty have fallen!

  7. I agree with Tobi and want to thank Der and Elaine and also wish for it to continue. I think it is is a great service you provide and really helps people in knowing what is going on in Madeira.
    Best of luck.

  8. Der – this is sad for us, but you have certainly given us all ample warning.
    Many, many thanks for keeping such a useful and entertaining blog going for so long. Thanks also to Elaine.

    I will try to contribute when I can and hope that between us all, we can
    keep something good going.

    Tudo Bem!

  9. I also want to thank Der for this wonderful blog. I am a daily reader from the U.S.A. with a fond affection for the wonderful island of Madeira. I wish I could contribute, but you don’t need news from over here. That said, I get great enjoyment from Der and others contributions here. It is the best news in english coming out of the island. I know this is hard work and comes at a price and I thank you very much for something that satiates my longing for Madeira until I can be there once more (hopefully the entire month of June).

    Best to you all,

    bob anderson

  10. My great grandfather Alfred Newton is buried in the english cemetery. He was a ships captain and became ill. They put into madeira where he died on the 12.12.1905. I was wondering if anyone can give me contact details for the cemetery. My family would cherish a photo of his grave…………

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