Located in between the lido swimming pool and clubhouse Naval do Funchal (that was before Quinta Calaça), is the former Pier Wilson, now known as Cais do Carvão (Coal Wharf). The pier was built in 1903. From here many vapour-vessels passing were supplied with coal on their way through Funchal to America and Africa.
The importance of coal in the development of steam powered machines and the affirmation of Funchal as required warehouse to supply the vessels and operation of sugar mills, forced the assembly of infrastructure support. And so existed the deposits of coal, of which was known as the coal wharf, which was owned by the company Wilson & Co Ltd, where in 2004 the aquarium was build including the the Marine Biology Service Station.
Nowadays it is a forgotten monument, now and then visited by curious travelers and local fishermen. Still these elderly walls have withstand the most fierce storms during the last decades. While the newer walls of few marinas on Madeira have lost their battle against the mighty ocean … the walls of Cais do Carvão are still standing tall.
Laura Dekker, born in the Netherlands, 14 years, will start this Wednesday her global circumnavigate and sail for Portugal from where she will launch her bid to become the youngest person to sail around the world solo.
Dutch authorities, however, have opposed this plan in view of her age initiating an international discussion about the rights of the government. In July 2010, the Dutch court announced that she is allowed to sail the world solo.
Laura will start sailing from the Netherlands on August 4th, 2010 headed for Lisbon, Portugal, around 1000 nm. But this will not be part of the solo circumnavigation, as she will have other people on board. The voyage to Portugal will include boat testing and boat training for her. After adjusting any problems that has shown up, she will start solo from Lisbon at a later date. Her first stop will then be Madeira island.
They prepared the tree in a way that it was easy to place it under the water. The Christmas balls were filled with water in order not to drift off. This initiative was not only a surpirse for the visitors that were diving in the area …. but also for the fish who were not used to this human tradition … although some daredevils went nibbling on the balls.