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About Madeira : History Last Updated: Jun 28, 2008 - 12:29:23 AM

The legend of "Machim"
By Jorge Barbosa
Mar 2, 2000 - 10:07:21 PM

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The discovery of the island

A couple of days of successful sailing had passed when suddenly they were thrown into a vicious storm over the Atlantic. They lost their course and with the constant blanket of clouds over their heads the young abductee and her lover were unable to determine their position on the oceans. The roaring seas leads Robert and Anna to stare into the face of death...The lack of the guiding stars, the provisions becoming more and more scarce, and the somewhat inexperience of the sailing crew lost out on the ocean led to panic and hopelessness. The young couple who fled the claws and clinches of the society that precluded their love now found themselves staring in terror into the ultimate thief of their happiness - the grim reaper, in the shape of roaring waves and flooded clouds flung across the firmament.

After several days of deep despair the young crew woke up one morning with the seas assuaged and a calm breeze wafting the torn sails of their boat towards the horizon. Soon in the distance they saw, to their utter disbelief, land ! A golden light shone around the skies and the island glimmered in greens and golds. The land they had encountered was the drier south eastern edge of the island we know today as Madeira. They approached the enclave where a small basalt pebbled beach rose out of the waters to stretch into the valley where rare forest woods and green foliage grew verdejante and lush along trickles of crystal clear streams. They maneuvered their boat ashore and upon touching the soil of the land rejoiced and rejubilated their rescue from despair by the mysterious island. Flocks of birds having never seen human beings flew about them freely and without fear of being caught. In the waters sea lions would submerge and pop up again to investigate closer the young group of sailors. Robert and Ana had through their escape from England set passage to the entering of a jeweled paradise that theretofore had never been imagined.

The group knew that although they were free from the storm and the pursuit of any family members for Ana or Robert that soon enough the paradise they had encountered would outlive its novelty and prove insubstantial to maintain a healthy existence for a long time. tranquil streams on the newly discovered island. They decided to break up into two groups, one to remain on the boat and repair the damaged sails and equipment. While the other group would investigate and search for food and collect fresh water. Robert and Ana joined the group on the excursion to find food. When Robert, Ana and their companions returned from their trip to find food and water did they discover to their disbelief and shock upon reviewing the bay area that their boat had disappeared. They soon realised what seemed to be the separation of the boat by natural forces from its moorage. The tide had carried the boat out with the group of unfortunate and unskilled seafarers aboard.

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