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Rafael Gomes
Maintenance & Co-founder

If you really think about it, Lobosonda saw its origin in sentimentality. Rafael knew our traditional boat, the Ribeira Brava, since his childhood and saw her again back in 1977 when he worked as a teacher in Calheta and he didn’t want this old, traditional boat to be scrapped.

Back in 2000 Rafael found the boat in Câmara do Lobos and, at that time, she was already looking deteriorated, waiting on land for her last days.

But her fate came somehow differently! Rafael spotted her and within the three following years put his love for detail and many hours of work into the boat, to restore  it to its original glory.

Since the reconstruction of such an old boat is quite cost-intensive, Claudia had the idea to take guests out on the sea to show them the beauty of Madeira and the ocean, a way to bring the invested money back in. So there was first the restoration, then the idea and in 2003 Lobosonda was born.

Rafael’s hard work in all these years made it possible for so many guests to be able to enjoy the special experience of being out on the ocean aboard a traditional Madeira fishing boat in all its unique charm. Our Ribeira Brava is one of the last typical fishing boats of Madeira so the reconstruction of this special boat, a real master piece, is something Rafael can be very proud of. It bestowed our many guests and our crew with endless exciting and beautiful hours on board.

A that time Rafael worked as guide, spotter and occasionally as captain on the Ribeira Brava. Eventually he decided to withdraw himself from Lobosonda’s daily business but he is still in charge of the maintenance department. Since this very particular wooden boat requires special skills, he personally takes care of its maintenance every year and since 2012 he does the same for our speed boat Stenella. 

Rafael work is peacefully conducted and, no matter what he take cares of, he is very accurate in what he does and always gives his best. For him it is also important that, in future, the company’s philosophy maintained by the right person.

Rafael’s favorite cetacean is the Striped dolphin. He is fascinated by their speed and the fact that it is very difficult to observe them since they often keep their distance to our boats, making them a challenge.