What month is it?........
Next Blog – October? Or perhaps November? Or.......errrr? It’s December!
Time flies – wow is it that long since Chris, Tanya, Alice and Isaac were with us?!
We had a wonderful time with them – swimming in the sea, in the pool and in the Splash & Ride – which was ace! We played lots of games including Ocean Trader and Mexican Train Domino’s and – of course – Snap! Had several very fine breakfasts, walks to the beach and sandcastles, some video’s, and a few Dawn Patrol walks, and thoroughly enjoyed the somewhat exhausting visit. Accommodating another four folks on Andromeda was a feat of sorting and organising and we did get rid of a lot of “stuff”, which needed doing, we do admit; the water line is a couple of inches higher now. We managed to get in a fine sail down to Ferraguda and back, where we anchored overnight and had a nice trip to the beach in the dinghy. We even managed to get out to Piedade and see the caves and grotto’s in the dinghy with the new outboard while Susan and Tanya put their feet up and had a cup of tea. All in all a really great visit – we fell into bed after they left and slept for hours and hours!
Then it was sorting out and re-arranging stuff and getting ready for Sue’s visit! A slightly more relaxing time, though we did manage to fit in walks to the beach, the Dawn Patrol, shopping, swimming, Mexican Train Domino’s, a fine breakfast or two, a Bridge afternoon, a couple of nice lunches, a spa visit or two, a charity night and quiz (we came a well deserved, (by 1 point), 2nd – a slightly odd evening involving questionable food, off-key singing and spoons), and a really fine North African flavoured meal (lamb) at Oasis, courtesy of Ravin and Steven – though couscous wasn’t to everyone’s taste – but we loved it! But then we would. We slept well after Sue left.......
The marina is fairly full now by way of boats, but there are a lot of folks in “Siberia”, which is the more remote area of the marina (well, that’s what us the locals say anyway), which is usually quite sparsely populated. In part it’s due to the size of the yachts, and is partly due to a fair amount of late night noise coming from several of the bars here, so folks have asked to move to more distant (i.e. quieter) pontoon berths.
Several folks have now returned from cruising distant shores – Migration (George, Marcie and Gulliver the dog) from as far north as Svalbard, Richard and Gondo (Jonathan Livingston) from as far afield as the Guadiana and Pat on Hadar from the Canaries. New temporary neighbours are Rick and Debbie on Farr Horizons - they left Ipswich in September this year so have had a bit of a surprising trip so far, including lines around the prop, a “dicky” (fuel pump) engine and unfavourable seas. Anyway we hope to help them get themselves sorted out and then they can continue onwards – and they do like Maceira now!!. Hamish, who’s yacht (Low Flyer) we trod all over in Horta(Faial) in 2014 on our way back from the Caribbean, has also taken a berth here for the winter and with whom we had a great birthday evening. We have also met up with some folks who know Tina and Mark (ex. Magic) who are also here on a yacht called Awol (Val and Cliff) – it’s a small(ish) community we circulate in it seems at times.
Many of the usual suspects are still here, but we have met some newcomers which is always very special – George and Barbara (Pipe Dream) from Orkney and new members of the Dawn Patrol, John (Out of the Blue), Otti and Rose (Enya) from Germany, Bernard and Dominique from France are also here again and are enthusiastic supporters of the Music Group. Gary and June on Friendship also returned, Mark (Arifana) came back from Cartagena and has now bought a mobile home “’cos he likes it here”, Les and Bob the dog (Gee Bee Jay) are here as are Vic and Linda (Gretel). Whew! Other folks who have been around include Harry and Sylvie (Solent Lady), Malcolm and Ros (Rouletta), Reg and Bee (Island Race), Mike and Helen (Island Drifter), Liz and David (Kemperjek), Pauline and Giles (Quintessence), John and Brenda (Garretty) – with whom we had fine Italian meal as a thankyou for sailing in the Bluewater Regatta (3rd)) - and Lyn and Kenny (Interval). Another whew!
Mexican Train continues to surprise with it’s popularity – up to 20 folks at times – which is almost as many as used to play in Trinidad – we are really pleased that so many people enjoy the game – the numbers of folks playing does vary but we usually get a couple of tables, which makes Jorge the barman happy, as he has work to do! We continue with Bridge where we seem to have good and not so good days – sometimes we get the cards, more often we don’t and fail to make any contracts – ho hum. Music Group is not as popular so far as last year; maybe it will grow as the season progresses, but we have had one new musician (Otti) so far, but hey, ho, you never know. We had a good evening with John and Rosie during which Susan, Val and Rosie managed a few jigs to liven things up, and the second session with Otti saw some French and Germans folks join in, some English golfers for a while, and some “scandawegian golfers” later, who remembered us from 2014! A few new numbers were being tried out too!
We have had lots of clear skies so were able to see the “super moon” – and a wonderful sight to be sure!! But of late the weather has turned cooler with the wind sometimes from the North with a little bit of a bite in it as well as some torrential rainstorms and thunderstorms, almost reminiscent of the Caribbean. The stormy weather tends to arrive from the south so at least it isn’t as cold!! Unsettled is probably the best way of describing the current weather.
We entered a fun Quiz evening hosted by and raising funds for Riding for the Disabled a charity that Lyn, David (Scarlet) are active in. Our team consisted of Lyn and David, Bev and Alan (Clemmy) and ourselves – we were placed in the middle of the teams at the end. The Quiz was one where answers were chosen by the teams using electronic gizmo’s and where the quickest to answer got more points than the slowest, naturally points were lost for wrong answers but no points taken off for not answering at all. Interestingly, the last round saw folks having to answer – there were no abstentions allowed so a lot of points made and lost. Altogether it was a fun evening, though the food was a little scarce but a lovely chicken and leek pie was served piping hot, and a reasonable amount was raised for the charity.
A few days later headed off with Lyn and David and Maisie the dog, to a “Sweet Potato” festival in Aljezur, some 30 minutes by car up on the west coast. A rural fair, it had a good share of arts and crafts, some music and a few sweet potato recipes to be tried – the crisps just out of the pan were fantastic. The pork cheeks with sweet potato were also very, very good. With the festival going till midnight it was pretty popular with visitors and locals alike, but we didn’t have the stamina for a late night.
Another great evening was spent with Jackie and Paul aboard Jetstream, playing Ocean Trader – after a meal of pie (anyone see a theme developing here), and a desert of pie too. Paul won.
We have said we will do another Xmas Songs on the Pontoons this year to raise funds for the disadvantaged – it will be interesting to see who will be around as the marina is now emptying as people are starting to return home for the festive season. In the meantime we are getting ready for the Xmas and New Year trip – getting very excited!
More in due course...............
Andrew and Susan
Andromeda of Plymouth,
Western End of F Pontoon,
Marina de Lagos