March hared along it would seem!!!!!!!
Another action packed month which has seen huge winds gusting over 50knots at times and some torrential rain, but, finally, the sun and the nice temperatures and sunshine returned (and shorts), well, for a while.
We helped move a bunch of yachts to and from Sopromar, and saw our first Malaysian registered yacht ever – called Ginger Cat, a new Lagoon 45 catamaran (the space is awesome compared to mono-hulls), owned by Andrew (Andreas), from Germany, who plans to sail around the world – he sailed and endured a few storms and breakages over the last few months after leaving from the Lagoon factory in France late last year (Les Sables-d'Olonne) – yes, well, some folks do these crazy things. His son, Christopher, on his gap year before university in Germany, was with him and the rest of the family are due in awhile (one currently in Shanghai and another in London) – Andrew invited us (Debbie, Rick, Brian and ourselves) to visit the yacht and it became a mad, mad evening - involving singing, dancing and much, much laughter – a truly amazing and impromptu evening to be sure!!! For reasons that remain obscure Andrew (not Andreas) was referred to as James Bond – it was that sort of evening and an amazing craic. Lovely, mad people. Both came along to the Music Night before they left – even more laughter and mayhem!
We were asked to play a few numbers with John and Rosie at an open mike evening in Praia de Luz , at a bar called Godot’s (a.k.a. Beckett etc., yes we know), which was an interesting experience to be sure – some interesting performers but Susan’s Line Dancing numbers proved popular in a very, very cramped establishment – mostly full of (loud) brits it must be said. Another late night!! We played a number only practised that afternoon, which worked, somehow, a song for Rosie to show her voice! Some folks didn’t necessarily do justice to the numbers they performed – but then the same charge could probably be laid at our feet!!
Managed to organise a few visitors to Andromeda and Lagos and a trip back to the UK to see folks – a bit of a logistical challenge this time, but looking forward to it. We will be joining Lyn and David on Scarlet for a cruise from the Balearics to Sardinia and possibly Sicily for a couple of months in the summer. In the meantime, Andrew was going to join Patrick on Rih Malti for the 800 mile sail from Lagos to Santa Maria in the Azores where Patrick had bought a house. Rih Malti will be based there for the next year or so. Patrick plans to spend a couple of months getting the property ready for the family to visit and possibly rent out. However Patrick became unwell on the evening of the planned departure so plans went on hold; as it turned out he had a case of Shingles. 48 hours later and armed with antibiotics they were off, after a very, very strange St. Patricks Day evening in McCabes Bar, once again.
Well the trip from Lagos to Santa Maria was some 825nm and took 5 days (max speed was 8.9 knots), all on one tack (starboard) and 95% of which was steered by a wind vane – brilliant. It was certainly bumpy in the seas which were about 4-5 metres at times and winds that touched 33 knots, but otherwise we had a great trip and we were still talking at the end!! We ate a huge amount of chilli though! Patrick was in some discomfort due to the shingles, but the trip worked out ok and we managed to dodge the worst of the weather by all accounts, though Rih Malti was covered in salt when we berthed in Vila do Porto Marina (now with refurbished showers!!) as we took a great deal of water over the deck – not done so many sail changes in a long while! Santa Maria is still as wonderful as ever! And Patrick has a lovely house in a nice location in the hills on the east side of the island, a parish called Santo Espirito, the parish colour is green by the way. He and Patrice will certainly enjoy themselves there – really nice and quiet and peaceful, with a little bit of sea to see (!)
Sarah Smith told us about the tragic death of her daughter Bethany who was 18, soon to have been 19, in Jamaica, later covered by the BBC, after a fall from the mast of a yacht she was crewing. We had known the family for a couple of years while in the Caribbean. Dave, Sarah and Bryn (S/Y Cape) are a wonderful family, and Bryn and Bethany were fantastic kids – Sarah had home educated them for many years. Bethany will be much missed and our thoughts were with the family at a very difficult time. Andrew had been following their blog since 2007 and with whom we had regular e-mail contact with on their adventures from the UK to the Caribbean via Lagos and the Gambia, mainly because it was just a great blog, well written and entertaining. We finally met up with the family in Chaguaramas, Trinidad. It was devastating and desperately sad news.
And then we discover shenanigans, yes, shenanigans – it’s the only word that describes it, at Mexican Train Domino’s – worthy of Agatha Christie this one – “The Strange Case of the Dots” – someone changed a 4 into a 5 with an indelible ink pen!!! On someone else’s set. Outrageous! What depths do folks sink to in order to prevail at a social and friendly game! These are very strange, and worrying times indeed; most difficult to comprehend to be sure. Yes, there is a degree of competitiveness, but just for a burgee and a mention on the VHF Net?! It beggars belief and challenges notions of community and fun. Absolutely stunned. Investigations are under way and Interpol has been informed! Count your dot’s!!!! Anyone with a pen approaching the tables will be met with a stern interrogation concerning intent! Harump! Harump!
Sue arrived on the same day that Andrew returned from the Santa Maria trip so the boat is full and we have lots to talk about. Lovely to have her with us once again – apparently the new Ikea in Loule is on the agenda – hhmmmmmm. Susan has also been enjoying herself running the VHF Net and has been getting lots of folks to contribute as well – brilliant. The boat has been re-organised as well, so Andrew is finding some stuff hard to find and he is now confined to the bow bunk!! For a while anyway.
But rufty tufty sailors have to do what rufty tufty sailors have to do!
More in due course.........................
Susan and Andrew
Andromeda of Plymouth
Western End of F Pontoon,
Marina de Lagos