37 06.8N 08 31.3W
Monday 21st July
Yesterday was the final day of racing in the Bluewater regatta and we had a great breeze all day – at times rising to 21knots.
Our crew for the day’s racing were Tony from China Blue and John from Mariah. Once again the courses were short triangular ones and not really suited to our big heavy boat; however we improved our start procedure considerably and the first race saw us off on a great flyer only to hear the committee boat call for a general recall as further down the line there were at least 4 boats across the line and various issues of ‘port and starboard’! Unfortunately the second time round we were not in such a good position (i.e. windward end) but still crossed the line within seconds of the gun; at this point the sailing was exhilarating the boat was going really well and the sun was shining. We had a good race and crossed the line at the finish in third place but on corrected time this turned out to be 6th. The second race followed fairly soon after the first but the course was altered and this led to some dilemma over the position of the first (windward) mark. Having again got off to a great start we headed in the general direction of where we thought the mark was. After sailing for a good 20 minutes we still could not see it and then spotted some of the boats behind us tacking off to port. We finally called the support rib who we had spotted near a mark in the distance well down to port and discovered it was at the windward mark! Oops! A rapid radio check with Bluewater Two confirmed our fears and that was followed by an immediate tack on to port to get back to the mark. The other boats out to the east of us followed suit but we were now at least 7 or 8 boats down – ah well it was only a fun event. The race proceeded and we finally caught up several of the smaller vessels but on corrected time were placed 9th. With one discard our finish place in the series was 6th a pleasing result we felt, but we were disappointed not to finish in the first 3 and get a prize!
The evening event at the waterfront bar and restaurant was great and we had a super time sitting with all the rally Portugal crowd, plenty of free wine and beer was consumed and we were entertained by an excellent band with a skilful saxophonist and singer as the main feature.
From today we are all going our separate ways but we hope to see Mariah and China Blue who plan to cruise the coast as far as Gibraltar like us. Unfortunately Blue Beyond are heading off to Madeira at the beginning of August so it was a fond farewell to them last night!
Our plans for the next few days are to anchor off Portimao and Alvor before returning here on Friday to pick-up our next visitors Gail, Nigel and Jack Pluckrose who are due to arrive for a 9 day visit.
Jacky and Bob