11th June 2008 - Another 4th place price

Bali Hai
Neal Stow
Wed 11 Jun 2008 16:37
----- Original Message -----
From: Bali Hai
To: Diary
Sent: Thursday, June 19, 2008 5:36 PM
Subject: 11th June 2008 - Another 4th place price

Yippee! After having won a prize for coming fourth in the first Smiley Miley competition, we have now won silverware (or more precisely - a hand painted ceramic tile) for coming fourth in the second race - after Sealion, Bouzouki and Blonde Moment. Clearly, those hours spent bobbing around on the water without motoring were worth it.
The excitement generated from this award was second only to that of the local Portuguese populous who went a bit loopy this afternoon after wining their second match in Euro 2008, securing a place in the next round of the competition.  We watched the match on a big screen in the town square with a few hundred locals and afterwards there was much hugging and honking of car horns.  John even had his Ronaldo clad stomach kissed by a rather attractive Portuguese lass.
This morning we had a short tour of the town and the surrounding area.  It took place in a non-air-conditioned bus and highlights included an industrial park, sight of numerous hotels, several large non-Portuguese style houses built by wealthy returning emigrants and lots of vegetables being grown on sand dunes.  Not the most exciting of tours we have ever had but it was surprisingly enjoyable and the tour guide very cheerful and welcoming. 
This has been the high point of our time in Povoa.  The place is a bit of a dump with the saving grace being that most of the people we have met are extremely nice.  When we arrived last night we were greeted by a bevy of marina staff enthusiastic to take our lines and help us after a tiring day's sail.  Unfortunately this great welcome was followed by the news that there was no time to freshen up as the Yacht Club was about to stop serving food, even though it was only nine o'clock.  When we arrived at the club all they had left to eat was boiled beef steaks in a mustard sauce. 
Later, on returning to the boat, we found that the shore power had cut out on the whole pontoon and none of the rally boats have had any power since.  We are told, somewhat unbelievably, that this is outside the control of the marina.  Whatever the reason, on Bali Hai we are going to sleep tonight to the sound of the generator running in order to ensure that the several cases of vinho verde we purchased are suitably chilled.
We have not had the greatest first impression of Portugal but tomorrow it is Porto with a tour of Taylor's port lodge.  So I cannot help but think that things are going to improve.