24th June 2008 - The Final Day

Bali Hai
Neal Stow
Tue 24 Jun 2008 05:17
The final day of the Rally dawned in pretty much the same manner as many as the others.  I, having taken the sensible option of going to bed early, was up at dawn doing my Swedish exercises.  Whereas the boys, who had crawled into bed in the early hours, emerged bleary eyed looking like death.  I gather that dinner in a local Chinese restaurant had turned into an impromptu dance party.  Although from the photographs I saw later Rob, clearly no John Travolta, appears to be fast asleep while dancing with Jackie.
Also consistent with previous days, Andrew turns fairly swiftly from groggy hung-over mode into a whirlwind of activity and sets about cleaning the boat.  Rob, again consistent with other days, is more of a small puff of activity.  He heads off to the shower block but makes it no further than one of the marina restaurants on the way, where he meets the crew of Vision and stops for coffee and croissant.
Eventually Rob returns and the cleaning begins in earnest.  It is a sterling job - washing down the teak, cleaning the hull and the whitework, polishing the chrome, cleaning the windows and a full clean down below including the galley and the heads.  With only a short break for lunch we were at it until six in the evening.  An excellent job, I only hope that future crews can match that effort.  The only things that were not cleaned were the brass instruments which had become pitted and the metal polish did not work.
The Final Prize Winning Dinner was held in the evening.  A slightly grander event than the others, everyone was supposed to be "dressed to impress" and so we donned our grass skirts and lays for the last time.  John even made an appearance, or rather a version of him did (see the photos).  In addition to the normal prizes (where we won the Smiley Miley for the last leg - getting the distance spot on) every boat was awarded a special prize - ours, based on activities before and after the Rally was for the cleanest and most polished boat!!  Even better, we won a can of Duraglit, which has done wonders for the brass work.
The party finished just after midnight.  I, of course, went to bed (after polishing the clock) whereas the boys headed into town and did not return until four in the morning.  This was a somewhat dubious strategy, particularly on Rob's part, as the taxi to take them to the airport was due to arrive at 7:30.  As I write this at 7:15 Rob has just woken up and he has not yet packed......
So the Rally is over.   It has been tremendous fun and I would highly recommend it to anyone contemplating sailing from the UK to the Med or further as a great, sociable way to start their trip.  Many thanks to the World Cruising Club and Andrew and Kieran in particular.
Although the Rally Portugal log is now coming to an end, the Bali Hai log will continue on the MailASail website (where there are also logs of several of the other boats on the Rally Portugal).  So if you want to follow the fortunes of Bali Hai - or just discover whether Rob made it to the airport on time, that is where to look.