30th June 2008 - Alvor to Cabo de Santa Maria (hole in the hull and our first fish)

Bali Hai
Neal Stow
Mon 30 Jun 2008 23:15
We had just anchored yesterday when Richard from Sealion appeared in his dinghy (at first we mistook him for some official coming to move us along).  They had arrived much earlier in the day and anchored right up close to Alvor but Richard thought that there was no room for us now. Even a mile further out, where we were, the place was pretty crowded with people anchored close to the beach.  Richard thought that most were day trippers and sure enough by 6:30 there was only us and another French boat left at anchor for the night.
By seven o'clock Julian was getting anxious about missing the football (he comes to exotic climes on a sailing holiday and is only interested in watching a match where Chelsea are not even playing!).  We get the dinghy down (with the new davit handles) and head off into town.  It was quite windy but fortunately Julian took the full force of the sea spray, keeping his skipper well protected.  When we arrived at the town we passed Sealion who invited us on board for a drink but unfortunately I was forced to decline in favour of the football.
In town, we found an excellent restaurant (with five televisions showing the match) and some wonderful seafood.  Lyn and I shared a bottle of wine (or two) but for some reason Julian and Jim managed just one pint of beer each.  After dinner we did finally meet up with Richard for a quick beer before heading back to the boat.  It was pitch black and although the tide was in there were still plenty of shallows and on several occasions the engine hit a sandbank.  We were able to continue by lifting the engine but it was a bit worrying that we might have ended up being stranded out there all night.
In the morning, everyone was much perkier and I thought that things might be looking up.  Unfortunately all my hopes were dashed when the crew managed to swing the anchor into the hull when raising it - leaving quite a dent.  I am not a happy chappie.
After this poor start, the trip to Cabo to Santa Maria went quite smoothly.  We kept the bimini up and so had plenty of shade on the boat.  Unfortunately we had to motor quite a lot and when there was wind we could only potter along at 4-5 knots.  This did mean that Jim and Lyn could have a go with the fishing equipment and within a few minutes Lyn had caught a small mackerel.  Although this feat was not to be repeated, it is one small mackerel better than "Fisherman John" has managed in the last two years.
Cabo Santa Maria is a large tidal lagoon/nature reserve.  We arrived mid afternoon, anchored and spent the rest of the time lazing about.  Jim has retired to bed and is clearly suffering from the effects of the heat etc... rather than alcohol.  Hopefully he will be recovered for our BBQ this evening - although he is going to be eating beefburgers instead of freshly caught fish!