Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Sat 4 Oct 2008 17:10
The day before we were due to leave Lagos, Bear had gone to the post office, I was doing a bit of tidying. A knock on the side of the boat, it was an engineer from Sopromar asking "what is your Raymarine problem". (The nav and comms electrics on board). I told him he had the wrong boat and off he went. BAD MOVE. I should have asked him on board to do a service.
We left the next day ( 1st October ) and before too long the Fluxgate Compass went, NOT good, so we headed for Portimao to anchor for the night. Next morning Bear got on the phone, the Raymarine engineer was on holiday until 14th. Phoned Sopromar, "yes, as soon as you get back we will send someone". Back to Sopromar, extremely depressing. Could not use their pontoon as it was destroyed in the storm, so back onto the Lagos marina fuel pontoon. We were told the said storm became a mini-tornado. Two girls on board an aluminium boat out on the hard at Soporomar, were frightened when their boat was picked up and flung over. We wish them well in their repairs and damaged confidence.
Phoned on our arrival, waited 3 hours. Engineer spent 4 in repairs. An hour out at sea swinging the spare compass Bear had bought from the infamous EBAY. Perfect wind to get away. Took the chap back to Sopromar to pay the bill, tied up alongside a Swiss boat called Vega who had been stuck for 9 days as his engine had blown. He told me how marina sick he was. I told him if I had had a gun on board I would have shot two dogs who would not stop barking, they lived in one of the apartments overlooking where we were parked in the marina before our attempted escape.
We had met too many Brits who had stuck fast to Lagos, one lady arrived and this was her 7th year. OH LET ME OUT.
After we had paid, off we went for the second attempt. All well in 20 knots of wind, within an hour risen to 37 knots and very fluky, sea getting beyond fun. Another decision "lets go to Portimao and anchor".
First night at anchor, very nice sky. Portimao Marina. The beach.
Located towards the western end of the Algarve, Portimao is one of the largest towns on this coast with a population approaching 40,000. As a tourist destination in its own right the town doesn't really jump out, as with much of south and west Portugal it was extensively damaged in the great earthquake of 1755. Set on the Rio Arade estuary Portimao's economy has been dependent on fishing and its growth as a port since it was founded. The Greeks, Phoenicians and Carthaginians where all early trading partners before the Moorish occupation in the 11th century and the port flourished.
Funny house, the village of Ferogudo ( not really what you would call a town ), a Cormorant with his big feet and teenage seagull friend.
Beez Neez happy at anchor. A very shiny girl, post her winter works in Sopromar and a black line newly done to match her livery.
Escaped Portugal on our third attempt.
Our abiding memories of the country. A very hard working people, very humble when it came to taking tips.
The Intermarche at Lagos gave us some fun. Lagos Fish Shop
Weight Watchers Lasagne 9.99 Euros Lobster 70 Euros per kilo
Frozen Irish Sausages 4.50 " (frozen) Prawns 35 " " "
English Sliced Bread 1.75 " "
Country Life Butter 2.99 " (for half size pack)
All in all a pleasant stay in an interesting country. Would not have missed it for the world, but very glad to move on to new aT-Ventures. Off to Rabat YiPEE.