Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Sat 23 Aug 2008 23:36
Overnight in Povoa, the siren (faulty) that is supposed to sound ONLY in fog, went all night. By four thirty I was really getting fed up. In the morning we jumped up to wave Nimue off thinking we would stay for a few more days. Later in the morning Bear saw Joe from Algeiba and the decision to leave at mid day was not vetoed by me. Bear said Hi to Quinn and we left at 12:15, on Sunday 17th August, for the 116 miles to Nazare. Joe waited for us to catch up and took this stunning photo.
You would not believe this is the Atlantic Ocean, flat calm and amzingly blue. All of this west coast in olden days was called "The Coast of Death", not because it was particularly dangerous but they believed it was the end of the earth, just as well the great explorers were not afraid of falling off the edge.
Note our motor sailing cone, we got into good habits early on Razz, but have seen in books and marinas, warnings that the authorities are bearing down on folks who don't have the right flags, lights, markers etc. On the spot fines of 50 to 500 euros and if not paid, impounding and a maximum of 5000 euros. We have never seen any maritime police out there but wouldn't like to get on the wrong side.
Bear going off watch, me coming on at 18:00 and a sunset I took.
When I went on duty at 2am I was faced with bioluminescence the like I had never seen before. After trying dozens of photos and seeing just black, I ended up using this one from the internet to show an example, it honestly looked just like this. The light is caused by swarms of noctiluca, an algae in the group called dinoflagellates. They contain a protein, luciferin, that emits light when oxidised by contact with the air brought in by the agitated water. These flashes of light are only tenths of a second but due to the sheer number, seems permanent. Its a great way of seeing lobster pot buoys, but when a dolphin surfaced next to me, I thought it was the last scene from "Terminator". Later in my shift a group of dolphins grouped a shoal of fish and used the side of the boat as a trap. I took a video, which does show the hundreds of fish jumping with a dozen dolphins in pursuit, all lit up. The most fantastic thing I have ever seen in my life. It is such a pity dolphins smell so awful.
The down side for me is going to the toilet, I ruin my night vision by turning on the light because I cannot bring myself to wee on something that is flashing up at me !!!!!!
The next morning before I went to bed at 06:00 I took this ( just for you Colin ) but as you can see, yet again, I failed to get the chap in the air. They jump and smile knowing they are too fast for my shutter.
We arrived at 10:45 on Monday morning and rafted next to Nimue ( pronounced Nim Way - the lady in the lake with Excalibar, also bloggers on Mailasail ). Skipper had to complete formalities with the marina, the maritime and local police. This one had a great pair of long leather boots, shame about the hat. In town we saw this lady stoking her BBQ coals with a hairdryer. In the past I have been called potty for telling people that the best fly preventer is a clear bag filled with water, the fly sees his reflection and thinks a much bigger fly lives here and goes on his way. Well AT LAST, I have seen it in action in the front door to this cafe.
Nazare got its name from a statue of the Virgin Mary brought to town from Nazareth by a monk in the 4th century, it is now famous for its fishing industry. The inhabitants of Nazare have long straight noses and grey eyes, thought to be decended from the Phoenicians. The fishermen have very brightly painted boats, of Phoenician design, often with a eye on each side below the high prow, these are to look for shoals of fish and storms. Until recently the boats were pulled up onto the beach by oxen.
Nazare has been a good place to base ourselves for the day trips of importance, but it has been VERY noisy with the fishermen coming and going.
Just opposite us was a huge fish market. The seagulls and women wait for the boats to come in. Any tiny fish get chucked back for the gulls, any that fall off the baskets when the fork lift moves away at speed are fair game for anyone with a carrier bag. We left the boys having a beer outside the marina cafe/mini market/pub and went to investigate. Neither Ann or I have shopped at the Harrod's fish department, but purses at the ready to buy a few, did not go with the idea of forraging off the floor. We returned to the boys, defeated. Just as we were leaving Ann was presented with about 4 lbs of fish ( well she was the one showing a bit of leg ), sadly small. We settled to do a bit of filleting. Rose wine at hand, just like the Galloping Gourmet and Keith Floyd would.
COMMENT. I really thought the Portugese had sex on the mind, everywhere I have been there have been posters with it mentioned inumerable times. I commented to Bear who informed me "It is a day of the week, you muppet".
I looked on the web and indeed it is short for Sexta-Feira or Friday.................................
Off to Cascais, pronounced Cash Kai on Sunday 24th August.