Skipper and First Mate Millard (Big Bear and Pepe)
Wed 3 Sep 2008 19:00
Tuesday 2nd September jumped up ready to leave Cascais. Security guard booked at 7am to return our ships papers ( deposit on arrival for electric hook up and access cards ) he turned up at 7.30. That meant
I had the time to take a sun rise, something I don't get chance to do. On my 2-6 am shift I have daybreak but miss the sun itself. To be known as a mega-yacht a boat has to be more than 40 meters in length. This one we thought particularly attractive. A whole host of liveried staff were seen with lots of gold spaghetti on their shoulders. The gold lettering on her stern said Donnesburg. Despite my best effort, First Mate won't get dressed up for me. Yes, but he also suggested naked after seeing the First Mate in Baiona. He'll have to make it more clear.
Not long after leaving I had Bear's starter sorted, once again the cheap gin was poured in to his mouth. We just love the smile they give as they slip peacefully off their mortal coil. Another day another book. The day was bright sun and clear skies but this hidden lighthouse under localised mist thought otherwise and was blasting out on the fog horn.
The coastline makes the last 35 miles of the journey look like one long beach with no distinguishing features, in the book as you approach Sines ( pronounced Cinch ) it says you should not be put off by the "industrial look". Sines can handle 500,000 tonne tankers and has heavy industry as well as petrochemicals supporting its economy. Its the first time we have seen finger pontoons suitable for these huge ships as well as fuelling berths. Although Sines can be identified from well offshore by its many chimneys, many either lit or smoking, once past you see the marina and the town, which looks quite charming FROM the sea. Up until 1971 this was a small fishing village.
The Marina de Sines, lies behind a substantial stone mole southeast of the fishing harbour. We swung round the back to raft on the waiting/fuel pontoon whilst skipper did his paperwork thing. While waiting I was offered fuel, a berth, a man to help me, cuddly toy, conveyor belt etc. Soon enough we were settled in, and could not believe it, in Cascais we had a yacht opposite called Dad's Mistress of Sark, here we had Dad's Mistress of Sesimbra, a small fishing village up the coast.
The marina. What it doesn't say in the book is although the place is wonderfully quiet, the seaweed covering each and every nook and cranny makes a noise like you are sitting in the middle of a bowl of Snap, Crackle and Pop just as someone throws the milk on. Add to that the snoring of said skipper and the Blessed Kissing Fish and bang went my nights sleep. We were supposed to watch a DVD together before turning in, after two minutes the gentle purr-like snore, ( you know the one before they really get rev'd up ). The film, Little Children was a complete waste of space, whilst I like Kate Winslet very much, she has appeared in some rubbish. The ending ( fed-up making ) and the constant crackling left me playing patience on the laptop from 1.30. The noise must have stirred something in the skipper, he got up at 6.30 convinced the noise was our water tank leaking. The beach is named after Vasco da Gama, as are a road, an avenue and several buildings. He was born there ( Jump Jet, the comment came to mind about the man on the bridge on your field trip with Derek ). The fisherman's end of the harbour.
Everywhere in Portugal has its castle, Sines too. The newish Marina office, good showers, and a brilliant fishing tackle shop. The young lady who ran the shop was herself very knowledgable and spoke good English. I was allowed a new rod and reel, inexpensive, although she showed me the Rolls Royce rod at 224 euros. "But I've only trolled out three Mackerel so far and a few ugly pipe fish", she put it back on the stand. A professional deep sea angler, who spoke no English ( surprising what you can do with sign language and a few grunts ) told me how to JIGGLE for big game fish. I bought myself a glow-in-the-dark jiggler. He said the fish doesn't actually take the hook in the mouth, but gets itself caught anywhere on the body. I pinched my bottom and said "I don't care if I catch one there, so long as I catch". Since seeing fly repellents used in Nazare doorways, I now display mine publically with pride, hanging three from the pram hood.
After our lousy night we slacked out until after lunch then walked up to the Library to use the internet. The book also forgets to mention the smell of the place, the skinny old streets waft the aroma of cabbage on the boil. Delapidated too, no men here with their bucket of sand and cement mix to fix the loose cobbles. We saw some very cheap shops selling at saledos ( in the sale ). It looks like the type of town that hibernates as soon as the season ends. On arrival we had been helped tie up by a very tiny Welshman who had arrived for one night and is about to start his fourth year. I asked why he liked it so much " cos its not the Algarve". I'm afraid on balance the cheapness was no consolation to my fragile mental state. Mid Rice Krispies, I could see the nice men in white coats coming to take me to the Funny Farm, telling me they "wouldn't do the straps up too tight on my nice new outfit". Fortunately for me, skipper felt the same, so we listened as the open sea beckoned and we left that very evening at 19:30 for the 79 miles to Lagos. The 26 and a half hours in Sines will NEVER be repeated. "Don't you think that's a bit harsh" "NO I don't"