Mick and Jenny joining us for the
week made us feel like we were on holiday! We had an action-packed week, sailing
the Walker Bay across to Ferrogudo, walking on the beach, snorkelling, walking
fishing, eating & drinking, lazing around chatting, reading, walking to
Alvor, playing cards, traveller’s trivia and Pictionary, and walking a bit more.
We worked particularly hard on Jenny’s drinking capacity as part of her training
for the forthcoming Celtic Challenge in May
and David sailing the Walker Bay across to
Ferrogudo, we all snorkelled, David and Mick went off with the spear guns, the
children and I built a sandcastle, and Jenny had a quiet half an hour sketching.
We rounded off the afternoon with a beer in the ‘Yacht Club’ beach bar before
Mick and Jenny sailed back to the marina, in the wake (literally) of the Dutch
women’s Olympic dinghy sailing team who are training here for the Bejing
Canute Construction Company in action on Ferrogudo beach. Note the
driftwood-reinforced wave wall and turret
the Thursday we took CAPE out big game fishing.
David had been on a fact-finding mission about where we needed to go, at what
speed, with what line out and trailing what lure. We had all of the gear (Bryn’s
lure, we were assured, was perfect), all of the info, but with recent fishing
activities only landing plastic bags and seaweed, I had quietly stashed away a
few tins of tuna – just in case.
event, David caught a huge, beautiful, iridescent blue and black striped fish,
which on consulting our Spanish fish identification chart Especies de Galicia turned out to be a
bonito – a relative of the tuna. Only 5 minutes later, Mike caught a
catches the first game fish of the whole trip – a bonito.
minutes later, Mick catches the second – a tuna!
game fishy types out there, we were 6 miles south of Portimão, on the 50 metre line, trawling a
4-inch, sparkly orange plastic squid at a speed of 5.5 knots with 100 metres of
line out – and it was a couple of days into the new moon. We dispatched the
bonito with a winch handle and the tuna with some nasty cheap whisky on the
gills – the whisky appeared to be less traumatic for the fish.
Bethany and Bryn showing off the catch of the
and David performed a post-mortem on the pontoon, dissecting out the main organs
so that the kids could learn some fish anatomy. The tuna had managed a last
supper and had a complete 6-inch sardine in its
had fresh tuna and bonito marinated in lemon juice and garlic, and seared in a
hot pan for supper. There were enough steaks for about 12 people, so we were
able to give some away as well as keep a bit for tuna mayo butties the next day.
Tinned tuna is never going to live up to
Crocs were made for walking…
walked a lot. Mick and Jenny walked to Ferrogudo, saw a tile artist at work and
had the local speciality – grilled sardines – for lunch. We walked miles
exploring bits of Portimão that we had never found before, hunting cicadas on the way. We walked
miles along the beach, and we had an official Nature Walk (at the request of
Bethany and Bryn), when we learned about nitrogen-fixing legumes – plants that
are able to grow in the sand where other plants can’t, and agaves, the source of
tequila (among a host of other uses). Our nature walk ended with lunch
overlooking the harbour at Alvor.
end of Praia da Rocha beach, looking east towards Portimão.
to prove that Neolithic man didn’t just make arrow heads, axes and chase Raquel
Welsh look-a-likes, we found a fossilized submarine along the
minature Grand Canyon landscape, carved out of
the sandstone by rain.
Nature walks make you hungry – lunch overlooking the
harbour at Alvor.
and Jenny sporting his ‘n’ her posh new