Fancy a Full English?

Caramor - sailing around the world
Franco Ferrero / Kath Mcnulty
Wed 20 Aug 2014 09:48
Lagos, the British enclave in Portugal! English is the language spoken here, no Portuguese bakeries, instead bars serving all day Full English breakfasts and burgers (and calling themselves 'gastropubs'!).

We came to Lagos because there is a good boat chandlery (the only well stocked one we have found in Portugal), this is our last opportunity to purchase essential spares or to have them delivered from the UK until we get to Brazil next March. Lagos will be our last shore stop in Portugal, over the border in Spain we will visit Sevilla and Cadiz.

From our anchorage just off the beach, We ran the harbour entrance gauntlet in our dinghy. Portuguese men in cars or motorboats have great difficulties with the concept of slowing down. We walked down the prom towards the marina, past one hundred and fifty stalls all selling 'boat trips to the limestone caves' (do we look like the type interested in a boat trip?) and found the chandlery.

There was a whole section dedicated to rubber seals and an even larger one for nuts and bolts! Heaven. Franco enquired about ordering a spare spinnaker pole and asked the price for a new autopilot. "Euro 2,400" came the deadpan response. "Fine" responded Franco, emotionless. A sharp intake of breath was taken by the first mate; shopping in chandleries is like playing poker, it's all about bluff and you walk away with a lot less money.

Ever wondered what happened to Otto the Mutineer? (see post 25 June) After the rebellion he was put in irons in his locker until we installed the 'new' second hand fluxgate compass. We gave him a second chance and he was fine for about half an hour before trying to run away again. The Captain was all for making him walk the plank.

After the "Euro 2,400" response we took Caramor and Otto out into the bay and had a go at reprogramming him - touch wood, so far so good. We do have a smaller autopilot 'Old Otty' who was pensioned off years ago but can still work if needed. Unfortunately Otty's arm fell off so we replaced it with Otto's spare.

On Sunday we took the day off and explored the cliffs by kayak, the swell had built up which kept the tourist boats away from the cliffs.

As we paddled past a sea stack I glimpsed a flash of blue disappearing into a rock crack. I hung back for a few moments hoping to see the budgie, when I looked up Franco was about to be engulfed in a rather large breaking wave ... quick turn, rapid acceleration, up the wave ... and over. What a champion! I was very pleased I had hung back, I'm not certain I would have made it over the wave.

On the way back we landed on a nudist beach and topped up our tans before heading back to Caramor who had been joined by the local surfers and was having a great time bouncing on the swell. Sailing boats and surf don't mix well so we headed into the marina.

We have spent two full days in the marina and have worked hard but it is definitely time to go now. Our shopping wasn't very successful, we didn't manage to buy a spinnaker pole, nor many of the other bits we needed, never mind.

The prize for the solution to the 'inflated lifejacket in a bag' goes to Michal Szubryt for his hyperbaric chamber, however as we didn't have one handy we cut the bag to get at the valve.