Fai Tira Blog 01/10
Fai Tira at Tavira
This is our third day on
the mooring, and out of communication, in the delightful, lagoon like setting,
that’s been acting as a base, while we’ve explored and visited friends in and
around the pretty town of Tavira.
Our previous overnight
stop, at Faro, although welcome proved uncomfortable. The anchorage was
sheltered, with us tucked just inside the breakwater, but it didn’t prevent the
boat being thrown around by the heavy swell (something I haven’t got used to
yet, is trying to sleep with my feet sometimes two foot higher than my
Anyhow the break did have
the effect of providing a bit of rest, while at the same time, shortening the
next days’ journey, to just twenty miles.
Again it was under power
for much of the time, in sunny warm conditions on a mill pond like sea, with the
extremely light winds, but directly on the nose. For the most part our activity
was restricted to trying to spot and avoid the mass of fishing pots that seemed
to be waiting just to trip us up. The result was that our course probably gave
the appearance, at a casual glance, to something like that of a downhill slalom
We’d also read in the
book about being observant of the extremely long trawl nets in the area plying
It’s an industry that,
although still active, has suffered considerably from recent over fishing and is
now in decline.
It wasn’t long before we
saw, what I thought was the distant shore line dotted with small towers
stretching for miles. However a glance, by Pete through the binoculars, showed
Directly in front and
blocking our passage was, what seemed, a never ending line of linked markers
(the small towers), with very large
fishing vessels, in the distance at one end, and a number of smaller craft at
the other. Tuna fishing!
The description in the
book didn’t do it justice. It was just like a small, self contained, floating
industry. And the only way to be sure of missing it, was a drastic change of
course and one that took us much closer to shore.
However any inconvenience
suffered, was offset by the benefit of picking up sea breezes that had the
effect of providing a good sail for the last few miles on the approach to the
Colin, Pete’s friend had
suggested that Tavira would be a good place to stop and even leave Fai Tira
overnight. We moored up on what
was, we hoped, the first convenient visitors buoy.
Colin, now living part of
the year not far from here, was already on his way. A sailor himself, he was
keen to catch up and see the boat for the first time. Judging by his reaction on
arrival, I think he was reasonably impressed. It was good to meet up and hear
his views on our antics so far.
A beer or so later, and
Pete was off with Colin to spend the night in his nearby hillside home. Pete met
up with Sue and their youngest son James.
Pete had previously sailed Colin’s own yacht part of the way from England
to Tavira with the both of them. So the stories flowed as did the wine before
they all headed off to the local Portuguese curry house. Pete had a great night
and looks foreward to sailing with Colin on Friday.
Dee and I, left to our
own devices, headed to the town.
The walk along the 2k
causeway is flanked on both sides by active salt marshes and protected wetlands
containing a whole range of birdlife. The sun, even though low in the sky, still
generated enough warmth to make the journey a bit of an effort, but how
fantastic to stroll past a bunch of wadding
What a nice town! We
ambled in along the harbour wall, past a whole range of fishing craft and cafes.
It all had the effect of
encouraging the feel of an authentic working environment, while at the same time
still managing to display all the charm of somewhere that’s tastefully trying to
The pull of the skyline,
had your mind racing in all directions, trying to make sure that nothing was
missed and drew us in the direction of a majestic church just outside the walls
of the castle. It was closed but the castle wasn’t, the view across the roofs of
the town from the ramparts providing a whole new
The night spent in the
serene surroundings of the mooring was blissful.
Pete was in touch soon
the next day. We had all been invited to spend the night at the fabulous,
holiday, home of Pete and Lynne Walton our friends from Dartmouth. What great
hospitality, food, tour of the local bars and eating places and use of their
A big thanks to you
The next day, back at the
boat, was going to be the last chance for more
We decided the sands of
the adjacent, tourist island had to be at least worth a visit. So we went
prepared, cosies and all, and yes! in spite of all our instincts screaming at us
that this is the Atlantic and bound to be cold, we took the plunge.
1st of October, must be mad, but yes you probably guessed it, you
tend to do daft things when you’re on holiday!!
Bye for now.
Pete, John and