Lost in Cyber Space - Spain into Portugal
Thu 18 Jun 2009 14:52
Position: 38:40.61N, 009:19.06W
Hi All, Well we are now at Oeiras (pronounced wee rash) near Lisbon and hopefully back in Wi Fi contact with the world so apologies for this longer blog to catch up. We seem to have been to so many places either by boat or by coach and my diary is well behind.
Bayona to Povoa de Varzim 11th June and Ali and Susie joined the crew for this leg. Out of Spain and into Portugal. Weather humid and dull and with light winds behind us we had a sloppy sail/motor to Povoa where we had a warm welcome from the local club and the SUN. Susie even managed to get very red legs in the few hours they were exposed. We all enjoyed a very good dinner that evening before dumping the girls on the pontoon and leaving at 0700 for our leg to Figueira da Foz. We had a really great sail with lots of wind round the last headland and with the swell surfing us forward to the marina we clocked 13.2 briefly on the instruments. We were having a terrific sail hitting 10,11,12 knots and yet the rig very stable.
Figueira da Foz: 12th - 14th June
We had a sardine BBQ provided by the yacht club and with warmer weather it was nice to sit outside eating endless sardines and salad and potatoes with the wine flowing well and rally crews getting to know one another better. The next day 13th June we went on a coach to Coimbra and enjoyed seeing the university (which was originally the palace) and then the medieval market in the oldest part of town. We visited a lovely old castle on the way back where there was a wedding in progress in the chapel - well there would have been if the bride had arrived but apparently its traditional for them to be late (45 mins?! at least).
That evening we went to the casino in Figueira and had a typical portugese meal (cod saltfish and potatoes) and then saw a show which was very lively - mostly english dancers and singers we believe - doing excerpts from musicals such as west side story etc.
14th June (Sunday) we found a lovely local market- covered - which sold loads of fish and vegetables and I bought some excellent fruit and salad etc. (Graham is astounded that I managed to buy 1 kilo of cherries!) It was a misunderstanding! Still we have nearly eaten them all and they were good.
In the eve one of the ladies on Red Skies had a birthday so we were all invited to a pontoon party and their boat was decorated with balloons and a great time was had by all except we nearly managed to sink the pontoon as there were so many on it.
Monday 15th June and we sailed again - this time to Nazare. a change to the programme and we were only there one night but we went exploring the local town and found a good butcher and then went up the cable car. Great views. The locals were all very friendly but next day we were off again..
Tuesday 16th June sailed to an Island called Berlenga where we had lunch on a mooring buoy. We would like to have gone ashore as it looked very interesting with a small fort lots of rocks and caves, but we did not have a lot of time and set off again to Peniche.
Wednesday 17th June Peniche - Arrived in this rather windy marina and had to raft up beside a long pontoon three or four deep. The local electrics could not cope with it all so the power kept going off. We were entertained in a lovely old castle overlooking the marina and then were glad of a reasonably early night as we set off again the next morning.
Thursday 18th June. A super sail again and now we are not far from Lisbon in a newish marina. (See above - Oeiras) We have some facilities here and 15 boats are all trying to catch up with repairs, laundry, shopping etc. There is only one washing machine and one dryer though and the supermarket is a good walk so I have queued for the washing machine and James and Graham have cycled off to the supermarket with a list! Graham has also been up the mast sorting out chafing points on the sail and down in the locker checking steering gear etc. We have sailed 890 miles since Plymouth! Carolyn and John's bits of leather have come in handy as they are now stuck to the ends of the spreaders. (could this be a new marketing opportunity?)
Tonight there is another dinner and tomorrow is a visit to Lisbon. It is now very hot and we have our fly swat out and all the fly screens on the windows etc. Have not seen any mosquitos yet though. We are eating more salads and drinking more white wine and portonics (white port with tonic water). Wearing shorts and tee shirts most of the time as even the wind at sea is warm now.
We will set off again on Saturday to Sines and then the last leg is next week to Lagos. We hope to be able to send more news later but meanwhile its back on the coach or is it the boat - hard to keep up with it and we are not doing badly for old age pensioners!