Yesterday, I bought some biggish raw prawns for dinner in the fish market
but later got invited around to eat aboard 'Akka' by Jeff and Carol so we
had the prawns as a starter.
Had a phone call earlier from Bill Grooms who had been blown into Cascais
Marina. The same strong southerly winds at Figueira delayed the leaving of a
very big and expensive new yacht being delivered to the Frankfurt Boat Show.
A good decision, I thought, given that it would almost certainly have been
blown into 'Graptolite' on departure.
Figueira continues to be a difficult but charming shopping experience. With
many of the shops it's impossible to tell what they sell until you are
actually inside. Even then it's not always that clear. Hopefully, I've not
been browsing through the native's sitting rooms by mistake. Mostly the
stuff I'm after is the little bits and pieces for the boat that any old
'Aladdin's Cave' would have. The problem here is the shops that claim to be
ship's chandlers have almost no stock. The one on the marina seems to only
sell plastic fuel cans (I bought three). There are other shops in town,
which mostly sell dusty gardening equipment and power tools that also do a
few boaty things. As not much is on display there has to be lots of arm
waving. It took me twenty minutes of work the other day to get a bit of
string to use as a flag halyard. Yesterday I tried to get some stainless
steel washers. I was directed to an industrial-type shop in the town by a
Russell Crowe, Master & Commander, look-alike at the marina chandlers. There
I was led downstairs into what must have once been a very big wine cellar.
They had shelf after shelf filled with boxes of washers. None of them were
the size I needed.
Later I spotted a key-cutting place down a backstreet and tried to persuade
the grizzled old proprietor to engrave 'Graptolite' on the ship's bell given
to me as a leaving pressie by Mike and Jacqui. Twenty minutes later he was
still having a jolly one-sided conversation in Portuguese trying to make
sure he had the pronunciation of "graptowleetie" correct and ringing the
bell above his head. It turned out that he didn't do engraving anyway but
maybe the tiny shop across the street, that looked like it was a seller of
religious relics and Indulgences, would do it. Naturally, it was closed for