Leg 3 crew arrives in Porto...and we're off

Mariposa Blog
Robert Newman
Tue 21 Sep 2010 19:55
N 40 08.68 W 008 52.48

I was last to arrive in Porto and on arrival at the airport, conscious that they had been effectively waiting for me and were probably keen to get going, texted the chaps to let them know I would be at the marina shortly and we could, if they wanted to, get under way. Nothing could be further from the truth at 3.30 in the afternoon they had only just got up and were all feeling a little bit sorry for themselves following an exhaustive (Rob!) pre departure crew briefing/bonding/cultural tour of Porto. This seems to have been a very successful event for all involved.

So anyway the next day we (Spiller, little spiller, big chris (Benbow), Rob and me - Nick) are all here (there) are ready to slip off. The weather is settled and beautiful care of an oval shaped high pressure system sitting over Iberia. Initially that means light winds but 28 degrees is nice and we're heading south. Destination "figuere de foz" some 60 nm south...this week we have about 360 or so miles to go to get down to the Algrave for a rendezvous with Rob's family before heading out into the Atlantic to Madeira.

Overall, a fairly uneventful first day apart from my nearly falling overboard in the style of Norman Wisdom at the harbour entrance whilst replacing the stern step. We started off motoring into a light southerly wind which generously veered round to the North West so we were able to motor sail for a while before hoisting mariposa's beautiful big blue jennaker and made 7knots.

A shortage of tuna/ bonita so far on this leg is ameliorated by lots of banter including ongoing efforts to master potugese. Chris - of the Woodford valley - and Spiller (who met just two days ago formed an immediate and slightly troubling bond) have decided that the lingo is quite straightforward. All one has to do, apparently, is add an "josh" or an "age" (randomly applied) to the end of an English word and thereby achieve oneness with the locals! (So much so that the last waiter we saw resorted to speaking French) other topics of conversation suitable for a family audience included possible fancy dress themes for the ARC...current favourites is a spandex/glam rock Mamma Mia /Abba inspired theme for arrival into Rodney Bay, St Lucia.

We may of course be getting ahead of ourselves somewhat as there are a few thousand sea miles betwixt and between...anyway the idea is born and includes converting an otherwise innocent anchor ball into an all new also spandex disco glitter ball...I'm not sure if other vessels will appreciate this new day shape whilst we are anchor but there is probably only one way to find out. Other suggestions most welcomely received.

We arrive in figurez de foz at dusk and tie up in tie for poulet from the pot washed down by a box of finest french bordeaux. Plan a relaxed start tomorrow and lunch before heading overnight to Lisbon and Cascais,