At last the "Bird in the Bog" story from our resident author, with only one editorial correction from the skipper:
So avast there, none of this bloggy routine stuff from the
boring (handsome, intelligent, wise) skipper. This is a blog hijack to tell the ‘true’ stories of the voyage so far. Starting with ………. ‘The Bird in the Bog’ …….dan dan dahhh!!!
It was a dark and stormy night, er actually it was about six in the morning and watch handover time and quite calm but never the let the truth spoil a good story. Jane ‘who doesn’t dance on tables’ came up on deck with a very strange look on her face, part fear part embarrassment, part perplexity. She then uttered the immortal words ‘Larry there is something big and black in the toilet!!’
The response was, ‘well it wasn’t me I’ve only had a pee.’ Poor Jane had been warned before we sailed that whoever blocked a bog was responsible for clearing it and was now visualising some form of quality toilet time, probably with a wire coat hanger and rubber gloves. However our hero bravely volunteered to descend into the stygian depths of the bog and investigate the ‘big black thing’ for himself. Bracing himself for something disturbing he nerved himself to look into the pan. Oh my goodness -- it was big, it was black and it was flapping! Hang on a second, flapping?? Closer inspection revealed a small black duck (well it had webbed feet) lying face down in the pan presumably drinking water. It was retrieved from its rather unusual resting place and shown the error of its ways before being flung unceremoniously over the side to fly away. How it got into the pan in the first place was never really clear but the look of relief on Jane’s face was only second to the look of horror moments before.
Spanish food. The Gastronomic delights of Galicia are only tempered by the lack of ability on our part to understand the menus. Out first night out in Camarinas involved the cheapest meal, 1.5 Euros for a cold omelette for Peter or the ‘Hamburger with no bun and very little meat for Larry. In Muros Peter was drooling over the thought of ‘scallops in garlic butter’ only to find that in Spanish, ‘scallops’ are a generic word for octopus and squid, apparently no favourite of his. But the best meal was in Portosin where we decided on ‘Tapas’. Now in UK that means lots of LITTLE plates of food so we ordered about four and where then imposed on to try the speciality of ‘Pulpo’ as well. Yes,‘Pulpo’ means octopus and no they weren’t little plates they were full sized - and with chips – and with a salad. We manfully ate as much as we could but the waiter was clearly quite amused.
Driving in Portugal Best avoided but we had to drive down to Lisbon to collect Fi and stayed the night in a nice local hotel. Portuguese drivers are quite good and the roads are excellent. However the road signs leave a ‘little to be desired’. Belting into Lisbon on the A8 road you only see the road sign to filter off, after you have passed the junction. Even so with the aid of a map you can work out where you are, except that every turning you try to make is no right turn or one way and you can’t go that way! Eventually, after only one highly illegal U turn we ended up in a strange cul de sac and put away all manly thoughts of not asking for help only to be told that the hotel was a hundred yard away! Still on the way down, much to Jane’s chagrin we stopped off in the village of Torres Vedras to try and see the famous ‘Lines’ constructed by Wellington in the Peninsula War to defeat the dastardly French. We found a castle and happily fantasised that we could see some ‘Lines’ in the distance. So that was good.
PORT (the drinkable variety that is) The opportunity to nip into the city of Porto was not to be missed of course. Taylors was the Port Company of choice even if it meant walking up a steep cobbled street to get to their establishment. A very nice reception area was laid out with glasses ready for a tasting before a short tour of the ‘Caves’. The port glasses themselves looked really nice and unfortunately we were still tasting when the tour started. We were told that we could take our drinks with us and so half way through the tour we had nowhere to put the empties. Strangely they ended up in my rucksack and we were mortified when we got back to the boat to find that we still had them. Oh dear! What to do? – Guess. However for some reason the contents of the bottles wot we bought now seem to evaporating in the heat, at least that’s the excuse we are all using.
We are now in Figuera de Foz and contemplating our next move, mind you the casino looks nice…. And the weather is forecast to be skanky for the next day or two. I’ll hijack the blog again when Peter isn’t looking and I have more variations on the truth to recount.