Still in Cascais
Saturday 22 October
38o 41.6' N, 009o 24.7' W
The last week has been a bit of a diary blur, a lot has happened but getting away to Madeira was not one of them.
We had a lovely few days with Sascha, Brian’s partner, on board including the river trip up to Lisbon which I mentioned previously. We moved to the anchorage for a day but by then it was clear that the weather was deteriorating – strong SWly winds forecast for several days - so with Brian about to leave for a day on the 17th to accompany Sascha to the airport, and Alison arriving the next day, we moved back into Cascais Marina for shelter and convenience. I had already messaged Alison to say that the chances of getting to Madeira in her window of time off work were now slim but, as we were unlikely to move from this location, she came anyway. I did some laundry and moved the cabins around a bit.
On the 18th Tues, Message from Fishcake in the anchorage to say their dinghy had come adrift and was lost – a big blow to them. I said I would ask the marine police on my way to the shops and found that the dinghy had been reported close by so I went and found it in a sheltered nook in some rocks under the seafront in Cascais and stood by until Dennis could get there to retrieve it. Brian was back by lunchtime. In the afternoon Dennis, and electrician, came over from Fishcake and looked at my battery charger which was not (charging) more than a few amps but couldn’t find anything obviously wrong. Alison arrived in the evening and we had dinner on board – three courses: crudite, cauliflower cheese and chocolate cake with choc-chip yoghurt.
On the 19th, Wednesday, Brian and I spent most of the day ‘analysing’ the output from the battery charger in intermittent rain and concluded that whatever we did it was only producing a fraction of its stated 50Ah output so reluctantly ordered a new replacement from the Victron outlet in one of the marina shops. Alison cooked a chickpea curry for dinner and changed her return flight from Madeira to a Lisbon departure.
20th On Thursday morning I spent several hours initially trying to get Barclays to make a bank transfer to pay for the new battery charger but their only solution was for me to do it myself online. That was fun because the exchange rate was fluctuating continuously and it was difficult to make the amount in pounds match the invoice in euros before the security codes from my mobile timed-out. In the afternoon we walked along the seafront to the next town of Estoril watching large waves crashing onto the beach and every now and again breaking over the walkway; we were very glad not to be at anchor in the bay.
Afterwards Martha and Dennis came to tea and Brian and Alison had bought cakes from the supermarket. We went for an evening swim on the Reina Beach -which has a shower- and enjoyed Alison’s chicken and mushroom pie for dinner. The standard of catering has reached new heights with Alison on board. The three-handed Cribbage after dinner is becoming quite competitive too.
21st – Friday’s forecast was for a mainly dry day so we took the train to Lisbon for a walking tour. It turned out to be a great day; we had lunch in an on-street restaurant, walked narrow alleys and steep stone staircases to the Castelo San Jorge, visited lots of quirky shops, took a rickety tram ride and then hired electric scooters for a five-mile journey down the river to the Monument to The Discoveries at Belem. We did most of the ride on cycle paths along the river front with occasional diversions onto minor roads but some (a lot) of the cycle paths were typical Portuguese cobbled pavement which rattled the teeth and eyeballs on the small-wheeled scooters. Arrival at the monument corresponded with a spectacular sunset over the Torre de Belem and it was dark by the time we caught the train back to Cascais for a pasta dinner produced by Brian. Afterwards, as a diversion from Cribbage, I introduced the team to the card game, Shoot, sometimes called Nomination Whist – and I though the Cribbage was getting competitive!
It is Saturday today. We are being lazy, we may go for a walk if the rain stops; we have decided to go out for a Pizza this evening and the bar next to the Piazzaria appears to have bottled real ale. As the forecast looks at the moment, we expect it to be the end of October before the wind goes northerly again. Then Brian and I need to be in the Canaries by the 12th and we may go via Morocco rather than Madeira en route. I’ll have to download some digital charts for Morocco.
Bye for now, Alison, Brian and Tony.
Postscript: We heard later rthis morning that Dennis and Martha on Fishcake have got their anchor fouled in the anchorage and had to buoy it off. They are back in the marina and Brian and I are looking forward to helping with a bit of salvage work.