Scott-Free’s blog
Steve & Chris
Fri 4 Jul 2008 21:27
37:04.668N 08:07.292W

Having waited around in Lagos longer than planned for new pumps for the
watermaker, we decided to take our leave (taking the unfitted pumps with us,
but that's another story) on Wednesday and made our way to Vilamoura.

The forecast was for strong winds, gusting at 37kn and it had been a very
windy night, so we were expecting a lively trip, but although it was windy
leaving the berth, almost as soon as we got out into the bay, the wind
dropped and then died to almost nothing. So the trip to Vilamoura was yet
another of those where we alternated between sailing along nicely then
losing the wind and donking until it reappeared, each time from a different
direction. We even had a Southerly on this trip.

The good thing was, when the wind dropped and our speed went right down till
we were bimbling along at 3 knots, we just waited a while to see if it would
pick up again. During the rally we always felt we had to get a move on so
as not to be late into the next port (or indeed be at the bottom of the
results list!) as there were always things going on that we didn't want to
miss. Now we can please ourselves, and on this trip the engine only went on
when we started drifting backwards!

The best sailing was in the last third of the trip when a good Northerly set
in at 15-20 knots and under the main and full genoa we stonked along on a
beam reach. The autopilot is still having a little trouble holding the
course in gusts and Steve got out the manual to find out how to adjust it.
At 2 miles off, doing over 7 knots, he had to be reminded that we might need
to think about getting ready to arrive. He doesn't read instruction manuals
very often, but certainly chooses his time when he does!!

Only one glimpse of dolphins, but a mysterious line of bubbles on the
surface of the water stretched for what seemed like miles. We couldn't
decide whether it might be a whale or a submarine! We also came across a
fishing net that stretched out across our path, fortunately below the depth
of our keel, with empty water bottles as markers!

Vilamoura is very much in the Lagos mould and is not our cup of tea either.
One difference though is that the marina is full of motor boats which far
outnumber the sailing yachts. We are in a berth sandwiched between two
speedboats which feels very strange. We are overlooked by people eating
meals at one of the marina restaurants, and at night it is very noisy. And
we have paid nearly 60 Euros a night for such paradise. Needless to say we
are not staying.

Tomorrow we head for Rota which is in the north of Cadiz Bay. It's about
100 miles so we will do an overnight passage across the Gulf of Cadiz.
Yesterday's trip was the first we have made on our own i.e. without Bob and
not in company with thirteen other yachts, although Serafina also sailed
here yesterday and Sealion was here when we arrived. We all had drinks
together on Serafina last night and said our farewells. We have exchanged
contact details and will keep in touch via blogs and email.

Then Steve and I settled down in Scott-Free's saloon and watched a Tom Hanks
film. (Thanks James!)

Life is good.