"38.41.42N 009.25.14"

Sun 2 Jun 2013 22:13

The weather was bound to get fickle after a while! On Sunday evening we left Leixoes to continue heading south.  It was really exciting as this was our first night sail with just the two of us.

We decided to use the Hydrovane to make life easier.  For those of you who don’t know, the Hydrovane steers the boat for you, using the wind as motive power.  It has the advantage over the electronic Autopilot that it uses no power and that it is much quieter.  We had great success with it and will use it more often!

Most of the time we have been sailing with just the mizzen and either the jib or the genoa and flying along!  I am sure it will be different soon as the wind is set to drop! We arrived in Nazare, a very safe harbour but rather baron.  Maybe we didn’t give it a chance, maybe the lack of hot water played a part, maybe the storm brewing....but we left the next day! We did try out the showers on the boat with great success, they will be fine once we start anchoring and spending weeks from civilisation....

So off  to Peniche, which was really lovely in spite of having to raft up alongside another boat!  Gill was happy, a father and son team and the son was not long out of the Marines....I had no chance!  They were both really nice guys and we enjoyed a very nice evening when they came aboard for dinner, one of the real pleasures is meeting new people and hearing their plans.

We loved Peniche and happily sat out the gale there.  One day we decided to try out our folding bikes.  We bought these rather old and tired bikes on our way to the boat back in April and apart from unfolding them before we bought them hadn’t looked at them again.  So, two aluminium Bickerton Classics were unfolded on the pontoon.  I tested them with a short ride along said pontoon and decided that it was best to push them onto solid ground before riding them.  They are fantastic...but it is an experience because they do flex rather!  However we battled head winds to ride up and around the headland and off to the supermarket.  We will need to do some work on them, added to the list of jobs...I did manage to complete a couple of jobs and am especially proud of my newly painted lazarette

And then we were off again, this time to Cascais just outside Lisbon.  The idea was to go into the city for a spot of sightseeing however we were delayed doing the washing and the temperature soared over 30 so we decided to spend the day in the town instead.  We visited the Modern Art museum, I don’t really understand most modern art, it seemed an odd collection of paintings mostly titled “Unnamed”.  We did however visit the Museum of the Sea, much more my cup of tea...

This evening, another first, we were invited aboard another boat, having had three boat crews aboard Star Charger it was nice not to be host.  A charming French couple from near Lorien, heading North on their way home.  We were invited aboard to drink French wine, how cool was that!

Tomorrow we hope to head south again, Gibraltar by next weekend I hope

We will have been gone a month soon, in some ways it seems like yesterday and in others it feels like we have always done this!

I would urge you all to plan to follow your dreams, if not then why have them?

Love Alasdair, Gill, Habitat, Pickles and Star Charger