Starfish in the Bed

Suzie Too - Western Caribbean
David & Suzanne Chappell
Fri 1 Oct 2010 13:13
We arrived at Cascais just at the river estuary that runs down to Lisbon early evening and dropped the anchor. This is a really smart place as it's home to Estoril, one of the F1 race circuits and where teams used to do a lot of testing out of season. So if you need a Hugo Boss or Chanel outfit for the weekend, here is a place to spend a months salary.
The following morning a guy in a dinghy came over and said "Hi Suzie Too we met you in Mindelo in the Cape Verde islands". This was Mike on a Bowman 42, Right Turn, who was taking the boat down on his own, as his partner Kate has Grandmotheritis and is off helping rear sproglets, before they get ready to cross again this year. We were so pleased to be "back on the circuit again", he looked us up on his list and hadn't noticed the boat was different, exactly what we wanted, to be recognised as Suzie Too. When we pointed out we had a new boat he said "Oh I thought you looked big for 49 feet". We invited him over later  that afternoon for the tradition of Afternoon Tea on Suzie Too and had a good natter about friends, boat locations, weather and crossings - great to be back out here again.
During that day we hopped into town on the dingy and picked up a few grocery items from Pingo Doce, Suzanne's favourite Portuguese supermarket and had lunch where we had sat with John & Robin of Panthera the previous year, a beautiful warm sunny day with a slight chill as the sun dropped in the evening.
Because of the time pressures on the VAT export we were hoping to sail on Sunday, but checking the weather and talking with others it looked a bit breezy. The following morning we had a F8 through the anchorage, we had 60m of chain which was horizontal with the 8m of snubbing line working overtime as waves broke over the bow and we swung beam on to 3-4m seas. As the day progressed other boats in the anchorage went to the marina, but we decided to stay put and test our anchor system with its huge 40kg Delta and we held fine.
It was impossible to move around on the boat so we took to bed and watched a couple of DVDs laying like starfish so as not to get thrown out, by late afternoon we had had enough and decided to set sail for Portimao as the wind was down to F6 and the following day winds looked light.
So we called Mike and he agreed it looked a good decision based on the light forecast for Monday and we set off for yet another rather lumpy night at sea as the F8 subsided. He got himself well organied and had all 3 of his sails set and was off  while we were still trying to work out which line did what, well we haven't sailed her much yet - so still learning the ropes as they say.