Work and Liesure

Position: At anchor Cascais
Wind: North , fresh .
Weather: sunny, warm.

We cleared in yesterday, again minimal bureaucracy, I was surprised but pleasantly so. From there went for a bit of a wander. Once again I was drawn to the back streets and found myself wondering amongst narrow cobbled ways, two story houses, small shops, churches and piazzas. I passed by the "museo de mar", it was only 2.21 euros so with no pressing engagements I went in for a look around. The museum was dedicated to one King Carlos, mid to late 19th century, and what I found most interesting was the level of sycophancy devoted to this King throughout the museum. Apparently as a lover of science and in particular oceanography the King used to bathe here, the connection between the two largely evade me, but for Cascais it meant that from a small fishing village it became a centre for the rich social retinue that followed the King and his family, and apparently it has been a social centre for the well to do ever since. Now I should hasten to add these are my very superficial impressions and no doubt life is more complicated than this snapshot. In the background are many people working hard, and the museum did give a good impression of the fishing people who made their livelihood from the sea in this region. Something I discovered of particularl note, to me at least, was that the Thermopylae, a tea clipper from the late 19th century found its resting place here. For anyone who loves sailing ships I doubt I will find much of an argument from when I say that the Thermopylae was one of the most beautiful ships, and one of the fastest cargo ships, ever built. Apparently a local bought her as a hulk and wanted to turn her into a training ship but lacked the funds to do so. She was eventually used for target practice by the Portuguese navy and sunk off the coast a short distance form here. When I leave I shall try to sail close by and pay my respects.

Today I had planned on visiting Lisbon and starting the process for obtaining a visa for Brazil, but this morning I realised today is a Sunday. It seemed extremely unlikely that the Brazilian embassy would be processing visas on a Sunday so I decided to finish off a little painting and go into the city in the afternoon. By about 2 pm I had finished the painting, in the meantime a power boat had dropped anchor close by. Initially I didn't take too much notice except thinking that he was a little close to. Later when I looked up from my painting I noticed that the boat was flying the Australian flag. Strange I thought, looking at the stern I could see that the boat was registered in Guernsey. I hailed over and was greeted by the owner, David, who turned out to be an ex-Australian, a pilot, who now lived and worked based out of Portugal. He invited me across for a beer and leading the solitary existence I do it is rare that I knock back an opportunity to socialise.

So I have enjoyed the afternoon with David and his friends.

Tomorrow I will definitely go into Lisbon, find the Brazilian embassy, hopefully it won't take all day to start the visa process, then have a look around.

All is well.

Bob Cat.

What a nice day : the sun is shining, warm, calm and still, and if the food was a little better it would be perfect. But good enough for . . . Zzzzzzz.