Are we there yet (towards Portimau) 37:50N 009:24W

Sue & Alan
Wed 1 Oct 2014 18:28
At 0800 this morning we'd been underway for 24h and covered 175NM, virtually all made-good towards our destination, only needing to hear 'donk,donk,donk' during our first 4 hours after departing and until windies appeared. We've used combination of poled-out genoa and jib according to varying conditions, sometimes both sails and sometimes just genoa (well reefed) as winds gusted up to 30kn and 3m+ seas wanna make Ticketeeboo cork-screw. Each time our SOG exceeded 8kn with regularity we reefed and it's amazing how little exposed sail's needed with little or no loss of boat-speed. We also have to make allowance for the odd big-kicker. Every now and then an unusually large wave or series of waves visit and let us know not to under-estimate their force! When that happens sometimes we get a pleasant surfing opportunity and on the odd occasion our stern gets kicked-round causing our precious poled-out genoa to flog - not nice! This morning I found two tears (close to the leech) which will
need our attention when the next opportunity comes, in Portimau. In meantime we're nursing our genoa to protect from further damage. For today, following winds not exceeding F4 and seas less than 2m are helping......just means our ETA tomorrow gets put back to mid-day'ish.
Some excitement early afternoon when a local Portuguese warship announced 'live firing practice' close to our intended course. Amusing to listen to several skippers wanting clarification/confirmation of the target area, especially when the warship's announcement (in English) was bit mixed-up! We took all necessary precautions (including me catching-up on some needed ZZZZs, showering and enjoying good lunch) and are here to tell the tale, virtually unscathed. We have, however, been defending ourselves from a lorra flies, which seem to think Ticketeeboo might be their sanctuary more than 30NM from land. Irritating little bug***s and make a mess when splattered! Just about every one of them wanted to fill their boots with our delicious cockpit-lunch too!
We're now sub 38ºN again and the temperature is noticeably warmer. After passing Cabo St Vincent overnight the Algarve climate is expected to be just wonderful for us.
We're meeting-up with friends Caryl & Peter (s/y Dancing Queen) when they fly out in couple of weeks. They have kindly sent us gate codes so we will be able to take RIB into marina and park it by their sailing yacht whilst we visit local hostelries. It's gonna be like a little holiday for us and we're looking forward to exploring Portimau, as well Ferragouda and Praia da Rocha - in between yacht jobs!
Hope our Grandkiddies are being good for their Mummies and Daddies? xxxx

Ticketeeboo MMSI 235071989 Callsign 2CED3, Ham callsign = m0hng
At 01/10/2014 18:27 UT our position was 38°47N 009°23'W