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Date: 04 Aug 2014 15:44:00
Title: 37:55:98N 008:52:74W

Penny’s turn to blog!
 
So...Salty Sea Dog Steve arrived at Lisbon airport to collect me, (I felt relieved and slightly surprised to have actually made it in the tiny wind up plane from Toulouse! Thank goodness for flying business class, I got a window seat, but so did everyone else actually! and free wine which reduced my sense of inevitable doom.)
 
We took the metro and train to Cascais where Wandering Dream was moored, a 2 hour trip, with Steve getting stuck in the barriers twice as he tried to get himself and my monstrous bag through. As we arrived on the pontoon, at 11.30pm, hundreds of flickering lanterns drifted into the dark night sky – beautiful and very welcoming. The pulsating music from the same location, playing loudly until 3.00am, was not quite so welcoming!
 
It was lovey  to see Steve, chilled, relaxed and very happy, living his dream, and totally in his element.
 
Our cabin is very very cosy and unpacking into the allocated cupboard space made me feel excessively overpacked! 
 
Cascais is very pretty with cobbled streets that could make you feel very disorientated after a few alcoholic beverages! We had a superb lunch in “World of Wonders” vegetarian tapas restaurant, and awaited Sheryl and Peters arrival. They swept down the hill in a taxi, exhausted and hot, but it was great to see them.
 
After a bony fish supper, and some sleep we set off on our maiden voyage together to Sines. We almost left Peter standing on the quay, but that’s another story!
 
It was surprisingly windy...very quickly all ideas of lounging stretched out on the deck in my bikini evaporated. Sat in the bows, with the boat going up and down, up and down, up and down...was quite therapeutic for the first hour. Not so much for Sheryl, who quickly built up a close relationship with the stantion posts as she had need of hanging her head out of the boat alot. This became even more necessary as a toilet malfunction meant the only option available for Sheryl and I to wee, was to use a bucket. Fortunately, there are a number of functional green buckets on Wandering Dream, the one we used had a useful rope on it too! Dignity out of the port hole...you try balancing on a bucket in a rocky sea with wind speeds of 35 knots (that’s alot of wind!) then trying to get said bucket and contents up on deck and over the leeward side without spillage! But, we kept smiling, cheerily, for hour after rocky, tippy, rolling hour!
 
My smile finally faltered at about hour 8, as Steve and his very  adept and useful First Mate Peter, had to take down the flappy, flappy mainsail. We had our life jackets on, and clipped onto the boat whenever we moved, but it was terrifiying seeing them both up on deck, with the wind blowing a hooley, the boat tipping dangerously, and the alarm on the monitor that I was watching sounding; “Make sure the boat stays facing into the wind, Penny.” well, it wasn’t but there was nothing I could do about it, and I again felt an impending sense of doom, and that we were inevitably all going to drown. Clearly, we didn’t drown and I should have more faith in my trusty captain, however, I did insist on a lesson in how to use the radio for May day calls, and  a revision of man overboard drill before we set sail again!
 
Cold, wet, tired, shivery, dehydrated because I didn’t want to drink, then have to use the bucket, exhausted, and with Sheryl having been sick the whole 9 hours, we were more than pleased to moor up, find a real toilet and a wonderful restaurant in Sines! Quite a day!
 
Tuesday was toilet sorting day. Peter and Steve spent the best part of the day trying to fix it, scraping out built up scale, and attempting to source parts to eradicate the problem....all, sadly to no avail, and the problem persisted. It became a balance between drinking enough not to dehydrate, but not have to take too many trips to the marina toilet block! The restaurant waitress quickly grew to love us, as we returned for a second visit on Tuesday evening and drank much cognac!
 
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