Friday 8th July

Fri 8 Jul 2016 21:34
Friday 8th July

Late evenings and early starts have prevented us from updating the blog over the last couple of days.

Plymouth is around 50 degrees north, on Wednesday we moved below the 40th parallel of latitude. Each degree of latitude represents 60 nautical miles so we have now travelled more than 600 miles south (plus a bit west). On Wednesday evening, we arrived in Nazare, a place of religious significance (it used to be known as Nazareth) and is also close to other places of pilgrimage such as Fatima. Sadly, due to the fog and our late arrival, we were unable to take the funicular up to the old town. Nazare is that fishing village often depicted in pictures, where apparently the men do wear black stocking caps and plaid trousers and the women do wear bright aprons and seven petticoats. We were moored 20m away from the fish dock though - but as we were only there overnight and for less than 12 hours, the fishing boats were all out. However, we had a fabulous meal in a restaurant in the new town, and thoroughly enjoyed being caught up in the excitement of the semi-final of Euro 2016. It took me ages to work out who Portugal were playing, 'Paix de Gales' is not an obvious translation. Anyhow, we are looking forward to another emotional evening (from the locals) on Sunday. One final bit of excitement about Nazare is that we were moored next to a Moody 45DS; we spoke to the owner (who knows Jeff, the Moody agent of course) and then spoke to them over the radio on Thursday (as they overtook us - but we were both under engine and theirs is a bigger boat) and verified that each other's AIS is working - always good to know, especially in the fog. (AIS - Automatic Identification System. You can receive only, so that you can see other boats but they can't see you, or you can receive and transmit your location using a dedicated channel on the VHF radio system. All boats doing the ARC have to be able to receive and transmit).

Thursday was a 06:00 start, in fog which yet again did not lift until well into the afternoon. It is jolly hard work being on constant look out and a drag being under engine all the time; also, we go more slowly under engine than when we are sailing. After 70+ miles we turned into Oeiras marina, just on the outskirts of Lisbon and are looking forward to a few days' rest before the next leg.

Vicki took some fantastic video of dolphins playing round the boat. We really do love them and the novelty never wears off.

I say rest, but today we have 'done' Lisbon in 12 hours. This included a hop on/hop off bus trip, a visit to the Gulbenkian Museum (during the hottest time of the day) and a walk up a very steep hill to the 'fairytale' St Jorge's Castle. As I write this we are experiencing what sounds like horrendous winds, but it is only gusting Force 5 - it just sounds so bad with all the rigging in the marina.

Loads of love