39:20.82N 09:22.48W Peniche (should be twinned with Portland in my view, see my blog of last year)
Wed 26 Aug 2015 10:59
Although a distance of 10M less than the day before the wind was growing and on the nose and Zoonie had to head butt into steep waves. We covered the distance in just short of twelve hours. I arrived exhausted from all the games of Mahjong, Patience, Candy Crush and word searches I had been doing to pass the time. Just as we entered the harbour the heavens opened and we were very grateful to the Portuguese sailor who left the shelter of his boat to help us moor in a gap only a little longer than Zoonie herself.
We couldn’t believe how quickly a smiling member of the National Republican Guard came to us and happily filled in our clearance form, while chatting about his boyhood in the land of pregnant rocks.
“Land of pregnant rocks” I repeated aghast.
“Yes, only in Russia and my home do the granite rocks have basalt babies. It is very hot back there now, not like here, but then you are from the north you must be used to this weather” he summized beaming.
24th August Marinero Victor arrived early with a warm greeting and handed us the card for the gate plus town map and news that the free wifi is perfect at the Java House bar/cafe. So we spent a happy day wandering to the supermarket and then had a drink at Java House and got caught up on IT stuff. Lunch was enjoyed at the Restaurant Sardinhas next to a charming French couple from Lyon. We conversed in French and English, I like to give them the opportunity to practice their English! They had an apartment nearby and had visited this restaurant five times so far. Our tri-lingual waitress referred to them as “My clients.” Rob had Sirloin steak in an almond gravy and I had sardines, and we shared a carafe of local white wine.
I really liked Peniche last year and second impressions revealed a strong civic pride. The place seemed cleaner and a lot of fresh paint has refreshed the church and numerous houses. It is a popular holiday place but not so crowded as to be spoiled. The shops are doing well and there is a big fishing fleet and evidence of light industry. I guided Rob past the barber of Peniche whose doors were open! See last year’s blog about the whirling barber’s chair.
I love the wildlife that marinas encourage. Everywhere young fish are growing and thriving in these protected warm waters. Back in Poole there is a kingfisher living in the marina. Where coastal marshes, traditional fish breeding grounds, have been destroyed for development the advent of marinas must in some way have made up for their loss.
Behind us in the marina is Jadoune from Marseille, a fine sea-going vessel complete with Captain Sparrow wooden barrel on the stern. Her sails and standing rigging are in good shape, probably having been her means to get here. But her sun-bleached and split toe rails and rubbing strakes will come up fine after her expected refit. It took me a while to pluck up the courage to ask the Guard on his vessel alongside us (yes, that is how he got to us so quickly when we arrived!) exactly what is happening to her but he was delighted to say she was awaiting a refit.
We relaxed back on board to hear the comradeship between the returning fishermen.