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Old 09-08-2007
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Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice Giulietta is just really nice
My Cruising Report

I decided to share with you guys, what my recent vacation was like, with some photos and videos. Prepare for a long post.

We spent 3 and a half weeks at sea, stopping in several marinas and in beautifull Culatra Island, (check on Earth Google, 37º 00' 23.85N 7º 48' 24.84W, where the family decided to create roots, so we would return there 3 times!!!! We did this after I arrived from Denver Colorado.

As soon as I arrived in Lisbon, Giulietta picked me up, we went home to get my clothes and we went straight to the boat, that was waiting for us in Vilmoura Marina, Algarve, Portugal.

This is a 360º movie shot from Giulietta the next day, while still in the marina, the day we left for our trip to Spain. (unfortunately for some reason I can't load the video, so I will post the link).

360º view around CLICK HERE

And this is the very moment we left the marina, Fred, as usual "drives"...what father would refuse that???



Once outside the marina, we started sailing and that day we reached 13,3 knots, which was pretty cool, later on, on a different day, we would do 15,4 for a while. I already posted that video.


See it here.





Luis went to sleep, Giulietta got her book, Fred sailed, I enjoyed life, the family and the boat.

See here CLICK





The wind was around 20 to 25knots from the SW, the swell was going East, so...time for record breaking!!

We had the cruising sails and were pulling the tender...still...lots of fun...I like my boat a lot..it sails good, and the mods to the keel and rudder proved to be right on the money...the boat is now very neutral and more responsive.







Please, see the movie taken at the same time these photos were taken here, CLICK





For a moment, I was going to fly the Spi, but Giulietta wanted a quiet calm ride, so we stayed with genoa and main only. I took the opportunity to test the boat after the mods made in June. Money well spent is all I can tell you.

That trip was for about 6 hours, Fred read his kids magazines....



Luis took the wheel also...gotta initiate these kids early don't you agree???



See Luis "driving" here.....CLICK

In Vilamoura, Luis wanted us to buy him a teddy cow (basically a Teddy bear in the bovine version ), and that created several hi love moments within the family....has nothing to do with sailing but warms my heart, so suck it up...





Finally we entered the canal that allows access to Culatra Island, this is a natural protected World Patrimony Wildlife reserve, where power boats are not allowed, but some sneak in...most visitors are sailboats, so this place is a sailor's heaven....we try to run the power boaters off. (just as a remark, and I would like to tell you this after reading about sea rays in the US...here in Portugal, power boaters have a lot of respect for sail boats and their captains, if you enter a confrontation with one, they normally are nice to the sailors, because they consider us the real sailors, so often when a power boater does something he should not, they normally do what we ask them to do, tested this 3 times this year, twice with boats anchoring to near and once because of noise).



If you look at the Culatra Island on google, you can see it is like a long stretch of sand, there are 3 anchoring zones. I normally anchor on the far East side of the island, where nature creates a 12 foot canal at low tide, that is 20 feet from land!!! at low tide, if you jump from the boat, and pass the edge of the deep part of the canal, you land with water up to your knee.

This picture shows how close to the shore we anchor, in that said canal of 12 feet. This one here is take at almost full tide, so the shore is farther. On low tide, the tender, attached to our stern, would be grounded, when the boat pointed north, as the sand bank is to the south. We can only anchor there at full moon days. The rest of the time we stay a little far out. This one bellow was when the mnoon allowed us to anchor there. Current here normally is 3 to 5 knots.



Any way, we passed the canal, that access the north side of the island and anchored here, see bellow





Cam, Fred told me to load this photo for you...just to get on your nerves...why does he want to do that??



Culatra provides wonderfull sunsets and is very very quiet.



See the video here, CLICK

Some of our neighbours..photos taken after dark, hence the mast lights on...





The day we arrived was a bit hard on me...I will tell you why...

half hour after we anchored, the wind that had been blowing steady 20 knots raised to 35 2 hours before we arrived.

A Spanish Beneteau 361 that arrived around 30 minutes after we arrived wanted to moor there, too. But the skipper, was the only one that knew how to sail, his gests were his wife on her first sailing trip, his cousin and her husband, never on a boat before and 5 young Spanis girls, that later made Fred's delight, as he spent more time on their boat than in ours...

Anyway, in one of the attempts to anchor, his anchor tangled with another boat's anchor, so badly that I had to go on the other boat, with the son of the owner that was just using the boat to sleep at the island (he's the one doiing the para-sail in the photo). Took us 3 and half hours to release the boats, with 4 knot currents, and wind gusting 35 sometimes...by the time we finshed, I was exhausted...anyway, the Spanish guy was very appreciative and gave me a bottle of Spanish Rioja wine, that I drank with Giulietta that night....we became friends, and Fred was never seen again after finding all those pretty "muchachas" in the Benetau....

The next day, the wind died completely, so we went to the far east end of the island, what we call the "caribbean", so we get some beach, Sun, see some dolphins (never saw them this year), and Luis could play in the puddles.

SURPRIZE!!! Luis loved riding the tender, he would stand up in the bow, grab the ropes and jump up and down doing huuuu-huuuuu!!!!!
I think he's a natural also...







The following photos show the beach and sand banks that are dry at low tide, where fish, shells etc are very abundant, and altough a natural reserve, all animals caught by hand are allowed to be caught....fare enough...Fred and Giulietta got us some nice dinner sea food...sorry I don't know the name...mussels??

Luis loved the beach...







Giulietta and Fred catching sea food dinner....



far away....that is where the best shells are...



while I looked after little Luis....a pattern thru out our time together....



Luis played in the puddles and found one with a little fish...he tried for 1 hour to catch it!!





Luckily Giulietta and Fred caught almost 3 pounds of these fellas here bellow and we had a nice dinner, as she cooks them fried in Oilve oil, garlic, parsley and other spices...gourmet indeed..otherwise, if we had to relly on Luis to feed us we would starve...





Then....

a freind of mine showed up with this very very interesting boat, its called a Patin de Cataluña, from Spain. Its a narrow beam catamaran with no rudder, and a mast with rake adjusted by a direct line.

PATIN
You steer with mast rake, as you have a line that pulls the mast forward and backwards, the main sheet, your weight in the pontoons, and a trick...you dip your foot in the water to help turn.

And here

...this is so cool I want one...I sailed in that for 3 days...I want to start racing them in Portugal if I can get some friends to buy a few...

Let me tell you...you're not a sailor until you can do a racing triangle with one...I fell 3 times in 3 days sailing it...but because you keep the sheet in your hand you pull yourself back fast...I don't care who you are or waht you sail, get one of these and we'll talk....what a blast, and it makes you a sailor...guaranteed.







By day 2 I was seating down, and lifted the pontoon...I WANT ONE!!!!!!

THEN....

I don't know if you know but the TP52 circuit "moved" to Europe, where thanks to the support of King Carlos of Spain, it is now the hottest race in the World...guess what, my friends that crew the TP52, the ones that built my boat...were 3 hours away from us, in Portimão...we moved there to see the races...its now called the MEDCUP....with a race hosted in my country

We left Culatra and headed West to Portimão...stoping in Viloamoura for water and fruit..



On the way out of Culatra we saw this....its a HP isn't it??



The day we left Culatra, we sailed quietly at 8 knots, going against the swell, and this was the ambiance aboard...relaxed, uncared...just good time...see the video here CLICK

Anyway we headed for Portimão to see some of the races...my friends got with us the day we arrived and we had a small party...

We were there for a few of the races, we were docked in the same pier, as they were..I was in heaven....the whole fleet of MEDCUP TP52's there just for me....







SEE THEM LIVE HERE...

Then, after Portimão, we headed East again, where my brother slept wit us at the marina...

my niece here with my kids...



The time was nice, we had fun, the next day, by popular demand....we went to Culatra again!!

I took this priceless photo....I will never forget this...the wind was calm, we were only doing 6 knots, so I slept, and so did Luis...by then he found a favorite place to be....God bless him...(nothe he is thethered).



Giulietta and Fred caught some Sun in the deck...I cooked that day...



While Luis did what he does best after eating shitting and making noise...



And Fred and Giulietta caught some more sea breeze and sun...



ALL I HAVE TO TELL YOU IS LIFE IS GOOD...

This one is for you TOM!!!!



More Culatra, beach and sea shells, while I looked after Luis...












Then....we left to Spain....

See the video here..note the hughe wave on second 38

Then...out of the blue....the weather forecast was for slight bad weather to the North of Portugal...mainly interior...yeah right!!!

We were hit by a squal with winds gusting 55-65knots, we "rolled the cloth" and run for shelter...we anchored further east of Culatra....spent a whole day watching boats get grounded 3 boats washed ashore...rained sideways like I have never seen...

Giulietta kept firm, thanks to my Tandem anchor technique (I know I know...Rocna is better)....









We spent the day watching movies and I repaired a few things...my kids insist on using my hat...go figure why...







Then we went back to Culatra...Spain was cancelled due to time constraints...

We sailed back...quiet sailing after the storm...see video here CLICK

Anyway... I prefer culatra to Spain any way...we'll go there next year...

Back in Culatra I took these photos of my boat....





















MY 2 FAVORITE BUTTS!!! (hope she doesn't read this!!!)



Then a few days later...time to return....

We left Culatra in a GRAND MANNER...

wing on wing....Fred driving...he logged almost as many miles as I did....we rarely used the Auto Alex...





I had time to teach Fred a lot about sailing a big boat dead downwind.



Here is the Video of that wing on wing....note the tell tales in shrouds...we're doing wind speed.
Fred did his favorite sport and activity on the boat when the wind is calm....BOOM FLYING





See video here CLICK

We went to shore once or twice...this is Freds favorite sailing method on ground.... while I look after Luis...as usual....





We did some excellent sailing...broke some speed records with cruising sails...



The big one...



Fred had a blast....



He got his feet wet....on lee side....



See Video here CLICK

I had some relaxing moments....



Fred some really fast times....he will never forget..I think he's a good sailor...



A lot of bow off surfing...



While I was with the TP52 friends, I received the foot rests/supports for my boat, made out of CF by the builder of my boat...I like them, and its much more confortable now...I can remove them should I want to...they are handy at 30º heel.







Some good moments we shared in this cruise...unforgettable ones...many I will not share....

Here a few more...








PRICELESS!!!!!







BY THE WAY...thanks to who ever gave me this idea....worked perfect!!! Who was it?

Thanks



Well lik all things, good times have an end...this one was no exception....

Here is the final video...going back to Vilamoura last monday...I am in canada now, for 9 days....but am going back to finish our time at sea...CLICK

This year we extended the cruising till 1st of November...

Then...Giulietta will be stripped of her "cruising" clothes, the lazy bag, oven, refrigerator, TV, dodger, beds etc...will all come off...she will go home to cascais..and will serve he other purpose....the one she was built for.

She will be re-measured, and re-weighted after the keel mods, and a new ratring will be given....the serious racing is starting soon, by the end of the year...next year...in June...she will return to cruising....

As for me...once racing starts, I will not be here as often as I was...but from February till May...I'm a Sailneter, just like you....

Thanks

Alex, Giulietta, Fred and Luis....
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Last edited by Giulietta; 09-08-2007 at 04:16 PM.
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Old 09-08-2007
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teshannon has a spectacular aura about teshannon has a spectacular aura about teshannon has a spectacular aura about
Giu,
Wow!!! Fantastic photos! You are one lucky old fart!
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Old 09-08-2007
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awesome alex! better than what most of us were doing. thx for sharing
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Old 09-08-2007
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Good narative. I like the videos, and thought the pictures looked really nice. Your brother has a good looking family too. Thanks for shareing. Hope you get to go back home soon.
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Old 09-08-2007
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Wow, Great Pictures! Looks like you all had a wonderful trip. Life just doesn't get much better.
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Old 09-08-2007
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sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice sailingdog is just really nice
Giu-

Great post... I also think you broke the record for the longest single post.
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You know what the first rule of sailing is? ...Love. You can learn all the math in the 'verse, but you take
a boat to the sea you don't love, she'll shake you off just as sure as the turning of the worlds. Love keeps
her going when she oughta fall down, tells you she's hurting 'fore she keens. Makes her a home.

—Cpt. Mal Reynolds, Serenity (edited)

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Old 09-08-2007
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And the longest one to open, but worth it.
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Old 09-08-2007
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I felt the love of family and of sailing, great post.

Paul
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You are one lucky guy
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Old 09-08-2007
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I'm a little curious about this pic. pliers a lighter and who knows whats in your fingers
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