As far as the pictures go, I am hoping that V will come through first on those. I have to review those (my wifes camera) and then get to town to post them. I live in the country, and connect via phone at about 24K. I could take a two week vacation in Europe before they download. Need to get to a cafe to send.
Day II arrives early. 7:30 wake up. Don't these people sleep? More on that later. Alex, Fred and I pick up Alexandre and breakfast. I also got a education in Portuguese law on crosswalks. Be warned, if you are in the crosswalk there you are safe. If you are out of it you are fair game. If they hit you in the crosswalk they go to jail. If they hit you out of it they feel bad...but they are not late. Giulietta takes V to the airport for his bag. Lots of phone calls later the bag is found and we meet at the boat. Load up, fuel up, and we are off just past noon. On our way to Sine for the first leg of about 55 miles.
Alex is not happy! Not nearly enough wind to scare the north Americans. Oh, and did I mention that he hates the dodger? However, we sail. This boat is amazing, and I do wish we would have had some of the 30+ knots that were blowing the day before. I watched the gauges and with Apparent winds at 45 degrees of 5.8 we are doing over 5. Same increase as we pulled in additional winds. We were able to sail at above 10 a few times that day, but the winds never got above 13 that I saw. Someone said that they saw 15 at one time, but it was light with little chop. When they died down the iron jenny was cranked up. This boat, at 2200 RPM and light wind, with the main up, cruised at 9.6 Kts. At that RPM I get about 6 kts.
We continue on our way to Sine working about 15 miles offshore. Everyone is laughing, and Alex is not happy about no wind. We are giving him grief, he is giving us a little, and we are all laughing a lot. Fred is starting to get used to us and he is laughing as well. Obviously, with Fred along our launguage is in check most of the time. Alex moves around the boat constantly. Tweak this, tweak that, he adjusted everything in sight to get the boat moving. This boat has more Dyneema (SP???) line than West Marine, and he was pulling every one of them.
This boat may be set up for cruising now, but it is not an American cruiser. CD, this thing is a Catalina on steroids, but there is not one BBQ on it. How can Alex call it a cruiser without a BBQ? Even with that beautiful dodger.
OK, we are sailing again and Sine is a few miles off. Sails are going to stay up and we are going to make an entrance to this port. Sail right in....just about dark. Select our spot for the night, everyone has their assignment, and Alex is taking us in. This is where the supposed mutiny takes place.
Now picture this. Portuguese docks are shaped like Alex old keel. Not much wider than his new keel, and they are tapered to the end. They are also shorter than we in N. America are used to and the 40' boat is tied to a 30' dock. The dock floats, is narrow, and rocks like the deck of a boat when you walk on it. We are coming in slowly, Alexandre is on the bow, I am at the gate on the lifelines with a spring line, V is manning fenders, and Alex driving. Fred is smart enough to stay away....I think he may have been here before. Alexandre starts signaling to stop the boat, Alex puts it into reverse, and tells me to jump. JUMP????? Is he out of his mind?
MUTINY! Now picture this part. I am the oldest of this group by far at 60. However, at 21 I would not have jumped and my friends thought I would do about anything back then. Alex is already on his way to do this for me when it is TIME to jump and I step off, snub the spring, and slow the boat 15' from the dock. When the captain TOLD me to jump we were 4' away from the dock and the lifeline gate was still 4' from the end of the dock. The gate on his boat is forward of mid ships so you can imagine my surprise when he wanted me to jump. If I jump all I accomplish is a swim in the Atlantic holding onto a line that will do NOTHING!
Now I can understand his anxiety. This boat has the prettiest bow, and these metal docks would do significant damage to it. Alex does not like scratches and dents on his boat. Alexandre was signaling to SLOW the boat, Alex saw the signal as STOP, and I was to be the sacrifice to the sea. Thank goodness I am not as stupid as I once was, or my trip might have been cut short. If I was wrong I think Alex may have cut it short for me.
Once tied up, and everything quiets down, it is established that my mutiny is forgiven, and Alex is forgiven for giving the order, and we laugh our butts off. It is time for DINNER!
After checking into the marina, and us foreign guys showing our passports, we get a cab to the restaurant on the hill. This marina is state of the art facilities, and then you drive in a quaint town, up steep cobblestone streets, down narrow alleys, to the restaurant....that is closed. It is 10:00 on Wednesday night, in a small town, and I am thinking UH OH! No problem! Portuguese is flying, the taxi driver knows just the place, and he assures us that they are open. Away we go a little higher with narrower streets to a great little place that is still full of people. And, you can see the boat from there as well.
Dinner is seafood.....hey, Alex said this town had great seafood and he was right. We order lots of food ( they order for me obviously), plus green wine, beer, port, liquers, etc. V and Alexandre are discussing ports ( read that as arguing) and in the end they found out they both knew a lot about ports. Great time, great food. lots of laughs, and it is now midnight. Remember we had started about 7:30 AM.
Just one little job to do when we get back to the boat. Alex needs to rig some spreader lights so the boat is ready for Villamoura. Giulietta wants them and it is important. OK, I did say spreaders. I also said beer, wine, port, liguer, etc.. Alex was not drinking much because of Fred, but his friends had to pull him up the mast to work on the lights. We rigged the seat, and also a back up line to a harness, and hauled him up. I have to give him credit, he got the job done. The 20 minute job took about 45 minutes a side, but it did get done. He had no feeling in his legs and feet when he came down, and I know that I would have not had the endurance to get it done. I think his real intent was to sober us up so we would be ready to leave at 5:45 AM. Don't these people ever sleep????
V volunteers for the first shift in the morning. Alex wakes him, they get out beyond the freighters, set a course, and Alex goes back to bed. V is enjoying the sail in the peace of the cockpit, tweaking things as he is in control, until I get up about 8:00. I take a shift till about 10:00 when Alex wakes up and then everyone starts to move about. Still not much wind, but we are sailing, and in one stretch we are having a very good time. A few tacks, I looked once and we were heeling at 25 degrees and the boat did not lose a beat. The hull shape allows the boat to heel without adding wetted surface. This thing would be a blast in 20+, but I was having a great time in light winds. ONCE, ALEX EVEN TOLD US WE DID A GOOD TACK!! We are approaching the Cape, and Alex is just hoping and praying that the wind picks up and we get the crap scared out of us. The swells are getting bigger, and because of the steep walls of the cape they are going in all directions. Not much wave, not much wind, but big swells. We sail around the cape as there is no way Alex is motoring around it.NO WAY!!!!!
And he really is not happy about the wind and he mentions that he hates the dodger again. But he loves American tape. Duct Tape!
This coastline is not friendly, but is quite beautiful. Large walls of rock and lots of ocean. Churches, monasteries, and resorts. Rock, beach, rock, beach. Caves that lead to beaches. You could spend forever along the southern end of Portugal just seeing the beaches. But, the wind dies and we motor on to Vilamoura. And he really hates that damn dodger!
Guys, I will finish tomorrow. V should be home late tonight and will add his version as well. We are almost to Vilamoura.