Last tweaks and we’re nearly ready to go


The intrepid crew members

The other two crew members arrived last night and before I say anything else, it turns out that Kevin’s sister lives in Huntington, Long Island, which is where my mother and her nine siblings were born and raised and many of my cousins were born and raised. One of my cousins still lives there and I’m hoping his sister is reading this. What a small world, eh?

Thanks to the French air traffic control, the flight last night was delayed by an hour, but Paul and Kevin arrived safely and we were able to get back to the boat, unload their stuff, and get to a restaurant across from the marina by 11 o’clock for dinner. The Adega do Marina, incidentally, which was very good.

IMG_2938So today we have to go over the boat, start planning our passage, provision up and hopefully we’ll be good to go. Kevin and Paul are both exceptionally experienced sailors, so that is a great comfort to the spouse and me. I have done my snivelling about being an inexperienced and unconfident sailor and they have been very kind and reassuring.

Maybe at this point I should say that many of our friends and relatives have been very positive about our awfully big adventure, but other reactions have ranged from ‘why do you want to take the boat from Portugal back to the UK?’ and [sharp intake of breath] ‘Bay of Biscay, hope it’s not too horrible for you’ to just weird looks. I was getting stressed enough that John rang Keith, who took the boat out for her sea trial when we first saw her, to come and reassure me. Which he did very well. So between him and the other two I feel slightly better.

But back to Wednesday, which is where I left off: that was the first night we have slept on the boat and the excitement and tension finally got to me – I woke in the early hours with a horrendous migraine, resulting in me keeping the spouse awake as I moaned pitifully and demanded medication.


Beautiful example of a tiled building in Lagos

There are no holding tanks on the boat (yet) so when it finally reached that terrible stage of a migraine where it hits your stomach I had to leave Masquerade at 1am (still moaning pitifully) to head for the marina facilities. Amazing how noisy wooden pontoons are at that time of day when you are trying to tiptoe. I’ll draw a line under my suffering but by breakfast time I was fully recovered.

It’s a testament to Masquerade’s comfort that, in between the piteous moaning and sneaking out to the marina in the small hours, I slept really well.


Algarve oranges are about the best ever

Thursday was a day of final tweakings – lee cloths being installed, testing the radar, buying more seasickness tablets just in case, and dashing off to the supermarket because they had pressure cookers on special offer. Kevin is a chef and has offered to do the cooking on the voyage; he had suggested that a pressure cooker was a good idea for ship cooking. I had assumed that on-board catering meant eating stuff out of cans.

Yesterday we had lunch at an amazing restaurant just behind the marina; just grilled fish (choose your own) with salad and boiled potatoes. And I had the chance to wander into town a little bit.

It’s now Friday, so I’m pretty much up to date. We may, depending on the last tweaks, have a little test sail today.