Welcome to the world of boating

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Farewell Lagos

That’s what everyone kept saying yesterday as potential problems reared their little heads. But more of that later; we are now underway.

The weather forecast looks bad for Sunday afternoon for a couple of days so we set off from Lagos this morning with the hope of getting to Cascais tomorrow and settling in to wait out the weather. It is a voyage of about 120 nautical miles so I have been plunged right into the world of sailing with a non-stop 24-hour journey on four-hour watches.

I’m off watch at the moment: Paul and James are doing 12 to 4 and then Kevin and I take over. Unfortunately we are still motoring as there is little wind. So there we are for now.

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The marina bridge opening up for us

Yesterday was supposed to have been simple: go out for a short sail so the other two could see how she handles and John could make sure that all the equipment he has fitted works A little lunch at that amazing fish restaurant, stock up with provisions and then we would have a nice meal out in the evening with John and Ana Paula before starting our adventure.

We did have a great breakfast at the Oasis cafe, so the morning started well. Then all the ‘welcome to the world of boating’ started.

First, the lee cloths hadn’t all been fitted, so we had to wait for Antonio to come back and finish that off. (He did. And brought a nice bag for the dinghy so we could store it rather than leaving it on deck. But the pelican clips he had ordered for us never turned up.)

Then it turned out that there was what looked like a diesel leak somewhere in the engine. So we had to wait for Ralf to come out and check it. He did and it appeared that it was nothing major so that worked out fine.

DSC_6442Eventually, after foregoing lunch (I gave John a chocolate bar as he usually packs his lunch when he is working in the marina but hadn’t today because of proposed lunch in fish restaurant, and I felt guilty) and not getting any provisions, we made it out for a quick sail, which mostly went well. At one point when we were somewhat heeled over, the latch in one of the galley cupboards went. Probably due to the weight of all the plates slamming against it. Broken dishes everywhere.

“That,” said Kevin, “is why you don’t have proper crockery and glassware on a boat.” To be fair, we inherited it, and had been dithering about getting rid of it. Masquerade’s previous owners hadn’t sailed her much if at all in the past 10 years and used her more as a holiday home so there is a lot of non-sailing type stuff, and a lot of things that we had to find room to stow.

Back to the marina, where we had to wait for the last of Antonio’s visits, and then it was a mad dash to get to the supermarket: Kevin, Paul and I went on foot while James and John went to the chandlery for some last minute bits and then met us there.

Then a mad dash back to the boat where we turfed Kevin, Paul and the groceries out of the car and left them to it while James and I fled to return the hired car before 6. We just made it. Then we got back to the boat just after the other two had managed to find room for all the provisions and it was off to the Amazer cafe for a well-earned beer. Or two.

IMG_2960I thought it was time I had some sangria, but when the bartender asked Paul if it was small, medium or large, he assumed it was a glass so I had a huge pitcher of rose sangria. Very nice it was too, and the boys did help me finish it.

We regrouped in time to head off with Ana Paula and John for an excellent meal in a very good fish restaurant in Lagos – 2 Irmaos – and then back to Masquerade for port and dessert.

And then to bed.

Kevin and I were in charge of finalizing the provisioning up and we went to the farmer’s market across the bridge from the marina where we spent relatively little on a wonderful variety of food items, from salad and vegetables to the wonderful Algarve oranges and dried figs, olives, nuts and local honey.

Now I’m up to date for today. It’s 2:30 so I have another hour or so to catch up on some sleep before my first watch.

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