We’re in Cascais now, having made it in just under 24 hours. My first 24-hour passage. Once we were in the marina, albeit just in the reception pontoon, I was thinking that I perhaps I could manage the Bay of Biscay after all, even if it is three of those.
“What did you think of your first 24-hour passage?” Paul enquired, and while I was trying to formulate a not-too-negative answer, he said, “Just think, two more of those and one that is about four of them.”
James had neglected to mention the plethora of 24-hour passages before.
It was certainly an interesting experience, best perhaps outlined as bullet points rather than stumbling prose.
- The weird lights that didn’t get any closer and that turned out to be a boat that overtook Masquerade dangerously closely. (The overtaking was on Paul and James’s watch.)
- Being cold and wet.
- Feeling slightly sick a lot of the time.
- Not being able to eat more than a couple of mouthfuls of the amazing fish stew Kevin made for dinner.
- Feeling tired a lot of the time.
- Taking 10 minutes to have a pee, while being hurled around the heads,fighting with a life jacket, wet weather jacket, and the zippy drop seat ladies’ wet weather salopettes, with hands that don’t work properly because they’re too cold.
- Struggling out of the berth half asleep, having wedged myself in so I didn’t get thrown around while trying to get some sleep, and trying to get dressed with various layers of outer and safety wear (see peeing process above), also while being hurled around the cabin, getting too hot and then going too cold upstairs.
- Being totally disoriented in the dark with swells that blocked out the horizon and no way of knowing what lights were, how far away they were .
Well, here we are in Marina de Cascais.
Seriously, there were a few highlights:
- Being able to say now that I’ve done a 24-hour sailing trip. Even if I didn’t realize how many more overnight, non-stop voyages there were to be on this adventure.
- Seeing Kevin filleting fish with a brand new, lethally sharp ceramic knife while being hurled around the galley. (No chefs were harmed in the making of this stew. Much)
Gazing at a night sky that was filled with more stars than you generally ever see from land.
- Being escorted for a few miles by a pod of about six dolphin who came alongside and played around the boat virtually within touching distance.
- Having breakfast on the boat once we moored up on pontoon F21. Bacon, eggs, tomatoes, bread with guava jam and rosemary honey from the market, fresh oranges and coffee with Portuguese brandy.