After 4 days in Lagos pouring over weather charts, we had planned to leave on Tuesday to carry more favourable winds north up the Portuguese coast but we have now become concerned about a blow off Galicia and we have reviewed our plans. Hoping to continue to monitor the conditions, we have seen an opportunity to exploit a small window necessitating an earlier departure.
So it is that we are now on passage, fuelled, watered, provisioned, and prepared with our fingers firmly crossed. We have stowed the parasailor after reluctantly recognising that, given the weather forecast, we are unlikely to use it again and that its presence on the foredeck would be something of a liability with the crashing seas we expect later in the passage.
Our stay in Lagos has been a real tonic.
The marina is very focussed on sailing and the facilities have enabled us to sort a few things out, to do our laundry, and we are in good shape for the passage.
The temperature has been noticeably cooler necessitating a jumper in the evenings, possibly due to the wind ripping through the marina.
Our Lagos experience was greatly enhanced by meeting up with Corina and Thiery, Belgian friends of Peters who were in residence at their Lagos holiday home. They entertained us at their house, and we shared two fabulous meals in recommended beach restaurants.
They even delivered fresh croissants one morning for breakfast!
Following up on the orca situation, you might like to look at the ‘Noonsite’ international yachting website and review the (rather technical but interesting) webinar given by an expert on the peculiar subject: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AKwtzBUxBk8
Once under way, we had a good sail west for a short while and the chop off the south coast was replaced by unthreatening big Atlantic swells as we rounded the corner. The wind decreased but persisted on the nose, necessitating the intervention of the engine. We settled down to motor through the night as expected in a half knot adverse current.
The mist we are experiencing this evening is so laden with moisture that the rigging literally drips with water. Thank goodness for the radar and AIS as an instrument watch will be most important overnight.
I did like Lagos. There are miles of sandy beaches and the most remarkable limestone cliffs which have eroded to form dozens of small coves, caves, tunnels and arches. Peter and I went exploring some of these yesterday, although Nick didn’t want to come with us in case his feet got wet. But he was clearly suspicious that we were actually attracted by topless bathers rather than the geology. This is simply not true! (Editor’s note: No-one is going to believe you Richard!)
We do like to play psychological games on board. Nick is an engineer with an ordered mind and likes things ‘just so’, so it’s brilliant fun to create a little chaos in his life. One favourite (introduced originally by John Coe) is to turn the instrument covers around so they are all facing different directions. It drives him mad!
But he gets his own back by subjecting us to entertaining us with such gems of radio as ‘Cabin Pressure’, ‘Ed Reardon’ and, unbelievably, ‘Ladies of Letters’? Add to this list, TV recordings of ‘Peep Show’ and ‘’Curb Your Enthusiasm’ (the most appalling US series) and we’re thinking Nicks’ sense of humour is a major cause for concern!
Now, this is not a ‘have a go at the skipper’ day but the sight of a number of ‘ARC Portugal’ (Atlantic Rally for Cruisers rally to Portugal) flags in Lagos Marina certainly brought out the ‘Mine is Bigger and Better Than Yours’ side of his character as he trumped our neighbours’ proudly displayed flags with not one, but two bigger and better ARC flags! They were clearly deflated.
We left Lagos late morning and managed an hour or so sailing in a brisk Northerly wind, averaging perhaps 8 knots, which was exhilarating. As we approached Cape St Vincent at the SW corner of Portugal, it became shrouded in mist and the wind picked up to 22/24 knots. Reefing the sails, we rounded the cape and are now motoring in thick fog, as darkness approaches.
Nearly time for dinner. Tonight’s delight on passage is Portuguese sausages, beans (not baked) and 2019 vintage (can’t waste it) rosti from a packet. Cooked, of course, by Nick, inevitably with garlic and onions. Yum?