After two sumptuous nights sleep, uninterrupted by watchkeeping, we finally managed to ‘square up’ for our stay in Queensway Quay (£47 for two nights including electricity – bargain!!!), pick up our laundry (nearly forgotten), slip and depart at 09.30.
We had carried out the necessary preparation including the removal of nylon fishing net caught around one of the rudders and we headed out west through the Straits of Gibraltar.
We expected an adverse current but not the 4 knots we experienced at one stage – we also didn’t expect a message on our phones saying, ‘welcome to Morocco’!
With a berth booked in Lagos on the western end of the Algarve 180 miles away we had to maintain our speed to catch the marina bridge opening curfew. This necessitated, once again, the assistance of the engine in the light airs for most of the passage .
We kept a very keen eye out for any approaching ‘fins’ but thankfully, the orca threat did not materialise and once we were beyond Trafalgar, we felt able to relax into the usual exchanges of banter and routine.
Pausing in Lagos will allow us an opportunity to review the weather coursing down the Portuguese Atlantic coast and to ‘go for’ any windows we might consider viable. The winds are still very strong and unfavourable, but we may be able to exploit some lighter inshore conditions and hop between ports of refuge. Plans should always be subject to flexibility and prudent adjustment, and this is why one should never allow extraneous pressures to impinge on considered decision making.
15 miles off the Portuguese coast, we spotted some dolphins in the distance. I quickly switched off the Ultra Sonic system and the pod of half a dozen came and played in our bow wave – it’s always a magical privilege!
I wanted to start this entry with a Sun type headline;
‘SAILING VESSEL JUST MOMENTS AWAY FROM VICIOUS ATTACK BY DEADLY KILLER WHALES’
But the skipper felt that this was stretching the truth just a little too far. In fact, the lack of Orca’s is, in a way, a little bit of a disappointment! (editor’s note: you would say that, it’s not your yacht that would be damaged)
We’re now getting into more Atlantic weather. As I stand my watch at around 2am (depends on whether you’re on UCT, BST, GMT, Portuguese or Spanish time; all very confusing) it’s a bit cooler and damper but there is currently a bright ¾ moon, good visibility and very little shipping. Very peaceful and a good time to reflect.
I enjoyed Gibraltar. It’s very lively and very British but Spanish is the language you hear all around you. I get the feeling they are trying to take it over? Perhaps it’s this that started a lively debate about ………… dare I say it? Brexit. Now I know the boss hides his feelings on this matter very well and is shy about expressing an opinion, but the subject seemed to ignite something in his soul. Perhaps ‘rant’ is too strong a word, but Peter and I are still quaking in our boots.
Food is, of course, still the one thing that dominates our days and it’s starting to get more interesting with such delicacies as: cheesy pasta bake, cheese with marmalade, ginger nut biscuits and tinned curry on the menu.