sailing friends, dancing friends and other friends. It’s the 11th of July 2012 and tomorrow morning I set out to sail from Lagos at the western end of the Algarve (more or less) to the mid Atlantic islands known as the Azores.
This year’s travels started in Licata in Sicily where I was made so welcome it was hard to leave. In Tunisia I had gearbox failure and other technical problems but thank goodness for Mick the British engineer in Yasmine marina who got me going again. If you need the contact let me know, but if you’re in Yasmine I think everyone knows him and his wife Jo, great people. From there I went to Sardinia, Menorca, Majorca, Ibiza and then round the Spanish mainland to Almeria where Freddie Shead joined me, he’s the son of an old friend Martin who should be hooking up with me in the Azores. Freddie and I sailed to Ceuta and then La Linea where we met up with Josh Joshua and Michelle. I was then joined by another much newer friend for the trip round to Vilamoura and then I sailed on to Lagos with a stop at Portimao to wait for Gill who many of you have met. So that’s where I am. I haven’t checked the mileage – well over a thousand this year but much more still to go.
I arrived this morning at Lagos marina pretty early, before 10 anyway, having left Portimao at 8am. Uncharacteristically the wind got up early and I arrived here in 25 knots plus and it’s still blowing now at 5-15pm. I’ve fuelled the boat, topped up the drinking water and hosed her down, I’ve made four trips to the supermarket lugging everything by hand after finding a cash-point because the fuel dock doesn’t take debit or credit cards and took all my existing €250, well except the last ten Euro which I needed for a deposit on the marina access card anyway, leaving me borassic. That’s cokney rhyming slang for those not in the know – borassic lint – skint which is still slang meaning no money!
I’ve now copied the pics from my cameras to a hard drive and am charging all the batteries to be able to take as many photos on and in the Azores as my little heart desires – here’s hoping for whales and lots of other wildlife, hopefully not aggressive wildlife!
I’ve got rid of the garbage and soon I’ll do the engine checks and a couple of other small jobs and then I’m all done, might even treat myself to a nosh ashore this evening. Gill reckons she won’t be here till gone 11pm, hope she likes the food I’ve bought for the trip, too late now, there’s fresh stuff for a while anyway, fruit, veg, eggs, cheese, bread, might not have bought enough tins and dried stuff, but my buddy Baz in Vilamoura gave me a load of tins of baked beans and some pot noodles, if we’re down to just them by the time we arrive expect climate change and the destruction of the Azores High – if it’s there this year, the weather is so strange.
Ciao all hope you enjoyed this update. From the Azores I’ll be going to the Isles of Scilly and that looks like being solo at this stage, then along the channel to London or an east coast river and a sabbatical or permanent end to the boat gypsy life.