Friday, July 27, 2007

Unfortunately unable to post photos here but just wanted to let you all know that we're just back from walking along the beach (nearly to the end, but it was just too far) & then a couple of cold cokes and a big plate of chips in a beach bar - paradise!

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Porto Santo

We left Cascais (Lisbon) at 0800 on Thursday 19th soon to be joined by our friends the dolphins, as is normal.

During the 1st night we put all 3 reefs in the main and rolled away about 2/3rds of the genoa as it was rather windy. The crew felt seasick, one of the symptoms of which was a very loud and frequent belching - it wasn't nice I can tell you, it made me feel a bit ill myself! Anyway, I was all sympathetic etc as I usually am & luckily the crew felt better after a day or 2.

Friday night was a bit of a nightmare: 2 FBS (Fcuking Big Ships) tried to get Vega 1494 in a pincer movement! It was difficult to work out the best way to avoid both FBS so I called one up on the radio & found the watch officer to be very professional. The 2nd FBS didn't even answer his radio so I can only guess there was no one on the bridge! Anyway, of course we altered course and all was well, although it was closer than I normally like to get to a FBS.

In the morning I was surprised to find a squid in the cockpit! We had only really had one wave come into the cockpit but I guess that wave had had a squid in it. The little fella was brown bread & not enough even for a snack so overboard he went. We also saw several turtles during the passage just lazily paddling about looking cute but kind of out of place out there in the big blue.

Thanks to a 7 knot white-knuckle ride on Sunday night and a bit of motoring the next day we arrived at Porto Santo at 2100 on Monday. 524M in 109 hours, our longest passage to date & we felt quite proud of ourselves as we cracked open a couple of well-earned beers!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Big Un

After another all nighter we are now in Cascais, nr Lisbon. It wasn't the best trip as we had not much wind followed by FOG, horrible! But it cleared when we closed Cascais. Looks like we are leaving tomorrow for the big trip to Porto Santo (what are we doing?!). Nah, should be fun - I hope. Will try to catch a big tuna.

Next entry should then be from much further south, quite exotic really.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Barry Whiter

(all nighter) from Leixoes to Nazare, 130M. We had a good trip & sailed most of the time but neither of us slept much so we're a bit tired.

Huge beach here with clean golden sand & cold water. Must check the weather before deciding our next move.

That's yer lot for now.

Later: Now added this photo of our wall grafitti - pretty impressive I think you will agree!

Friday, July 06, 2007


After our friends left Bayona we were a little bored. What shall we do now? We thought. I know, lets go to Portugal!

So, after a 70M downhill sleighride we arrived in Leixoes. It was a pretty windy passage: One time I glanced at the GPS and we were surfing at 10.2 knots! We had the sails goosewinged and were regularly surfing at 8 or 9 knots. By the time we arrived we had no genoa out and 2 reefs in the main, & we were still doing about 5 knots.

The anchorage was not what we have become used to: It was in the corner of a big commercial harbour with big old chunkamahonda container and tanker ships and, although nice and flat, it was still blowing a hooley! We both slept well though as it had been a long day.

The next day (yesterday) we went & checked out the beach & did a little shopping. The beach was crowded but nice & there were surfable waves & I planned to return with my surfboard. It didn't happen though as it was so windy I didn't really fancy rowing the dinghy or leaving 1494.

Today we are in Porto! A bit of a trip by land for a change as it is only a short ride on the metro from Leixoes. Seems nice so far & I shall try to buy a bottle of something as a souvenir: I've heard they make some sort of fortified wine locally, maybe I can find out what it's called in the tourist office?

Monday, July 02, 2007

Still in Bayona, Part 2

More to the point, we have been having a really good, social time here. I offered to help a fellow cruiser, John, to clear his prop which had become tangled with old rope and fishing gear & after seeing all the fish down there I returned with my spear gun. This was the 1st non-mullet I had caught & we identified it as a trigger fish. It was also the first time in 9 years which I had been scuba diving & my first ever solo dive! I discovered it was easier to spear the fish from the pontoon & we soon had enough for a cracking barby on "Sun Fun".

The next day John caught some more fish (with a net) & we had another barby, this time with Berit and Kjell ("Maridadi") who are on their way home to Sweden with Micke the dog. It was a fun & interesting evening. John has been living aboard "Sun Fun" for 7 years & Berit & Kjell for 12, during which time they have been around the world, so there was never a shortage of stories to be told.

Thanks to Johns computer skills Vega 1494 can now receive weatherfax on the laptop (cheers Alan!) & will soon be up & running with electronic charts too.

Our new Swedish friends are on a tight budjet & they have given us many cash-saving tips, one of which we have already put into practice : See photo of our home-grown mung bean sprouts!

Still Bayona, Part 1

A new record: 3 weeks in the same place (not inc. LR)! Why are we still here? Shortly after arrival we ordered the "Atlantic Islands Pilot" book & we had to wait over a week for that to arrive. Other than that we have been waiting for the weather. We have had a real mix of weather including some hot, sunny, dive-naked-off-the-boat days and the promise of N winds is just around the corner.
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