The Return of the Trades
The Portuguese trades made a thankful return for our overnight journey from Lisbon to the Algarve, making for a great downwind sail most of the way. And darkness never really materialised because the full moon shone brightly throughout the night, creating enough light to see the occasional sporting dolphin joining us for a bow-ride along the way.
For relatively short journeys such as this, Maria and I work out a watch system that suits us both at the time. In other words we don’t stick rigidly to a 3 or 4 hour on / off system. If one of us is feeling particularly tired, the other will stay on watch and we will swap over after 2-4 hours.
Not this time.
The downside to this speedy journey is that the sea state wasn’t as seafarer-friendly as we would have preferred… it was a bit on the lumpy side. This resulted in Maria being overwhelmed by seasickness and having to lie down for a few hours. So, I kept watch through the night, setting the timer on my phone for 20 minute intervals so that I could get the occasional ‘power nap’. That seems to work… at least I could still stand up and speak the next morning.
And after getting up, Maria then pulled her back when pulling on a rope.
I think it goes without saying that the last 24 hours weren’t her best or happiest.
The video below was taken when things were relatively non-lumpy.
Cabo de São Vicente
It was still blowing strong as we until rounded the corner of Cape St Vincent to enter the Algarve – far earlier than anticipated as Lady Jane was speeding along at more than the 6 knots we planned for.
In fact we arrived so early that we could only see the moonlit shadow of Sagres Point and the loom of the lighthouse as we rounded Cape St Vincent. And I must admit to feeling a mild disappointment at this, because years ago Maria and I stood on Sagres Point imagining what it would be like to round the cape on our own sailboat. Now we know, but didn’t see much of it!
As the morning sun came over the horizon, we could see the Algarve side of the cape… and ahead scores of dolphins leaping in and out of the water. There’s nothing quite like that to lift the spirits. Again there are no photos though.
Because we made such good progress we changed our plans, venturing further into the Algarve and more back-pain-friendly calmer waters and lighter winds. So, we have ended up in Albufeira marina for a few days to give time for Maria to recover before we set off to Morocco.
Surrounded by candy-coloured apartments, the marina certainly can’t be described as drab. It’s a hive of activity during the day because of all the tour boats that operate from here. And the evening sees a shift of focus from tour boats to restaurants and their live music. It’s actually quite pleasant.
We’ve been spending the days seeing something of Albufeira, performing maintenance tasks on the boat, and generally taking it easy until Maria is feeling better. The pharmacies here sell over the counter Diclofenac anti-inflamatory tablets, which are helping the cause. And there are several supermarkets to choose from so that we can replace our depleted stores.
We are hoping to get underway by this Sunday to head towards Rabat.