Friday, March 26, 2010
But it took 4 months mostly because of the lack of organisation and business manner of the craftman and also a certain bad luck when he raptured his Achilles tendon jogging a little too heartily. But now the nice well done spayhood is here and even the captain almost reluctant at the beginning seem to apreciate it. A second hand dinghy, nice and more sea worthy than the old one had been added, with a smal 2 hp power outboard. Then engine will be a good thing for security when the wind is blowing or when we are far from shore. But, we will keep rowing as much as we can...
(click on article title to access photo album)
Monday, March 22, 2010
These last three months of winter have been a little boring and deceptive here in Alvor. In restrospect, may be it was not the perfect place to spend the winter on the boat, considering my own personal taste, even if the anchorage is very protected. Though, Algarve and Alvor were the obvious places logistically speaking..The natives are wary even some seem a little hostile of us foreigners. Alvor has really been sold, probably given away the last 30 years to the British mostly. The 2 main streets are ligned up with so many restaurants and bars that it is quite ridiculous. Everything is targeted for British often run by British who are masters in segregation, cultural, racial and social....
With this particularly harsh winter, there were not much to do or go, no way to work on the boat except for small inside projects. No really any hiking to do beside the beautiful beach and the little hill behind the village. I missed hiking a lot.
In short, that is not the Portugal we had started to like and apreciated on our way down the West coast.
But as the sun is shinning everything is looking brighter....
Monday, March 15, 2010
The day after my return, Magnus took off on his own mission leaving me in charge during 5 weeks. February has been the worst month of this worst winter in Europe since ages and we were not forgotten down here. We had near gales, and even gales right after another.
Rödeorm dragged anchor during the first blow though the wind was blowing no more than 35 knots, 40 knots. It was unexpected since we had stayed put on this anchor during 3 months even during a strong blow at Christmas. The holding is good in this deep muddy bottom, but tides and currents can shift the anchor and even make mud banks slid and shift also. Not wishing to reanchor at the same place, I took a mooring with the help of our Belgium friend. Seemingly strong and well maintained, I could not trust this mooring entirerly and I secured the boat on its anchor too. We had strong winds and rain every two days to the final gale of the season, a named one blowing 45 to 50 steady winds and gusts up to 60 knots during four five hours. I kept the engine on from the cockpit watch three unattended boats wash ashore on sand and rocks. The same gale pursued its way up the coast to severly hammered Vendée in France causing a lot of damage and death of more than 50 people. Combine with spring tides, flooding happened here too. Magnus came back when the game was over, just in time to finally enjoy the arrival of Spring with warmer and dryer weather. I am relieved and happy that February and its train of gales is behind us and that ahead of us, the so desired sprayhood is becoming a reality as our British sail maker has decided to put some energy into it !! But was this thing missed during those downpours !!