27 September 2007 | Lagos
After several weeks of heading south, we have now turned left and are heading east towards the med. We arrived in Lagos a week ago and have been staying in the marina in the centre of the town. Dave and Elaine have had family visiting them this past week and we have used the time to catch up some jobs such as re-sealing the teak decks, dinghy maintenance and planning the next stage of our passage from Lagos to Gibraltar.
The marina is very busy as it is a popular place for yachts to over-winter. We are moored at the opposite end of the marina to the shower/laundry unit and shops and restaurants, so we are being kept fit with all the walking we are doing. It is the first touristy place that we have visited and, after the initial shock and being touted for dolphin/fishing/grotto trips, we have enjoyed our visit very much. Highlights this week have been attending a 40th birthday party for Stephan, one of our boat buddies. His wife, Tanya, organised a great party by the pool in the marina where 20 of us enjoyed good wine, tapas, champagne and birthday cake. It was a lovely afternoon and provided a good opportunity for us all to get to know one another better. We have been lucky to meet some lovely people on our trip and it is very common for you to arrive in a marina and see yachts that you met at a previous marina. We tend to leap-frog along, just catching each other briefly so it was good to spend some time to meet our fellow travellers in such a nice setting.
When Chris was in Gibraltar a couple of years ago, he met Rob Clark, who was doing the same thing but in a different group. Rob's dream was to have a sailing school in Lagos with his wife, Jules. On our first day, we were walking along the quay and who should Chris bump in to but Rob and Jules, who had realised their dream. The school is going really well with Rob instructing novices through to Yachtmaster. He told us that the cruising ground here is perfect and they have many customers who come back several times a year to improve their sailing skills. They are really nice, laid-back people who obviously do an excellent job. If anyone is interested in taking some lessons, or you know of anyone who needs tuition on their own boat, then Rob and Jules are the people to contact on: - Rob Clark, RU Sailing, Tel: +44 07747 100030 / +351 918828085, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Web: www.rusailing.com.
I had my first 'girls night out' this week with Tanya and Mary. If you have never tried sangria made with white wine, I can thoroughly recommend it, from what I remember! We had a lot of laughs whilst the guys stayed at home, babysitting and putting the world to right.
We have heard that some of you have had to put the heating on at home. If this is the case, you may not wish to read the next bit, so please look away. The weather is fantastic here. It is so hot in the middle of the day that we have all the blinds and curtains closed to keep us cool. It does get chilly though (down to about 20?) when the sun goes down and the wind is blowing.
We are heading off to Portimao tomorrow to start the next part of our journey. There is some powerboat racing there this weekend and we are not sure if we will get the chance to see any of it or not. We will also be saying goodbye to Tanya, Stephan, Connor & Anneke on Beyzano and Mary, Paul, Kate & Molly on Jigsaw who are off to the Canaries from where they will take part in the Atlantic Rally for Cruisers (ARC) to the Caribbean. We wish them well and look forward to meeting up again. After that, we will be visiting Albufeira, Vilamoura, Ayamonte (back into Spain from here), El Rompido, Chipiona, Cadiz, Barbate and will finally arrive in Gibraltar in about 2 weeks time.
For those of you who have tried to call us recently and haven't been able to get through, we have had some connection problems whilst in Portugal and hope that once we are back in Spain, things will revert back to normal. As usual, please bear with us!