Sailing - never goes as planned!
15 June 2009 | Olhao
Sailing - never goes as planned. We were lifted out of the water a couple of days ago and have found a free internet facility in the town where you can have 30mins or more like in Vila real unless someone else arrives wanting a computer.
What an adventure the trip from Mazagon was, we ended up at midnight outside the Faro entrance and I think we did a great job of negotiating the entrance channel in the dark, avoiding the many sandbanks. Our chart let did not show the marina entrance well so we decided to anchor outside the Marina Formosa boatyard. Steve decided to take off the new anchor as he did not want to risk trying it out for the first time in the dark and in an anchorage unknown to us. We had bought a New Zealand design Rocna anchor with a reputation of setting within a metre as it has a roll bar on it so it always moves into the correct position, the video clip were very impressive. While he set about changing anchors I steered us round in a circle and this attracted the attention of Claus, a Swedish guy living on a boat in the marina who had just returned form a party, it was about 01.30 by now. E radioed and asked if we would like to come into the marina and he came out in his dingy and lead us in to his friends empty berth in the marina. We were exhausted and so thankful, we laughingly offered him and his girlfriend a drink and they came aboard. We had a really interesting chat and he told us that we would probably have a visit from the marina staff early wanting us to move on. At about 1.30 we all turned in.
The next day the marina staff paid a visit and as they didn't speak English and our Portuguese was zero the conversation was tricky until Claus came to assist and persuaded them to let us stay for another night as we were definitely going to be lifted the next day at 12.30. We offered to pay but apparently he could not charge us - makes a change! At 11.30 the next day we were having a cuppa in the cockpit and looked across to the other side of the marina to see the taller, more hostile marina official waving madly at us and mouthing what we interpreted as "go away". Olhao has a reputation of being unfriendly to yachtsmen and no one gets to moor in the main marina except locals and also in the "pool" type one where we were. Claus had been living aboard his boat there for 5 years paying very little for no facilities. Rubbish was dumped in the bins near the market on the front and he used to go by dingy across the marina to fill up bottles from a tap. Lots of fishermen with small, open boats shared the marina.
Above - the anchorage outside the boatyard.