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A visit to Sagres
10/27/2009, Lagos

Steve drove us to Sagres one afternoon and we visited the fort built on a windswept shelf-like headland about 3 km from Cape St. Vincent the south-western most tip of Europe. The promontory of Sagres was important for sailors because it offered a shelter for ships waiting for favourable winds before rounding Cape St. Vincent with it's potentially dangerous coastal rocks.

Like the fort in Lagos the entry fee was cheap as not much of the 16th century fortress remains with some restoration in the 20th century. Although it was a sunny day the wind was strong and the scene quite stark and atmospheric making it easy to imagine what it was like for the cold soldiers years ago keeping their lonely vigil, tirelessly pacing the fortress battlements with their sheer drop below and the sound of wild waves crashing on the jagged rocks. There are several interactive displays on various topics including a giant pebble compass rose - 43 m diameter, divided into 32 segments instead of the usual 40.

On the west side of the promontory there is a series of caves gouged out by wave power from the tall cliffs and the noise of the waves flowing in and out of them was deafening, with the resulting spray towering impressively high into the air - so we took a few snaps of it. Another reminder of the power of the sea.

The little fort
10/25/2009, Lagos

On our way back from the beach I suggested we visit the fort at the entrance to the river mouth, Alex was not keen as he reckoned there would be nothing in it - he was right and luckily it didn't cost much! However I took a picture of the wind sculptures on the top.

Sightseeing around town
10/25/2009, Lagos

Our son Alex has come out for a visit and we went for a walk to see the more secluded beaches to the west of the river entrance, he didn't want to go up on the little train with his Mum, can't think why! Luckily I have had a more successful trip since the last one with Sue I met here. To get from one beach to the next you have to pass through gaps in the sandstone cliffs, the signs warning about falling rocks were not a comfort. I enjoyed looking in the many rock pools at the marine life and even managed to remember quite a few Latin names for species - Actinia Equina, the burgundy red-jelly blobs of the common sea anemone.

A bit crafty
10/20/2009, Lagos

I have joined the Craft group run by Barbara, Terry's wife. We will be going to her apartment on Friday mornings. As it was our first time we didn't do much but look at what things we might do - card-making, cross stitch, paper curling etc. Barbara talked about where to obtain craft supplies in Lagos and I can see it is going to be difficult compared to where I live in the UK. It's nice to get off the boat for a change!

Caravel trip
09/30/2009, Lagos

Steering the Caravel - a two man job.

Caravel trip
09/30/2009, Lagos

The day for the boat trip was glorious sunshine with a little wind and we were told by Terry, who has been on many such trips, that this was the best yet as we even got to sail for a while along the coast towards Portmao (often there is no wind - what a surprise!).

The boat was a replica of a Caravel, a ship built in the 15th and 16th century with a distinctive shape, a gently sloping bow and single stern castle and it carries a mainmast and a mizzen mast that were generally lateen-rigged. Caravels had already been in use for hundreds of years and developed into fast, easily manoeuvrable ships and were well known through their use during Portuguese and Spanish voyages of discovery. Indeed Columbus's ships NiƱa and Pinta were supposedly caravels.

Portuguese Boa Esperanca and has been on "tour" all over the world including Brazil. Of course this one had a few mod cons like an engine and pump able loo! A large crew was needed to raise the sails and about half the party did the honours. Folk took turns on the tiller which needed 2 people and as it was situated in an area below the bridge where you are unsighted and you need someone to shout down the course to you. A trip not to be missed.

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