At some point, one morning after breakfast, one just feels it is time to heave anchor. After all, we are cruising and thus don't want to find our boat on a cover picture of a local tourist brochure...
So, the 26th, last Monday, we moved the twenty-odd miles south to Sesimbra, where we just anchored for teh night. The dinghy deflated on deck, we didn't bother to go on shore. The Portuguese Northerlies are still illusive, so we motored all the way.
The morning after I woke up fairly early noticing a decent breeze making the rigging sing in a very promising way. Quick breakfast and off we went.
Close-hauled on a port tack we made 6,5 knots in the 10-12 knots of wind for an hour or so. The wind slowly decreased but we made decent headway until after lunch when the wind died. The last couple of hours we had to rely on the iron genny once again to enter Sines before dusk. Again, we anchored close by 'Zephyr' and shared a glass of wine with them in 'röde Orm's' cockpit before dinner.
Vasco da Gama was born in Sines, a very lively fishing port, and we'll go on shore tomorrow to see what kind of trace he left.
The winds will stay very light and variable o couple of days, but on Friday afternoon they will turn North and keep blowing at 10-15 knots over the weekend. To be experienced before believed!
Since it was closed (Monday) the last time we were in Lisbon, and we have had it strongly recommended from several 'reliable sources' we thought it well worthwhile to make the train trip to Lisbon omce again.
The people who recommended it was right. No doubt about it. Reputedly the largest maritime museum in the world it was very interesting. First, all the Portuguese discoverers and seafarers of their history. Vasco da Gama, Magelhan, Labrador and Albuerquerque just to mention those I know best. Their history was at display with a huge map of their voyages. Extremely well crafted models of the different tall ships used by them and the Portuguese Navy and lots of artefacts of all kinds.
Perhaps the most interesting part of the Museum was the annex where they had some 25-30 (!) vessels at display. everything from smaller fishing boats to yachts (including a swedish built 'Tumlaren') and the 'Royal Galley'. The latter was the most spectacular of them all as you can see from some picctures I uploaded to the Gallery. 19 pairs of oars, thsi long and sleek river boat was literally covered in gold, velvet cushions and carvings, some of them in ebony. This vessel was used as lately as in the 1950's before permanently laid up here.
Strong recommendation for any one who might read this and later visit Lisbon.
that's true. And then came rain again. And after that weak variable winds mostly from the south.... so we'll spend anotther day or two reading below decks I reckon. Maybe the forecast will be more encouraging after the weekend!?
Today's picture was taken in January in Falsterbo, Sweden. facing north toward the bridge between Sweden and Denmark.
Just as a perspective...
A cold front consisting of a looooong tail off a low pressure system currently over the British Isles provided us with 25 liters of fresh water in our dinghy during 3 hours of rain early this morning. Some 20 knots of wind from W came with it and made the anchorage a bit rolly for a couple of hours.
Just before lunchtime the sun came back. Reluctantly I crawled out from the v-berth where I'd been reading 'The Deperate Voyage' by John Caldwell all morning. Why? To bail out the dinghy and use the fresh water for laundry!
Another little front is forecasted to pass tomorow with associated winds of 30 knots at least during a few hours from SW. Will have a second look inte that tonight. If it looks bad, we'll probably move inte the marina tomorrow morning.
Apart from this, nothing much has happened. Oh, sorry, that's not true.
A couple of days ago I spent almost a full day (!) to install 2 spotlights in the cabin for reading. The nights are dark this time of year. A full day? yes, since the wiring called for emptying one locker at a time before drilling a couple of holes for the wires, and then the same but in reverse order. Repeat the process 6- 8 times with breaks for lunch and a 'mis-en-place' period in the morning to search for the right tools and other material needed.... Conclusion: It's a h**l lot easier to work on a boat when it's empty. Living on it, multiply every task you are undertaking with 4x the anticipated time and you are getting close to the truth.
Teh best comes last! Our neighbours, Steve and Colin on 'Zephyr' invited us over for dinner the other day. Superb food - like Mom's Cooking- by Colin and some local wine and lots of laughter and banter. Great Evening!
Colin's girlfriend is flying in on Thursday, so I'll guess we'll wait a few days before inviting them over to us again ;-)
It starts to feel like time to heave anchor again too, so hopefully the next dinner party can take place on the Algarve coast. That said, Isabelle and I want to spend a night at anchor in the supposedly desolated Sagres Bay just East of 'Cabo do Vincente' - Portugals SW corner. Thats 100 miles or thereabout from here, so we'll monitor the weather forecast after the frontal passage.
Yesterday, we made the 20 km bustrrip north to visit Sintra. Into the 19th century, Sintra was teh residence o the Portuguese King. The town was founded in the 8th century by the Moors. First of all we climbed uphill to the 'Castle of the Moors' (Castelo do Mouros) a veritable Eagle's Nest that actually reminds more of a fort than a castle. Amazingly enough it's wall si almost untouched since then, and as a couple of our pictures shows, the technique used in raising the stone walls shows the Arabian style.
The walls and towers of the fort (sorry, Castle) blends in a magical way with the surrounding nature and it can be seen from a long distance. On the hilltop one has good view all the way out on the Ocean so it's easily understood how strategically this choosen location was in those days.
After this combined trekking and historical/cultural affort we went downhill to the Historical Centre of Sintra (this is a UNESCO world heritage). Here the impressive mansions of the 72 Noble families of Portugal anno 1400-1550 is hiding behind high stone walls and as the apple in the pie the former Royal Palace, now known as National Palace. This is a well kept museum and when you see the pictures of the Kitchens (two of them!) in the Castle, you must bear in mind that those two enormous conical chimneys that make the silhouette so specail, is nothing but the chimneys from the kitchen stoves!
Note the 'rotisseurs' - Barbeque is not a new concept! ;-D