29 September 2017 | Cascais
15 September 2017 | Angra do Heroismo
04 September 2017 | Marina Porto das Pipas, Angra do Heroismo, Terceiera, Acores
01 July 2017 | Velas, Sao Jorge, the Azores, Portugal
28 June 2017 | Horta, Faial, The Azores
27 June 2017 | Horta, Faial, The Azores
20 April 2018
Hi Mom, The boat is actually floating, in water, in a marina in Lagos. We made it in to the marina within a few minutes of our predicted time on the high tide on Wednesday afternoon. We motored the whole way so the sails have yet to be unloaded. Had a few adventures. The first leaving Lisbon. There was a really big swell coming from a storm far away. I thought 40 feet of water would be enough but we had swell against current and then could see breaking waves close by. Managed to get to 50 feet of depth and out of the river current and things became a lot less exciting. Then we had a windless but cold night with a pretty nice ride. This was good because I got sea sick leaving Lisbon, (forgot to take pills for a couple of days before the trip), and Kathryn took a long watch until about midnight when the pills and relative calm made the problem better. As we neared the cape of St Vincent and Sagres the wind came up to about 20 on the nose. I sent Kathryn below so only one of us got wet and she had a nice nap. Around the cape the wind came down which allowed for less water in the face. Zoomed into the channel to the marina on the tide and were able to change full foul weather gear and polartec layers for shorts and a t-shirt.
Good thing as offshore weather has deteriorated since then. Spent yesterday cleaning up and putting our house back in order after a long break. I took today to return to the boat yard and get our rental car.
Another beautiful day in Cascais
07 October 2017
Hi Mom, I worked hard all day on the boat and took a small break to paddle to the praia. These poor girls were on a boat with a couple of guys and a few more of their girls friends. I could see they were running out of things to do and, since they had cerveja, I let them use my stand up paddle board for a while. The captain, Miguel, sent me this photo, so I could show how nice I am to help them enjoy their day. Just another example of the nice people you can meet on boats.
05 October 2017
We left the dock. Made it all the way to the fuel dock and filled up our beautiful clean tanks. Then we moved to a new berth with a better view. Here is a picture.
Mini refit is making progress with the engine work done. The cylinders are on the way back from Spain, my battery to battery charger was repaired and is coming back from the U.K., I took the sail into the local shop today and the rigger comes tomorrow. Kathryn is starting to remark that the endless bills may preclude further boat ownership and I am trying to remind myself that we are mending mostly old problems and actually improving ourselves.
The other big factor in my life now is my nightly battle with the small brown mosquito that seems to live with us. There is only one or two but they bite ME at 2 in the morning and then I itch all over for an hour and can't sleep. I end up reading or watching tv in the salon while Kathryn sleeps on. That's right, in some karmic twist of fate they prefer to bite me. I always played down the effects of mosquitoes because I only had to stay close to Kathryn to be safe. Now I am the tasty one coating myself with bug spray every night. Not fair. Tommy
In Cascais, Portugal - since Sept 22!
29 September 2017
Hi Mom, Kathryn sent out a safe arrival message but you are correct in that I have not put a new blog entry in. I typed several during the 6 days at sea but could not ever get a HF radio connection to transmit them.
We had a relatively pleasant, zippy passage from Angra, flying the Asymetric spinnaker for the first few days and hitting 8+ knots sometimes (average about 7.2?) and then went down to a 2-reefed Main plus the jiblet, as the winds closer to land were much speedier. Passage took 5.5 days, very fast!
And now we are in Cascais Portugal. Cascais is a short train ride away from Lisboa. We arrived early Friday morning, closing the coast while it was still dark and anchoring in the bay just after dawn. Here is a picture of our "passage-is-complete!" victory beer (taken at about 8:00am). We moved into the marina on Sunday. It is expensive until the low season starts on October 1st, but we decided to splurge a little bit. We were going to stay in a cheaper place just up the Targus river from Lisboa proper, but when we went to visit (by train/bus) found it to be isolated, and much of it was silted in and Katface would touch the bottom at low tide. Cascais is a much better location. Very nice town with quite a European feel to it; + many cafes and shops.
I visited the Spanish embassy and was told no visa is possible to visit Spain before December 15. We are going to have a conversation with the local immigration official here at the marina later today. He had some ideas when I talked to him last. We are spending a lot of time discussing what to do next and what the rules allow us to do, but have not decided anything for sure. Will likely be here for a week or two more at least, awaiting boat pieces to be sent back from their servicers.
Yes, have also spent a lot of time addressing boat issues. I made some shipping containers and shipped the leaky hydraulic cylinders for the baby and back stays to a shop in Palma de Mallorca. I really hope I get them back. I heard after that I should have sent them to the factory in France but i already decided to send them to Spain, so we will see. I hate pieces of the boat outside my control.
I also sent a piece of the charging system back to the factory in England to see if it can be mended. That took a day as well.
The engine reached about 500 hours so I splurged and hired the local mechanic to do the service. Part of it was to replace the mixing elbow (400 euros - stupid Yanmar). Anyway labor cost here is less than half that in Annapolis. Also found a small leak in the water pump and so we are waiting for a small part to put it back together.
There were also some things i did not like about the running rigging that i found during the last passage and before as I get time on the boat. Looks like I lucked out and found a really good rigger. He visited yesterday and found several things to mend, agreed that the jib halyard is on the wrong position on the mast head and thus i could not use the proper position for the asymmetric halyard, and pointed out some obvious stupid things i could not see. (like all the jib cars have been on the tracks backwards since I owned the boat - they even have arrows on them that were pointed the wrong way). He will be back next week to climb the mast and perform an inspection and fix some of these issues. I have my fingers crossed that there are no bigger problems up high.
We have had some chance for recreation. On Friday we celebrated our complete crossing of the Atlantic with dinner out and a bottle of Italian wine (20 euros! - a big expense). There was a festival of lights where they turned off a lot of the normal lighting in the town and had projectors put "lights/art stuff" on the walls of buildings and other places. We visited that on Sunday night. It took two nights to get ahead enough on sleep to stay out late enough. Also had nice Indian dinner, (not Portuguese food, yay).
As soon as we get a bit ahead on the boat projects we are looking at renting a car and making a little tour of the countryside. There are some castles and beaches and parks to walk in fairly close.
HF radio version
29 September 2017 | Cascais
Hi Mom, FInally got a radio contact and so this is mainly a test. We did have a discussion with the immigration guy here at the marina. There is some more latitude than we thought but we are still looking. Have not had much from Lauren lately. Some conversation with Phoebe.
Leaving the Azores tomorrow - hopefully
15 September 2017 | Angra do Heroismo
Hi Mom, after 3 months in the Azores we will attempt to sail to Lisboa tomorrow. Should take about a week. Boat is topped off with fuel as we anticipate lighter conditions until about 200 miles off the Portuguese coast. Will try to update with the radio if I can remember how. Love Tommy