Captains Blog 14 “And you can put that away”!

Lagos, a small town in the Algarve on the South coast of Portugal. It has some very positive things going for it, for example the first mate and I are here, the coastline and the beaches are stunning and there is always plenty going on.  Of course, there are some less attractive aspects, such as the nudist part of the expansive beach, seemingly a favoured haunt of the older, less body conscious, gentleman.

The Marina is ideally located and is within very easy reach of the town centre with its numerous tourist shops and restaurants. There are always musicians and street artists to be heard and seen as you meander through the narrow streets. As you head out of the centre you discover orange tree world, not trees that are coloured orange, no no! trees that have real genuine oranges growing on them, which I’m reliably informed should be ready to eat around January.

Exploring the coastline is a must. The eroded cliffs as you head towards Praia de Porto de Mós are fantastic and in the other direction you have Alvor, where you can anchor in a lovely lagoon and chill the hours away.

The Swedish Secret Police (Erling & Karin) are now securely housed on C pontoon and we’re getting to know them really well. We’ve spent many happy hours with them and plan to escape the boats for a few days in the hills very soon.

We’re meeting lots of lovely folk here in the marina, both neighbours and those passing through. Seeing friends depart for Madeira and the Canaries is sad and, exciting at the same time. Hans and Katrin are now safely moored in the Canaries as are Andreas and Cecilia from Hakuna Matata, all getting ready for the grand depart across the Atlantic.

We’re keeping busy with jobs on the boat and trying to get to know our surroundings better and I’ve joined the local gym. It was on the way to the gym a couple of weeks back that I was stopped dead in my tracks. I was looking straight at someone who looked just like Lorna of Paul and Lorna fame, who’ve been great friends many years.

I stood starring at this lady trying to work out if it really was her or simply a look alike. When she said hello in a voice that sounded remarkably like Lorna’s I was shocked. I couldn’t believe that Lorna had a doppelganger who not only looked just like her but had the same voice as well, what are the chances of that!!

She turned and looked off into the distance and I followed her gaze to see the familiar gait of my mate Paul heading towards us. I couldn’t believe my eyes as the first mate and I were convinced that we wouldn’t see them till we were home at Christmas.

When the first mate and I finally got over the shock we knew that normal activities would cease and we’d have a thoroughly enjoyable week with our friends. Indeed, in true Atkins/McIlwaine style it wasn’t long before we were at the mercy of the mighty Atlantic after heading out of the marina in an inflatable Kayak and Hannibal, our formidable Tender. The swell was up a little so we headed for the nearest beach and were washed unceremoniously onto the beautiful sandy shoreline. All was good until we decided to head back to the marina.

Our first attempt focused on getting the tender, complete with attached outboard, just past where the waves were breaking, so that Lorna and I could climb in and motor away. Paul, Lorna and I made little progress against the waves and it wasn’t long before the tender was wrenched from our grip and all 3 of us were given an abrupt dunking. We retreated and gathered out thoughts as we emptied our new salt water paddling pool onto the beach.

A new plan was rapidly formulated and a fresh attempt would be made by Paul and I to get far enough out so that I could jump in, start the outboard and motor around the headland, back to the marina. We managed to get out far enough for me to jump in and row until there was less chance of a breaking wave, after which I started the engine and waved goodbye to those left stranded on the beach.

Next step was for Paul to get the inflatable kayak out past the waves, jump in and paddle safely away. I wasn’t there to witness this gargantuan effort and only Paul knows the harrowing trauma experienced in escaping the “waves from hell”, but I can report that he was soaking wet and his glasses sat on his face at a 30° angle, held by the one remaining arm when he arrived back at the mooring. Atkins, I salute you.

In order to maximise the potential for success both Lorna and the first mate had to be abandoned and left to their own devices. Hopefully help would arrive at some future point, or they could walk back to the marina via the clearly marked path.

All was well in the end and the following day we enjoyed a fine sail around the bay to anchor in Alvor, where we were joined by Erling and Karin on Nike. We had a swim, relaxed a bit, had some lunch and pottered safely back later in the day. The perfect way to spend a gloriously sunny day at the end of October.

We were thrilled that our friends had joined us and we had a fabulous week, making the most of our time together, which will hopefully be the first visit of many visits.

Oh, worth mentioning that I’m now the proud owner of a Portuguese fishing license. I acquired it with Erling, when we ventured across to Portimao for a look around. I also have a half share in a telescopic fishing rod. My success to date has been somewhat limited, so limited in fact that I’ve not caught a single fish using either the part shared fishing rod or Erling’s own one. Practice makes perfect so they say, but I can’t help but think that I’m not a natural at this game.

I could keep wittering on, but again the bored-ometer has probably maxed out so I’ll leave things there.

Next time I’ll update on boat works and exciting new additions to the boat inventory.

Thank you and goodbye

Captain Mac

One Reply to “Captains Blog 14 “And you can put that away”!”

  1. Oh Lagos Lagos such memories of wine and food and orange trees
    Fig leafs and high seas
    The boss of all Algarve but only my glasses I do mourn at my loss
    Oh the beautiful lovely Lagos 😂👍


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