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August 2006 - Atlantic Spain and Portugal

Nazare, Portugal


August 31, 2006

Hello all, We left Lagos, Portugal around 10:30. We did an overnight passage to Cadiz, Spain (115nm). The wind was 8-12 kts right on the nose so we ended up motoring into 1.5 seas the whole way. We were dodging fishing boats all night. Only saw one freighter early this Fri. morning and a Casino ship on it's way back to port. We are approaching Cadiz. We have another 12nm to go. So we should be in the harbor by 10:00.

Love Sally and Al

August 30, 2006

Hello all, We think we fixed the autopilot. The original install had three splices in the bypass clutch connection. Why? We worked on it for a couple of hours in the morning trying to see where juice was running and where no power was coming in. We quit for some play time. We took a picnic lunch and the dingy. We tried to get the propane tank filled first but no luck. We bought the Imray Spain/Portugal guide,(our guides only show marinas and we want some nice anchorages), another cabin fan, and some wire for the autopilot.

After our shopping spree we went out of the harbor to that spectacular entrance I mentioned yesterday. We had fun riding in and out of caves, much like Devil's Island in the Apostles only on a grander scale. The tide was out so the rocks had tons of little crabs scurrying around on them. We ate our picnic lunch and took lots of pictures and video. We pulled into a beach for a little swim but didn't stay long. We forgot the dingy anchor and it just wouldn't stay beached. We got back to the boat about 2:30 and began rewiring the autopilot. It took a couple more hours but it seems to work. Time will tell. The next step was a part that costs 600.00 Euros!

Love Sally and Al

August 29, 2006

Hello all, We left our anchorage by 0830 and pulled up all three sails for a change. First time in a while that we had something other than straight downwind sailing. We had a lovely sail NE 15 for about an hour then it went NE 1-2 kts. So everything had to be taken down and covered. We motored the remaining 2 hrs. to Lagos. What a beautiful coastline and approach to Lagos, Portugal. Lots of caves and majestic standing rocks. We can't wait to take a dingy ride out there. We had to wait for a lift bridge after checking in before we could enter the harbor. The slip we were assigned was taken so we took another. Called the office but they made us move to another. (change all those lines and fenders). Fortunately the excellent grocery store was a short walk away. We fixed lunch when we got back and put things away. It is extremely hot. the first we've felt since Quebec City. The marina has a pool so we could go cool off. We took showers instead. Cooked some shrimp and broccoli for dinner. Mosquitoes ! Now where did they come from? Fortunately we have a boat with screens. A lot of boats from areas with no bugs don't have screens. Looking forward to tomorrow and a chance to look at some sights.

Love Sally and Al

August 28, 2006

Hello all, We had another beautiful sail down the coastline today. We left Sines at 0845 after Al took a quick look at the autopilot. We had light NW winds 6-12 so we flew the mizzen staysail. We call it Frenchie because it's the French flag colors, Red, White, and blue. We saw thousands of birds today. Lots of sea gulls, windsheres, and one that looks like a gannet without the yellow. A pod of dolphins came by after lunch to entertain us for a while. There must have been 10-12 of them jumping and playing in the waves and our bow wake. The winds died to 0-2 kts by 1500 so we had to motor. We rounded Cape Vincent at 1700. What a spectacular sight. Steep cliffs of multicolored rock and sand with a lighthouse towering on the headland. We traveled another 4 nm to a lovely anchorage. The wind is howling 20 kts now that we are anchored for the night. If it quiets down we may put the dingy motor on to see how well it works and go ashore

Love Sally and Al

August 27, 2006

Hello all, Al and I woke up at 0600 to quiet harbor and no wind. We decided to get an early start. So we hauled out of bed an went out to the fuel dock to fill and checkout. So much for 24 hour serviced, they didn't open until 0900. So we went back to bed. We took on about 200 liters our first since Kinsale, Ireland. We left Cascais at 0945. We had NE winds then N for the 51 nm down to Sines, Portugal. It was a gorgeous sunny day. Saw a big dolphin. About half way there the autopilot quit working. Always something. The trouble shooting said to first check the electrical connections so hopefully... We had showers and made pork chops for dinner. We met some nice people from Cambridge England, Andy and Sally (OJO). A beautiful little silver slipper of a moon over the harbor entrance...We plan to leave early in the morning for Lagos.

Love Sally and Al

August 26, 2006

Hello all, We slept in and decided to leave Cascais tomorrow. It was blowing 34 kts in the marina at 0800 and we didn't think it would be too fun to try and back out of this slip. We walked up to Mar do Inferno while it was still cool out. It's a much larger scale caves at Devil's Island in the Apostles. Then we found a lovely park that appeared to be part of a Count's estate. The Count's house is now a public museum. We could see parts of it but it was closed for the lunch hour. We did get into the Museum de Mar which showed the history of the sailing and fishing community of Cascais. They had neat models of boats, fish, people, and told the history both in Portuguese and English. The park and wonderful walking paths, fountains, a stream, mini zoo, kids play area and a cafe. Al and I ate lunch with peacocks, ducks, and cats milling about our legs. We walked around the citadel but were unable to visit as it was closed to the public today. They're having a celebration for the sailing tea ms (Quebarmar-Chrysler Races) tonight inside the citadel. We walked up into the old part of Cascais, walking neat, narrow, winding, cobblestone streets. They make many different patterns in the stone. Suddenly we were back at the park we were in earlier. We came back to the boat and rested for a while then made preparations to leave tomorrow. Our next stop is 51 nm away at Sines.

Love Sally and Al

August 25, 2006

Hello all, We brought to completion many of the projects we started yesterday. The main engine now has a new Balmar 60 alternator, the genset is working (knock on wood), the Mercury 15 hp is now idling correctly and I got a load of laundry done. Happy Birthday Sally. No we did celebrate with a lovely birthday dinner with our friends Pam and Steve. The late night made us decide to stay put another day. We have places we haven't visited here yet and a few more projects. The wind has been howling for three days. It starts early afternoon and blows right through the night. We've seen 32 kts in the marina and our friends at anchor hit 40 kts. Al used his new Sail-Rite sewing machine to stitch Steve's main sail and we mended our staysail bag so we can hank that sail back onto the inner forestay. There's a big Quebarmar-Chrysler sailboat race in progress this weekend. They sure have the winds for it. Imagine making your turn and setting a spinnaker in 30 + kts of wind.

Love Sally and Al

August 24, 2006

Hello all, Today was projects day. We had a mechanic on board to look at the genset. He insisted it was the solenoid which we had as a spare on board. We had him install it an we still have the same problem. To add salt to the wound, Al thinks he installed the part wrong. Another mechanic will be back tomorrow. We put a bigger alternator on the main engine to help the refrigeration run when we are motoring. We had the part with us just hadn't had time to do it. We marked our anchor chain at 50, 100, 150 ft intervals. Another project we've put off and cleaned the anchor locker. We mended the staysail. It chafed on the windlass during the Atlantic crossing as it hung in it's sailbag. The deck is now clear of extra sails, canvas and fishing poles. The V Berth has become a temporary storage area. I'm thinking of all of my teacher friends getting their classroom ready for a new school year. It seems strange not to be stressing over being ready in time for Open House next Thursday. A French boat pulled in next to us today with a one year old little girl and a three year old son. They have the entire deck netted in like a giant play pen. It remind me of when we started sailing. Chris was just 8 months old, Pat four, and Justin five. I plan to make some chicken for supper tonight. I miss my grill that is laying at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean somewhere in vicinity of the Bay of Biscay.

Love Sally and Al [top]

August 23, 2006

Hello all, I woke to Happy Anniversary Wife! 31 years with the same old broad. We took the express bus into Lisbon to the airport with Pat and Nicci. We got them checked through about 1300 and went to have lunch. It was tears and a sad moment as we saw them off. January seems a long ways away today. We had to be back for an appointment with the genset guy so we didn't visit Lisbon today. As one might expect in Portugal the mechanic didn't show. Tomorrow at 0930 we've been told. I finished Book 6 of the Harry Potter series so more tears. Not a very Happy Anniversary so far. Al and I've decided to celebrate our anniversary and my birthday on Friday. Our friends Steve and Pam will join us. Pam's birthday is Friday too. So we'll be in Cascais for a few more days. We have some boat work to do tomorrow and some exploring planned. Hopefully Pat and Nicci arrived in Madrid around 1830 and are happily enjoying their new hotel complete with pool. They have tomorrow in Madrid and then fly home on Friday very early 0615.

Love Sally and Al [top]

August 22, 2006

Hello all, We had another gorgeous day in paradise Cascais. Paradise is the world in which you don't work, the weather is perfect, and you are on an adventure. We made plans to have someone look at the genset tomorrow morning and ordered a part for the dingy motor.We walked Pat and Nicci up to the beach. Then Al and I went grocery shopping at an air conditioned three story mall. We went back to the boat and put our swim suits on and joined Pat and Nicci at the beach. The water was cold but preferable to the hot, hot, air that hung over Cascais. Cascais is a clean, very nice city. The streets are all made of stone and the sidewalks are wide and of stone too. We stopped and had a couple of beers and then went back to the boat. I made pot roast, potatoes, and carrots (Patrick's request). It cooled off to a pleasant evening. The kids are below packing their suitcases. How can that be it seems like they just arrived. Al and I will be on our own for the first time since Minnesota.

Love Sally and Al [top]

August 21, 2006

Hi all, We left Nazare at 0740 for Cascais, Portugal 64 nm down the coast. It was another sunny beautiful day. We had light winds so only motored until 1100. The dolphins came to play two different times but didn't stay long. Pulled out the jib and put up the mizzen 15-18 kts of wind. We arrived at Cascais at 1800 and checked in. We finally docked at 1900. It's a beautiful city from what we've seen. Lots of plazas and beautifully layed stone walks. The buildings are old and ornate. The citadel sit just above the marina. Everything is much cleaner than northern Portugal. Our friends Steve and Pam from Knoxville greeted us when we arrived. Pam and I share a birthday so we plan to do something later in the week together. We walked into town a ways and had dinner outside, stopped for ice cream on our way back to the marina. Time for bed it's been a long day for Al and I. The sailing, fresh air and sun can do you in.

Love Sally and Al [top]

August 20, 2006

Hi all, We had a beautiful sunny trip 37 nm down to Nazare Marina, Portugal. The winds were NE 15-20 and the seas NW 2.0. So it was a nice down wind sail with jib and mizzen/motor. Pat tried a patch last night but took it off this morning as it caused him to be dizzy. He did fine with today's motion of the boat. Nicci slept most of the way. Actually she's on Minnesota time she would still be sleeping. We arrived at Nazare about 1430 with 25 kts of wind. We were motioned in to raft another boat. The fenders were smushing flat from the pressure of the wind on Artemis. We checked in then walked the 2km into town. What a gorgeous, colorful beach, full of people and umbrellas! Pat and Nicci had ham/cheese sandwiches and fries to hold them over until after our excursion. We walked and browsed the shops and markets. Every few feet Portuguese women are selling nuts, and salty things. They usually are wearing a scarf, blouse of one pattern and a skirt of another. Ice cream is everywhere to o. We had scoops of real ice cream instead of soft whip. There were a number of drying racks, drying fish along the beach and fishmonger's selling them to people passing by. We rode the funicular (a sort of tram) that took you over 600 feet up to the old town of Nazare. What a view! Pat got a lot of beautiful pictures. We visited the church of Nazare built 1377, definitely one of, the oldest church we've visited so far. We walked for over 4 hours and it was worth every minute. Tomorrow we plan to go 60 nm to Marina de Cascais (about 20 min. metro to Lisbon)

Love Sally and Al [top]

August 19, 2006

Hi all, We had a beautiful day in Figuiera da Foz. Pat and Nicci walked over to the beach and Al and I went grocery shopping. Grocery shopping is a major ordeal when you are cruising. First you have to walk and locate a market, shop, haul it walking back to the boat and then storing it. Often you need to go several places to get all that you need. I did buy a little basket cart to take the place of Michael's help hauling. We had an Farmer's Market a few blocks from the boat and were able to get most of what we needed. We headed down the street to find a super market for everything else and found a place for me to get a haircut. The girl who washes hair took Al a block away where he could get his hair cut too. We went back to the boat and regrouped with Pat and Nicci. We went to lunch (supper) at the marina cafe/restaurant. It was very good and a lot to eat. I had sea bass, Pat and Al had steak, and Nicci grazed from everything served. We had large shrimp, olives, bread, french fries, potatoes, rice, black beans, salad, and broccoli.

After lunch Pat and Nicci headed for the Farmer's Market and Al and I found a grocery store about half a mile away. We all went down to the ocean and walked the beach. Pat tried to get in but not quite that brave. Brrrrrrr..... We walked the breakwall then back to the boat. We visited with Mike and Carol from England "Tyrant" then had a light supper after such a huge lunch. Bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwiches. We finished watching "The March of the Penguins".

Love Sally and Al [top]

August 18, 2006

Hi all, We tearfully saw Michael off to the metro at 0830. Hopefully he is safe and sound in his hotel in Madrid as I write this evening. Al and had a beautiful motor sail down the coast. Pat and Nicci didn't do to well they both got seasick within the first half hour. So for them it was a long, long day. We left Povoa de Varzim at 0850 and traveled 74nm down Portugal coast to Figueira da Foz. The winds were west and the seas were rocking and rolling the boat. Pat and Nicci went below and went to sleep. We got a few sprinkles then it cleared to a bright sunny day. About 1400 the wind moved more out of the SW. We had up jib and mizzen but used the motor too. As we wanted to arrive before dark and we knew Pat and Nicci would be happier ashore. We traveled within 2-3 miles of shore so we enjoyed the beautiful beaches the whole way down. We reached way point at about 2015 but didn't get registered and into our slip until 2115. So it was still a long day. Met Gavin as he helped us land our boat. Scott-Free a Contest 43 on his way home from an around the world cruise. What are the chances...he passed the Twin Tower 2 days before 911 and he was at anchor in Pukket when the Tsunami hit. He suggested we not follow him. No problem we're heading south and he's heading north.

Love Sally and Al [top]

August 17, 2006

Hi It rained early but cleared up before we got up this morning. Pat, Nicci, Al, and I took the train into Porto to sightsee. Mike stayed behind to get things organized to leave tomorrow. We walked and took lots of pictures. We had lunch along the river then visited Taylor's Vineyard. They had a nice tour explaining their Port wine. We learned about vintage ports and the differences between white, tawny, and ruby ports. It was quite interesting. We were given a free sample of the port available for sale this year. We caught the express Metro back to Povoa de Varzim. Mike had chicken stirfry all ready to go. What a guy! We plan to head about 70 miles down the coast tomorrow.

Love Sally and Al [top]

August 16, 2006

Hi We woke up to rain today...real rain. It actually rained most of the day. We just didn't know what to think or do with ourselves. This was a first for us to be totally rained out. How depressing. Mike was so depressed he made his reservations to go home. He takes the train to Porto and Lisbon on Friday. Then he'll catch a flight to Madrid. He flies out of Madrid on Iberia Airlines on Saturday at 1205 through Chicago. Then on to Minneapolis on Iberia Airlines at 4:30 and arrives in Mpls at 6:23. We are going to miss our sailing, traveling partner. Mike's a great guy to have aboard. He cooks and does dishes too! We caught a ride with the marina manager up for lunch. He felt sorry for us walking in the rain. Pat, Nicci, and I walked around town and shopped a little while Al and Mike went back to the boat. We were inside the marina before it rained again for real...but we were soaked before we could get back on board. I made chicken fajitahs for dinner and then we watched a movi e (our first for the trip) Meet the Fokkers.

Love Sally and Al [top]

August 15, 2006

Hi We slept in this morning after such a late night coming form Porto. We had an early morning call at 0800, 15 minutes of fireworks at sunrise to announce the Assumption of Mary. But we managed to all doze off again. Mike, Al, and I all got up by 0930 but Pat and Nicci managed to sleep until 1100.

After lunch and a shower we went to the old section of town to see the completion of the flower mosaics paving the way for the procession later in the day. We walked and visited the beach. We were back at the church by 1600 to watch as the procession left the church. All five floats many priests, bishop...The Portuguese women hung fancy white tablecloths or shawls from their windows to be blessed as the procession passed by. This brings their families peace and happiness for the coming year. It was quite a production two hours later it ended with 15 minutes of cannons shooting fireworks to mark the end of the procession. We had a couple of beers and I made spaghetti for dinner. It gets quite chilly on the water in the afternoon and early evening until the wind dies down. Patrick updated the website and we were able to read our guest book and emails. Thank you!

Love Sally, Al, and Mike [top]

August 14, 2006

Hi We straightened up the boat and changed sheets in preparation for Pat and Nicci's arrival. After showers we took the metro (subway) the hour trip into Porto. Porto is the second largest city of Portugal. The trains are new and everything about metro system is crisp and clean. (No eating, drinking, and for heavens sake no feet on the seats!) Guards would board and leave the cars at various stations so everything was orderly and safe. Just outside of Povoa de Varzim we passed beautifully preserved aqueducts built during the Romans time. Later when we came home to Artemis they were lit beautifully. They stretch for miles and crossed the track.

We exited the metro in the financial area. The architecture was unbelievable. Every building is ornate. Walking tours were arranged according to Medieval, Baroque, Neo-Classical, and Tiles. Once again we walked our little feet off up and down steep streets leading to the river(Rio Doure). We had a nice lunch in the financial area before we headed off on our tours. Mainly we were checking out where things were so we could come back with the kids. Pat and Nicci called from Lisbon at 1630 and let us know they would not make the original train connection but would catch another train. We told them we were waiting for them in Porto and to call when they knew which train. Well long story short, Nicci thought we meant the train station in Povoa de Varzim and they never had time before boarding the train to call us back. We met trains starting at 1905 until 2335 (6 Lisbon trains) before they called us from our marina. Somehow they got by us at the station. Evidently this old relic of a train that we watched pull in on track one as we met the one on track 5 was their train. It wasn't listed on the board as they arrived at the same time. They had met a young man from here who helped them get onto the metro and find the marina. Between train arrivals we went to a snack bar (cafeteria) across the street and ordered a hamburger... arrived with hamburger, fried egg, ham, cheese, lettuce and tomato, and a beer.

We caught the 2355 train from Porto back to Povoa de Varzim. We arrived at 0100 to find the neighborhoods busily preparing for the Feast of the Assumption. They were decorating the pavement down the middle of the streets. An ornate framework was placed down continuously down the middle and they proceeded to fill in mosaic style with flower petals, grass clippings... absolutely beautiful. Some were floral patterns, simple designs and one end of the street had a mosaic of Mary and baby Jesus. Each block a new group of people would be decorating their street. We believe this will be the procession route during the afternoon festivities. We found Pat and Nicci safe and sound aboard Artemis.

Love Sally, Al, and Mike [top]

August 13, 2006

Hi It's festival time in Povoa de Varzim for the Assumption of Mary. We went to 0930 kids guitar mass this morning. Most of the pews have been removed to hold five huge procession statues. It was elbow to elbow standing room. And oh look out some of those Portuguese Grandmas were pretty stern and fierce looking. One old lady in black whacked Mike on the shoulder and grabbed his hand at the Our Father. No smiles. At the kiss of peace we got a kiss on each cheek from everyone except Michael's old lady didn't kiss him. We sang "I am the Bread of Life" for communion. Al and I sang along in English, Mike claims he sang it in fluent Portuguese. We missed communion because no one in the last pews or standing in the back went forward for communion and suddenly Father was done and returned to the alter. I guess we were suppose to elbow our way through the crowd. We wanted to go to breakfast after mass and ended up ordering a toasted ham and cheese sandwich and ice cream. It was good but not exactly what we thought we were getting. We walked around town and visited a flea market. Steve and Pam came over for a visit to talk cruising... Guys did some more varnishing and I put a roast on for dinner. We had cocktails with Ian and Meg the couple from Scotland on their boat. After dinner we walked through town and stopped for coffee with Steve and Pam from Knoxville, TN. Time for bed as the festivities continue, music above the harbor.

Love Sally, Al, and Mike [top]

August 12, 2006

Hi We spent the morning varnishing and I did some laundry by hand. After showers we walked through town. We visited the subway and the tourist agency. We got information for meeting the kids in Porto and places to see in Povoa de Varzim. We found the supermarket and hauled our goods back to the boat. I sure miss my set of luggage wheels. I left them in NY in my Dad's car :( We bought some big jumbo shrimp that Al prepared and Mike cooked for dinner. We are invited for wine with Steve and Pam on "Eirene" from Knoxville, TN. The wind is blowing in mid 30's in the harbor. I actually put on a fleece cuz I was cold.

Love Sally, Al, and Mike [top]

August 11, 2006

Hi All, The weather appears to always be the same, beautiful. We said good-bye to Binkie, English chap who is the guitar technician for the band "The Who". Mike spent quite a bit of time with Binkie over the couple of days we were in Viana de Castelo. We put on some more varnish and then left about 1130 for Povoa de Varzim about 20 nm away. No wind so we motored along the beautiful, sandy shore keeping a close watch on fish bouys. We saw two fires along the way. It's very dry here in Portugal too. We arrived at Povoa de Varzim at 1530. People next to us are from Scotland and another couple from Knoxville, TN. So we've had some people to speak English to. We took a walk in to the city after dinner. We'll have to really explore tomorrow. Pat and Nicci fly to Madrid tonight and will join us on Monday. Hey who's posting the log?

Love Sally, Al, and Mike [top]

August 10, 2006

Hi Everyone, Another beautiful day in Viana de Castelo. We put some more varnish on and got the 15 hp engine running today. It gets really hot in the afternoons. We took the dingy out of the river to the ocean beach this afternoon. The water is Lake Superior cold and the breeze is marvelous. The beaches are white and big. Lots of people para-sailing on surf boards. It looks like it's not as easy as it looks. Some hot dogs get air and do 360's or flips. We walked up to the square again. Visited some shops. Went to a butcher shop and got some roast beef. Then we went back to the boat to chill out. Made some pork chops and asparagus for dinner. We plan to head for Povoa de Varzim about 20 miles tomorrow. It's a small fishing village with farming. So we expect a much smaller marina.

Love Sally, Al, and Mike [top]

August 9, 2006

Hi Everyone, We moved off of the gas dock into a slip today at Viana do Castelo. Al and Mike did some varnishing and played with trying to fix the genet. We finally said, forget it and took showers. Al and I walked for 2 hours up roads to find Tempo-Monumento de Santa Luzia. It stands majestically high above the city. It was built in the early 1900's. The view was spectacular. We had an ice cream and walked the 650 steps this time back down to the city square. We found Michael along the way and directed him to the steps. He made it in time to celebrate daily mass at 1600. Al and I spent an hour buying a Portuguese sims card for the phone. Hmmm... Then we found a supermarket to buy a few things and some beer. It was a long painful (plastic grocery bags) back to the boat. We stopped in the Public Gardens and enjoyed a cold one before heading back to the boat. Mike met up with us again as we walked into the marina.

Love Sally, Al, and Mike [top]

August 8, 2006

Hi Everyone, We were up at 0800 thinking we were taking off but the laundry wasn't ready until 1000. We finally left the Baiona Marina about 1100 headed for Viana do Castelo, Portugal. It's located on the Rio Lima, again we are in a downtown area. We motored the 26 miles to Viana do Castelo as there was no wind. I'm almost done with book 5 of Harry Potter. I only have time to read when we are underway. We arrived about 1630 but had to wait for a ship under tow coming out before we headed up the river to the harbor. Huge sandy beaches along the ocean front and along the river. Tons of people para-sailing (surfboard towed by a small parachute flying above them)and wind surfers greeted us as we entered the river. Crazy, they were everywhere and they'd fly right up along side the ship and across our path.

We tied up to the gas dock and cleared customs. We decided to fix fajitas and eat early so we could go explore the town. The public gardens are above the marina and a Nature Reserve nearby. There are discos nearby open until 0500 so we expect to fall asleep to music tonight. We walked for two hours. The Public Gardens is a stone with flowers and tree canopy that goes for at least 2 miles, fountains, statues... Then we walked up away from the river to the city center. Many small streets lead to the town square. We found some jazz musicians the leader on trumpet from NY, young violinist from California, bass violin, Russian, electric piano, Russian, and drummer was from Japan. They were only warming up checking sound equipment at 2000. They play for real at 2200 and Mike's going to go back up and listen for a while. Al and I are bushed we were awake at 0500 and it's an hour earlier here. We are definitely spending another day here. Everywhere you look is an artists dream. The architecture is fantastic.

Love Sally, Al, and Mike [top]

August 7, 2006

Hola, We had a very enjoyable evening with Danielle and John from Halifax. They left today for Portugal. We went to a lovely restaurant away from the crowds of main street on a little side street. The tables are set up on the side walk but the streets are so narrow you need to be mindful of your elbows as a car may drive by or a grandmother with a baby carriage. We had octopus in cayenne pepper yum spicy hot and razor clams in butter and garlic, a salad. Al and Mike had my favorite,e sirloin with peppercorn sauce, Danielle and I order skewer of sirloin, chicken, veal, and vegetables, and John had a barbecue leg of lamb. We had a couple of bottles of wine and everyone had dessert. All for under 30.00 Euro's a person. We got back to the boat at 1330. It's a whole different life style in Spain. Whole families, young and old are out in the evening very late.

We woke up at 1000 and had coffee in the cockpit. I did some laundry by hand to hang on the life lines. Other things I took to the laundry. We washed down all the saltwater from the rugs and hung them to dry. I made pancakes and ham for breakfast at noon! Then we went up to the internet cafe. I enjoyed reading messages from some of my students, friends and family. We made some phone calls home. Then we went grocery shopping. The fruit and vegetables are wonderful! We took everything back to the boat.

It was time to finally visit the Pinta (as in the Nina, the Pinta, and Santa Maria). Baonia has a replica of the Pinta in the harbor. It a museum and costs 1 Euro to go aboard. The Pinta set sail from here to join Christopher Columbus and sail to the New World. We went shopping and bought a cell phone unfortunately everything is in Spanish and we are finding it difficult to use it. Hmmm...

We then took a hike up a high hill to the Blessed Virgin in the Rock. It was built using granite in 1930. It is 15 meters high and portrays the Blessed Virgin carrying a boat in her right hand. There is a stone spir al staircase inside the statue which you can climb up and look out by her head. Her face and hands are made of marble. We came back and had post time and Mike was our gourmet chef this evening. He made a lovely beef stir fry from all those fantastic fresh vegetables we bought today.

Love Sally, Al, and Mike [top]

August 6, 2006

Hola, Another beautiful day in Baiona (Bayona). The wind was from the wrong direction this morning and we could smell the forest fires. They have had no rain in six months. But by the time we got up the wind switched and we had a pleasant time drinking coffee in the cockpit. We had a nice visit with John and Danielle from Halifax and made plans to have dinner with them at 2100. We walked up to church, mass was at 1300. They sing the Celtic alleluia so we did participate vocally at one point. The Blessed Virgin Mary is very prominent in Spain and you see beautiful flowers surrounding a very Spanish looking Mary. The church was built in the early 1700 and no where do you see a name for the church. We walked the narrow streets, side streets for a while. We tried to make phone calls but our phone cards wouldn't work. We plan to visit an internet cafe tomorrow and look on line for the codes we need to make our cards work. Al and I are hoping to buy a cell phone but haven't found a shop yet.

We walked up and took a walking tour (1 and half hours) of the Monterreal Fort. The site has been know for over 2000 years. The walls date from the 9th to 17th century. The panoramic views of the city, the ocean, and the surrounding islands was spectacular from the forts walls. We have seen in Baiona and have been told this is true of all Spain, the downtowns of cities belong to the families. You see old people, children and parents, young couples, and teenagers all mingling together in the evening on the city sidewalks on ocean walks. There is no place for crime where you see this mixture of people possessing their city. People seem to eat big meals at 1300 to 1400 and again at 2100. The restaurants are empty but if you are not seated by 2030 or have a reservation you may be turned away. Baiona has many restaurants most of which have outdoor seating. Most restaurants have the same menu. Seafood is the predominant menu item. John and Danielle want meat tonight as they a re leaving tomorrow and have tasted many seafood items already. So we plan to eat seafood another day. The days are hot but the breeze from the ocean makes it comfortable. The beaches too are crowded during the day. By bedtime you need blankets to keep you warm as you sleep. Oh and my toe nails look beautiful as Al put polish on for me yesterday. Mike kept threatening to take pictures.

Love Sally, Al, and Mike [top]

Spain | Bayona |Baiona Sports Harbor

August 5, 2006

Hi all, Oh we slept so well. It's extremely hot(85 degrees and dry) during the day but the nights cool down beautifully for wonderful sleeping weather. The Irish would be dying if it's over 70, it's too hot. We did our after ocean crossing clean up today. We washed all foul weather gear, boots, jack lines, harnesses, tethers, weather cloths, cushions, the entire exterior gets a fresh water washdown. I was busy below reorganizing and airing lockers, cupboards, etc. Everything looks neat, orderly and like home. We fixed odds and ends. Finally took showers about 1530. Mike came back with gin and tonics so we are sitting in the cockpit enjoying and watching the rowing club races go by. Rowing clubs are really big in Ireland too. The bay has airplanes scooping up water for the forest fires. There's sailboats, jet skis, motor boats everywhere. We're in a beautiful marina over looking beautiful beaches, fort and city. The transit dock has people from all over Europe. We've met a couple from Halifax and plan to go to mass with them and then to dinner. Danielle is a music teacher and John is a computer analyst.

There is a replica of the Pinta in the harbor which left from here for it's voyage to the New World and we plan to visit it tomorrow. The festival is lively and will probably draw us for a visit after dinner. We plan to make phone calls tomorrow. Gee it's fun to be cruising! Oops change of plans. We were off by an hour for church, oops. So we didn't meet Danielle and John we'll try again tomorrow. Alfredo, stopped by to visit our boat. He came from the Yacht Club evidently we are staying in the new (3 year old) harbor. We walked over to the Yacht Club with him. We met his wife Margarita and one of his sons, daughter-in law, and two grandchildren. We had a very enjoyable evening talking with them. I applaud their willingness to use the English language. Alfredo (80) spoke English very well and owned, a boat yard in Vigo, his lovely wife Margarita communicated very well considering she hadn't used English in forty years. The daughter-in law and son spoke English very well too. We walked through streams of families and small children, teenagers...Everyone was coming down to the waterfront to watch the fireworks. Fireworks...the US doesn't know how to do a proper display. We were back to the boat by 2330 just in time for the fireworks to begin. It was unbelievably, beautiful and echoing off the hills and mountains. Hey kids mom and dad are still up and it's 0100. (No we are not on watch duty).

Love Sally, Al, and Mike [top]

August 4, 2006

Hi all, We had another restless night. The winds picked up NE 25-40 kts all night. Al and Mike took watch together at 2200. There was a constant procession of ships and fishing boats all night. We did get a message on SSB to check in with our lat/long, boat speed, and heading. So at least we were a blip on the board so vessels knew we were out there in those wild seas. Al went down at 0400 but the boat was not condusive to sleep. You were just lucky to be lying down, eyes closed, and being warm and dry. Mike hung in there until 0900. Al and I joined him for our early morning dolphin show. They hung around for at least a half an hour. It turned into a beautiful, sunny day with good sailing winds most of the day. After lunch we tried to put the boat back in order. I washed the the salt off of the interior teak walls, doors, and floor. Mike and Al straightened up the deck and cockpit.

The approach to Bayona (Baiona) is marked by uninhabitable, high rock islands. Off in the distance we saw what appeared to be a volcano shooting off black smoke high into the air. We tied up into a slip at 1600. Baiona Sport Harbour is 39.02 Euro's a day but tomorrow we plan to look into a mooring or just anchoring in the anchorage. The website for Baiona Sport Harbour is if anyone wants to see where we are. It's quite a large, new facility. The harbor master gave us a map and info for the area. I plan to visit the tourist agency across the street tomorrow to see what we want to see. I also want a Spanish phrase book, check out the laundry, and buy a newer Cruising Guide for Portugal. Pat and Nicci are flying to Madrid Aug. 11 and plan to join us Aug. 12 so we need to decide soon where we will be. We are very glad to be here and may still be here when they arrive. We met a guy from LA and he told us about a big fiesta happening right on our beach starting tonight. He also said if we're Catholic we simply can not miss making a pilgrimage to Santiago about an hour away. So now it's time to play. No more long passages until next summer.

Love Sally, Al, and Mike [top]

August 3, 2006

Hi all, We motored last night staring about 1730 until 0900 this morning. We needed to charge up batteries and run the refrigerator anyhow. The genset is still a mystery. It's not a top priority when the boat is lurching or rocking and rolling. The watch was misty, drizzly and no dolphins with the engine running. Today is a beautiful, sunny day. We took cockpit showers. Yes with all that hot water we made running the engine. It's a downwind sail 10-15 kts with just the jib flying. We've seen a lot more ship travel today so we'll need to keep a closer watch tonight. It feels good to be clean and to have the sun in your face. I'm making pork tenderloin, potatoes, yellow squash, zucchini with parmigiana cheese and tossed salad tonight. Good food is important to keep the crews spirits up. Thank God I feel back to 100%. We hope to reach Bayona by noon tomorrow. It'll feel good to have that last long passage out of the way until next year.

Love Sally, Al, and Mike [top]

August 2, 2006

Hi all, I feel a lot better today but Al still feels seasick and Mike so-so. On my watch last night I was entertained by several large pods of dolphins. The first ones arriving about 2100. They played with Mike on the bow for about 20 minutes and then took off. About 2200 the next group arrived. The best was about 2330. Now it was completely dark and the phosphorescence (iridescent micro-organism in the water)was spectacular. The spray off the boat was like black light and sparkles were everywhere. Suddenly iridescent torpedoes came zooming up behind the boat. Another large pod of dolphins had arrived to play. You could see their every move because of the phosphorescence on their bodies. I went to bed after that and Mike said he'd stay on until Al came on. He got Al up about 0200. Al got me up at 0630. It rained the first hour and blew about 25 kts then it just settled into a misty, foggy morning. A lone baby dolphin came to play when I first got up. I figure he was practicing his b ow play without all the wild competition of the rest of the pod. Mike got up about 0930 and made coffee. I figure that's why I had a headache, no caffeine on Tues. I gradually felt better as the morning progressed. I made Mike some cereal but only ate an apple. By lunch time I warmed up last nights roast and was able to eat a sandwich. Yahoo! Al got up about 1330 still not up to par. The genset is acting up so the freezer is thawing. We haven't been able to run it for a few days. We don't want to start the main engine but may need too. The sun came out in the afternoon, very pleasant. Mike worked on the genset got it to start but won't keep running. He went for a nap. I'm making chicken catitorie for dinner. We are more than halfway to Bayona or La Coruna.

Love Sally, Al, and Mike


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