Winter 2007-08 in Marina de Lagos.
Being our second winter here in Marina de Lagos it does feel like home.
This year we found our originally allocated berth to be occupied so the marina gave us the inside berth on the hammer-head. It's huge, 2.5m wide and 10m long, like one of Alan Titchmarsh's decking creations but with a pond he can only dream about.
Other friends and reprobates from last year include; Khamsin, Toujours, Tummler, Gretel, Reeve, Amy Rose, Seline, Mirabel II, Annecy, and I'm sure many others who will, no doubt, take me to task for missing them from this list.
This winter the weather has been wetter and cooler, even so, rarely have we needed other than shorts and tee-shirts.
The walking club has been another success this year with far more people taking the initiative and organising walks for others. This is a real way of increasing the variety of walks tho the older members can rely on last years walks if all else fails. Amongst the new ones was a coastal walk fancied by Chip of Toujours. He asked Janet and I, and Gavin and Cath of Blue Elephant to trial it with him. It was from Selema to Sagres, some 22 km so not likely to be overly taxing.
On the day at least an inch of rain fell during the night so all streams were in spate, some knee deep and very swiftly flowing. And being the quieter western end of the Algarve the paths were not as well walked so less well developed. This meant regularly cresting a rise to find only sea and sky in front as the path had long since escaped to sea. It was knackering and, as it took 7 hours of walking, we decided it was not a candidate for the general walking group. The photo is of a fording session a few weeks later; easy stuff.
Another Toujours initiative was the Computer Users Meeting (CUM). Normally, with people of our age, computers are little understood so difficult to configure and correct from problem situations. One week early in November I spent 4 full days fixing computers and enabling WiFi connections. This resulted in Janet outlawing my working on PC's earlier than 1700 each evening.
The CUM on a Tuesday morning was therefore ideal as PC's, problems and tuition in general could take place at one weekly session. WiFi config was the number one problem, new applications second, then new PC's, Vista, email and so on. So successful is the CUM that we now get attendees from the caravan park.
Throughout the winter Lagos has provided us with string of entertainment opportunities. We regularly visit the Cultural Centre to see and hear a variety of bands and orchestras, and often these visits are free. Sporting events such as International roller blade skating, Tour of the Algarve cycling, are annual events and we enjoyed them once again. The marina offers "9 events in 9 months" so each month we have an enjoyable day's outing. Events this year have been; visit to a vineyard, nautical symposium, boat jumble, regatta and the folowing:
The Caravel Esperanto is Algarve Tourist board owned and only used to promote the Algarve at major venues during peak season, so it was particularly exciting when the marina offered us a day sail on her. The trip was doubly subscribed to we had sails on two successive days. Insurance says no sailing in winds above F4 and no sailing on a port tack due to needing to loosen the rigging to tack the massive booms. One amusing note, therefore. Esperanto left Lagos a few years ago, naturally on a starboard tack and reached Brazil before being able to turn back to the NE some weeks later. Still on starboard tack of course. That's what the Cap'n said anyway and the boat has been to Brazil.
One thorn in our otherwise comfortable side has been the lack of reliable WiFi. The marina ceased to support the Hot Spot Portugal facility from about Oct 07 and decided to provide a new and free service. The downside to this splendid decision was that, as I write this in Mar 08, no date is available for the new system.
Coincidentally, we were again asked to crew for a yacht-master exam, but this year we had wind, lots of wind. Richard on Mirabel II had decided to get his ticket thus giving me a chance of some mid week crewing on Mirabel II with Rob from ru sailing The practices were great fun even the 20th MOB of the day always had something different to it. I guess that was Rob's teaching skills coming to the fore. On the day we had a 4m sea and a wind gusting F7. Once at sea the MOB went over, completely lost in the waves; Peter and I were mid way thro reefing the main, but it mattered not. We all responded to calls from Richard and within a short space of time the MOB was aboard. The examiner later commented that we were a good crew, little realising our earlier reefing was self preservation. Later in the day, with only a scrap of headsail up and us all fully harnessed, we surfed into the channel with a new yacht-master on board. Well done Richard.
The last walk of this winter season was to a local restaurant in Torre. The attendees, pictured here, had a leisurly 4km walk to the restaurant and then a superb lunch. Our table of 8 had trouble finishing the plentiful dishes presented. Excellent, good choice of venue Lynda.
We lifted out on 4th April for one week for routine stuff; cleaning, antifouling, anodes etc. We relaunched on a gusty morning and luckily sustained no damage. Other were less lucky, one yacht was dismasted in the hoist.
On our last day Roy & Lorraine invited us, together with Tony & Joyce of Reeve, for lunch aboard Amy Rose. Then we had evening drinks on Nokomis with Eric and Wiggy, and with Vic and Linda from Gretal. Thank you all, we really enjoyed ourselves. What a brill' day, one we'll not forget.