Wednesday, April 04, 2007

The end of the Algarve

yacht Kalessin of OrwellWe’re in previously unexplored territory (for us) – Vila Real de Santo Antonio, at the very eastern end of the Algarve. Over the river is Ayamonte, which is in Spain. Vila Real is a nice but ordinary Portuguese town, full of shops selling towels and at this time of year, not very full of tourists. It’s more like some of the places we went last year, Viana do Castelo or Sines, perhaps, than the fleshpots of the Algarve like Vilamoura or Albufeira. It was rebuilt on a grid pattern following the great Portuguese earthquake of 1755, and the town square is full of orange trees which are laden with exquisitely scented blossom – and oranges.

We’ve had two very good days’ sailing so far, with winds more or less from the west, and we’ve covered about 77 miles. Yesterday we got caught in a couple of squalls, one very thundery, which is always a bit scary, and both of them very wet. Thank goodness, as Sam said, for Mr Musto (who made our wonderful, expensive, Gore-Tex waterproofs). Still, with the wind not quite astern of us, at one point we were making over 7 knots over the ground. And for most of the rest of the time the skies have been blue and the sun moderately warm.

The log, which measures our speed through the water, seems to be a bit choked up and is reading about 20% slower than the GPS. And the wind indicator is indicating that the wind is about 20 degrees further west than it actually is.

However, the worst thing that has happened so far is when Guy complained the carpet on the floor in the aft cabin smelled of diesel. This piece of carpet, which was cut to size for us by a nice man in Eye, has had a hard time. It got soaked in poo when the holding tank leaked last June, it picked up diesel when the exhaust hose leaked in July, but we thought we’d finally got it clean. However, it transpired that the diesel filter had expired and filled the bilges with nice fresh diesel for us. The carpet has gone to the rubbish bins and Sam spent this morning fitting a new filter. It’s a good thing we’d allowed for a day’s break here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Nice blog , we did the same last year in a 25 foot vertue , boat is currently in torrivieca ( ok cant spell) and we are taking it to ibiza and majorce over the next couple of weeks , our story only as far as Cadiz can be seen on the owners site www.vertueowners.org.uk then click voyages then simo and that is us , take care

michael & jackie