Hooray, we finally have Internet!
Saturday 13th June
We enjoyed Tuesday and Wednesday night at anchor, it was extremely peaceful. Despite being under the flight path for Faro airport, the frequent passing of the local ferry service and all the fishing boats zooming around, it was still somehow quiet. We enjoyed not having to deal with the marina authorities, not having the pressure of parking and really liked being 50m rather than 5ft from the nearest boat. All with the added bonus of being free.
We anchored in a channel, cutting through the wetlands south of Faro and Olhao, off the small island of Culatura. Culatura is little more than a sand bank and there seemed to be more tiny fishing boats in its harbour than houses in the village, I think we can guess the main source of income on the Island. There were a couple of restaurants serving excellent fish, of course, catering for the locals, the few anchored yachtsmen and a dribble of tourists arriving on the ferrys from Faro to enjoy the beaches on its southern shore.
There were no cars, the roads were made of sand and the pavements were wooden board walks. The small store next to us at lunch was been stocked by tractor that carried goods up from the dock and a friendly scavenging dog wandered around the tables. It was all slightly ramshackle, unhurried, authentic.
When we are at anchor our dingy is the equivalent of our car, and we carry it on davits, a crane like construction on the back of the boat. I always love travelling in the dingy it somehow seems adventurous. Of course it is essential for us, without it when ashore we couldn’t get back to our boat and conscience of the fact that it and the 20hp outboard are and look brand new we have a strong cable and padlock to secure it. Having taken lunch and wandered around the island not only did it feel an unnecessary precaution it almost seemed insulting.
Wednesday evening the wind got up, we anxiously sat on deck keeping an eye on the orientation of our neighbours but we just gently swung left and right and our anchor held fast. The small French boat behind us began to drag and had to re-anchor but on the whole the muddy bottom gave good holding and the night past without incident.
Next morning we upped anchor, taking a good quantity of the mud with us and set off towards Cadiz, one of the places on our route I’m keen to visit. The channel we were in was quite shallow, so we needed to leave around high tide, which was at 11am. This meant that sailing the eighty nautical miles directly to Cadiz would have us arriving in the middle of the night. So instead we planned to stop halfway at, as it turned out, a rather soulless modern marina in Mazagon. But it did the job, giving us a good nights rest and we arrived at Puerto de Santa Maria yacht club at four pm yesterday. There is a ferry that runs regularly to the old town of Cadiz and the yacht club apparently has lots of facilities including a swimming pool we can use and on Sunday Phil and Julia arrive to join us for ten days.
And it has reasonable wifi.