Portimao: Pontoon Life
The last 2 months have flown by. The weather is warming up, the surf has been good, the socialising continues, Wendy and Brian have been out to visit for a long weekend and there is a buzz of anticipation on the pontoon.
Boats are preparing to move on, with some going into the Med for the summer and others staying on the Atlantic coast with the intention of heading south later in the year. Edewsia and Sagitta have already left but the current bout of duff weather has convinced us that it's still too early to leave.
Not that we are in any rush as life is still fun on the pontoon. Or perhaps we have been here too long: Chris's herb garden at the back of the boat is starting to look like something you would find on a canal boat on the Thames.
Mind you, the herbs are used daily and in large quantities cooking such treats as octopus.
The kayaks have been out again but this time we headed out to sea. The first time, Sue and Allan from Jolli Jumper joined us in their rib so we paddled towards Alvor knowing that if conditions deteriorated we could hitch a lift back. Sure enough, we returned in their rib hanging on to the kayaks on either side of the rib. The next two times we turned east but chickened out as the 3 metre swell made life rather too interesting hugging the coast.
Once back in the marina, we sat in their aft cockpit enjoying a late lunch in the afternoon sun with Zack who charmed his way to a cake treat. A memorable day.
Sailing on a yacht with no standing rigging felt very strange but she sailed beautifully and easily controlled once we had figured out what all the extra bits of string to the sails were for. Able Seaman Zack, their 12 year collie who has sailed since he was a pup, had obviously seen it all before and snoozed the whole trip.
We have also been out for a sail, but not in Toots. Our neighbours opposite, Sally and Tony on Ron Glas (Gaelic for Seal), had done a lot of work on their boat over the winter and wanted to go out to check that everything worked. We jumped at the chance of a sail on Ron Glas which is a classic junk rig boat built 40 years ago for the 1972 Observer Single-handed Transatlantic Race (OSTAR).
After 9 months away, Chris has flown home to visit family and friends in Plymouth. As some of our friends on the pontoon may be moving on before she gets back there was a cheerful farewell for her on the patio at the back of the boat.
We are are also preparing for the off. No plans for certain yet but Chris is bringing back more charts, one of which is an Atlantic passage chart. There are some great lagoons along this coast where we intend to stay at anchor and do some kitesurfing. I am getting some dental work done which means we have to stay fairly close to Portimao for a while so we will probably explore between here and Cadiz for the summer. We will make the next big decision in early August. There is a great temptation to head into the Med, where most of our friends are heading - but.....................................
Before Octy tried to escape from the pan
Able Seaman Zack
When will we see you again Chris?
A hard life.....