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Porto to Lisbon with William

by SV Red Roo 19 Oct 14:38 UTC
William first dinghy drive © SV Red Roo

NEW CREW ON RED ROO, we were very excited to have William, a relative from the UK on board for seven days to travel with us from Porto south down the coast about 190 nautical miles to Lisbon.

This was Williams first sailing experience, with the exception of joining us for the day cruise (jolly) in Porto. We straight away put him in the dinghy and he was off and cruising within minutes doing laps of the anchorage.

The following day we lifted anchor (as Phil and I had been in Porto for a week) and headed south in zero wind, flat seas and reduced visibility, eventually arriving at Averio.

William had a rope and knot lesson during the day with Phil and also landed his first (one of many) fish. We left the line out the back for the passage into the anchorage at Averio and had it ran over not once but twice by other small fishing motor boats in the estuary! Luckily we didn't loose the rig or lure.

The next day surrounded by thick fog we departed for Foz, conditions had changed and we had swell on the beam creating a bit of roll on board which for first time sailors can take some getting used to. After a laydown and sleep William felt much better and by mid afternoon when he was back up on deck, the fog also lifted and the sun came out for our arrival into Foz.

Maree abandoned ship the following morning in Foz to fly to the UK as part of the ongoing "Schengen Shuffle" with her visa (sigh...) leaving the lads to fend for themselves.

They did the full Portugal experience and went to a bull fight. It was a real cultural experience and whilst they were glad they went, it isn't something they would repeat, it was at times hard to watch and overall they wouldn't say they enjoy it as they both felt very sorry for the bull, a very cruel sport indeed.

Portuguese bull fights differ from the Spanish bull fight in that the bull is not killed in the arena but never the less the bull is in a no win situation by being continually tormented, speared 6-8 times in back of the neck, before leaving the ring bleeding, angry and well tired out. If the bull does get horns into a horse or matador he cannot do much damage as the points on his horns are either cut off or covered. It is not clear what happens to the bull once he leaves the ring! Back to the paddock or dispatched?

The next two days on the water were long legs with 55 nautical miles from Foz to Peniche and then 45 nautical miles onto Cascais. William learnt that its not all rainbows and sunshine and smooth seas, with one of those days again being quite rolly.

The leaving an anchorage part, navigating out of a river to the ocean, setting up sails is busy and enjoyable but between that and arriving at the next stop can at times be long and quite monotonous, tiring and maybe even boring. But the excitement does return when you make for the coast of your next landfall at someplace new and see the other boats anchored up (taking a sneaky look in the binoculars to check them all out, see what they are up to and watch their anchoring techniques) and of course a new town to explore.

William did get the thrill and privilege of seeing dolphins along side the boat playing and jumping, which was something he said he really wanted to see when he first came on board. It's amazing to witness no matter if it is the first time you see them or the hundredth time, it always makes you smile and your heart race.

Upon arrival at the lovely anchorage at Cascais the familiar shape of Yacht Taipan came into view. After catching up with each others news Phil, William and David went to shore for pizza.

The following day was just a very short jaunt from Cascais into the waterway of Rio Tejo to arrive in a marina in Lisbon.

The afternoon was spent exploring the city, eating Portuguese tarts, seeing the sights and researching the best way to get William to the airport at 4am the following morning for his 6am flight! Turns out the metro doesn't operate until 6am, so that wasn't an option, they considered walking to the casino and get a Taxi but that was actually about half way to the airport, so in the end they rose very early and walked the 5km to the airport and spent the money saved on the taxi on breakfast together at the airport.

A huge thanks to William for joining the Red Roo team for the week, we loved having you on board and hope you enjoyed your experience also, you are welcome back anytime (hopefully next time we might be able to laze around on some sandy beaches, swimming and relaxing rather than days and days of sailing in the Atlantic swell).

This article has been provided by the courtesy of SV Red Roo.

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