Praia de Luz

We left Lisbon with repaired rigging and, after turning to port at the last buoy in tne river, headed south for one hundred miles to Saint Vinzenz Cape at the “end of Portugal” and “end of Europe”. If you don’t turn here there is nothing until Africa, America or Antarctica. We turned to port following the coast of Portugal to the East.

Immediately we could feel the difference. The swell was much smaller than the gigantic roller coasters of the last weeks and the wind was much warmer, having crossed the warm Iberian Peninsular. T-shirts and shorts for the men and mini dress for the lady are now standard wear. The boat shoes haven’t been seen since Biscay (which is good as Neill’s have fallen apart any way). Heidi is now so brown that every one automatically addresses her in Spanish or Potuguese.

After another fifteen miles we sailed in to the bay at the small potuguese village of Praia de Luz. Neill’s sisters in-laws live here so, after anchoring, we rowed to the beach and walked up to the bar that one of them own. We had ordered our drinks before we were recognised by any one. Not surprising as none of them have ever seen Max and June only met Heidi once before. About midnight we agreed a sail trip for the “cousins once removed” and the next morning Lily and Rosi were picked up by Max in the dinghy while Heidi finished a Baileys flavoured cake.

In a light breeze and sunshine we introduced the ladies to the intricacies of sailing during a short tour down the coast and back. Once we were at anchor we all went swimming. Amazing! The water temperature is such that you can enjoy swimming without worrying that you are going to freeze. The swim was followed by lunch and cake after which Max ferried Lily and Rosi home. Unfortunately Lily felt seasick during the whole trip which left Rosi to do all the work and showed us how lucky we are that until now we have not neen effected.

Next we all climbed in to the dinghy and from the beach walked up the local hill to admire the view and take photographs of Artemis at anchor. Cold showers on the beach and cold drinks at a beach bar completed the days holiday after which we returned to the boat, raised anchor, set sail and sailed east towards Spain.

There is something very satisfying about “parking your home” in the middle of town to visit friends.

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