Portugal is Love!

Oporto is so far my favourite place in Europe. Everybody is friendly, and seems happy. Ppl are chatting on the street, welcoming each other warmly if they meet. The whole place is just charming. Even if I do not speak a single word of portugese still I managed to organise and solve everything I wanted. This is a nice example that if someone wants to understand the other party than it can work without words, not like in Spain πŸ™‚20It is 8 in the morning, just arrived home from the night out in Oporto, what a night! The mood and the places are all very similar to the ones I used to in Budapest.. small friendly pubs and clubs, with a handful of ppl dancing around, the music is great, you can find whatever you are looking for, it has a decent underground feeling. We went out just for a beer, it started as a sad occasion, it was Samira’s, the brave french sail-girls goodbye party. She unfortunately had a bad experience and decided to fly instead. Well.. one beer followed by an other few, we eventually ended up in a local muzisian home-party and this portugese guys and girls are not holding back if it is about partying… when we went home around 7.30 in the morning the rest went for an other club.30Too many goodbye’s here. Fist it was Dusan, as we progressed way too slowly, he hadΒ to go back to Paris from here, very sad occasion, we where a real good team together… Sometimes even after several month I still lough out loud when some of Dusand joke pops into my mind. Thank you very much my friend for our time on Psyrema! I will never forget it!35Than it was Samira’s time as well. She started with a french captain, by knowing nothing about sailing, first try, immediately across the roughest part of the Biscay. The captain was so drunk, he could not managed to get up actually, leaving the absolute novice to drive the boat for days on end… as later we realised he never checked the weather, so no question why they hit a very bad gale around Viviero, while everybody including Dusan and me was in a safe harbour… and since the captain was unable to handle the boat, and she had no idea what to do, they brake several things on the boat… when the guy was a bit off the booze he walked around the boat naked, and well lets say did not really acted as a noble gentleman…. than went back sleeping again… so she had to moor up the boat in the next harbour alone with the help of the harbour-master, at night, she checked the map first time ever, checked the labelling, what sign means rocks, and where is the next harbour… well… you have to be very careful which boat you pick… she obviously picked the wrong one. I feel very sad for her as this bad experience forced her to give up the sailing dream. 😦 The same captain as we heard later, managed to hit a rock next to the Portugese shores, has to be air-lifted, and the boat is a full loss…. I really hope he was alone and did not risked someones else life. We tried to convince Samira with Dusan, to join Psyrema, as she sort of showed some skills, and handled the boat naturally very well πŸ™‚ but unfortunately she decided to fly… 😦40A few hours later after the party I was deep into cleaning and re-organising the boat, as my new crew Susana was about to arrive during the evening… and man, I had a lot to do. But it all went well, I just finished everything minutes before she arrived. (interpret it like this: I managed to shovel all the stuff to my bed in the v-cabin and than close the door :))50I have to say I was very lucky again, Susana is really friendly, knows way more about boats than what I expected based on our skype chats. She is sort of in a same situation as me, had enough of the rat-race, left the job and long work-hours behind and wanted to sail and travel. Originally she worked as a translator, she can speak in all possible languages, Portugese, Spanish, Italian, French, English, Polish andΒ Swahili… by the end of our adventure together she picked up a quite decent hungarian as well. She has incredible talent to learn this things, I remember once we where cooking some instant soups, the ones Zoli left on the boat with hungarian instructions on the side, I translated for her…. 3 month later, out of nowhere she started to form mini-sentences with the same words. πŸ™‚ But I went way forward in time….60The next day after she arrived the whole family visited us. It was really funny, I really enjoyed it, usually I am rather lonely on the boat, and now I had sooo many ppl on board, I had to fill up the water-tank in the front as I was worried the boat will just flip over with all the ppl siting at the cockpit. It is visible that she is very social, which will be a really good addition for me on board, as I’m exactly the opposite.70Few days later as the weather calmed down we tried to leave Oporto, well, with very little success. I asked the harbour-master if the entrance is open, as I saw constant white-water coming in, but apparently it was open, so we went for it, booth of us was rather keen to leave… I’m already here for 2 weeks or so, and for her it will be the fist passage on Psyrema…. as we approached the entrance good 4meter rolling, nice tube-like waves formed, basically we could not even get close to the approach.. we stayed around for a few hours, but decided a bit later that it is way too dangerous… while we where fighting with the sea, the coastguard watched us from the shore with binoculars and after we arrived back to the marina they actually closed down the entrance…..75By the end we had to wait 4 more days before we dared to go out, and even the conditions where way more calm than before we had a massive hit from a wave, I was even worried if any of the seacocks (water inlet points on the boat) suffered some damage from the crash. But we managed to leave, and started our passage down towards Cascais.80Visiting Lisbon is again a really nice memory. Especially Susana is from here, so she knows very well where to go and what to check out. Many friends of her visited us during the week we spent here, everyone was keen to check out the “captain” πŸ™‚ All lovely ppl! I hope once I will have a chance to come back and meet all of them again. 90Unfortunately the weather didn’t looked too promising for the next weeks, but even this could not ruin my spirit…. from Lisbon it is basically guaranteed, that I can continue.. usually it is the line of Cascais where the wether pattern changes in favour to sailors going to the south. After a few more days we decided that we give it a go and started sailing down south to the next harbour of Sines. Luckily we only had to wait a night here and from one hour to the other the weather turned to something magical, we had a clear passage to the Canaries! THe longest one I ever made so far!95

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