Mina De Salgema

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    • Day 27

      Faro or Vilamoura?

      June 20, 2016 in Portugal ⋅ ☀️ 34 °C

      It was flat calm during the night and after dawn it became hotter and hotter with the only breeze being what we created ourselves as we motored along.

      I had hoped to berth at a place called Olhao near Faro as it was close to the airport. The two Mary’s were leaving from there and Maeve was joining until Porto.
      However while reading further about it during the morning, I changed my mind as according to the pilot book where was little space for visitors and they only wanted those who would stay at least a month or more anyway. It wasn't recommend for the likes of me who only wanted a night or two. So I decided to continue to Vilamoura as it had good connections with Faro and we motored along the low lying sandy coast for another 17 miles until we reached the marina.

      On the way we had a visit from a pod of large dolphins.
      In the Med we only saw small dolphins but these were more like the larger bottlenose dolphins that we often see around the coast of Ireland.

      We motored slowly through its narrow entrance and pulled up at the reception pontoon on the port side just inside the entrance at 12.30 and went to the marina office to see about getting a berth. Just as I was about to enter the office I got a phone call from Maeve and discovered that she was on the other side of the marina, only forty meters by water but a good fifteen - twenty minute walk around the edge of the marina from one end to the other.
      Having been dropped off by taxi she was not the best pleased to discover that she had been dropped off on the opposite side to where we were.
      Unfortunally I could do nothing until I had booked in and got to my berth, so I told her to get a drink and relax in the shade while I did what had to be done then I'd go and get her.
      Dave took the opportunity to fill up with diesel while I was inside doing the paperwork.

      It took a long hour before we had the paperwork done and were tied up at our berth. Maeve in the meantime had gone for a cool drink as she waited with her bags.
      Once finally tied up the Mary’s went down below to pack while Dave made sure everything was ship shape with Eureka and I went to meet Maeve on the other side of the marina. It was lovely to see her for the first time since I had left Cobh a month before.

      She was soon ‘piped’ aboard just in time to meet the Mary’s as they departed for the bright lights of Faro. They still had one night in the city before flying home the following day.
      We ate very well while they were aboard and they were very agreeable crewmates. I hope that while we didn’t get to do as much sailing as they or I would have liked, that they enjoyed themselves. During their stay they raised standards onboard and Dave & I were of course were on our best behaviour at all times while Mary H and Mary P were around.

      Vilamoura was a bit of a shock to us. It’s a man made circular harbour surrounded by shops and restaurants two storeys high and full of tourists.
      It was strange having all the tourists strolling by looking down at you. I now know what animals in the zoo must think!
      The marina is high tech with pass cards to enter and exit to each section so we couldn’t go wandering and looking at other boats except from shore.

      Dave and I headed for the showers while Maeve made herself at home.
      Once we were spic and span again the three of us headed uptown to the supermarket to stock up on provisions for departure tomorrow and we wandered slowly back enjoying the cool of the evening after the strong heat of the day as the sun slowly went down.

      We had found some nice looking restaurants away from the tourist strip on our journey to the supermarket and on the way back we explored further and chose a lovely restaurant run by a friendly Portuguese family with nice sense of humour. We had a lovely meal and our sides were sore from Dave’s stories and his interaction with the owner.

      Finally we wandered back to Eureka and settled in for the night. Unfortunally there was a disco nearby and it was 04.00 before the tourists packed it in.

      Leg 11 - 160 mls. Total 1181 mls.
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    Mina De Salgema

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