7 Oct 2012

[Captains Blog] Cascais, Portugal

Lobster pots. The bane of all sailors - they are simply everywhere! I'm surprised there are any lobsters left in this world given the degree of exploitation that the fishermen seem to achieve. Every route into a new port is littered (and I use that word carefully) with floats on the surface marking the pots below. Some have flags, some do not. Some have visible floats, some have empty plastic cans that bob up and down in the surf, mostly blue in colour (how sensible is that in the blue sea?) with an attached pick up float that stretches across the surface waiting for unwary sailors to motor over the top of them and get a propeller wrap. Fortunately, (and I touch wood as I write) we have avoided going over the top of one of these blights on society, but only for the grace of God. We have come perilously close on a few occasions. At night it is even worse - you just can't see that far ahead in the gloom to take the necessary avoiding action.

One other thing we have noticed from our offshore position - the number of windfarms that populate the coast is very high. At night they light up like chritmas trees with a red light to warn would-be aviators of their existence, and as the blades rotate, the lights flash - very pretty.

On a brighter note, we are at the estuarine entrance to Lisbon in a place called Cascais. We arrived here last night/this morning having motored and sailed our way into the wind that was blowing on the nose, with the last minute highlight of being escorted up the river Tagus by dolphins alongside having a whale of a time. Sounds incestuous! We woke up to sunshine and fog, were directed to our berth where we settled into the immediate requirements of slooshing down the decks, odds and ends of maintenance, toilet repairs (always a favourite of mine) and the creation of mosquito-proof window covers. We should be able to leave the hatches open tonight without fear of being mossie-supper and get the flow of air through that we desire. It is definitely warmer the further south we go - and I love it!

Debating whether to head straight for the Canaries from here or to go via Morocco (Rabat). The jury's out at the moment ...