We decided to leave Nazure on Tuesday afternoon and set sail over to the island of "Isla de Belinga" and take up an anchorage for the evening. It was a pleasant spot under the cliffs and lighthouse if not a little 'rolly'. The mist closed in and it wasn't long before you could only see the loom from the light of the lighthouse and not much more. The island is a local nature park so we spent the evening listening to the various cries of the many different sea birds.
On Wednesday with set off for Cascais (a town east of Lisbon). This was probably the best days sailing so far in our trip! We had fantastic breeze, averaging 19 knots, great waves and beautiful sunshine all the way. We were able to fly the spinnaker for most of the day and the top speed of the day was 10.9 knots! We also managed a quick celebration drink (albeit only lemon squash!) to mark clocking up 1000 miles since leaving Hamble. Just as we started to approach Cascais we decided to take the spinnaker down and thank goodness we did as the wind now really did start to blow. As we sailed into the bay we were seeing 35knots across the deck, we both reflected on how it could well have been a whole different scenario had we left it a little latter to take the kite down! We anchored safely in the bay despite the gusty conditions.
The next morning we spent ambling around Cascais. First of all we went over to the Cascais Yacht Club to enquire as to whether it was ok to leave our rubber dub on their pontoons - no problem they were very happy to see us despite the fact they were extremely busy preparing for an event over the weekend as they were hosting the 2012 Europenan Tour of the 40' Racing Trimarans. Cacais is a very elegant, extremely neat and tidy place with manicured lawns and Moorish style buildings. After a quick drink in a local bar (can you see a pattern forming here?) we stocked up at the local Hypermarket for the next few days. We were now getting a little peckish and thought we should stop for lunch but couldn't decide whether it should be local fish or Nigel's preference, a quick pizza - not too much as after all Karen was preparing Beef in red wine for supper! However, as we wandered the narrow streets trying to decide, the smell of Indian spices became just too much to resist. Nigel quickly dismissed any ideas of a 'quick pizza' and suggested we eat in the restaurant aptly named 'Masala'. We had previously dismissed another restaurant as it's menu was listed as Indian/Italian - that seemed a little too wierd! We were not disappointed with Masala, the staff were extremely helpful and were very keen to get the strength of our curries just right (some of you already know that Karen has a penchant for raw chilli and hot curries!) So after a great lunch we dropped our shopping off at the boat and headed back out to spend the rest of the afternoon on the beach (1st one of the trip). We had a great day out and needless to say, the beef stew is on the 'back burner' for tomorrow night. As we settled down for the evening, again the katabatic effect took over and the breeze blew up to about 25 knots until midnight.
Friday the 14th - well it was a day of mixed emotions! We decided we would take the local train into Lisbon but first of all we had to get ashore. The outboard motor decided it would pick today to 'play up'. Nigel tried and tried to get it started (yes, it did have fuel in it - Karen did ask the flammin obvious!) but it just wasn't going to play fair today. Eventually after cleaning the spark plugs, bingo it started. It was at this stage Nigel discovered he had lost his phone overboard! Fell out of his back pocket whilst sitting on the edge of the rubber dub! Oh well, we managed to sort out that problem one way or another and then set off to catch the local train (great value just under 5 euros each for a return ticket covering approx 20 miles - SW Trains could learn a thing or two here). Lisbon is a beautiful city and as we turned each corner we were pleasantly surprised by the amazing buildings everywhere we went. The sea front is very pleasant with an attractive promenade which is currently being extended with the addition of a new shore front road. It looks as if it is going to be very attractive addition to the city.
Took the train home, had a quick beer at a beach side bar (run by an English chap who gives you 50% discount if you are in possession of a Manchester City football shirt - odd but true). We then got back to the boat to discover we had lost something else - one way or the other the solar shower bag had gone overboard (Sorry Anna - we will replace it!) I was just contemplating what else could go wrong, as these things tend to happen in threes, and should I throw something insignificant overboard so as to make it three when my mobile rang. It was Tim, having a pig of a day as somebody had stolen his lovely new racing cycle from the locked bike rack at his office!! So that just had to be the third thing - we hope. So as you we said a day of mixed emotions! Tomorrow we plan a long sail down to Lagos (pronounced Les Gosh) so will be back soon and let you know how we got on.