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Bolero - Oeiras

HDue to the high winds forecast, skippers were given the choice of either heading towards Oeiras on Thursday or Friday, and because of this, the leg would again be a non-competitive leg and would fall under the jurisdiction of the Fun Racing Committee of One. The conditions on Thursday were forecast to be more perky than on Friday. Nick decided that we would head from Nazare on Thursday at 7am.
We lead a line from our stern to the adjacent pontoon and Paul from Sea Crusader walked the bow down our finger pontoon. We swung on the stern line and were away. The swell as we left the shelter of the sea wall was certainly apparent. We hoisted the mainsail which already had 2 reefs and then hoisted the stay sail. This proved to be a good sail plan while Maz cooked a cowboy breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon and beans. Slowly the wind moderated and the Genoa was unfurled and we took off again in the 1 to 2 meter swell with the cutter rig. After lunch we lowered the staysail and boomed out the Genoa and continued with this sail plan until we approached the final headland. The wind increased from 16-20 knots as we lowered the spinnaker pole onto the deck and furled the Genoa just before we hit the acceleration zone. The wind built quickly into the high twenties, gusting 35+ knots, the maximin gust we saw was 38.6 knots. We raced towards Cascais at 7.2 knots with a mainsail with 2 reefs.
We were much relieved when the mainsail was safely lowered. Our entry into the marina was assisted by a cross wind of 35 knots blowing us onto the pontoon. Our first non finger pontoon mooring all rally came at the right port!
It was good to see all 7 boats safely in Oeiras.
Willy left us for 36 hours to stay with old friends who live in Cascais.
On Friday we boarded the coach for a tour of the old gunpowder factory at Barcarena, which was operational until he final explosion in the 1970s. The yellow buildings of the museum contrasted beautifully with the deep blue sky. We then travelled to the Poets’ Park for a coffee in the roof top cafe with stunning views over the Tagus River.
Our net stop was at the fortified wine lodge owned and run by the city of Oeiras, Caravelos where we tasted 7 and 15 year old vintages. We left the shop carrying black bags containing the wine which we have been assured will last up to 3 months in the fridge…….. I very much doubt the full life expectancy will be put to the test as the wine is very good!the gardens of the Palace were beautiful.
During the course of the afternoon the other rally boats arrived having had less wind initially, but experiencing gusts as they approached the final headland,
A rally dinner was held at one of the many restaurants in the marina, we were treated to local traditional dishes of duck on rice and fish pie.
Saturday was a free day. We stayed in the town, caught up with shopping, laundry’s and generally tidying the boat up. We decided that a trip into the city in 30 degree heat was not a good idea…….. please don’t think that we are complaining about sunshine or heat!!
As the heat of the day passed, Judith and Steve went off to paint a mural of Bolero on the breakwater; a fine job they did too. Steve having decided that Bolero has become known for sailing so painted a spinnaker and mainsail,
Dinner on the boat was followed by an ice cream ashore.
Fair winds
Nick, Maz, Steve, Judith and Willy

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