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Timshel - Timshel - the last leg Oeiras to Lagos

Too many choices for this one - due to the closure of the marina (and official anchorage) at Sines, done boats set off Sunday, some Monday,  some stopped at Sines some at several other anchorages. We elected to sail the 125 miles overnight setting off just behind Pirates Moon and Arrietta.  Major worries were the fishing buoys lying in wait and the possibility of Orcas - reports had them moving on from the Gibraltar strait and some sightings off Cape St Vincent.  Wind came up and we were bowling along merrily reefed and wing and wing (Timshel sails very well like this) when we got reports on the WhatsApp from Assifa who had just had an Orca attack - luckily no serious immediate damage to boat or people.  Their position was right on our route and everyone headed further onshore to avoid it.  Silly in a way as the Orcas were unlikely to have stayed in the same place.  Wind died during the night and others motored past - at one point us, Magic-L, Sofa So Good, Kind of Blue, Pirates Moon and Arrietta all close in the darkness.  We sailed very slowly downwind inshore. We heard of 2 further attacks taking place near to Sines; some of our rally friends were close by  having just left there, even involved in a Mayday relay.  Very lively conditions of wind and swell at Cape St Vincent had us hurriedly reefing down before gybing.  After that we sailed east as close inshore as the fishing gear allowed - maybe we should have gone inside it all as we saw one yacht doing.  We had our Orca defences ready in the cockpit, sand, metal pipes etc to make noise, knowing about the attacks on A’assifa and others so close made it all very real.  The wind died completely just before we got to Lagos so we motored in the sunshine feeling lucky to have arrived unscathed.  We admired the amazing caves, grottoes and towers of coloured sandstone.  Dolphins playing had attracted a whole flock of tripper boats, we just wanted to past out of the way into the harbour.  Lovely to be met by our yellow shirts Bev and Alvaro yet again. We were pretty tired - overnight passages are the worst especially inshore as you don’t get a chance to get into the watch system and don’t know how many times we gybed, but it was great later on to see the last rally boats safe in port.  At the dinner on Wednesday we were surprised to receive two prizes - one I think for least motoring hours (28 mins) the last leg (stubbornness again) and the other, a nice Portuguese pottery dish for berthing really really slowly.   Can’t believe this is the finish, the trip seems to have gone by so fast and will be so sad to say goodbye to our rally friends.


Sent from my iPhone


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