No posts for a while. Some sad family news has preoccupied me and the rest of us. Here is not the place to talk about it other than to wish those concerned all our love and luck and pray that the universe is kind despite its indiscriminate assault on my finest and best people.
So please, to continue writing this blog is not to ignore their (and our) horrible truth. Far from it. I think of them almost every second whilst questioning our commitment to this epic voyage and moreover, whether I should be indulging in this blog which feels frivolous when others are fighting for good health. However, I think we should carry on in the hope that the blog may lighten their load and at least keep them feeling close to us when we are far away whilst providing some distraction.
So with this in mind, today’s headlines read as follows;
– Coordinates; 37 06 N / 08 40 W otherwise known as Lagos, Portugal. More or less, the Algarve.
– Weather; stormy, clapping thunder and electric lightning, rain pouring down, chilly. Again.
-Boat; leaking in the usual places. Floor covered in toys. ‘Fat bunny’s’ birthday party in progress. Alfi eating pilot book.
– Surrounds; in marina. Very very touristy. Many British yachts. The most we have come across so far. No French – where did they go? The Brits we are meeting are all retired, pasty, bit doughy around the middle. Many from the south-east coast of England. We have met numerous Les’ and Marg’s (I’m not joking). They love it here. They came for a winter and stayed a lifetime. They can tell you all about Lagos, where to go, what to see, where to get the best full english breakfast. Their yachts reflect their years, a bit dated yet they gleam with polish and elbow grease. As too do their persil whites, hanging on their lines. Neatly pegged in good symmetrical order. Then we arrived to mess it all up. In all our wooden charm. No persil whites on our lines, oh no. More a nicotine yellow. Nappies hanging aloft. Toys scattered about. Coach roof graffiti’d by Olive. Courtesy flag flopping off its line. We are indeed a slick operation.
And so it is here that we have become stuck. Again. A few days ago it was looking perfect for a bolt south to Morocco and onward to the Canaries. In a matter of two days this has all changed. It is raining and a bit chilly. When the lightning stops, it is grey. The wind has almost died and what has not, has turned southerly again. This must be the worst summer on record. Typical that it is the one in which we leave; a freak summer that sees low after low and the prevailing northerly winds turn south.
And so we wait. In port. This seems to be the lot of this sailing family. Getting stuck and waiting. Watching rain pound the cockpit whilst we soak up the leaks. Or is this just how sailing is? I sound patient and relaxed? I am not. I am frustrated. Whilst I expected some hard work and inconvenience, this was to be traded for sun, warmth and seaside fun. All this rain and waiting and damp was not part of the deal. I want to be south. I want to be in the Canaries. I want to be warm. I want my children to be frolicking on the beach, not on the cabin floor. Even if the beach will involve them eating sand and bringing it back to the boat to drive me nuts on another day. I want not to be in my fleece. I want not to be hunting the one pair of socks that I own only to discover that one sock is all I have, the other being lost to one of the numerous laundry experiences that this voyage has seen.
Anyway, of what is there to complain? We are healthy. We are fed. We are (mostly) dry. We are safe. The kids are happy. Alfi continues to eat paper usually fed to her by Olive. Whilst Olive continues to use Alfi as the meat in her human sandwich. All to Alfi’s giggling delight. No matter what Olive does to Alfi, Alfi just laughs such is her adoration of her older sibling. It could be worse. The girls could be at nursery making their carers laugh all day long, whilst we slave away to pay for their joy. And it would most certainly be raining…so all in all, life is good. We are hopeful for sunnier days, for us and especially for them and most importantly for my lovely mum.