|Birthday boat trip|
It was really nice to relax for a couple of weeks. 'Viewers at home' would be forgiven for thinking that we spend our days lazing around while on this trip. In fact, we have hardly had any time to ourselves since we left as there is a huge list of equipment to be installed and improvements to be made. When we do take time out from working through this list, we feel guilty about doing so, which means that even our time away from the chores never feels very relaxing. Taking this break off Firebird meant that it was impossible for us to do boat work, so we could put all our effort into relaxing.
|Lots of washing to do|
One chore we did do, however, was clothes washing. Lots and lots of it. We hadn't done any since leaving Coruna, our first stop in Spain, which was quite some time ago. When we're further south and the weather is consistently warmer, it won't be a problem to wash clothes on deck in buckets, but up to this point, with warm days being limited, when we have had one, we have done other things with it, such as showering. I'm not sure how many loads we put through, but needless to say that we have now fully stress-tested the machine in Chris & Mike's apartment.
During our shore leave, we visited a castle, went to a pirate exhibition, ate more than we probably should have, spoiled ourselves in a spa and spent time with two of Kate's aunts and their families, Sher and Sue.
My only regret and mistake during these two weeks was to go for a run. It turns out that in this area of Portugal, there are a lot of dogs. There are stray dogs, badly trained pet dogs, guard dogs that are chained up, guard dogs that aren't chained up, guard dogs that appear to be fenced in, but actually have secret escape holes in the fence. Basically, all types of dogs in all shapes and sizes. All these dogs are bound together into a tight fraternity sharing one common activity that delights them above all else: Chasing runners and barking at them like crazy. Now, I don't like unknown dogs at the best of times, but when they're running at you as though they're going to rip you limb from limb, miles away from the nearest medical attention while some of them look like they haven't had a good meal in months, it's safe to say that I positively cannot stand them.
My tactic for dealing with these attacking dogs, which seems to have worked seeing as I'm still intact, was to continue running, but slow right down so that I was virtually running on the spot. My reasoning was that I didn't want to move quickly, lest I excite their predatory instinct, but neither did I want to stop and face them, in case they weren't after a good chase, but were just defending their territory, in which case I wanted to keep moving onward to give them the impression that their barking was a great success in making me clear off their land and they did not need to escalate matters and resort to biting to make me go away. Whatever they were after, I will not be going back to conduct conclusive experimentation on the matter.
We're now back on Firebird, at anchor in Lagos, waiting for a weather window to cross to the Canary Islands.
|Kate, aunt Sher, Paul, Richard & Hayley enjoying coffee at Lazy Jacks|
|A nice relaxing hot tub at the spa|
|A merman in the pool at the spa|
|Giants defending the entrance to the castle in Silves|
|Mike found a bottle that said 'Drink Me', so he did|
|The magic genie|
|Long John Silver being less than hospitable|