As we are still in Portosin Marina whilst the engine is fixed there isn’t much to report from a sailing point of view but yesterday marked a month since we left our home marina, Haslar. Since the longest holiday we have taken prior to this was 3 weeks, it is beginning to sink in that we don’t have to go back, don’t have a home nor jobs to go back to and everywhere we go we are strangers who don’t know their way around or how to converse!
The main changes can be summed up in weather, costs, free time and settling into a new way of life. It is certainly hotter here and when it is windy, the wind is warm. We have found that it is usually less windy during the morning but during the afternoons it picks up to F5-6, dying down again at sunset. The sun is very strong and being fair-skinned I have had to stay in the shade for a few hours a day to avoid getting burnt. My hair is getting blonder by the day – soon I’ll look like Barbie’s grandmother!
We have been spending far less as the local produce is cheaper and very fresh and the supermarkets have cauliflowers the size of footballs – enough for 4 meals. Naturally there is an abundance of fish as every harbour we have moored in has had at least a dozen fishing boats of various sizes. From this marina we can see the boats go out late afternoon, to return in the early hours of the morning accompanied by sirens which we think alert people on shore to unload the catch. Wine and local beer is much cheaper, as are most staples. Eating out is also good value, whether in the restaurants or coffee shops. The yacht club here gave me a triple (I hadn’t realised I needed to say ‘stop’!) bacardi and coke plus a large glass of wine and a bowl of snacks for 5.50 euros and their menu had a very good choice and was reasonably priced. The marinas are not cheap, although less than the south coast of the UK, being about 40 pounds for a 47 foot boat here, including electricity and Wi-Fi. There is a discount of about 8 pounds a day if you stay for a week, which we will doing out of necessity.
With more free time each day, we have been cooking a lot more, trying new recipes and baking gingerbread, welsh cakes and rock cakes. It takes about an hour to find all the ingredients and baking tins hidden around the boat so it is easier to make several cakes the same day and freeze some. In the past I haven’t had the luxury of all this spare time and am finding cooking a pleasure now.
The adventure for me started as we left Haslar but Rob feels this leg is really just to get to Las Palmas for the start of the ARC and his adventure won’t begin until then. In either case, we are enjoying the sunshine and relaxed pace of life, visiting new towns and meeting new people, both sailors and local. Our ‘job’ is to keep the boat maintained and ourselves safe as we don’t have project deadlines, meetings or really urgent emails to attend to – that all disappeared with paid work! We aren’t missing the UK TV at all but do catch up with the BBC News online sometimes and keep in touch with friends on Facebook, Skype and email whenever we have internet access.
We are hoping Alfredo and Oscar will be here tomorrow to finish the engine as it would be good to sail on to the next Ria, Arousa and we will be spending most of the time at anchor there. Being Galicia Day, it may well be a public holiday so perhaps we will be here until Wednesday.