The skipper had pointed out that there was a window of good weather so the possibility of leaving this evening was a real one. The Germans in the wooden ketch next to us obviously thought so and left Bayona at lunch. It wasn’t until we checked the weather that evening that that window of opportunity had turned foul. As dark clouds drew in and the boat bobbed around the forecast was predicting winds of up to 100km! Just as well we didn’t go out when we were planning to as the sh!t really hit the fan. But what of those Germans?
The views of the Portuguese coast were unusually clear. The west coast is notorious for poor visibility and fog. The last few miles, however, were spent with the wind on the nose in a force 5-6, with the bow jumping around and watches spent concentrating on avoiding lobster pots. We approached Bayona on the Spanish border late at night. As soon as we hit the port Lee and I spent half an hour tracking down cigarettes and beer…
It was a beautiful day but there was a strong cold wind, unfortunately coming from the wrong direction so we motor sailed up the west coast past Lisboa, Cascais, Sintra etc. The wind was a light northerly, on the nose, making the passage mildly uncomfortable, so to cheer myself up I christened Harold and cast him over the transom. At the time of writing he hadn’t caught anything yet but I had high hopes for this baby. He looked like a killer!
Bought some fishing gear!
After a number of calls to Kevin the skipper we arranged to meet at Heathrow at some ungodly hour in the morning. It felt like one of us should have been wearing a carnation in our jacket, as though we were on a blind date. I’d never met Kevin before but we had been thrown together by Professional Yacht Deliveries to help deliver a Malo 36 from Portugal to Dartmouth, UK. If this were to be a meaningful relationship then it was to be a threesome since we were also waiting upon Lee, who turned up at the departure gate at the last minute.
This was Jamie’s first delivery for Professional Yacht Deliveries World Wide, a UK-based yacht delivery company. It provided Jamie with the opportunity to sail with an experienced skipper, Kevin Smith. As it turned out the first mate, Lee, was just as experienced and together they provided Jamie with a wealth of knowledge and learning.
The journey from Lagos in the Algarve, Portugal, to Dartmouth in the UK, took just under two weeks. A few days were spent in Bayona due to bad weather.