The internet cafe was nothing special but the guy in charge was. He was as camp as a lace doily and so it was with complete disbelief that I found myself in a conversation about finding him an English girl to marry! I am serious, this guy genuinely believed that I could call up an English girl who would be willing to fly over and marry him!
Emborios is a tiny hamlet with just a couple of restaurants who provide mooring buoys for yotties. Yep, you guessed it, another task as yet not undertaken single-handed. I think I performed it admirably, even if I say so myself, especially after tying up and watching a another boat make a real pig’s ear of it all: lost boat hooks, screaming skipper, trembling wife, usual story.
Started fishing at 5 this morning, about the time the cicadas started. The anchorage is a stunning setting, especially at that time in the morning. I put some coffee on and chucked some crumbs out the back. Not much action for a bit until I attracted the attention of just three fish. In all the time at this anchorage (two nights) these are the only fish I’ve seen.
Once again, the sweet farmer’s daughter comes running down to us and apologises that dinner will not be ready for a while as she is milking the cow and off she runs. Though we don’t hear said cow, as we play our game of Rumicub, we are surrounded by bleating goats, hooting owls, braying donkeys, jumping fish and crowing cockerels – life on this island is actually quite noisy!
Actually, when I say busy I mean really busy. For an anchorage in the middle of nowhere there are rather a lot of vessels churning up this otherwise idyllic anchorage. Nothing bad, mind, apart from the twat on a jet-ski who needed a smack round the face…
Eventually we stopped somewhere and I heard strangers banging around and talking. I made myself very small indeed and tried to hide. I didn’t know what to do. Inevitably someone found me, a very smiley, kind lady with red hair. But I didn’t know her; I wanted my Mum.
A dragging boat is not a pretty sight, especially when it’s your own. It’s even worse when your outboard has only half the revs it’s supposed to and, like a scene from a Hitchcock thriller, the more you rev, the faster your boat drags.
My last weekend, however, was marred somewhat by a couple of idiots I met in the bar on Friday. New boat owners hailing from Essex and London they had nothing good to say about the sailing community. Or Turks for that matter. I sat and listened as they slagged off Turkish workers for being lazy, and yotties who help each other only for personal gain. Eh?
Not only do the Maltese siesta for most of the day, Malta completely shuts down on a Sunday so they can spend seventeen hours in church worshipping some bird in a blue dress. This was the perfect opportunity to drive into Valletta and wander the ancient streets, though it was made a little frustrating what with every tourist site being closed for the day!
After Jon did the rounds in the dinghy we went off to practice some man overboard under sail, before returning to Bodrum marina. We tried dropping the pasarelle to lay the warps on in order to assist the marina boys but all I managed to achieve whilst jack knifing Esper in reverse was to gently nudge the guardrail of the boat next door. Oooops! ‘Jon!!!!!’
When I finally left I got a taxi ride to the airport, which took me through the inside of the island. As I said my memory is a little vague but that taxi journey sticks in my mind as being one of the best road-trips I’ve taken in my life. Why? I’m not sure. I think it was the stark contrast of a Caribbean blue sky, distant shimmering waters and the rich green vegetation of the banana plantations.
We’ve just been chilling in Las Palmas……or trying to. The fact is Las Palmas sucks. There’s something about Las Palmas that makes it feel ‘tainted’, as Tim described it. It lacks character, though it certainly has atmosphere.
Shintaro, like Kato from the Pink Panther, kept popping up everywhere I went. As soon as I walked into the dorm room and introduced myself he offered me a jelly panty liner wrapped in plastic and, unwrapping his and sticking it to his forehead, he repeated the word “cool”.
After about 2 minutes he stood up and handed me a leaflet entitled “Throughout the rich history of Portugal, who is the most important discoverer?” As he resumed his crouching position to continue his rummaging I flicked through the leaflet, intrigued to find out who the most important discoverer was. Surely it was Prince Henry the Navigator? No. Was it Pedro Alvares Cabral? Nope. How about Vasco da Gama? No!
Upon my return the bearded man-woman had taken it upon herself to keep my towel warm by spreading her fat self across my sun-lounge. When I indicated that she was in my space she grunted but didn’t move. OK, so she could keep the sun-lounge but I wanted my towel back.
Over the next couple of days Mario would try to teach me Portuguese. Every time I repeated a word he would tell me I’d said it wrong. He’d repeat it again, this time sounding completely different. Every time he taught me a new word I never learned it as he corrected me over and over again, repeating the word with different emphasis each time.
A brief walk round Albufeira justified my rather snobbish attitude towards the holiday makers here. They had all congregated in the town square to watch the street performers, and which street performer had attracted the biggest audience? The band of South American pan-pipe players! Wrong continent, you sad bunch of losers.
“We want to refuel, why can’t you move the boat, get it out the way” and so on, now with some added comments regarding the English thrown in Now they’re starting to p!ss me off. “Look, it’s what the English call queuing”, I pipe up. “We had to wait, now you can wait. We’ll only be a few minutes, so what’s the rush?” After all, this is sailing, not the F1 pit-stop. Now they’re cursing obscenities at me, whilst some English sailors on the pontoon join in. “Aha”, I smile, “some support from some fellow English chaps”. Turns out they’re starting to have a go at me as well.