4th October 2020
Sagres, Portugal – Portimão, Portugal via Lagos, Portugal
The town of Lagos comes in many forms. There is the town in Nigeria which is full of colour and vibrancy; there is one in Chile that is surrounded by high hills that look down onto deep fjords; there is another, east of Jakarta where the smell of spices wafts in the air and finally there is one in southern Portugal which thinks it should be on the shores of Thailand. We’re in Portugal, but feel like we’ve sailed in Thailand.
As the surfers caught waves in our not so still anchorage in Sagres we sailed in the most idyllic conditions east. The surfers would have been disappointed as we rounded the headland as the sea was board flat, with the only waves being created by our bow slicing through the water. This however was not stress-free sailing; we had a race on our hands.
Atea were hot on our heels and they seemed to find boatspeed from nowhere. Their cats pottered around the decks, the kids played on the aft deck while John and Kia kicked back and drank coffee. After a spell downstairs looking at currents, AIS and the land topology Iain shot up on deck full of energy and determined to do something about boatspeed.
Grabbing a winch handle and setting up to shake out the reef he simply couldn’t understand Fiona’s and Clare’s giggling and apathy. Infuriated he set about his task and their giggling simply increased. Finally looking up he realised he’d been outplayed. While Iain had been downstairs studying the theory Fiona and Clare had been practical and silently shaken out the reef, increasing the boatspeed and just waiting for the Iain to get confused.
Try as hard as we might Atea were still gaining and inch by inch they overtook, but still they relaxed. It was time for another joke on Iain as they’d been making water all morning and were simply motoring along. At least we’d won the moral battle.
Turning into Lagos it felt like we’d entered another world. The coastline was littered with sandstone arches, free standing columns and blow holes blowing, all fringed by sandy beaches which had once stood high in the air. This could only be improved by exploration by dinghy and Brock treated us to exactly that.
From Brock the arches were even more magnificent and the booming from the blow holes awe inspiring. The only problem with this form of exploration was that the basalt at the bases was hard and sharp, while Brock was soft and squishy. Brock had taken us to the features but it felt like he’d transported us to the fabled coastline of Thailand made famous by Leonardo Di Caprio and ‘The Beach’.
Exploring Lagos the surprises continued. The biggest surprise was that Iain’s tour didn’t include any of his usual favourites but was full of proper points on interest. Lagos had faced up to its part in the slave trade where thousands had been shipped across the world all the for profit of the few and these profits were seen as we ventured into churches. The church preached a message of pious poverty, but this was against a backdrop of solid gold that adorned every surface from floor to ceiling.
As another day dawned not only did we have to say goodbye to Clare we also said goodbye to Lagos. We were bound for a port full of friends in Portimão where everyone we’d met on our trip seemed to be congregating. Atea was there, Calista were there, Favorita were there, VMG were there, Asterie were there and soon we were to be there.
With so many people about we hope that Portimão will have the vibrancy of Lagos, the scenery of Lagos and the delights of Lagos. We’re sure it will, as the one thing that makes this life so interesting are not only the places but also the people.
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