Isla de Culatra turned out to be a little sand island that has no road or cars. There are little concrete or wooden tracks between the houses and yu see the odd tractor for towing rubbish bins or boats. Loads of people catch the ferry from Ohlao daily to go to the ocean beach and generally lie around. A French couple came by in the dinghy – they have a Lagoon 420 just like our but one year newer. We had coffee on board with them (Serge and Isobel) then drinks and dinner on each boat. Their English is good and my French improved and wasn’t too embarrassing. We caught the ferry to Ohlao which was really busy with a biker convention (based in Faro a short ride away) apparently the biggest in Europe so we bike watched for the afternoon as they cruised up and down the streets.
There is a terrific fresh market in the waterfront strip on Saturdays but also a permanent one under cover all week. Lots and Lots of sea food. Sardines are the big deal here.
We went round to a nearby sand bank with the French couple and both beached our boats and cleaned bottoms and touched up anti foul. Isabelle went digging for cockles and we had a big pasta cockle meal. It’s interesting to see what each set of boat owners have done to personalise the identical boats.
We sat through two tide changes then went back to our previous anchorages and got a water delivery from Water George.
We sailed to Tavira with isobelle and Serge and anchored in the river. Isobelle has a friend there from when she worked in Portugal who invited us to a house where she was staying that the owners were renovating – really interesting. Tavira is really neat with an old Roman bridge still being used. We all had dinner at a typical non touristy Portuguese restaurant where you pretty much eat what they serve you.
We are now in the Rio Guardiano which separates Portugal and Spain on the Spanish side at Ayamonte. When we arrived there was a strong smell of gear box oil so we have to find a place to get hauled to fix it. Ayamonte is very nice and friendly with a good if quirky chandlery ran by and Dutch/English family. They were able to give/sell us a tube of special black Sikaflex that we needed to seal all our hatches that is like gold to find. (Pete had got through unsticking all the old seals only to find his tube was white and looked terrible) Luckily they were in the process of building a new boat and had some spare. They were also able to order us two new toilets – we cannot get parts for our two TMC ones and their parts wear out due to a pretty horrid environment (I mean flushing salt water!) Just another thing you have to throw money at to fix.
So here we are just waiting for a weather window to move around the coast in two steps to get to Puerto Sherry in Cadiz for hauling. We have occupied ourselves with looking at utube and forums to find out how to convert Aust gas systems to European without re dofing the whole boat! (Also sampling a few reaturants and bars) Got it sorted though. It’s been very hot the last few days 30+ and daylight till after 10pm so we are a bit shagged.