So we left Cascais on the back of the weather system that catapulted us along the Spanish and Portuguese coastlines. It was a bumpy ride with up to 2 metre short choppy seas and a good amount of wind. When the boat is bumpy, it is hard to relax into a normal routine, so we adjust accordingly.
These days become duvet days – lots of listening to music and lolling around in the saloon, reading, playing games and getting comfortable looking out to sea. Sophie managed to get so comfortable that she stayed in the same spot in slightly different poses for over 7 hours! Life is a little less relaxed for Ryan and I as we have to ensure the boat is sailed (through day and night) safely, cook and clean up as well as looking after the kids. Ryan decided this was not quite challenging enough, so on the last leg he added fishing to the mix.
It’s one of those things… you know when things happen at the least convenient moment. We are surfing down the back of waves at 10 knots, with reduced sail and quite a lot of wind, it is twilight and I am steering the boat myself rather than letting the autohelm do the work (it’s more comfortable to do this in the bigger swell). The kids are waiting for dinner, pasta just boiling, Ryan having a rest before watch in his cabin, a rumble of an argument starting between darling daughters 1 and 2 and then, rudely and without warning the fishing line starts going berserk.
Just to add to the cacophony of already loud noises on the boat, Isla, who has been waiting with an inordinate degree of eagerness to catch a fish reacts with more noise, “Dad, Dad, a FISSSSSSHHHHHH!”. Cue Ryan, legging it up through the doorway in his pants, leaping for the line. We secure the line and reduced sail to slow the boat down, some semblance of calm restored, we then go about the process of landing the fish.
Isla is running around like a madman fetching nets and gaffs and other useful items in between jumping around on the spot squealing. The fish is here, at the back of the boat now and Ryan lifts it out of the water, a gorgeous yellow fin tuna about 3 ft long. Ryan proudly lifts the fish over the transom to show the girls, grinning from ear to ear. Isla’s screams of horror soon wipe that grin from his face. Despite being shown pictures of the fish we were likely to catch, we still have not got to the bottom of what exactly Isla was expecting to see at the end of that line, but clearly it was not a Tuna fish.
“What is THAT!!! It’s scary and ugly, it looks like a dinosaur…those eyes!!!” She proceeded to hide in the cockpit until the fish was dealt with and has categorically said that she will never fish again. Ooops, that’s Isla scarred for life, or so we thought until the next day where (under slight pressure) she actually ate the fish and liked it!
So here we are, finally in some real heat. Alvor is a gorgeous little harbour which is unassuming and has non of the drippings you would expect from the Algave. We have been paddleboarding, beach coming, promenading and cave exploring and we have had a good couple of days of boat school. Jocie learnt to do bar graphs today and her reading is amazing! All of the girls are thriving, although team work can still be a struggle. As I type I am listening to Isla and Sophie trying to wash the waterline of the boat from a paddleboard, much arguing ensues, we are hoping by the end of this trip that team work will be much improved, but at least I don’t have to wash the boat! We’ll have a dip and shower when they are done and we are going out for dinner tonight (thank goodness) I don’t think I can handle any more tuna!!