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2007 Log
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Winter 06/07 in Lagos Portugal.

It was a super winter this year, Lagos certainly has a lot to offer the wintering yotty, be it low cost food and wine, a busy social circle of like minded individuals or international competition Lagos can provide it, and much much more as well.

1. Lagos marina
3. Navigators Club and VHF net.
5. Walking club.
7. Book and DVD swap.
9. Climate & weather
11. Train Travel
2. Race series.
4. Bridge club.
6. Marina's special monthly event.
8. Craft workshop.
10. Sopromar boatyard
Marina de Lagos Logo Marina de Lagos Logo.
Winter events in Lagos and surrounding areas.
Bunch sprinting for line
Bunch sprinting for line.
Eisle on the podium
Eisle on the podium.

Tour of Algarve; an early season international professional cycle race which finished on the Avenida (avenue by the marina). What a cavalcade, 100 brightly coloured support vehicles preceded the bunch contesting the sprint finish, they must have numbered 100 riders, then over the next 15 mins a further 200 trickled in. Crowds were 3 and 4 deep for the final kilometre. Awesome. Sad to say the winner failed a drugs test but Eisle took victory and the podium kisses.

Adult ladies massed start
Adult ladies massed start.
Mens skating team final.
Mens skating team final.

Internacional de Patinagem, Tonejo do Velociadade; an international 3 day speed skating competition. Competitors ranged from tiny tots through teenagers to superbly fit, lycra clad, adult athletes. The first day was along the closed off Avenida, and must have seen 500 contestants speeding along the 1km circuit. The second day was around a local skating circuit and the final day was a road race.

Land Rover at speed
Land Rover at speed.
Biker entering the pits
Biker entering the pits.

Lisbon - Dakar Rally. Wow what an event this was; 300 cars, 200 bikes and 100 wagons/trucks. We saw them arrive for an overnight stop in Portimao where the pits/paddock was totally open to the public. It was quite amazing to see what, in profile, is a standard easily recognisable car but when the fibreglass body was hinged up it was a money-no-object F1 rally car. The following day saw us on the free 0700 bus to the off-road rally stages. It was quite amazing to see the speed of these vehicles as they thrashed across the Portuguese stages on the way to crossing the Sahara.

Fully certified team
Fully certified team.
On Moyle Rose with Phil and Pauline
On Moyle Rose with Phil and Pauline.

Phil's Yachtmaster exam; Phil of Moyle Rose perhaps chose Janet and I because of our skills on the racing circuit, and Terry for his foredeck skills. We all had yacht-master qualifications so were likely to be good crew, that is if we could all stop being skippers for one day. In practice Phil learned quite a lot about his boat, previously thought of as only a motor sailor. On the day he performed perfectly and his effortless style gained him the certificate. The crew also had a good time.

Winter in the marina.
  1. Lagos Marina 2007. For those wanting a berth in the marina then be aware that in Sept through to early November the ARC fleet occupy loads of the winter berths and they will have booked them months before, so either you take pot luck and hope for a berth being available, as we did, or you put a 25% down payment and book your slot. In November the ARC boats and the summer-only residents will be long gone so the marina looses its hustle and bustle and so becomes most pleasant. We highly recommend it. Discount is available for a 6 month berth or even more for a 9 month berth.

  2. The racing fleet follows us
    The racing fleet following us down wind.
  3. Race Series. The Navigators club and SW Boat Charters between them run a fortnightly Sunday race series. The course is just outside the harbour entrance and is approximately a 2 hour circuit around an Olympic course (i.e. its a triangle plus a sausage). A committee boat is always on the start and finish line, all very proper. Only puzzle is that its supposed to be friendly and so no protests are allowed. Ruby T does very well, our first attempt took us to third place on handicap and second over the line even though we missed the start by 5 minutes. Some catch-up! We entered the special marina race which coincided with a festival in the town; we were all supposed to be dressed in costumes but Ruby T was just dressed overall. We won line honours and and were first on handicap. The winter series proper was 5 races with one discard, we did 3 of them and gained a first and a third on handicap and second overall in the series. This picture shows us all dead down-wind and goose-winging; we're obviously well ahead.

  4. Navigators Club and VHF net. The club is open to all and costs nothing, best of all, membership gets you 10% discount in some of the bars. The members also broadcast on Mon, Wed and Fri and offer a self/group help forum. Topics covered each broadcast are; 5 day weather forecast, technical queries, transport and car hire, events in the Lagos area and anything of general interest to the members. An evening meeting once a fortnight covers items of general and technical interest.

  5. Bridge Club A weekly event for beginners and experts, some Brits from the town also attend.

  6. Walking Club Open to all, this fortnightly event is organised down on the pontoons, initially by the liveaboards from the previous years. Chip and Sue of Toujours kicked off the fist walk this year and usually figure in them somewhere. Usually walks start with a bus to some location then a 15 to 25 Km walk and a bus journey home; we all take packed lunches. On the longer walks escape points are planned in so its not such an ordeal for the unfit. To date they have all been superb, we all get many hours to meet other marina residents and we see the country which we most probably wouldn't have seen without the walking club. One amusing item is that Chip always takes his GPS and he records the position of all public loos in it. So at any time on a walk he can give you course and distance to the nearest one. If you are laughing at this then you are probably still under 60 years old.

  7. Marina's special monthly event. These are usually free and to date have included:
    -whiskey tasting. Didn't go to this as we don't like the stuff,
    -wine tasting. We went to this one and can report it was again splendidly organised. About 30 wines were available for tasting and then as the evening progressed tasting turned to drinking, serious drinking. The following day hangovers were aplenty and some people were unavailable for comments.
    -Christmas dinner. About 80 of us sat down for an 8 course dinner. Starting with a champagne reception we then took our seats for the splendid meal. Throughout the wine was free and flowed freely. Finally we had a prize giving where every boat won a bottle of Port.
    -out-of-date flares setting off or disposal session. We all took our out of date flares down to the beach where 4 maritime police kept spectators at bay whilst allowing us to set them off. After an hour or so the police realised that we had about another 4 hours worth so they collected them and disposed of them for us. Although some were about 10 years old none failed though some of the rockets didn't go quite as high as others.

  8. Book and DVD swap Chip and Sue of Toujours organise a monthly book swap where we simply put the books we want to swap on the chosen pontoon and help ourself to books others have deposited, and with no restrictions on quantities. A box of DVD's is always on the deck of Toujours, its a simple help-your-self and return it when you have finished.

  9. Craft Workshop. An ex-yotty and now a local resident, Barbara runs the craft workshop sessions.

  10. Algarve climate and weather. What a smashing winter.

  11. Sopromar boatyard. Expensive but capable and very professional.

  12. Train travel on the Algarve is on an Eco railway! Many have taken the train from Lagos, maybe to Faro, and have commented on how cheap it was but they have not realised how eco friendly the train is. I noticed eco features on 3 fronts; it uses wind assistance, it recycles heat from the braking system and it has a means of pollution reduction. In detail then:

    On many earlier journeys on this train I had often notice how one minute we were looking over crops and small trees and the next minute we had tilted over and so were down amongst them. Janet put this down to subsidence on the lines but I had realised it was something more clever, the train was tacking. Somehow it was harnessing the wind causing it to tilt onto a starboard tack, then minutes later as the wind went aft the train would take on an even keel. Surprisingly the wind often must go right around because the train can quickly move from one tack to the other in a matter of minutes. All very impressive for something so heavy.

    A second unusual feature, and one particularly important in a hot country, is that as the train applies its brakes, well naturally they get very hot, but the heat is not simply allowed to escape and so heat up the countryside even more, it is converted in the brake pads into a acrid smoky gas. OK so the countryside is cooler but what of the resultant pollution. Well, this has also been thought out and a solution applied.

    Smoke from the engine and particularly from the braking system could be a real problem to those living alongside the railway if it were allowed to naturally dissipate into the atmosphere, so the ventilation system on the train draws the smoke into the carriage compartments. From this it is clear that the ticket price is low because each passenger is expected to do his bit to recycle the acrid smoke into clean air, and we are all being paid to do so. The payment to us all coming as a reduced price train fare. The reprocessed air we all create, as we exhale, escapes out of the carriages and so the countryside remains cooler and pollution free. Brilliant eh? Janet says we should use the bus more.
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