Thursday, June 14, 2018

Bicycle ride to coastal delights

Friday – June 8th
Fortaleza de Jorge

Alex had bought a new mast light and new wiring and we needed a new windex. He was moving the AIS antenna to the mizzen mast because the signal it pings was interfering with our VHF radio. We kept getting a sound like a mic PTT being pushed incessantly. Very annoying. Plus, he would connect the spare VHF to that antenna; if we had trouble with the main VHF, we could have a second VHF via the antenna on the mizzen as backup. 

It was a sunny day, finally, and warm, finally. So Alex took the dinghy over to where the mast was and made up his list of needs.

While he did that, I undertook to paint the bulkhead in the galley. I’ve been wanting to do that since we replaced the port. But we had had a leak that we couldn’t find and it kept streaking the wall with rusty stains. Now that Alberto had fixed the leak, I’d finally be able to paint. I had bought white yacht paint at the ferreteria in Bayona and I couldn’t wait. I sanded the bulkhead and cleaned it. Then I removed the sliding doors and all our foul weather gear and applied the blue tape. I was going to use a roller to roll and tip the way I had learned, but there wasn’t enough surface to warrant using up a roller. So I just brushed it on. It flowed perfectly.  Aside from the VOCs, the job was beautiful and I was happy. There’s a lot more to do, but I’m happy with the start of the bulkhead bane of my existence.

The marina internet was down so Alex couldn’t email his list to Jorge. I had hooked up my phone via USB tether and used my mobile for internet to post a blog entry. Alex couldn’t get his to work so I sent it for him. It was a challenging morning all around but it felt productive.

After lunch, we decided it was time for a little R&R. So we got on our bikes and headed out of town along the coast road. They have a beautiful bicycle and walking path that meanders among McMansions galore and boutique hotels. There aren’t many beaches but the views are stunning. We arrived at a structure that appeared like a big sand castle and thought it might be a beach club but it turned out to be a 15th century fort – St. Jorge’s fort. One of a string of forts that guarded this coast against the Spanish and English fleets. It was interesting. They had ancient loos in strategic places (holes in the wall open to the sea and enclosed in a surround) and replica cannons and cannon balls that were so light they had to be hollow.

On the way back, we developed a mighty thirst and stopped at a beautiful restaurant with the most stunning views and huge agave blooming at the entrance. Reminded us of the agave that we donated to the woman who had a Mediterranean garden at Bloom this year. It’s a shame we couldn’t go there to see it. She was right. It would bloom soon. The ones blooming here were all around the same size.

Too bad the place was only for food and was now closed as of 4 pm. Oh well. I’d say they did not want riff raff like us soiling their linens. Onward.

The next place we stopped was just after a garden centre. There is a string of restaurants high on a bluff overlooking the back side of the town of Cascais. Lots of people were lapping up the sun and the beer. But as you would have it, the beer tap failed just as we ordered and we had to wait a good time for a beer. One could die of thirst here, I told the waitress. So she brought me some water.

Back at Aleria we had whiskey chasers and settled in for the evening. It had been a good day. Half for work and half for play. I like that combination.

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